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Da Bomb Bath Fizzers (Part 1!)

This wasn’t going to be a review until I saw that in my favorite clothing store, Torrid, they had a few of these bombs I had seen on Tumblr. They are Da Bomb Bath Fizzers. These sisters handmake their bombs here in the U.S. (depending on where you live in the U.S., your bombs from Lush might come from our neighbors to the North: Canada!) and they are cutely unique. They are a little more pricey than Lush’s regular bombs, theirs being at 7.50 or 7.90 (if you buy them at Torrid), but are they worth the price? We’ll find out together!

Earth Bomb

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What’s inside it: baking soda, citric acid, food grade PEG, fragrance. May contain cosmetic grade pigment, sugar topping and/or mica.

Is it vegan and cruelty free?: Yes!

What was the surprise inside?: A little toy zebra turkeyfish!

This was probably the bomb I was most excited for! I love Lush’s bath bomb Big Blue, and it has a very big ocean smell. I love the little bits of seaweed in it and just everything about it. I wasn’t expecting an exact duplicate, but I was excited to see what little toy came in it.

The bomb smells almost exactly like Lush’s. I think this is the perfect bomb for people that love the smell of Big blue, but might not like the seaweed in it. The color is almost the exact same too and is a slow fizzer. This is the perfect dupe. I may actully like it more because of the little toy inside.

I love the little fish inside. It’s so cute and it was really fun to get. This is perfect for adults and kids alike!

Candy Bomb

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What’s inside it: baking soda, citric acid, food grade PEG, fragrance. May contain cosmetic grade pigment, sugar topping and/or mica.

Is it vegan and cruelty free?: Yes!

What was the surprise inside? An eraser

This one smelled like cotton candy when I took it out of the packaging, which is an awesome smell. I really do like the cotton candy smell, but sadly the smell didn’t last long.

When I put it in the water, it immediately began to stink. I was sitting in my tub with it in the water with my face scrunched up. It smelled almost as bad as the pumpkin one I used at Lush Halloween. I was very thankful for the fact that this was an extremely fast fizzer so I didn’t have to deal with the stinky smell anymore.

The color wasn’t that bright really either. It was a very dull pink and not a bright pink like I thought it was going be since it was cotton candy. It was nice, but not as bright as I thought it was going to be.

The one thing I did really like was the little eraser that came in it. It was super cute and I didn’t expect since the packaging only said that there would be a little “surprise” inside.

 

“F” Bomb

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What’s inside it: baking soda, citric acid, food grade PEG, fragrance. May contain cosmetic grade pigment, sugar topping and/or mica.

Is this vegan and cruelty free? Yes!

What was the surprise inside? A little heartwarming message

I knew I was going to like this bath bomb as well as the Earth bomb because of the fact that I love lavender. It’s an amazing and calming smell. It’s wonderful if you were going to try and fall asleep after it. It’s also really nice if you’ve been having a rough week (like me!).

The color was a beautiful dark purple that my phone really couldn’t get a picture of. It was so nice to be in the bath like that after the previous one wasn’t that great.

The message was super sweet too. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about all day because of the fact that it was something I really need to work on. It was like the universe made sure I got this specific bomb.

Treasure Bomb

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What it’s made of: baking soda, citric acid, food grade PEG, fragrance. May contain cosmetic grade pigment, sugar topping and/or mica.

Is it vegan and cruelty free? Yes

What’s the surprise inside? A toy coin

This was the worst out of the four bombs I tried. I was at least expecting a yellow color in the tub because that was the outside of the bomb. It added no color to the bath at all.

The coconut smelled nice, and I did get the little coin inside, but this is not a bomb I would recommend unless you really like the smell. This is nice if you don’t want to have color or bubbles in your bath, this would be the perfect bomb for you.

 

 

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Beauty Review: Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel

boscia_exfoliating_peel_gel_1Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel

What it is: A peeling gel designed to exfoliate and cleanse skin

The claim: “This peel gel works in three ways: as a physical peel to remove the outer layer of dead skin, as a chemical peel to penetrate deep into skin for in-depth exfoliation, and as a treatment to firm and brighten for a healthy complexion,” – Boscia

Available at: Boscia, Sephora, Amazon

Price: $34 (5 oz)

Review:

I received a 1 oz bottle of Boscia’s Exfoliating Peel Gel for free, so naturally I decided to try it out (because who doesn’t love trying out free products?!)

I used a generous amount of this product on my skin, and, after a few moments of gentle, circular rubbing, I noticed that the “dead skin” was coming off like crazy and pilling on my skin.

Super exciting, right?!

Well that “dead skin” would stick like glue to my eyebrows and any little baby hairs, and once this product latches onto a hair, it doesn’t want to let go. Basically, this product is the ultimate clingy ex… minus the constant texts and creepy Facebook posts, of course. I had to scrub my face until it was red and raw to get rid of the residue, and even then, some remained.

The whole process was a literal mess, but did the Exfoliating Peel Gel deliver on its promise of smooth, bright skin?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Nooooooooooooo.

The “dead skin” sticking to my face provided promising results, but as it turns out, that result was not what it appeared to be.

Use this product on a surface other than your skin (such as a kitchen counter), and you’ll see that Boscia’s formula naturally pills when scrubbed on any surface.

The pills look flesh toned, which leads consumers to believe that the product is stripping unwanted dead skin from their face.

Boscia’s Exfoliating Peel Gel is, therefore, just a disgusting gimmick designed to fool consumers. If you love ingesting placebos for no reason, then you’ll absolutely adore this Boscia product.

For shame, Boscia. For shame.

Have you tried Boscia’s Exfoliating Peel Gel? Let us know your own experiences in the comments!

 

 

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Beauty Review: Beauty Blender Blotterazzi

Beauty Blender Blotterazzi

What it is: An oil blotting sponge

The claim: “Shaped to fit all contours of the face, the blotterazzi™ saves you from unused corners like traditional blotting papers. Made with the award-winning beautyblender material, these blotting sponges remain “thirsty” when they are dry, absorbing excess oil without disturbing makeup so that skin stays looking radiant. With the compact’s vented back and clear, hygienic separator, it ensures that the sponges keep their freshness” – Sephora

Available at: Beauty Blender, Sephora, Amazon

Average price: $20 USD

Review:

I received Beauty Blender’s Blotterazzi in Sephora’s July Play! box. This product normally consists of two Blotterazzi sponges and a storage case with a built in compact mirror, but since this was a Play! item, I received only one sponge.

I’ve had excellent experiences with Beauty Blender products in the past (as well as the present), so I was optimistic that this product would be able to successfully eliminate all that nasty, pore clogging oil from my skin.

That optimism, as I would find, was unfounded.

Those who have used a Beauty Blender before will be no stranger to this sponge, as it is made of the exact same material as the Original Blender. But unlike the Original Blender, this product is designed to be used only when dry. No duh, right? You can’t blot oil with a wet sponge, after all.

I decided to give the Blotterazzi its maiden test run after finishing my gym workout. I am cursed with combination/oily skin, so the summer heat + workout sweat = enough oil to saute a full pan of vegetables.

Basically, I chose the prime time to use this product.

I blotted the Blotterazzi gently all over my skin (as I would with a typical oil blotting sheet) and, to my utter surprise, nearly all of the oil and sweat remained. I went over my face one more time, but to no avail.

Frustrated, I reached for my Up & Up oil blotting sheets (Up & Up is a generic brand found exclusively at Target), and went over my face with that instead.

Those cheap, $2 one-time use oil blotting sheets ended up making the Blotterazzi its bitch, as only one sheet was able to remove all the surface oil and sweat from my face instantly.

In hindsight, it was pretty obvious that this product was not going to work.

The Blotterazzi’s intended use contradicts the nature of the material it was created with. Beauty Blenders do not absorb foundation and beauty products, but rather they keep those products at the surface of the sponge so the product can be applied evenly and smoothly. So instead of the Blotterazzi absorbing oil and sweat from the face, this product merely transplanted it somewhere else.

So to be blunt, this product is a gimmick and a complete waste of money. I recommend consumers avoid it like the plague.

I award the Blotterazzi no points, and may God have mercy on its soul.

Have a product you’d like me to review? Leave a comment or shoot me an email at meg@geekgirlworld.com

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Beauty Review: Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation

Sheer Transformation

What it is: a day and night moisturizer infused with Vitamin C, fruit acids, and Sandalwood, Geranium, Licorice and Chamomile Extracts.

The claim: So sheer in texture, this luxurious oil-free cream feels light and silky as it penetrates the skin and helps fade discolorations such as freckles, age spots and sun damage without the use of chemicals. Instantly nourishes and retexturizes the skin, smoothes facial lines and provides intense free radical protection to prevent further damage. – Ole Henriksen

Price: $38 (1.7 oz), $65 (3 oz)

Review:

Sheer Transformation may just be the holy grail of moisturizers.

The moisturizer is as light as Ole Henriksen boasts, and the (mostly) all natural ingredients are gentle on the skin. I found that it leaves a light sheen on the skin for a short time after application, but this doesn’t accompany a tight or oily feeling, nor does it prompt the skin to produce sebum (which is great for folks with combination and oily skin).

In addition to the product’s moisturizing power, Sheer Transformation also moonlights as an effective exfoliant. Fruit acids within the formula help strip away dead skin and promote cell turn over, and shockingly well. I routinely find little patches of dead skin all over my face after using this product, so I exclusively use it only at night before bed or on a day where I plan on wearing zero makeup. As one could probably imagine, skin peeling + makeup = not a good time.

But moisturizing and exfoliation is not all Sheer Transformation is capable of.

This moisturizer is formulated with Vitamin C and licorice root, which are known hyper-pigmentation combatants. Those who have been personally victimized by acne (like myself) may find that this product drastically reduces the appearance of acne scars and other post-acne damage –  but don’t expect it to happen overnight.

My cheeks were heavily damaged from hyper-pigmentation thanks to some nasty acne breakouts, but after about two months of continued use, I found that this product did indeed lighten and tone down the appearance of my scars when used nightly in conjunction with Ole Henriksen’s Invigorating Night Treatment. Sheer Transformation is by no means a miracle product for treating hyper-pigmentation, but compared to the cost of professional laser treatments (which can result in some nasty side effects if not done properly, such as discoloration and skin lesions), this product is a money saver.

Even so, the cost of this product may be a little intimidating for the average consumer.

A small 1.7 oz container costs a whopping $38 (on average) and lasts approximately only 2 months. A year’s worth of moisture, exfoliation, and blemish lightening will therefore will set consumers back $228 (again, on average).

But if you’re looking to see serious results, then this product is most definitely worth the investment.

Have you tried Sheer Transformation? Let us know your own thoughts in the comments!

 

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Play! by Sephora Unboxing & Review (May 2016)

Play! is a subscription box service from Sephora. The subscription costs $10 a month, and each month subscribers receive a box that includes 5 samples of high end beauty products, a fragrance, and a pass redeemable for a beauty tutorial and 50 bonus beauty insider points. Beauty fans looking to subscribe to the service must join a waiting list, so reserve your spot now!

It’s time to Play!

May’s theme is “the forces of nature”, and in the spirit of the theme, this month’s box includes products that include all natural ingredients. This box is also their most eco-friendly one yet!

Sephora has used an obscene and unnecessary amount of paper in their previous boxes (two layers of cardboard, one layer of useless and annoying confetti), but this month they severely cut down on paper product by including only one cardboard box (the shipping box), a product guide book, and a cute, reusable drawstring pouch (which held this month’s products).

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I’ve had ample time to use these products and reflect, so let’s dive into this month’s box and see what I thought!

Note: Product values have been crudely calculated based on the price/ fl. oz ratio of each product.

DSC_0198Korres – Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial

Sample size: .34 oz
Value: $17.50

This overnight facial is formulated with wild rose oil and vitamin C –  ingredients that help promote skin brightening while simultaneously countering uneven texture and dullness. Korres claims that most people will see significant improvement in their skin after only one use, but as I found out, I’m not one of those folks.

This sample size was too small for me to see a noticeable difference in my skin before the tube ran dry, but it did feel cool and relaxing on my face. That coolness combined with its refreshing rose aroma made for a very relaxing facial experience.

But relaxing as this product may be, I wouldn’t recommend applying it immediately before bed.

The rose scent is beautiful, but it’s strong to the point where it becomes insufferable to the nostrils. There are worse things that could pump through your nose when you’re trying to sleep, but the scent is distracting none-the-less. I suggest waiting until you’re almost nose blind to the scent before attempting to nod off for the night.

Overall, I found Korres Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial to be a product that provides short term sensory satisfaction with zero signs of long term physical results.

 

DSC_0197Origins – Maskimizer Skin-Optimizing Mask Primer

Sample size: Maskimizer (.05 oz), Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask (.1 oz), Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask (.1 oz)
Value: $1.00

Origins is promoting the latest addition to their expansive skincare lineup, the Maskimizer! According to Origins, this new product was designed to optimize and moisturize the skin prior to mask application.

The Maskimizer comes with two mask samples: Origins’ Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask and Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. Both are products I own and am familiar with (check out my review of the Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask), so these mini samples provided me with an excellent opportunity to compare and contrast the masking experience with and without Origins’ Maskimizer.

I cleansed my face with Origins Checks and Balances, patted it dry, and spritzed my skin with the Maskimizer. I let the product sink into my skin for a moment before applying the Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask. Applying this mask is always a messy endeavor – it tends to spread unevenly and has a tendency to clump – but with the Maskimizer, the process couldn’t have been smoother.

With the Maskimizer, the charcoal mask glided onto my face like never before, and for once it seemed to apply relatively evenly. I even found myself using less product to completely cover my face, which was a pleasant bonus!

Considering how some of my masks cost about $60 (I’m looking at you, GlamGlow), being able to use less product with the Maskimizer would prolong the life expectancy of my masks and save me a pretty penny or two down the road.

A moderate sum of $22 for a 3.2 oz bottle of Maskimizer may just need to be my next beauty investment!

DSC_0206Briogeo – Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

Sample size: 1 oz
Value: $9.00

Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask is a weekly conditioning treatment designed to bring life back to dull, damaged hair and protect against future damage.

Sephora included a 1 oz sample of the product in this month’s box. 1 oz is barely enough to fully cover my extremely long, thick hair, but those with fine, shorter hair should be able to enjoy 3 or 4 treatments from this size.

I followed the directions on the bottle and left the product in my hair for about 10 minutes before rinsing it out. When my hair dried, it did feel soft and nourished, but no more than it does after using a drug store brand conditioner.

Because this product would cost me $9.00 per treatment and yields the same results as a $7.00 8 oz bottle of Aussie,  this product is simply too expensive and too ineffective to add into my beauty arsenal.

To be fair to Briogeo, this product wasn’t designed for my hair. I do not blow dry my hair, flat iron it, or over process it with bleach and dyes, so my hair was already soft, nourished and relatively damage free.

So basically, this review is totally moot.

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Bite – Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Kimchi

Sample size: .05 oz
Value: $8.50

Who doesn’t love trying out new lipsticks?

Bite’s Amuse Bouche Lipsticks are matte, bright, and highly pigmented, meaning a little goes a long way.

Sephora previously offered Beauty Insiders this lipstick in Radish as a points perk, but the color featured in May’s box is Kimchi – a beautiful hot pink shade named after a Korean dish. An odd name choice, but I’ll roll with it, I guess!

The color is a little too bright and loud for my complexion and face, and because the lipstick is matte, I found it to be far too drying for my lips.

In truth, I don’t think I’ll ever use this product again, but I will keep it floating around my makeup drawer just in case I’m feeling dangerous and spunky.

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 Tarte – Tarteist Lip Crayon in Mauve

Sample size: .001 oz
Value: $2.00…ish

A teeny tiny sample of Tarte’s lip liner was included in May’s box, and I’ll be honest, this is totally uncharted territory for me.

I know that faux-celeb Kylie Jenner has made the internet absolutely obsessed with the practice of lip lining, but in an act of defiance, I never personally attempted the trend.

That is, until now. Thanks, Sephora?

This lip crayon comes in the color Mauve, a more-or-less neutral color for the lips. The color can be worn alone to highlight your lips or paired with your favorite lipstick or gloss. Once applied, this liner is on your lips for the long haul, becoming almost like a henna tattoo for your lips.

Lip lining really isn’t for me, but makeup fans who have adopted the trend will likely be pleased with the longevity and versatility of this product.

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Atelier Cologne –  Orange Sanguine

Sample size: .05 oz
Value: $5.00 

Sephora tends to include at least one perfume or cologne sample in their monthly box, which is absolutely perfect for folks who want to try out different scents but not commit to just one (guilty!).

This month’s box included a sample from Atlelier Cologne called Orange Sanguine, a scent that definitely lives up to it name.

Orange Sanguine heavily relies on citrus extracts, but it also has beachy undertones less blatant to the nose, making this perfume fresh, young, and perfect for summer. The scent is appropriate for both casual and formal outings, but it does fade away sooner than one would expect from a perfume this expensive.

A full bottle of Orange Sanguine costs over $100, which my nose and my wallet both agree to be absurd. I’ll be throwing this sample in my purse to use as an occasional treat to my nostrils (and the nostrils of people who lurk a little too close), but my love story with this scent will end when the sample runs out.

Box rating: 3.5 out of 5

As is true with nearly every Play! box, the sample sizes are just too damn small. Sephora’s goal for these boxes is to induce more sales in store and online, but it’s difficult for consumers to form an opinion about a featured product (positive or negative) when they are given only teeny tiny samples. If consumers don’t have an opinion, then they are less likely to purchase the products featured. I won’t pretend to be an expert on business, but it seems to me that this concept would be covered in Business 101!

Shockingly enough, those teeny samples are worth a combined total of $43 – an excellent value for subscribers.

As far as product quality is concerned, I wasn’t extremely impressed with this box. None of these products left me eager for more (maybe the Maskimizer is an exception), and none were helpful additions to my beauty arsenal. However, the value and eco-friendliness of the May box nearly makes up for its lack of usefulness.

Overall, I give this box 3.5 Kimchi dishes out of 5, and Sephora gets to keep me as a customer for at least another month.

Tune in next month when I unbox and review the June Play! box, and leave your own thoughts in the comments!

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Beauty Review: The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops

What it is: pigmented drops that either darken or lighten your existing foundation

Product information: available on The Body Shop’s website

Available at: The Body Shop

Retail price: $20

Review:

It’s officially Springtime!

In this in-between of winter foundation and summer foundation, I have finally found the perfect addition to my beauty line-up: The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops.

These drops are total life savers. They retail for $20 a bottle, and they will transform any foundation into the right color. They also do not change the finish or the coverage of many foundations, however, with a very matte foundation (such as Kat Von D) the drops may alter the finish a little bit (but I haven’t tested it out on anything very matte yet).

I recently picked up the Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme in the shade Buttercup, which is just a teensy bit too dark  for my skin once it oxidizes. I added two drops of the Lightening Shade Adjusting Drops and was able to create my perfect color. And although the Lightening drops are pink in tone, they did not affect the yellow undertone of my foundation.

The actual dropper is not the greatest. It blows out air bubbles with the drops, so prepare for a little bit of a mess.

Final Verdict:

If you are looking to adjust your foundation color without purchasing a new shade, then these drops will definitely work for you!

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Beauty Review: Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

Origins Clear Improvement™ Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores

What it is: a facial mask infused with charcoal and white china clay that is designed to draw out impurities in your pores

Product information: available on Origins’ website

Available at: Sephora, Macys, Origins

Retail price: $25 (3.4 oz)

Review:

My ridiculously porous skin has long been not only one of my biggest insecurities, but one of my biggest investments as well.

My pores are large, easily clogged, and most of the time my nose looks like a strawberry thanks to the surplus of blackheads that have bred like jackrabbits there. I’ve tried a lot of products and I’ve spent a lot of money in an effort to keep my pores emptier than a Nickelback concert, but I’m still always searching for the absolute best solution for my personal skin hell.

Enter Origins’ Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask.

This mask is formulated with bamboo charcoal, white china clay, and lecithin – ingredients which Origin claims are able to clear out clogged pores, absorb toxins, and dissolve all impurities. The Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask is a rinse off mask (rather than a peel), and it’s designed to be used in a short time span (compared to masks which are designed for overnight use).

I have been trying this mask on for size for roughly two months now, using it once or twice a week immediately following my normal cleansing routine (and facial steaming).

I would lather on a decent amount of product to ensure that the mask was evenly distributed on my skin, and then the wait would begin. The initial sensation the mask brought upon my face was a very mild stinging (which usually occurred when my cleansing method was my Clarisonic brush), but that feeling would subside quickly and turn into a cool sensation that was definitely relaxing.

My skin would feel noticeably tighter as the mask would dry and harden, making it absolutely impossible to even move my face or break a smile without cracking the mask (this ultimately became a cruel game for my jerk boyfriend and sister, who purposely wanted me to lose face).

Even though this product does revert back to a more liquid form when exposed to water, it still takes some time and serious rubbing to rinse it off completely. It also leaves one hell of a mess, as the rinsed off product would stick to my sink basin rather than sliding down the drain, leaving slippery, nasty grey residue everywhere.

So, on to the big question here: does Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask deliver on its promise of clear, clean skin?

Well… yes and no.

I did experience some small breakouts after using the mask the first few times (which is natural and normal, as the mask purged out the underlying impurities), but after a few more uses this stopped. I also noticed that my non-hormone related breakouts seemed to decrease considerably, which made me and my acne prone skin extremely happy.

But as far as blackhead control goes, I wasn’t impressed.

Some of the blackheads on my skin were eliminated after using the mask, but I saw little to no change regarding the more stubborn blackheads that plague my nose, which is the area I had the highest hopes for. I have tried using the mask on my nose alone several times, but to no avail.

Yet even though this product did little to clear out those pesky blackheads from my nose, I still find Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to be a valuable asset to my beauty arsenal. This mask definitely helps to keep my acne and oil in check, and that alone is worth the $25 asking price.

Final thoughts (or TL;DR):

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask is suitable for all skin types, so if you’re plagued with clogged pores, excessive oil, or acne (which are all related, by the way), then this mask is definitely worth a try. However, those of you with stubborn blackheads may not see the results you were looking for, as this mask simply doesn’t have the pulling power needed to extract blackheads that are deeply embedded.

Pro Tips:

  1. Before putting on this mask (or doing anything relating to your pores for that matter) it is extremely important that your pores be open. Origins suggests placing a warm, damp towel over your face for a few minutes prior to using this mask to open them suckers up, but you’re really going to get the best results by applying the mask after a hot shower or after using a facial steamer machine.
  2. Keep some all purpose cleaner handy, as you’ll probably have to clean up the mess that this mask leaves in its wake.

What products do you use to keep your skin clear and gorgeous? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to check out our other beauty reviews!

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Looking for an Inexpensive Makeup Primer? Try Aftershave!

If you’re anything like me, then your wallet may be hurting a bit more than usual this first week of the new year thanks to all that holiday gift giving. I’ve made a resolution to cut back on my spending (as with all new years come and gone), but the only problem is that I spend a majority of my money on make up and beauty products. So when I saw a few YouTube beauty gurus using an “amazing” primer available for under $10, I was definitely intrigued.

The only problem? The primer was really Nivea Post Shave Balm – A men’s aftershave.

…Really? Really. And oh my goodness,  it’s incredible.

After a long couple weeks of holiday partying, my makeup was just not cooperating. That is, until I started using the Post Shave Balm. Now my makeup has never gone on so smoothly or stayed on so long. Plus, my pores appear smaller, my typically oily skin has had much less shine, and best of all, my makeup looked flawless after wearing it for 10 hours. TEN HOURS!

The main reason for this amazing-ness? Glycerin.

This magical compound is one of the main ingredients in Nivea’s aftershave, and it bonds your makeup on like no other, and with chamomile and Vitamin E blended in, it also soothes your skin.

There’s no heaviness or cakeyness – just flawless, perfect skin.  I’ve tried the product with both high end foundation and drug store foundation, and both work well with it.

Now, I must warn you, there is a typical “man” smell to it (as you’d expect), but it will go away before you even finish your makeup.

So, if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to high end primers, give this a shot. For around $6, it’s definitely my new favorite product of 2016.

Have any other cheap alternitives to traditional (and expensive!) makeup primer? Let us know in the comments!

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Beauty Review: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion +

s1538354-main-LheroClinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion +

What it is: a facial moisturizer recommended for day and night use, twice daily. This is the third and final step in Clinique’s 3-Step Skin Care System

Product information: available on Clinque’s website

Available at: Clinique, Sephora, Macys

Retail price: $26 (normal size)

 

Review:

I recently stumbled upon Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion +, which, in my quest to find the absolute perfect moisturizer, I purchased at the suggestion of a Heaven Sephora employee, who swore to its alleged magical properties.

I used this moisturizer night and day for a week, and what I ultimately learned is that this product will either be your best friend or your mortal enemy, and it’s your skin type that will decide which side prevails.

For me, it unfortunately was the latter.

My skin type is mostly combination, but my face does tend to get oily, especially in the summer and when I’m wearing makeup.

I would use Clinque’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion + immediately after cleansing my face (and for that I use Origins Checks and Balances). That moisturized feeling would hit my skin immediately, and unlike some other moisturizers that I’ve tried, it wasn’t followed by a tight feeling in my skin.

However, even though my face would be full of moisture post application, it didn’t feel like the lotion would absorb into my skin at all as the day would progress. In fact, my skin eventually felt kind of heavy and was very greasy to the touch. Ew.

But I wasn’t sure if that greasy feeling was the lotion itself or if it was actually just oil spewing from my skin like an oceanic spill. So, on a make-up free afternoon I decided to use an oil blotting sheet on my face to see just how much oil had accumulated on my skin since morning.  I blot blot blotted away, and was shocked to see that the sheet was absolutely see through (which, if you’ve never used an oil blotting sheet before, means that there was a lot of oil on my face).

Needless to say, I was repulsed.

I’ve never experienced such a surplus of oil on my face after using a moisturizer, and after a few more days of using Clinque’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion + (which, against my good judgement I continued to use as I had no other moisturizing options until my next trip to Sephora), my face began to break out with some super unsightly pimples. Yuck.

I ended up purchasing a different Clinique moisturizer after trying this one out, but I did ultimately decided to keep the product rather than throwing it out.  I purchased a sample size that came with another product so I wasn’t upset about the cost, and, although this lotion acts a sebum producing monster on my face, I have a feeling that the moisturizing power of Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion + would be absolutely perfect for repairing dry winter skin (especially for my hands!).

Bottom line:

The formula that Clinique went with in this lotion is moisturizing, no doubt, but those with an oily complexion will probably find that it’s too moisturizing. It will act as a protective layer on your skin, which will block your pores, and then your skin will react by creating sebum, which naturally leads to more oil.

So if you have combination oily to oily skin, then this product probably isn’t the one for you and I advise you save yourself the time and money and avoid it.

However, if you have extremely dry skin that isn’t prone to being oily, then this moisturizer will most likely work perfectly for you. The moisturizing power of this lotion is absolutely insane, and it will ensure that your skin stays soft, supple, and moisturized literally all day.

If you have skin with oily tendencies like I do, try Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, which I will be reviewing soon! Stay tuned!

What is your favorite moisturizer, GeekGirl World? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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Crafty Geeks Making the Best of Their Small Businesses

It’s becoming more popular every holiday season: shop small, buy local, support small businesses. Depending on who you talk to, you’ll find all kinds of reasons consumers are shying away from the traditional shopping grounds like the mall or department stores or large specialty chains. There are some who despise the crush of the crowds, many who don’t like the early morning lines, and still others who want to passively protest what they feel is the commercialism of the holidays.

The choice to buy from small business has been gaining traction, especially in the last five years since American Express founded the official event known as “Small Business Saturday”, where the Saturday after Black Friday is devoted to focusing on smaller mom n’ pop type shops, or any business that isn’t known for being part of a corporation or large chain.

While the economic blood still belongs to the veins of Black Friday sales and arteries of Cyber Monday deals, according to Forbes.com, Small Business Saturday has the projected potential to get $15 billion flowing through the smaller capillaries of the economy.

Taking fair advantage of niche buying habits of geeks, nerds, and fandom lovers, three geeky entrepreneurs local to Las Vegas have tapped into the natural inclination of fans be more discerning in their purchases. Melanie Davis, Kimberly*, and Allison Cosson all started their small business for different reasons, but they all share the same entrepreneurial spirit that it takes to succeed in a growing competitive market.

Melanie Davis, The MAD Girl With a Box, just started up her business this last September. Barely in the game for even a month, Melanie brought together five other local artists to launch her mobile shop-on-the-go. Customers browse around inside a refurbished trailer, picking up everything from My Little Pony skirts to Teenage Mutant Ninja make up bags.

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Plates and glasses etched with Harry Potter quotes, jewelry from several fandoms, and quirky wall art are as much a decoration in the cozy trailer as they are merchandise.

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Melanie says that one reason for her mobile shop is to “provide a new avenue to market handmade items[…] without relying on conventions” where tables or booths could range “anywhere from $50 to $300.” By keeping the venue cost low, crafters could put more of their investment into better quality items and collect a larger profit at the end of the day.

“I would like to make this my primary business so I can make my own hours and manage my own company.” But Melanie, who also works as a copy editor for Caesar’s Entertainment, is just as invested in her co-crafters’ futures as she is her own. “I work with a few wonderful artists that act as vendors and supply me with my merchandise,” she explains. Buying from her small business doesn’t just benefit her; it also means customers are helping “the artists that are trying to make some extra [money] to support their own families.”

On the other end of the spectrum is Kimberly, the Girl With One Eye, who has been running her own business since 2011. In the small business world, 4 years practically makes Kimberly a veteran. (That old statistic about 80% of new small businesses failing in the first year is too varied to track, but it’s safe to say that 4 years is a healthy run)

The Girl With One Eye is most often seen in convention booths surrounded by homemade clothing and accessories that would beckon over any patron into retro or Harajuku style Gothic Lolita clothing. The mix at the booth is a little June Cleaver sprinkled over some Wednesday Addams melted over Betty Page.

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Kimberly says that she only offers items that she’d be proud to wear, and because of that she was unsure how well her first geeky pieces would sell. “It soon became clear that there were a lot of people like me out there who wanted things that were both cute and geeky, so I shifted to focus on more geeky prints.”

Kimberly comes from a long line of sewers and crafters, and because of this she’s had a long time to hone her skills. “I was so used the quality and creative freedom that homemade clothes had to offer that sewing and creating things for myself to wear was just the next step.”

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The impetus for starting her own business followed a diagnosis with a rare form of cancer. “I decided that instead of feeling sorry for myself, I would use this as the inspiration to start the clothing business I had always wanted to do!”

Long term goals for the Girl with One Eye include expansion in both employees and distribution. Kimberly would like to be able to hire a real staff, or at least pay the friends who help her with her creations. Her “ultimate goal,” she admits, would be “to grow GW1E to the level where I will be able to make both custom, one of a kind pieces of clothing, as well as ready to wear clothing that I could wholesale to big box stores!”

Somewhere flexible in between is Allison Cosson who owns Nerdful Things. A contributor to the co-lab efforts of MAD Girl, Allison has also spent the last two years keeping her own Etsy shop stocked with an array of housewares like fandom-themed pub glasses, glass-etched beer steins, and shot glasses, video game inspired key holders and jewelry, and vinyl decals. Fans of the Nightmare Before Christmas, Harry Potter, and German folklore figure Krampus will find holiday decorations available.

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A fixture at many craft fairs and shows in town, Allison’s attractive displays draw all kinds of customers. And while always happy to move her available stock, she says, “If I can create anything your heart desires, I will. Custom orders are more fun to fill I think.”

Allison started making most of the items she now sells out of necessity. “I wanted [and] needed things that represented my grandma and they weren’t readily available, or if I could find them they were outside the price I was looking to pay.” So instead she turned her desires into a crafty collections of unique pieces that eventually expanded into fandom-worthy merchandise. “They’re things I’m interested in and want in my own house,” she says.

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Unlike Melanie and Kimberly, Allison’s goal is keep Nerdful Things “mainly as a side business.” Keeping her small business manageable is a challenge for her. “I mostly just enjoy the making part and customer interaction.”

And really that’s what small businesses are all about. While the goals of entrepreneurs vary, one thing is always the same: positive customer relationships are essential. “I think small businesses don’t get the recognition they deserve most times. It’s hard to start from scratch and try and build up a customer base,” says Allison. Very often a new startup will reach out to family, friends, neighbors, and eventually social media. With online stores like Etsy, easy to assemble websites like Wix, and a consistent Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Yelp updates, a hobby has the potential to quickly turn into a business.

But it’s not enough for the crafter to just advertise and display his or her work. Customers have to keep the snowball rolling too. “If you have a great experience at a local store, share it! Tweet, like, Yelp, post, spread the word! Any bit of advertising is good for the business and would be appreciated by any small business owner up against the big stores,” informs Melanie.

Allison agrees. “Other than a direct sale, a person that believes in your product and is willing to tell everyone about it is the most important thing to a small business owner.”

And because these are not manufactured products but handcrafted items, customers can know that every item they buy is “a piece of [our] talent, [our] knowledge, and [our] blood, sweat, and tears,” impassions Kimberly. “Not only are they buying a one of a kind, wearable piece of art, they are buying it from me, an individual who they quite often get to meet and talk to face to face.”

Despite the love of Black Friday and the traffic of Cyber Monday, the trend of supporting small businesses seems to focus not just on avoiding mass consumerism during the holidays, but redirecting where one’s dollar goes. The current thinking seems to be “We’re going to buy, we’re going to spend, so let’s make that spending count.”

This Small Business Saturday, consider transferring some of your space creds to geeky artists and crafters like Melanie, Kimberly, and Allison. You can show your support of friends and relatives who run their own businesses, or browse any number of shops that specialize in homemade and handcrafted specialties, too. However you spend your money this holiday season, make your dollars count in ways that will benefit those who are working uniquely for you!

Follow MAD’s traveling Box on her Facebook.

You can view more of GW1E’s clothing on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Keep up to date with Nerdful Things’ holiday assortment on Facebook.

*Kimberly was pleased to participate in this article, but asked to omit her full name.
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