“#DisabledAnd” – SOFIA.

“#DISABLEDAND”

hello,

it’s sofia. if you haven’t come across me before, it’s nice to meet you. let’s get into what all this is about, yeah?

i am 20 years old. i have a chronic invisible illness: severe crohn’s disease, with complications of inflammatory arthritis in my hands, knees, & feet. it caused me to put a halt to my plan of becoming a professional violinist.

when i was first diagnosed at 17 (almost 18), i was incredibly ashamed of my illness, & did everything to hide it from people. i’d been experiencing symptoms for years, but hadn’t really said much – until things got bad enough to get me hospitalized.

now, at 20 years old, i am open & honest about my illness. i have used my pain to relate to others; i’ve started making “art” centered around my illness, the person it’s made me become, but also emphasizing my multi-dimensionality as a human being. my illness doesn’t make me one-dimensional, just as being healthy wouldn’t make me one-dimensional.

ever since i’ve had to stop playing violin, i have been writing more. i have been taking photographs of myself at vulnerable moments. i have been making videos, sharing my story & hoping that i’m able to be relatable to other chronically ill young people out there. i know they exist – i am one of hundreds of thousands.

i try to show my strengths as a chronically ill person. i don’t share my vulnerability as often. this is probably the most in-depth i have been to a “larger audience” – & i am incredibly grateful to myself, my friends, & my family for getting me to this point.

i’m also grateful for social media. it has helped me find people who go through similar things; it has helped me spread my message; it has helped me become more comfortable with sharing more, as i saw people responding in a positive manner chronic illness-centered to things i shared. it’s been incredibly validating & encouraging, & i am very grateful for that.

so – you’ve seen some positive videos & pieces that i’ve written. you’ve seen me smiling in hospital beds; now, i’m going to share a more painful, vulnerable moment

i have been nervous about sharing this, but i think it’s valuable – both to me, & to others experiencing similar things – to do this.

i don’t speak as well as i write, but i tried to incorporate a lot of different mediums into this project. there’s photos, there are some “diary entries,” & there is even a video.

before i share everything, let me explain the hashtag “DisabledAnd.”

#DisabledAndCute is a hashtag used on twitter & other social media outlets to raise awareness for those with disabilities, chronic illnesses, & terminal illnesses. it is one of many ways that disabled/chronically/terminally ill people share their stories with the world. it is incredibly important.

however – i am not always “disabled & cute.” sometimes, i am disabled & sad. other times, i could feel disabled & ugly. maybe i wake up one day feeling disabled & powerful. “cute” is one of many ways to describe a disabled person, & i think that the original hashtag is incredibly important, because it shows that disabled people can be beautiful, ethereal, breath-taking…you name it.

i am multi-faceted, & my illness(es) do not make me one-dimensional. “#DisabledAnd” is me sharing more about my illness & how i deal with it. it is me being “disabled & frightened.” it is me being “disabled & vulnerable.” it is me being “disabled & in pain.” it’s also me being “disabled & funny.” it is a lot of things. i took a semester off of university because i wasn’t well enough to attend. that made me feel disabled & weak. it made me feel disabled & tired. it made me – & still makes me – question my future.

i thought it’d be appropriate to share all of these things with the world, as i prepare to return to school in january. i am very proud of myself. i have a lot to work on, but i have overcome a lot.

this is quite frightening to share, but it’s something i have been working on for a very long while – consider it my “final project” for the school term i didn’t have.

i hope you can take the time to look at the “full picture.”

much much love,

SOFIA.

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instagram “live.” 11.22.2017 

VIDEO – RIGHT HERE 

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#MiniReview: Thayers Alcohol-Free Lavender Witch Hazel Toner

The name “Thayers” is practically a household name if you regularly browse sites like Byrdie, The File, & Into The Gloss. I’ve known about Thayers’ toners for at least a year – but I kind of just sat back & listened to everyone talk. “It’s so cheap! It’s so good! It lasts so long! So much product! Product cap perfectly dispenses actual product!”

Me, from a few feet away: “Oh, sounds nice!” I said absently, spraying myself with another shower of Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs, & Rosewater (okay, that never happened, but essentially that’s how my “ignoring” process went).

Why did I just never get around to buying this very cheap toner that has had a lot of buzz – especially lately?

First of all, the concept of toning with a liquid-soaked cotton pad was not how I had initially interpreted toning. To me, it was only toning if it came in a spritzer bottle (which isn’t at all true, of course). The concept of rubbing cotton pads on my face sounded irritating – much more so than a healthy douse of floral mist.

Secondly – this product is easiest to find at Target – & I am one of the few people in America who doesn’t love going to Target. I know…I’m sorry! Big spaces make me anxious, it’s cold inside, & I never know where anything is despite all the signs.

About a month ago, however, I was driving home from somewhere & remembered I ran out of Tylenol; I was just happening to pass a Target & figured that this would be as good a time as any other. Coincidentally, I’d been asking a friend about Thayers earlier – she’d mentioned something about a lavender version, & my ears perked. If you know me, you know that I adore the scent of lavender. Suddenly, Thayers seemed a lot more appealing. I ran in to grab a bottle of Tylenol (success) & walked out with my medication…& a 12 fluid oz. bottle of Thayers Alcohol-Free Lavender Witch Hazel Toner.

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“Retro” packaging 

That’s right – 12 fluid ounces of product. For $10.95. I had never really looked up the price tag on this, but when I got to the aisle at Target, I’m 99% sure I audibly gasped. The bottle was so big; there was so much product, & it was so cheap. Lucky for me, Lavender was the only option left – all of the other choices were gone. I was happy as a clam.

That evening, I skipped my usual Mario Badescu spray & put a few drops of the Thayers Lavender toner onto a cotton square – probably 4-5 drops in total. No need to worry about spilling product; this bottle has some kind of a squeeze cap that ensures that if your bottle does happen to tip over while the cap is open…not much product will be wasted. It’s like a little babyproof gate, except for a toner bottle. This was much appreciated by me; I’m always worried about forget to close a lid on a product & spilling it later if I bump into it by accident (I’m getting better). The product was easy to dispense, had that soothing smell of lavender that I love so dearly. Now: time to talk about what it’s supposed to do, what it did for me, & how I feel about it after about a month’s use.

There are quite a few different versions of Thayers toner: Rose Petal, Lavender, Aloe, Lemon, Mint…& a few more, too. While these versions may differ slightly from one another, they’re all built on the witch hazel base formula, as the name might suggest.

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The witch hazel used in this toner is extracted from the bark of the witch hazel plant. This extract contains natural tannins, which help remove excess oil from the face without stripping it of all its healthy moisture. They reduce inflammation & irritation, which calms breakouts & prevents future ones. They balance the natural pH levels of the skin – again, resulting in calmer, more balanced skin in general. It’s also an antioxidant; it also brightens & tightens the skin because of this.

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The signature red cap

The Thayers witch hazel formula is not distilled. That means that it contains 195% more tannins, according to Thayers’ own website. This, in turn, means that the product works more effectively & does a better job overall. Witch hazel works for oily skin because it removes extra dirt/other impurities; it’s good for combo skin because it keeps the dry patches balanced while (again) removing extra impurities from other areas. As a sensitive/dry skin type, I can assure you it works well for both dry & sensitive skin types, too – even both at once (like me)!

Okay – so what do I think?

Well – I think that it’s incredible. I feel stupid for not having bought this sooner – especially since it is almost infuriatingly good & cheap to beat. My skin looks brighter & clearer, but it’s not any drier than it was when I was using mist toners. The lavender version is incredibly soothing, & I love the scent. It fades within a few moments, but it gives you that calm, essential-oils vibe while gently swiping it all over the face.

Like I said, I use 4-5 drops on a cotton square. That’s right, a square, not a round or a pad. That might sound high-&-mighty – but for me at least, cotton squares are fluffier & lighter in texture than that of a round or a pad. They’re more soothing, they feel more luxurious & they are just as cheap (sometimes chaper) than rounds or pads. I buy mine from the drugstore for about $3 (for 100 or so, I believe) – but if you want to feel super fancy, Shiseido’s cotton is famously good & not ridiculously expensive. It’s a nice little “treat yourself” kind of thing you can pick up in Sephora’s checkout line.

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Clear & concise directions on the back – big plus

All-in-all? An incredible experience. I’m mad I didn’t try this sooner; I’m glad I started using it. I don’t feel the need to return to more expensive products when this big, cheap, effective bottle is right there in my top shelf. No guilt needed, especially when the product is good, is packaged prettily (come on, you know it too!) & smells like lavender (if you’re like me & like lavender).

I’m interested in trying out some of the others – particularly Lemon & Rose Petal – but I don’t think I’ll need to worry about replacing my current Thayers toner any time soon. The 12 ounces of product doesn’t sound that big of a deal – until you pick it up, realize how heavy it is, & realize that using 4-5 drops twice a day will last you essentially an eternity.

I’m not complaining, though. The Lavender toner is just right for me – it’s one of my favorite scents, it exfoliates, brightens, hydrates, balances, & tightens. All for $10.95. 10/10. I’m sorry I didn’t commit sooner, Thayers. Hope you can forgive me.

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My cheap & effective toner snuggling with my cheap & effective extra soft cotton squares

Thayer’s has announced that a spritzer toner (same formula) will be available soon – that’s good news for all of you who prefer to spray to tone as opposed to using a cotton pad. It’ll be out soon – not sure if I’ll try it, because this is doing the job very well. We’ll see!

Are there any others out there who haven’t tried the Thayers line yet? If so, I won’t shame you – but I will encourage you to try it. If you have tried it, I’d love to hear your favorite version if you’ve tried several – especially if you have dry/sensitive skin like me.

Long live the simultaneously incredible & incredibly cheap products like this one!

Love,

Sof ❤

It Smells Like…You: Let’s Look At Glossier You: A (Relatively) Affordable, Brand-New Fragrance

Glossier’s been making big steps in 2017 – let’s call them strides, actually. Because here we are: another month, another Glossier product. This one is a brand-new thing to Glossier – it’s kind of like Body Hero, in that way. Glossier hadn’t ever released body products before their Body Hero Duo; Glossier You is the company’s first fragrance. & people are getting excited.

Anyways. Glossier hasn’t really been talking much about the fragrance that was up-&-coming for a while; they’ve only recently started seriously introducing the fragrance on their Instagram page, as well as Into the Gloss. But – if you’re a Vogue subscriber (or you just read their online articles) you may have seen this article, which is an interview with Emily Weiss (Glossier CEO). It included a little photo of a pink vial, captioned: “The new perfume, Glossier You—a subtle take on musk and iris that launches at the end of next month—stays true to the brand’s ethos of individualism.”

The photo & description come from a whole article on Vogue.com, titled “Emily Weiss on What a Glossier Girl Smells Like and Building a Cool Girl Empire

The article is just as mysterious as the subtle hints Glossier’s been dropping; enough context for me to form some kind of idea of what the fragrance might smell of…but not enough that the game was up. Well played, I suppose?

In Vogue’s article, writer Kate Branch tells: “Weiss is also about to reveal her first-ever fragrance, a subtle scent with equal parts powder and musk and the zing of fresh-cut iris.”

Not going to lie – that was pretty exciting. It sounds odd, but I like musky fragrances. To me, they add a bit of ambiguity that I like in fragrance. Add some flowers – but not your run-of-the-mill rose or lily – & boom, I’ll probably like it. I don’t mind a bit of powder, either – I was a bit worried about that, though. Like super sweet or super floral fragrances, I sneeze almost immediately if a fragrance is too powdery. My favorite fragrances tend to be quite “gender-neutral” & light. YSL Black Opium perfume is my one exception – it’s amazing, but most certainly  a night fragrance. It feels a bit weird wearing it in daylight. I love it to death, but it’s most definitely a night-time fragrance; it can get quite heavy. I don’t like overly sweet or fruity scents; they make my nose tickle. To sum it up: I like fresh, soft, neutral fragrances that will adjust to the heat of my skin & be unique enough for me to call it my “signature” scent.

Weiss said in the same interview that Glossier You was supposed to smell like “your boyfriend’s neck after he has been wearing cologne for eight hours.”

That was….a bit of a turn-off for me. I don’t like the smell of cologne; not on men, not on anyone, in fact. I find them too heavy. I didn’t really want to smell like a man’s neck – I wish it had been described in a more appealing way, because it definitely is more appealing, & most certainly doesn’t smell like a man’s neck after a work day, which – let’s be honest – doesn’t sound that great. I decided to keep my hopes up, & ordered a refill of my Priming Moisturizer Rich, clicking “add sample” at checkout to get my mini perfume.

We didn’t really get much more information about the fragrance’s “notes” “undertones” etc. until release day, when Glossier finally posted this info on the Glossier You page:

The ultimate personal fragrance.

You’ll find that You makes a good first impression, and lives up to it as time goes on. Each note was chosen and balanced to allow the juice to be both long-lasting and true to how it smells at the beginning, without changing as it dries down. In other words, it’s heavy on the base notes. Mostly it smells like you: that familiar human-y note that makes up the body of what you’re smelling. Creamy, sparkling, clean, warm. That’s You.

*please be advised that the formula comes incomplete; You are the first ingredient*

(listed in order of emphasis)
The three base notes melt in with your skin
_ambrette: comfy, warm
_ambrox: smooth, salty, animalistic
_musk: long-lasting, addictive

And a mix of top notes say “nice to meet you!” without overpowering the base…
_iris root: earthy, green, woody
_pink pepper: spice, sparkling

 

Okay – so launch day hit, we got the “notes” – but all of my own first impressions & attempts to describe the fragrance were based off of my own (very limited) knowlege of fragrances. Read on for beautiful photos & my final opinion on the fragrance!

Full disclosure – Glossier sent me the full-size vial, but I did not recieve it until after I recieved the sample. So no – I didn’t buy it, but I did happen to receive the trial first, & had it for about a week before the actual one was sent my way. My first impressions were based off the sample; I liked it more as the full-size. You’ll see why!

The packaging has a color scheme that’s identical – if not, than almost – to the Body Hero Duo packaging: the signature Glossier pink, with a pop of red. I like the pink & red – I hope this trend continues. It’s eye-catching & unique. I like it!

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The sample vial is teeny-tiny: .05 fl. oz. It’s free, so I’m not complaining.

When my full-size vial arrived & I tried it on, I immediately felt as though it smelled better. I’m guessing it has something to do with the head of the spray bottle. I’ll call this a good thing; I already liked the fragrance in its sample form; I like it even more in its full-size vial.

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Sample babies resting beside the parent fragrance

The full-size bottle is nestled in its protective bright red foam case; when it’s out of that, it’s a little glass bottle that’s almost transluscent…just a little hint of that Glossier pink. It has a little dent on the front of the bottle, which makes it fit perfectly in your hand. The bottle is glass. If you’re clumsy & drop things easily, but still want a nice fragrance…this is for you!

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The full-size vial of Glossier You retails for $60. You get 1.7 fl. oz. of product. A 1.6 fl. oz. is $91. That’s a big price difference.

he full-size vial, in addition to its protective red case, comes nestled inside a big pink bubble wrap pouch; the one that’s the same size as the one the Body Hero Duo comes in.

Best of all: it includes a scratch-&-sniff sticker…which smells like…you guessed it! Glossier You. It looks like this is their winter/holiday sticker, too. You can see “Winter ’16-’17” in the corner of the sticker. The fun bubble letters give a very seasonal effect, & I’ll be carrying this sticker in my bags. They’re almost like little car fresheners, except for my purse/backpack.

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Now for the tricky part. This is where I have to describe what the fragrance smells like on me. I’m not good at that, but I’ll do my best, okay?

The first thing I wondered was: “will it really be gender-neutral?” That depends on what you think constitutes a gender-neutral fragrance; I don’t think it smells particularly femenine or masculine – so I’d go with: yes, it’s gender-neural.

I spritzed a bit on my wrists & waited a few moments before actually taking a whiff. The best way I can describe this (if we’re talking about other fragrances) is that it very much reminds me of the Margiela Replica fragrance line – they got a lot of hype this past summer for their Beach Walk fragrance; my personal favorite from that line is Lazy Sunday Morning, which also happens to be a bit powdery.

If I were to compare Glossier You to another fragrance, I’d say it’s very similar to Lazy Sunday Morning by Margiela, & Not A Perfume by Juliette Has A Gun. It just has an extra little zing to it. I’m guessing that’s from the combination of iris & musk. I like the “zing” – it’s something that I’d be comfortable wearing during the day or for going out at night.

Not A Perfume is made up of only one ingredient, which adjusts to your skin’s temperature, making it smell different on everyone. I tested it out on my willing family members & found that to be true. In that sense, I’d say that the effect you get with Not A Perfume is carried out in a similar manner with Glossier You, except Glossier You is half as cheap, & smells a bit different.

The other fragrance is a rollerball of Margiela Replica Lazy Sunday Morning Fragrance. I really like the scent of Lazy Sunday Morning & find it somewhat similar to GLosiser you, but I find that it fades quicker than Glossier You. That’s fine; not everyone likes their fragrances to be very noticeable…but if you’re looking for something a bit longer-lasting & not too different from fresher fragrances such as the Margielas, this is a great option.

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Three pretty, go-to fragrances – but when Not A Perfume runs out, I’ll be holding on to Glossier You & Black Opium & gently let my friend Juliette go

It lasts a good many hours, & the scent changes as the fragrance continues to wear, which I really like. It doesn’t ever tickle my nose…it just gives me a slight whiff of that zingy, fresh scent if I move my wrist suddenly. It’s something that follows you around, but not in an annoying, overwhelming way. It’s also a fragrance that adjusts & changes as the day progresses – which I really like.

Will I purchase this myself?

Yes – & here’s why:

  • It’s about half as cheap as a Margiela fragrance, & it has a very similar vibe to the Replica fragrances in general. I’ve never been able to afford a full-size Margiela Replica, & had no wish to (rollerballs are fine!) but it’s nice that I can get a different fragrance by a different brand that smells similar enough to fall under that category of fragrance I love so much – for so much less money. That’s amazing. No – $60 is not “cheap,” by any means. It does, however, set a nice bar for “middle-end” fragrances. Fragrances don’t need to be replaced too often, but even when I do run out of this one, I know I won’t be wincing when I click “confirm order.”
  • I’m always looking for fresh, unique scents. This one is both of those things.
  • It doesn’t, in fact, smell like any boyfriend’s cologne-y neck. I think that is a good thing (sorry, Emily).

Seriously, though – let’s wrap this up & make it very simple:

If you’re looking for an elegantly packaged fragrance, one that has a personal, unique scent, & one that won’t break the bank, you’ve found it here. It’s called Glossier You. & I’ll be phasing out my other fragrances (except for YSL Black Opium; she has my heart) & keep on going with this one.

I smell fancy without paying a ridiculous amount of money. How cool is that, right? Truly a perfume for our generation: gender-neutral, unique, & affordable, so it won’t keep you from paying off your student debt.

If you’re unsure about this still – by all means, get a sample before you commit! You can do that right here.

Glossier You samples have been offered for a minute now – have any of you recieved one in your latest Glossier order? If so, what are your thoughts? Will you/have you bought full-size, or will you just use this little sample until it’s gone? Either way, I’m curious to hear your opinions!

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No matter your decision – here’s to smelling good.

Love,

Sof ❤

“Pubic Hair Oil – Excuse Me Now?” Just Hear Me Through!

Shhh.

Just – shhh. I know what you might be thinking. Hear me out before you start talking again.

Pubic hair oil? Sounds gross? Well…it shouldn’t! Not if you take proper care of yours, that is (however little or much you may have).

Sounds familiar? It should! Fur Oil has a lot of hype on social media & has been featured in various magazines, interviews, & even videos like Buzzfeed’s famous “Ladylike” (watch them test out Fur for a week here)

Alright, now that we’ve stopped laughing about pubic hair, let’s talk a little bit about Fur Oil & what it actually does.

First off, this product is 100% organic – which is good. Organic is good as a general rule but is even better when it’s going near your sensitive nether regions.

The key ingredients in Fur Oil are grape seed & jojoba oils (dry oils that contain Vitamin A & E to soften/condition hair); tea tree oil (clarifying: it helps clear pores which minimizes ingrown hairs); & clary sage seed oil (healing properties that will soothe & reduce inflammation for healthier skin over time).

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According to Fur’s website, “Fur Oil’s unique blend of lightweight oils softens pubic hair and clears pores for fewer ingrowns and healthier skin. The 100% natural formula can be used as frequently as desired to enhance pubic hair and skin, and is also suitable for use on the face and body.” It is suggested you use it once daily as part of your regimen (ideally after showering).

Did you notice “suitable for use on the face & body?” Yup! Fur Oil is 100% organic, contains no dyes, artificial fragrances, parabens, silicone, & is not tested on animals – I think it’s safe to say that this can absolutely be used on other areas of the body as well. Fur says “also great for legs, underarms, chest, beard, and anywhere hair meets skin.”

Does using Fur Oil mean that you have to go happy hippy & shave absolutely nothing? Ever again? No, of course not. Let me explain my primary reason for being so interested in Fur Oil: ingrown hairs.

Ingrown hairs can be a mild inconvienience. They can also be a big pain in the ass – or a big painful infection, depending on how healthy (or unhealthy) you are. As an immunosuppressed person, I have to take extra care to use clean, new razors, disinfect things like tweezers & nail clippers, &, yes, watch out for ingrown hairs – whether they’re under my brows, on my legs, or under my arms. Or elsewhere.

You get my point, though! Sure, you can use Fur Oil as a conditioner/moisturizer for your body hair. You can also use it after shaving – to prevent ingrown hairs & inflammation. Like Fur claims, this truly is a multi-purpose oil.

$44 for 2.5 fl. oz. Cheap? No. But the product will last you 6 months, according to the site. It’s cruelty-free, approved by dermatologists & gynecologists. So far, so good. I’ve been doing what Emma Watson recommends [in her interview with Into the Gloss]: “I’ll use that anywhere from the ends of my hair to my eyebrows to my pubic hair. It’s an amazing all-purpose product.”

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So – oil for your pubic hair? Sure! You’ll be softer, shinier, less irritated.

Oil for your eyebrows? Yup! Again – softer, shinier, less irritated.

Or, try using it under your arms after shaving (before deodorant). Your ingrown hairs will be gone, & your tired, tired skin will thank you. Trust me.

Plus – yeah, I’ll say it – the bottle looks amazing on my windowsill. & yes…it is very Instagrammable. You can’t say that for a lot of pubic hair products out there on the market, can you?

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2017 – the year of putting your personal grooming products right next to your candles & decorative soaps

Have you used Fur Oil before/have you been thinking of giving it a go? Feel free to leave your experiences in the comments below!

Love,

Sof ❤

#MiniReview: Origins Original Skin™ Mask with Rose Clay

I use this mask so much that I may as well call it my fragrance. I use this mask so much that when I’m travelling, this one’s the first I grab. I use this mask so much that I may as well commit myself for life to this rose-colored bottle – i know we’ll stick together; ’til death do us part.

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If you can’t tell by now, I love the Origins Original Skin™ Mask with Rose Clay. I love it a lot. Did I say I love it a lot?

Most of you reading this probably already know how much I rave about this mask. That’s because I include it in pretty much any face mask recommendation list I give someone; it’s because it’s always all over my story – either in the tube…or on my face.

As a whole, I love Origins’ brand. Are all their products good for all skin types? No. But I do know that Origins’ Rose Clay mask is good for all skin types. No…”good” isn’t strong enough a word. Incredible. Amazing. Rule-breaking. Don’t believe me? Check the 5-star (well, NEARLY completely 5-star) reviews from people with cystic acne, people with dry/sensitive skin, people with oily skin, & people who have a good old combination of all of those…& more. It’s amazing for anyone & everyone.

At this point, you may be wondering why the Rose Clay mask is so good – trust me, I’ve been there. I was shocked at the immediate results I saw when I first used it.

Was this a find on the Instagram explore page or a beauty site? Actually…no! I’d seen this mask floating around Sephora for years, but never cared to try it. I only started using this mask after…my own mama showed me her mini size (a Sephora rewards gift) while we were travelling & asked me if I wanted to use it. I said “yes” obviously – I’m never one to turn down a new face mask experience. I didn’t know what to think, hadn’t heard much about it; I just assumed that it would reduce redness, somewhat like the Rosy Cheeksface mask by LUSH – both contain rose clay, but that’s where the difference stops (in my opinion).

Don’t get me wrong, I love Rosy Cheeks…but it has a much shorter shelf life than Origins’ take on rose clay. That right there makes it easier/more convienient. Yes – I love a fresh face mask, but I also can’t finish a jar of face mask in two weeks – 1) I’d be ruining my skin 2) the Origins one is better anyway shhh.

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Origins is phasing out this packaging (the new packaging designs are even more gorgeous), but I like the glowy shift this packaging has. Very elegant!

Now that you’re all bouncing in your seats from suspense (I’m sure of that), let’s actually talk about some key ingredients – & how/when I like to use it.

Origins describes this mask as “A two-in-one purifying mask and skin refiner that…will smooth, refine pores, and boost skin’s overall quality.”

Those are a lot of claims…a LOT. Call it placebo, call it real, call it whatever – but the fact remains that this mask has done all of these things for my skin. It’ll keep doing it, too.

Main ingredients?

  • Turkish Rose Clay – this is clearly the most important ingredient – it is part of the product’s name, after all. Rose clay detoxifies, absorbs excess oil & dirt, & calms redness/rosacea/sensitive skin
  • Canadian Willowherb – an anti-bacterial plant; its extract is in here. This adds to the benefits of the Turkish Rose Clay; this detoxifies as well, but it doesn’t strip your skin of moisture, either
  • Persian Silk Tree – anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, & astringent properties. These are all very important; combined, these effects are what gives the mask its heavenly reputation. Again: calms redness, tightens the skin (bye-bye, pores) & keeps the skin looking glowy & fresh
  • Exfoliating Jojoba Beads – not going to lie. I was scared about this. I don’t like “scrubby” things on my face; my skin doesn’t take well to them. I also wondered if a jojoba bead was really just a fancy microbead. I was proven wrong on both these things; first off, the beads are extremely gentle; they melt off your face when it’s time to rinse off. Before they disappear, though, the beads provide just enough friction, leaving behind a gently-buffed, baby-soft face. Oh – & no, jojoba beads are not microbeads (microbeads are bad for the environment & often used in many cleansers, masks, etc.; the brand St. Ives is a good example)
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Close-up: ingredients 

Alright! Ingredients down. Now: how do I feel about it? Do I actually recommend it to everyone?

You probably already know the answer; the answer is “YES.” Why?

Well, for one, it lives up to its claims. I love products that live up to my expectations (& the brand’s description); this is a perfect example of one of those special products.

You’d think a clay mask would dry me out, right? Wrong! I will say that I take extra care  to hydrate my skin after doing a clay mask, just in case I get too dry. Still, though – sometimes I forget, & the mask feels just as good & I look just as good afterwards. Though it’s clay, this mask shouldn’t dry you out. & for those with oily skin – double whammy! You get a very effective clay mask that won’t clog your pores. Thanks, Canadian Willowherb.

I expected the mask to smell kind of like the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser: a light, rosy scent that wasn’t too powerful. I was way off with that prediction; to me, one of the funniest things about this mask is that althought the main ingredient is rose clay, it doesn’t really smell like roses.

The first thing I think when I take a whiff of the mask is “citrus.” It’s not mentioned as a main ingredient, but look closer, & you’ll find “Grapefruit Peel Extract.” Look a little further down, & you’ll find…lavender. Lavender! One of my favorite scents – & again, not a key ingredient. To me, the mask smells like a combination of citrus & herbs – mainly lavender, which makes sense. It was a funny surprise, but not an unpleasant one.

The color of the mask is a pale pink; it matches the outside packaging almost perfectly. The texture is a bit “grainy” thanks to the jojoba beads, but don’t worry. The beads shouldn’t tear at your skin while applying; you’ll feel a sandy, exfoliating sensation, but nothing harmful. As someone whose skin loathes most physical exfoliants, I can assure you that this one is different – in a good way.

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Texture, texture, texture! You can see the jojoba beads very clearly here. To me, they feel much smaller than they look. Either way, they’re very gentle on the skin. Notice the color – almost exactly the color of the packaging

I’ll admit it: sometimes, I leave face masks on for too long. Sometimes I’m lazy, & sometimes I forget it’s on my face. That hasn’t always served me well, but this mask is different. My skin never complains during or after using it, even if I’ve left it on a little too long. Origins says to wear it for 10 minutes; I’ve gone above & beyond that more than once, & I don’t condone it…but personally, I haven’t had any issues with dryness after leaving the mask on for too long.

I do rinse this off with warm water, but I use my FOREO Luna Mini 2 instead of my hands. Sometimes I feel as though my hands can be too harsh on my face when removing makeup or a face mask; the Luna is great because it provides consistent, steady vibrations that deep-clean pores; howver, thanks to the rubber “bristles” getting a micro-abrasion is much less likely…& I’m scared of those. Don’t judge me.

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Physical exfoliant? Check. Gentle on my sensitive skin? Double check, gold star, & an A+ to boot

By the time my mask is fully off & my face patted dry, I’ll look up to see glowier, softer, & fresher skin. Effective seconds after removal? I call that “a very good product.” I think you’d agree, too.

It’s suggested to use this 2 times a week. I have other face masks, too, so I don’t always use this one, but it’s something I consistently reach for when I’m at a loss for what to do with my skin. It’s a mask that I have refilled & will continue to refill. It’s the mask I’d take on a road trip…a flight…a scuba dive…why not, right?

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I’m on my last leg with this particular tube; you can see my unopened “safety backup” waiting quietly in the corner of the photo

I’ve been getting questions about this product forever. It’s usually: “Is it really that good/is it good for __ skin?” My answer? Yes. Yes, yes, yes.

If you’re still not sure, let me give you one more example of how much I love this:

My skin is always dry, even in the summer…but it suffers horribly in the winter. My face does not like the dry cold wind & low temperatures. During the cold months, I try to avoid clay masks & focus on boosting my skin’s hydration (stay tuned for a post on that soon).

There are only two clay masks I can use without a question during chilly season – one is the Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack. The other is – you guessed it, wow! – Origins’ rose clay mask.

Pricing? I think it’s very reasonable, considering the amount of product you get (3.4 fl. oz) & how well it works.

At the moment, I’m finishing up my second tube of this baby, & already have a squeaky clean new one waiting for me. Like I said…I make sure that this mask is always on hand. I know that no matter what, my skin will feel soft & soothed – & it’ll look brighter, fresher, & happier.

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I have nothing bad to say about this mask. 10/10 – & I mean it. So do the 40,000 people who “like” the product on Sephora’s site. Thanks, Mama. I owe it to you for putting me on this mask. I need to start eyeing her top shelf again…just like I did as a kid.

What’re your thoughts on this mask? Is there anyone who doesn’t like it? If so, why not? Feel free to give me your thoughts below. Just go get that mask, first. Immediately.

Love,

Sof ❤

Time For A Product Review Update! My Thoughts on Glossier’s Body Hero Duo After Several Weeks of Use

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Right off the bat, I knew that I would like Glossier’s Body Hero Duo. I like most of the things they put out; there are only a few products that I don’t care for (or some that I find cheaper dupes for). 

But this was different. This was new. This was Glossier’s first venture into body care – & no one had any idea what to expect. All we knew: the Duo comes with a special BODY HERO sticker (it looks a bit like a Supreme label) & a jumbo #glossierpink pouch – super handy if you can’t manage to fit quite everything into your smaller ones. 

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In my first impressions post of Body Hero (which you can read here) I mentioned that the prices are quite reasonable for the amount of product you get. However – I worried that the Daily Oil Wash (step one of the Duo) wouldn’t last long at all, once I actually saw & experienced the consistency. I said I liked the cream a lot, & that we’d see how the Daily Oil Wash lasted.

I think we’re at a “how’s it going” stage, so here I am, checking in with my thoughts on the Glossier Body Hero Duo after about three weeks of using it.

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The consistency? It feels just as though you were putting oil on your skin. When I saw how thin & slippery the wash was, I panicked – there’s no way I can make this last long, I thought.

I thought wrong. Here we are, it’s the last day of September, I’ve been using Daily Oil Wash since I got it (September 8th) & I am not yet a quarter of the way full.

Before you think “she’s probably not hygienic, then,” let me assure you that I wash my body very carefully…very thoroughly. I have to, because of health reasons. So – no, I’m not taking a tiny drop to see if it lasted. I used an amount of product that I knew would wor kfor my body, because I wanted to see how it would last when using normal amounts of product.

It took a few tries, but I figured out the secret: do small pumps (don’t push all the way down on the bottle’s dispenser) & lather up frequently. Once the texture turns lathery, you’re all good – the foam is on your body, & you’re in no danger of losing any product. It’s before you lather the wash that product is lost. If you’re a sponge type of person (I like charcoal body sponges – just not loofahs) I highly recommend putting the wash on the sponge/loofah , lathering that first, then using the sponge on your body. Again – the more time the product has to lather up, the better it’ll work…& the less you’ll have to use.

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A few days ago, I was redoing my head (I do my buzz myself) & was frustrating by the prickly little hairs that kept shearing off my head onto my shoulders. It’s always really hard to get the tiny prickly bits off my shoulders & collarbone; when I had the Daily Oil Wash in my hands, I looked at it for a second, then hopped into the shower, putting a generous drop of the wash onto the back of my neck, my shoulders, & my collarbones. Then, because I just felt like it (& also because the Daily Oil Wash has a pH that is safe for any part of the body) I rubbed another pump into my “hair.” It lathered up nicely – & just like the rest of my body after I use the Daily Oil Wash, my head felt fragrant, soft, & hydrated. It’s a great replacement for a shampoo – at least, it is for me. Less work, better scent, less suds, more pink (bottles).

Daily Perfecting Cream

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In my post regarding my initial thoughts on Body Hero, I said:

“Daily Perfecting Cream takes the cake…it almost disappears on the spot. It feels extremely luxurious when squeezed out of the bottle; it doesn’t give off the sticky/sweaty feel that a lot of “heavy” body lotions or creams do. Now my collarbones are glowing – as is every other part of me.”

I don’t have much more to say – other than…I was right! If push came to shove & I had to choose one of the two, I’d still take the cream. It’s a more unique product (to me, at least) & I love the illuminating effect. Also, the scent lingers for a longer amount of time, which I love. I’ve raved about the scent before, so I won’t drool over it now – but just know that it’s truly incredible. Sexy, fresh, neutral – neither masculine nor feminine, it is just good. That’s what a good scent means to me. I don’t like hard implications of masculinity (aka cologne) or femininity (super sweet florals, candies); I like to keep a balance. The Body Hero Duo set managed to put itself firmly in the middle regarding “masculine/feminine” scents. It’s something that (I think) will be loved by if not all, than most. It’s not overpowering, it fades gracefully, & it leaves the skin soft & smooth for the rest of the day.

Is the Body Hero Duo worth it? Is the Daily Oil Wash worth it?

My answer is “yes” to both. I’m saying yes to Daily Oil Wash because it is lasting quite well; it’s also doubling as my “shampoo,” which – hey, I’m not complaining! Again, though: if you have to pick one, my advice is to go with Daily Perfecting Cream. It’s a few dollars more, but you’ll be getting a stronger scent, a thicker product (which means it’ll last longer) & an illuminating effect. I don’t seem to find anything wrong with that!

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Let me know your thoughts on Body Hero below, if you’ve tried it, if you haven’t, & your thoughts on the campaign in general!

Love,

Sof ❤

#I’mWearing: How I Did This Look

It all started with an Instagram live. I’d just gotten some new makeup & was fooling around with old things, so I decided to go on live & do a look that people wanted to see.

This ended in my friends encouraging (aka: yelling in caps) & teaching me how to actually contour – & giving suggestions that turned out to be one of the most fun looks I’ve done in forever.

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The completed #look

Let’s be clear; we all know my makeup style. That’s extremely light-handed face makeup (cc cream etc), some good highlight, & a pretty lip or eye. I don’t really go all out; I’ve never been into cut creases (they look odd on me) & the whole Instagram-style makeup doesn’t appeal to me – which means that I don’t enjoy contouring my cheekbones & highlighting/setting my undereyes with concealer then powder.

Basically – I don’t like a full face of makeup, & I usually only wear a complete one when I have an important event. Other times, I just feel like it. This was one of those times.

I started my look pretty simple, but once I pulled out the Fenty Beauty Killawatt Highlighter in Trophy Wife, everyone got a little bit excited – including me. This ended up in a glitter moustache on my cupid’s bow, super defined cheekbones, delicate, glossy lips, & a simple eye look that just boosted the green – my actual eye color. 

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Is this over the top? Absolutely. It’d look beautifully hilarious in the day time. But – in that moment, I felt like I was about to step on a runway for fashion week. I definitely would wear it for a fancy night out. Or…who knows! Maybe one day I’ll change my mind & wear it in the day time. Who cares what people think, right?

After I posted a few photos of my completed look, I got some people asking what I used on my face. So – with no further ado, here are the products I used to get the finished look. Mini reviews & photos included, of course. Side note: I usually love “photographing” (I use my iPhone) in direct sunlight. Golden hour is my favorite time of the day. Still – I decided to go a bit different this time. This is a very “lux” look, & everything looks shinier & more lux with some flash, surrounded by fluffy fleece. Okay. Let’s do this!

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The full line-up (with some pretty decorations)

Okay, this looks like a lot – but once I start breaking it down, I think you’ll find it quite simple. This doesn’t require a steady hand & it most certainly doesn’t require perfection. My brows are messy in the close-up of my eye. Who cares? It still is a beautiful look. Plus – I secretly love undone brows, anyway.

Primer

I actually didn’t use a primer that day. I was wearing my moisturizer that I’d applied in the morning. That was the Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre ; if you want more information on that product, it’s right here in my September Favorites post. If you don’t have the time or desire, though, here’s a bit of a rundown: it’s very similar to the Glossier Priming Moisturizer (original) but the packaging claims that it’s a leave-on mask, a makeup primer, & a moisturizer. I figured I’d be just fine using this base. I was right!

Face Makeup

I still wanted to keep my face looking natural. My skin was quite clear that day, so I didn’t even really feel like using a CC cream for coverage; that’s when I turned to the CLĒ Cosmetics Essence Air Cushion.

This is one of my favorite face makeup products of all time!!! 1) it has an amazing amount of sun protection 2) it is sheer but buildable; it makes it easy to simultaneously look natural yet have some coverage 3) it is incredibly dewy – not in a sweaty, greasy way; just a from-within glow that looks beautiful. I use it in the shade Light, which is the lightest shade. It looks a lot darker in the “pan” (cushion) than it does on the face; that’s because the pigment of the cushion is fully saturated when in its case.

It comes with a tiny applicator sponge-like contraption, which is cute, fits inside the compact, & relatively easy to use – but I wasn’t getting the exact finish I wanted when I initially used it, so I decided to try my well-trusted foundation brush on the product: that’s the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. It was the first foundation brush I owned, & it is still doing its fair share of work. I make sure to clean it often (obviously) but this is truly one of the sturdiest brushes I’ve ever owned. It’s less than $10, you can find it at any ULTA Beauty (& lots of drugstores, too) & I promise you that it’ll last you for a long time & a good time.

How do I use this brush while applying the Essence Air Cushion? I just open the compact, remove the applicator from the compact, & gently press my brush into the sponge. I buff some into my skin, then repeat until I get the coverage/finish I’m looking for that day. Easy as pie!

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A trusty pair of friends
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Though it looks much darker in the pan, this is closer to what the Essence Air Cushion looks like on the face

Contour

never contour. Ever. I don’t think I’m good at it, & I don’t think it looks good on me. This one time, however, I was convinced. I had one bronzer lying around; it was the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer in Baked. I decided to go for it, & (with guidance) lightly drew that famous “3 shape” on the sides of my face & on my jawline.

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The highlight is a cream stick, so it melts very nicely into the skin. Milk claims that their “Milk Makeup Milk Melt Technology” is what makes the contour stick so creamy & blendable – but not greasy. That’s their “secret” ingredient; some other main ingredients are mango, peach, & avocado extracts – these are all hydrating & nourishing fruits, so I can see why they were used in a product like this.

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I used my Real Techniques brush – the same one I used for my Essence Air Cushion – to blend everything out. The result? Surprisingly amazing. It amped up the glam just a little – I didn’t even use that much – & made my cheekbones pop, which is perfect for a situation in which you’re trying to make your highlight stand out as much as possible.

Milk Makeup also has a darker Matte Broner shade, called Blaze – described as “a deep bronze.” Although I’m very fair, this contour is definitely buildable. I can see this being used for fair to medium skintones. I’m glad Milk Makeup came out with a second option for deeper skin. The shade Baked will not be an option for everyone, due to the pure nature of contouring , but I can’t say anything about it – I haven’t spotted it in store at Sephora, so I haven’t gotten the chance to even swatch it. I can’t say for sure.

I still won’t contour on the regular, but if I ever feel like doing it for a special occasion, now I know how – & the product I happened to have worked perfectly.

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I did a bit of spot-concealing with the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Light; that was really about it. On to the more exciting parts.

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I’m happy – I promise 

Eyes

I primed my eyelids with Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion – just the original one. I didn’t feel compelled to photograph that because…well, everyone’s seen it, & it doesn’t look particularly interesting. It’s a good primer; the only eye one I’ve been able to use without my eyelids feeling dry/getting patchy eye makeup by the end I finish my look.

After I primed, I went into the palette I knew I would be using – the Tarte Tartelette In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette. This is a really nice palette for everyone to have, in my opinion. There are 12 shadows; 10 are matte, two are shimmer. It’s a great palette to use when you want something simple but multi-demensional. All of the mattes work amazingly well by themselves; they also work with each other very well. The shimmer ones are lovely, but the mattes are what makes this palette so good.

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I started off by lightly dusting some of the lightest shadow, called Charmer, all around my eye area. This set the primer I’d applied & was a precaution to make sure everything would stay smooth & even.

After evening out my eye area, I softly buffed Sweetheart & Rebel onto my lid & blended it up into my crease. I added a bit of dimension by lightly tapping the shimmery shade Firecracker (described as “a bronze copper”) on the lid area, too. I went on my lower lashline with Sweetheart & Rebel as well. Finally, I deepened the look a tiny bit more by blending the dark shades Smoke Show & Activist together, then gently buffing it into the outer corner of my eyelid, dragging it down to give an eyeliner effect on my lower lash line. This was the perfect amount of smoky for me – I already knew that my highlight would be very over-the-top, but I tried my best to make a simple yet smoldering look that would compliment my highlight – not out-shine it.

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Finally, I used one of my newest products: Fenty Beauty Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Blonde, described as a “glimmering gold.” If you want some more details on the consistency of the product, check out my Fenty Beauty review here – otherwise, let’s talk about how I used it for this particular look.

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I rubbed some of the stick onto the back of my hand, then gently but firmly pressed it into the top of my eyelids & in the inner corners of my eyes (there was something else under that, but I’ll get to it in a minute). The result? Glimmering, extremely intense eyes that weren’t over the top on the smokinesss – but perfect with the amount of glitter. The Blonde Skinstick was then set aside, & Trophy Wife herself came out to play – also on the eyelids & the inner corners. Best of all: I used it as an under-eye eyeliner. I’ve seen some people using it as a pigment – blending a little of the powder with some face gloss & using it as an eyeliner – but I’m not that talented, so I just ran it under my lower lash line with a tiny, tiny pencil brush.

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Staring at myself (& my beautiful highlight compact)

I finished off with the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara – it’s one I heard a lot of hype for. Some told me it was a dupe for Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara; others swore that it was a dupe for Dior Diorshow Mascara. I was curious when I heard the Diorshow Mascara being mentioned; it’s my holy grail mascara & I wanted to know – would L’Oreal deliver?

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It definitely looks like the Better Than Sex packaging

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My full thoughts you can read here in my September favorites – but my quick review is that it’s good, but not amazing. I still think Diorshow sits way higher – which is good, because it’s a lot more expensive! I’d call this a combination of Diorshow & Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara (which I love). I don’t love this – but I don’t hate it. It looks good, it’s available practically everywhere, & it’s cheap.

I curled my lashes with my Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler; if I do wear mascara, I’ll always curl my lashes. This one is gentle, doesn’t tug on my lashes, & I don’t worry my lashes will be cut off every time I use it. Obviously, the wand of the curler can be used as any normal one; it can also be used upside down to curl your bottom lashes, which is unique – never used it like that, but again, never say never.

The result? Over-the-top perfection.

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Just checking on the state of my eyes

Finally, I used Glossier Boy Brow in Clear; as you can see, my brows are thick & messy right now. I’m okay with that – don’t get me wrong! But if I were to put Boy Brow in Brown on my brows right now, it would probably look too much; they’re already dark enough. The clear boy brow gives that same fluffy feel that keeps everything in place (yet doesn’t feel crunchy or stiff) & the consistency while applying is the same, too. Can’t recommend this enough for people with thick, dark brows who want just a bit of help with keeping brows in place!

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A better look at the satiny look of the product. It’s true, the bronzer is matte – there’s no glitter or shimmer to be seen – but it’s so creamy that it’s hard to call it matte. It doesn’t slide around, though. Don’t worry

Highlight

The true fun part of this look; the part I enjoyed most!

My highlighting hack is: if you truly want to have a blinding highlight that doesn’t fade, feels creamy yet stays on firmly, you need to first apply a liquid/cream, then a powder highlight. & that is exactly what I did for this look.

I started off with CLĒ Cosmetics Essence Moonlighter Cushion in the shade Gleaming Buff; it’s a gorgeous gold-toned shade that isn’t too dark – but is not too light, either (check out the swatches in my review here). Although it comes in a cushion, it definitely behaves as a liquid or cream highlighter would. This is beautiful by itself; it’s even more beautiful when I want an intense strobing effect. My “secret” (I am 99% sure it’s not a secret) is to first apply a cream or liquid highlight, then layer a powder over. That’s what I did for this look – but we’ll get to the powder in a minute.

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The Essence Moonlighter Cushion looks just like the Essence Air Cushion; it’s just a bit lighter & less chunky in your hand
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I know – it looks like a bronzer in the pan. Don’t worry. Like I mentioned, this is just a super concenterated sponge & the product is sheer! (Swatches)

The Essence Air cushion comes with an applicator just like this one – only bigger – & I don’t use that applicator for that product. Like I showed you above, I dip my brush into the cushion. I have found that these are best applied using the cushion CLĒ includes in the compact. It’s smaller, so you can easily move in a C-shape, from cheekbones to upper temple. You won’t miss any spots, but you won’t mess anything up, either – the applicator just works very well for this!

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This highlight has enough gold in it to flatter the golden look I was going for; that also means that it’ll work very nicely on warmer undertoned complexions. Since the product is so sheer, I think that these could be used on all skin tones. Sheer but buildable, golden but not too golden, hydrating, & elegant.

HERE SHE IS! The famous: Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife.

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I know it’s with the flash on, but trust me: this is just as beautiful in person as it is on camera. Yes – I was worried it would look dirty on me; in my review here you’ll see that’s not the case, & it fits very well with the Moonlighter Cushion; it built upon the highlight “base” that the CLĒ product provided, then finished me off with a glamorous, glittery (yes, it is glittery) highlight. It felt (& looked) amazing. Of course, I also applied this on my inner corners of my eyes, tip of my nose, chin, etc. I used the Glossier Wowder Brush – I really like this brush…even more than the powder! It’s fluffy, it’s sturdy, & no bristles have fallen out since I started using it. I’ve used it for the Glossier Wowder itself (of course) but it works beautifully as a highlight brush – especially for a look like this, where I really spread my highlight up my temple. Perfect.

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Glitter in my hair, too – honestly…good!

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Now – obviously, this isn’t an every day look. I wouldn’t put this much work into a quick outing to the grocery story – I was just having fun & seeing what I could do with Trophy Wife (as well as the other Fenty Beauty products I have). Trust me: it does a lot. I’m not even finished yet!

Lips 

For my lips, I used just a touch of MAC Spice Lip Pencil in Spice, which I’ve had for over a year now. It’s still not run out! That’s why it won’t be pictured – it’s too ugly (& well-loved) to photograph gracefully.

Then, I finished off with the Fenty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer – of course! How could I not?

“Universal lip luminizer” is code for lip gloss – & I’ve been wearing this gloss a lot. I think it’s incredible. It manages to look not only amazing, both in the tube & on the lips – but amazingly different on every single person I’ve seen wearing it.

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In the tube, it fits the description very well: “a shimmering rose nude.” The doe-foot applicator is nicely shaped & holds a lot of product; I only need to swipe once or twice – never needed to dip my wand back in for more. It smells amazing – very fruity, but in a nice way; it’s not “chemical-smelling” & it fades gracefully, too. For those worried about it being scented: don’t be! It fades quickly, I haven’t seen anyone say it’s unpleasant (although if you’re allergic to scents, that’s another story) & the effect you get is well worth whatever you may perceieve the scent to be – I’m lucky, & I like the scent as well as the gloss! Win win.

It’s extremely hydrating, not too glittery – you get enough of sparkle to make your lips pop but not enough to make individual pieces of glitter stand out. It does not claim to have a plumping effect, but I don’t ever overline my lips, & this gloss looked like it was plumping my lips. No sting or burn like a Buxom Lip Cream (for a comparison) – just a pretty enhancement to my natural lips.

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Then, just for fun – because why not! – I went ham on my cupid’s bow; I used my very thin pencil brush to outline the dip of my cupid’s bow, then slightly extended the line down my lip line. The result was a powerful cupid’s bow highlight (obviously) & lended a sort of “editorial” or “high fashion” vibe to the look. I loved it. It felt super fancy! Even though I wasn’t going somewhere, it was a fun thing to do & a good idea to try; I might very well go out like this some time soon.

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The finished look!

&…that’s all, folks! Although it looks very fancy, I didn’t need much to make it happen – I had a dramatic highlight, decided to make that the focal point of my “look” – & yes, I contoured, & I didn’t die. I actually looked kind of okay!

  • Top – Urban Outfitters
  • Earrings – Maria Black Jewelry 
  • Necklace(s) – Ventrone Chronicles 

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Would you like to see me do some other looks? Feel free to pop in your requests – I like going out of my comfort zone from time to time. In the meantime, here’s a gif of me looking like an alien, thanks to Kirakira+

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Shout what you’d like to see next below!

Love,

Sof ❤