Walmart $5 2017 spring beauty box content reveal

Walmart beauty box is a quarterly subscription box that costs $5 per quarter ($20 per year). It usually has some box variations, depending on your age, location, or pure randomness. 

While the products are all drugstore products sold at Walmart, and staples are usually hair & body travel size bottles, I’ve had some pleasant discoveries from past boxes such as the Dove body wash that I like a lot and would not have tried it out if not for this box. Here is the latest 2017 Spring Walmart beauty box. While I don’t think this is a favorite as compared with past ones, it’s not a bad box for the $5 price tag. 

Weirdly enough, I’m most excited to try the new toothpaste from Colgate. The Neutrogena lipgloss might be interesting too. What do you think?


March 2017 beauty empties & new opens – skincare, hair, body, makeup

All these empties seem to offer some sort of solid indicators that March did exist as I simply can’t believe it’s almost April.

P.S. I try to post mini product reviews on Instagram and here is my Instagram ID: skincarejunkie_03 

First up are some hair & body products that I’ve used up and opened.

The three hair products on the right are good, but not amazing. The 3-minute miracle hair mask is my favorite conditioner in the Aussie series though. The other hair masks in the same line are not moisturizing enough for drier hair ends.

I’ve used up the water activated body gel lotion from Curel. It’s an interesting concept as you are supposed to apply it on damp/wet skin, and it did help with dry skin but it’s just a bit too messy for my taste. The Clarins oil on the other hand, feels wonderful on the skin. It gets absorbed instantly, is not greasy at oil and smells divine! I probably will repurchase it.

I wasn’t impressed with the AHA/BHA toner from Corsx that I bought per some Korean beauty blogger’s recommendations. It did not produce any results on my skin. I would rather buy something that’s a bit more expensive but bring visible improvement to my skin.

This natural green powder sample from Pereicone MD tastes awesome! I guess I just had really low expectation for such a green healthy drink mix. It reminds of the flavor of Naked green smoothie.

  • The Goldfaden MD brightening exlir felt like a dupe for the Drunk Elephant c-firma day serum and it got me interested in this brand that I’ve not heard of in the past.
  • The Bobbi Brown radiance boost mask feels like an average exfoliator and was kind of meh.
  • I heard good things about the Clarins hydrating serum and I’m glad I tried the sample first as I was so turned off by its strong scent (floral scent), and I will never purchase the full size product. Clarins products are not so consistent for my taste, hits & misses here and there.
  • The ItCosmetics eye cream is nice, very thick and creamy. But I’ve not been convinced yet buy its skincare line.

I’ve also used up or getting rid of a few eyelash products and mascaras below (you are supposed to replace your mascaras every 3 months for hygiene purposes).

Rapidlash does work but you need to continue to use it to maintain the results. The Kiss Me mascara & mascara remover tubes on the left are among the best drugstore-type Japanese mascara products. The mascara holds up curls so well and is 125% water proof so it’s better to be used with its own mascara remover.

How to prevent foundation from getting blotchy?

My skin type: Combination, acne-prone skin. Oily around the T zone and dry/normal everywhere else.

P.S. I try to post mini product reviews on Instagram and here is my Instagram ID: skincarejunkie_03 

I’ve been trying out a few new non-matte foundations in the past few weeks including the recently hyped up Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation (you can read my review on the Wet n Wild foundation here). My primary goal with my base makeup has been creating a long-lasting, low-maintenance look so I don’t need to reapply throughout the day. That’s why I mostly opted for all matte foundation. However, during winter time, I want a satin finish makeup base from time to time. The main challenge for me is that non-matte foundations (high-end or drugstore) usually will look blotchy around my T Zone after 5-6 hours. I’ve tried different powders, setting sprays and blotting papers, but none really worked that well.

What I found from all the wear tests I’ve done lately is that it might not have anything to do with the foundation, the primer, or powder! Instead, take a look at your skincare routine and consider trying a different moisturizer. This could completely change how the foundation looks and lasts on your skin. I was previously using Clarins extra firming day cream. It was very hydrating (I didn’t really see any firming results though) as a moisturizer but it turns out that it was the main reason why any satin/glowy foundations do not wear well on my face. 

How did I find out? After I used up the Clarins day cream, I switched to a deluxe travel size jar of Kale + Spinach + Hyaluronic Acid Age Prevention Cream from Youth To The People (I think I got it in a beauty box). I’d never heard of this brand or used its products before so I didn’t have any expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised as this is probably the most lightweight moisturizer I’ve ever tried in the cream texture. It almost feels like a gel but does not peel or flake under sunscreen like most gels do on my face. Ever since I started using this cream, I found that I can pull off those hydrating foundations a lot better. They last longer on me (2-3 hours more at least) and my pores are not accentuated around my T Zone at the end of the day.

youthtothepeople_kale cream.jpg

I don’t think you need to go out and by this cream in particular. But if you are having trouble with your foundation, I do think it’s worth taking another look at the moisturizer you are using prior to applying makeup as that could be the ultimate differentiator in your whole makeup look that you might have overlooked.

Thanks for stopping by and hope this helps!

2 beauty empties & mini haul – feat. Makeup Forever, Smashbox & Mario Badescu

Today I wanted to share with you my thoughts around 2 recent beauty empties and what I’ve purchased to replace them with.

First up is a travel size Primer I received from Sephora beauty box: the Makeup Forever step 1 smoothing primer. I also included my review on this product in a recent everyday primer collection post that you can check out here. Given my oily t zone, I only need to use a tiny amount every time and this tube lasts me more than a month.

Instead of purchasing the full size one, I’ve instead bought the Smashbox photo finish primers – they came in a set and I am lining them with a sample I received from previous purchase so I have 3 tubes and I hope they perform better in minimizing my pores and wear well under foundation.

Next up is a toner spray from Botanics. I am not a fan of this product. Despite its claims to use all natural ingredients, the toner feels irritating and stings my eyes. The spritzer squirts out big water drops on my face instead of a fine mist so I ended up keeping it in my bath and only used it when I blow dry my hair or when I apply facial masks. From the products I’ve tried, natural skincare lines are actually more tricky and most of the products that work in this realm are expensive products (some of my recent favorites include Tata Harper & Evelom).

Anyways I’m glad I finally used it up and I’ve replaced it with another affordable natural skincare line: 2 toners from Mario Badescu. I’ve tried the rose water one in the past and I remember not hating the toner but was turned off by the spritzer. Similar to Botanics, the sprayer also fails to produce a fine mist on your face so I probably will use it after showering or exercises. You can also use it to wet your makeup sponges. I might pour it into some other bottles with better quality nozzles so I can make more use out it.

Have you used any of these products before and what are your thoughts around them?

March high-end skincare haul – feat. Drunk Elephant & Natura Bisse

The Drunk Elephant glycolic night serum is a repurchase, you can find my full review of this product when I compared it to the Sunday Riley Good Genes here.

P.S. I try to post mini product reviews on Instagram and here is my Instagram ID: skincarejunkie_03 

This night serum is part of a Drunk Elephant set that’s in a lovely pull-out paper box. Isn’t it cute? I’ve tried the vitamin C serum before (the small bottle in an orange cap) and it’s solid but not irreplaceable. I will share another brightening serum in my empty post that is a dupe for the c firma that I like it a bit better. I’ve not yet tried the B-hydra gel before and will share my thoughts if I end up liking it.

The other high-end item I purchased is an eye cream from Natura Bisse. I bought it after I was blown away by a sample I tried a while ago. It’s probably the most effective anti-aging eye cream I’ve ever used but also the most expensive eye cream. All the dry lines and fine lines under my eyes were gone when I was using a sample of this eye cream so I thought it might just be worth it (or not). I am currently using another high-end eye cream that I love and it’s less expensive than the Natura Bisse one so I might just switch between the two.


Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation Review – worth the hype?

Maybe it’s just me as this foundation is raved by so many people online but I have mixed feelings about the new Wet n Wild photo focus foundation. Yes it’s a good quality foundation that is extremely affordable (only $6), but it’s by no means my favorite foundation and I will not be reaching for it on days that I need reliable coverage. Below you can find my detailed review.

P.S. I try to post mini product reviews on Instagram and here is my Instagram ID: skincarejunkie_03 

My skin condition: Combination (oily around t-zone, dry on the rest of the face in winter). I have some acne scars and struggle with pores around the t zone.

What I like about it:

  • Light weight. It doesn’t feel heavy at all and is very easy to blend out with a beauty blender or any sponge. I haven’t tried it with a brush yet but I heard it also works well with a brush.
  • It has a pretty finish between matte and dewy when you first apply it and the look lasts about 4 hours on me before I have to touch up with blotting paper.

What I don’t like about it:

  • If you have pores, acne scars or skin texture issues, this will not cover these imperfection with 1-2 layers. It does not have high coverage and it no longer gives a pretty finish if you layer it up too much. This is not a big concern as I can always pair it with concealers but just thought you might want to know about its coverage level.
  • It is not long lasting on my combination skin. My cheeks still look very good at the end of the day but my t zone looks shiny and oily after 4-5 hours and I did try several powders with it (high-end and drugstore) but none really helped. I can stand the shine as I keep blotting papers around but the main issue is that the foundation enlarges my pores around my T-zone when the oil comes through, which is not flattering at all, and is something I haven’t experienced in a long time.

I think it could be a great foundation for normal skin with few flaws but people with that skin condition can probably pull off any kind of foundation, no? It’s a good foundation but I will only be reaching for it on days that I only need to wear makeup for less than 4 hours.

Have you tried out this foundation? What do you think?