Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Halo Razor - Cruelty-free Razor Option

Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Today's post is going to be short and sweet.

In my cruelty-free journey, I'm glad to say that I've found a replacement for my Gillette Venus razors. My fiance looked it me funny when he saw me writing this post because he didn't understand how a razor could be tested on animals. His actual question was, "Do they shave animals?" I explained to him that companies that make razors often make a lot of other products, which can be tested on animals.

The Halo 5-blade razor by the brand Personna is a cruelty-free razor that, for me, works just as well as my old Venus razor did. I'm also happy to say that it is similar in price as well, so I'm not spending more money to buy it.

The package with the full razor (which includes two blades) and the 4-cartridge refill cost me just under $14 on

My only complaints are minor ones. The razor itself came with a large plastic holder for storage in the shower, and I never use those. It sat around for a few weeks until I finally just threw it in the recycling. I'm sure some people like when razors come with their own holder. I'm just not one of them. My other complaint is that I can only seem to find this razor on Amazon, and my initial order was delayed, so it took much longer to arrive than I expected. I'll just have to remember to order replacement cartridges well before I would actually need them. Since I know I like them, I'll also stock up the next time I order and pick up two packs of replacement cartridges at one time.

What is your favorite razor? If your razor comes with a holder, do you use it?

Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

bareMinerals Locked & Coated Waterproof Lash Topcoat - Review

Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own. 

I have a love/hate relationship with mascara. I love it because it makes my blonde eyelashes visible, but I hate it because I have so many issues with mascara smudging and flaking. It drives me crazy. I can find a mascara that I like, but once I've gotten a little bit over-heated, I end up with mascara on my browbone. That's not a pretty look. Since I also purchase a lot of value sets, I tend to have a lot of non-waterproof mascaras in my stash. 

In the search for a solution to my dilemma, I decided to try out the bareMinerals Locked & Coated Waterproof Lash Topcoat. 

Price: $12


There's not really much to talk about here. It's a pretty standard mascara tube. The brush itself is a skinny brush with rubber bristles. I'm not a fan of really large brushes anyway, and for this product in particular, I think the small brush was a good idea (more on that later). 


The product itself is a clear gel that gets applied over mascara. It doesn't make my lashes clump together, and it does make my mascara waterproof. I haven't had any issues with smudges on my browbone since I started using it with a non-waterproof mascara. For reference, I'm currently using a mini tube of bareMinerals Lash Domination mascara. 

The only minor issue I've had with this product was that I just applied it like I apply my mascara, meaning I brushed it on the bottom of my top lashes. Since then, I start by brushing it over the top of my top lashes first and then brushing it over the bottom. If I don't do that, I still have smudges on my browbone. I do the top first because it pushes my lashes down some. Doing the bottom of my lashes second pushes them back up. 

Final Thoughts

This is a specialty product that isn't really necessary for most people. If someone needs a waterproof mascara, she typically just buy one that is already waterproof instead of buying an extra product and adding an extra step to her routine. However, it is a fantastic product for those who need it. It is making it possible for me to use non-waterproof mascaras in my collection that I would have issues using otherwise. I could see this being a popular product for brides who have a favorite mascara that doesn't come in a waterproof formula. 

I hope to eventually find a Holy Grail waterproof mascara. I would love it if bareMinerals actually made their Lash Domination mascara in a waterproof formula. In the meantime, I'll occasionally pick this up in order to use my backlog of mascaras from value kits.

Would you pick up a waterproof topcoat for mascara? Why would you use  it? 

Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cruelty-Free Update

Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. I am including my referral link for Vitacost and The Honest Company.

I had to go back and look, and it's been about six months since I did my post talking about going cruelty-free. I thought it would be a good time to post an update on my progress.


I had started going cruelty-free a while before I actually mentioned it on my blog, so there really wasn't much of a transition needed when it came to my makeup. The vast majority of my makeup was already cruelty-free, and a lot of what wasn't was already added to my blog sale.

Since then, my next step was to pull out the rest of my items that weren't cruelty-free. I've got quite a few of them in my container of products I'm trying to use it. I use a Stila Smudgestick liner every day to try and finish them. I have to point out that it's really annoying that these liners can't be rolled back down. I have no way of knowing how close to being gone they are. I have this feeling that one day I'm going to line one eye and discover that the product is gone before I line the other one.

Bath and Body

Like with my cosmetics, most of my bath and body products were already cruelty-free. I believe all of my shower gels were already cruelty-free when I made my announcement. The same thing is true of shampoo and conditioners, barring a bunch of samples that I still have and occasionally grab for traveling. Skincare was almost there when it comes to main products. One of my acne treatments is still by Neutrogena because I had stocked up a long time ago, buying something like four tubes. I'm on my last one. Just like with shampoos and conditioners, I also have a stash of samples that I keep around.

When I started working on my stash of lotion in January, I went through and pulled out all of the lotions from brands that I wasn't sure about or knew wasn't cruelty-free. At this point, all of those are gone.

My next challenge to tackle is hair dye. I had several boxes that I needed to use up, but they are finally gone. I recently purchased a box of Herbatint hair dye from Vitacost (referral link). I haven't tried it yet, so I don't know if it is a brand that I'll stick with. I hope it works well for me because most of the cruelty-free hair dyes that I've seen are henna based, and I would prefer to avoid that route, since using henna means I can't go back to regular dyes until it has completely grown out.

Deodorant is another one of my trouble areas. Most cruelty-free options are also natural, which haven't worked for me so far. I've read somewhere that switching to natural deodorants requires a detox period of about two weeks before they become effective. I'm not willing to do that when I'm working. A detox attempt might happen this summer if I can find a stretch of time when I'm not going to be terrified of smelling terribly in public. I've also got a lot of deodorants that I need to work my way through before I try any others.

Home Products

This is the area where I've been making progress a lot more slowly. I've already done a post on The Honest Company (referral link) dishwasher pods, which I love. Several of their other products have also made it into my regular routine. I didn't particularly like their dish soap, so I'm testing out a different one now. Dish soap is a crucial product for me. I have always used Dawn dish soap, and I use it for more than just dishes. I use it to mix up my own shower cleaner and even use it in laundry to boost my regular detergent when I feel it is needed.

I don't think my home products will ever be completely cruelty-free. I don't have access to much of it locally, and I'm not willing to sacrifice quality either. I'll continue to experiment and replace what I can, but I'm definitely making baby steps in this area.

Are you going cruelty-free? What trouble areas have you had? If you aren't going cruelty-free, that's okay too. I'd love to know what other steps you might be taking to improve yourself or the world (recycling, exercising, eating better, etc)?

Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. I included my referral links for Vitacost and The Honest Company.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Jane Blush in Berry Bouquet - Review and Swatches

Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

I'm spending a Sunday afternoon trying to get some blog posts scheduled while watching a Harry Potter marathon on TV. Does anyone else watch movies on TV that they already own? It seems silly to me, but I do it anyway. Most of the time I do it when I'm just looking for something to have on as background noise.

I've been enjoying trying out products from the relaunched brand Jane Cosmetics. I haven't tried a lot yet, but I have other items on my wishlist for the next time I'm shopping at Ulta and  they are on sale.

One of the products I've been testing out is their Multi-Colored Cheek Powder in Berry Bouquet.

Price: $12


The compact is a basic black with a clear window. It is serviceable without a lot of bulk or frills, which I like. When purchased, it comes with a cardboard band with bright and colorful pictures, but that obviously gets thrown away. The flower pattern on the product itself is eye-catching and pretty.


This berry shade is exactly that, a bright berry color with a matte finish. The swatch above is all of the colors mixed together. After some experimenting, I have decided that I prefer avoiding the deepest shade in the blush when I use it. The difference doesn't show up very much when I swatch it, but I notice the difference more on my cheeks. The powder feels smooth and not overly dry and blends nicely on the skin. It lasts well on my skin, making it through a workday without problem.

Final Thoughts 

I like this blush, but at the same time, it doesn't wow me either. It's a little pricey for a drugstore brand as well. I wouldn't have purchased it at regular price; I picked it up on sale. There are only two other colors in the range, and the colors aren't of interest to me, so I won't be picking those up.

Have you tried the new Jane blushes or other products in the range?

Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

NYX Baked Shadow in Nebula - Review and Swatches

Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

I don't know about all of you, but I'm really glad that spring is finally deciding to show itself. I've been prepping for the season by doing some clothing shopping recently. I'm also eagerly watching the yard to see flowers starting to pop out of the ground.

Today I'm going to be reviewing a shade from the new NYX baked shadow line.

Price: $5.99; NYX products are regularly on sale, so watch out for a good deal.


NYX has gradually been creating a theme with their eye shadow packaging. Most, if not all, of their shadow packaging now has this cute bow over the clasp. It's a nice touch. The configuration of the clear panels also adds some interest to an otherwise basic shadow compact. Probably the only thing I would have changed is shaving off a bit of the extra bulk.


Left to right: swatched dry and swatched wet

I wish I could say that I loved this shadow because I wanted to love it, but I was really disappointed.

My first disappointment was with the color. I purchased this online off, and I thought the color I was getting was going to be much lighter than it was when it arrived. I don't really blame that on the shadow. Whenever I buy something online without seeing it in person first or seeing online swatches, I know I'm taking a chance.

The shadow itself performed terribly on me. I tested it with my regular primer applied dry, my regular primer applied wet, with my regular primer and Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, and with primer and Jordana's Made-to-Last Shadow pencil. With just primer, the shadow had practically disappeared after just a couple of hours. My other attempts only helped marginally.

Final Thoughts

Clearly, I wasn't happy with this particular shadow. I've only tried this one, so I can't say if the others perform better. I won't be purchasing any more of to find out. I've only seen one other review of these, and it was positive, so these might work better for someone else.

Have you tried any of NYX's baked shadows? What did you think? I would love to hear other opinions on these!

Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own.