Revlon PhotoReady

I received free samples of Revlon PhotoReady Primer and Highlight/Blush Duo to facilitate my review. My review is 100% honest.

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I have always loved Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer. It is unmatched to me in terms of discount drug store primers. It has impeccable coverage that allows you to wear this alone and still mask imperfections and large pores handedly. It’s a thick primer that is somewhat tough to apply with just your fingers. The bottle is interesting as it pumps out, but I don’t see a reason for it to pump out, it could have come in a tube. I haven’t diluted it as I really like what the product does in totality after I finally get it blended.

I let it set and then applied my foundation. I use my fingers and found it difficult to apply and blend over this primer. The primer actively collects the foundation to hold it on your face immediately, so you need to work quickly and keep motion on your face until you cover it completely, then do clean up, which is unlike any other primer I have used. However, this primer goes the distance and longer in terms of holding my look together for an an entire night and beyond. Everyone thought I had just applied it for how fresh it stayed throughout my long night. The only pitfall is that it isn’t moisturizing. My foundation is moisturizing and can’t seem to penetrate the primer to help my skin glow as much as it should. I would like to see a version of this that helps to moisturize or works with your foundation a bit more to get the most out of them both. Other than that, it’s truly astounding and powerful as a primer. I may end up diluting myself with an oil free moisturizer to see if I can rig it to be even better.

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Blush?

I was incredibly disappointed by the Insta-Blush stick. I am a heavy blush user, so I am persnickety when it comes to it. This was a rouge highlighter. I received 300 Rose Gold Kiss and it’s exactly as described. Golden highlighting speckles throughout it, so when you apply, it’s a hint of very light pink rose doused in golden specks. It was difficult for me to use with the primer and after my setting powder, which other blushes are not, I am not sure if I want to apply it under my setting powder because it offers minimal rouging as is. Blending it doesn’t work as it just comes off onto your fingers. I found it best to use as a blush primer. I applied lightly in the areas I was going to put my powder blush and it help my blush on so much longer than I’m used to, so it wasn’t completely useless to me. I may always get it to keep as a blush primer and pops of highlight as I’ve been searching for a blush that is light and stays on for a long period of time to no avail. Together, my new blush regimen is a real rouge enhancer that gives me great, natural color for an entire night!

rev5This is probably the second time I’ve used highlighter as I am not that skilled with it and haven’t felt the need for it with my fair tone. However, this is a gem that took my makeup to the next level and I’m incredibly grateful as my facial skin is starting to show signs of aging in my mid-20s! This is like ambrosia for skin, the extra sweetness it craved delivered by gods of makeup. I received 200 Pink Light and it comes out like a cream color and pure highlight. Easily blends which was huge as it’s a strong highlighter. I had given up on highlighters because of the strength, inability to use them properly, blend them, and tone them correctly… this stick did it all in one with a quick swipe and blend with my fingertips. They give incredibly instructions on the Duo pack and you can also quickly Google any other tips as it’s incredibly malleable and easy to work with.rev1 I applied it over my setting powder and blush as instructed and it was still easy to blend and didn’t mess up my look, simply enhanced it! I love it and was showered with compliments after using it. I’m never going back, it makes me more confident and forgives/blurs exhaustion and fine lines. It’s a must in your daily makeup bag and your glam bag.

Walmart Beauty Box Spring 2017

I received this Walmart Beauty Box for free, I only paid for shipping $5. My review is honest.

Spring brought more fun items to incorporate into my routine. I was happy it was less hair care this time around.

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This Trendsetter box included:

  • Sinful Colors – RADiant by Kandee Johnson – I received a pinkish polish that claimed to have a Demi Matte finish. I haven’t had a good experience with Kandee Johnson Sinful Colors yet. They chip so easily and never look like what they are in the bottle. This looked like a bright, “radiant” pink, but it came out like a pastel infused magenta. The brush is thick and gloppy, which would be nice if this polish had a bit more solidity to it, but it’s so goopy that it makes a mess. walmartsinfulAfter applying one coat, it was horribly light and proceeded to chip the same day I put it on. You will most definitely need to apply at least 2-3 coats of this polish to show and then apply a great top coat (eliminating the demi matte supposed finish) and hope for the best.
  • Bioré® Baking Soda Acne Scrub – I can’t sing the praises of Bioré® products high enough. I love them. I have been anticipating trying this scrub for a while, but was hesitant because of the salicylic acid. I usually dry up incredibly and find no benefit from them; however, I gave this a go because it was free and I haven’t been disappointed by them yet.
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    Clean small pores for once!

    It specifically stated it was “great for combination skin.” I used after my regular wash to get my make up and start with a cleaner face. I applied about a dime size to my hand and went to lathering. At first, you notice the smell is intoxicatingly good, it’s a citrus blend that isn’t overpowering. Next, you see that it’s unlike any other salicylic scrub because it lathers so well! I felt it go to work and I enjoyed using it. It claims to clear up, control, and prevent acne blemishes by penetrating the pores. When I got out of the shower, I immediately checked my nose to see if it did anything and was shocked to see that my pores actually shrank on the first use. My skin didn’t try out, it actually felt softened and my oil was controlled. I enjoyed this scrub and wouldn’t suggest for anyone battling acne or blemishes associated.

  • Schwarzkopf Gliss Hair Repair Ultra Moisture Conditioner – I was nervous to try this conditioner because it contains liquid keratin. I’m so happy I did! It is a liquidy conditioner that applies easily through the hair and goes to work softening and restoring. I used after my regular clarifying shampoo and LOVED the fragrance first and foremost. I then enjoyed using it as it didn’t make me shed profusely like most repair shampoos do. Lastly, it rinsed easily and thoroughly. I let it air dry, I first noticed that it didn’t weigh my hair down whatsoever. I had less frizz and it didn’t bother my scalp, which is the most prominent win for this conditioner. My hair stayed clean, manageable, and beautiful all day.  I would highly suggest for anyone looking for a reparative conditioner.
  • Colgate Optic White Beauty Radiant – Super foamy for a whitening paste! It surprised me that I would only need a tiny pea sized amount to cover my teeth. I had been using Arm & Hammer’s Truly Radiant, but the baking soda or something in it dried my lips and I had to keep switching pastes to alleviate the dryness. I didn’t experience any drying with this paste, I was comfortable and I think I want to switch to this product overall because it whitens incredibly without any sensitivity for me. It combatted my tough coffee stains in only 3 days!
  • Aveeno Positively Radiant 60 Second In-Shower Facial – I thought it would yield greater results, but maybe it needs more than one use? I really enjoyed that this one had small exfoliants in it as I massaged and it actually clung to my face unlike many in-shower masks I’ve used. It stayed on for the whole 60 seconds until I rinsed it manually, which was purposeful. I think it could use more of an herb to make it tingle and scrub away at dead skin, but this was an extremely basic facial mask. It helped to remove the dry spots I had on my nose gently. I also noticed that my skin did soften somewhat, but that happens with any mask I’ve used in the shower.

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  • Aveeno Positively Radiant Overnight Hydrating Facial – It’s worth the hype! When opened, it’s luminous and shiny, then applied it’s smooth and as if you’re applying a drop of water across your entire face. No oil whatsoever and felt like a lightweight filmy facial. I woke up and it was absorbed without any residue or my natural oils pulling through *AWESOME*. It helped to brighten my face and the red spots I had disappeared. My skin was soft and supple with all the benefits of the radiance. I want this in my skin care repertoire ASAP. 
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    Day after using both Aveeno facials.

    • Side note: make sure you apply this right before bed, I applied it one night about an hour or two before and didn’t get the same productive results.
  •  Rimmel Stay Matte Lightweight Foundation – This sample came with a $1 off any Rimmel facial makeup coupon. I am pumped because I’ve wanted to try their primer for a while now! They had sent me a Soft Beige tone which isn’t for me, so I wasn’t able to try this one out. From the reviews, it sounded decent, but didn’t address pore minimization which is critical for me in a foundation now. If you’ve tried it out and had a different experience, let me know!
  • Dove Advanced Care Cool Essentials – Fresh is the only word I have for this deodorant. It feels like I’m applying lotion that acts as an antiperspirant when I put this on. It has a bright cucumber-y scent that lasts throughout the day. I believe it could easily last for 48 hours, but I felt it didn’t factor in heavy workouts. I did Zumba and spinning and this seemed to mask my odor rather than prevent it. It’s truly invisible and didn’t get on my clothing at all, which was an unexpected bonus.

Grab your free box here! 

Fierce Vox Box

I received a Fierce Vox Box for free with complimentary samples through Influenster to facilitate my review. The following review is authentic and real.

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SheaMoisture Argan Oil & Almond Milk was a flop for me. Both products were incredibly heavy for me and the marshmallow extract pulled through above all other ingredients. I don’t believe sulfates are bad for my natural hair; rather, I think I need them to have manageable, clean hair and a refreshed scalp. fierce11

I couldn’t get into the shampoo because as soon as I applied it, it reeked of marshmallow extract which is completely stomach-turning to me. It was very earthy and fake. I was hoping it would diminish when I blew it dry with the creme, but the creme had the same fragrance and only added to the nausea. The good about this product is that it really does tackle anything bothering you from frizz to nattiness. I really loved how my hair looked right after drying it. It had volume, no frizz, and real body and style to it, but I could feel how downing it was immediately.

fierce5If I were to use it again, I have to use it diluted with another compatible product because this was simply too much for my delicate scalp and natural hair. I enjoyed my hair for about 3 hours and then it started to grease over with the amount of oil in it. You can see the time elapsed in my photos from a fresh blow out to it started to fall apart out and about. I also received a $1 off any SheaMoisture product that I gifted to a friend who expressed interest in trying this. I’m hoping she has a better experience to flaunt!

Vaseline is a timeless beauty staple that I have grown up with. My mother always had a couple of tubs in the house for all kinds of reasons: treating burns, beauty tricks, and diminishing the imperfections of healing wounds (no scars). It’s an amazing healer and protector. I sing its praises as the best rescue moisture for chapped lips.

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Add me on SnapChat @alligator_fader

It is petroleum jelly so be wary that it’s incredibly thick and takes a while to absorb, but once it does, it brings skin back to life. I like to use a little mixed with my favorite lotion right out of the shower to help absorb while I dry. It cures my eczema and winter dry skin on my shins and face. I developed eczema around 24 and this has been the only natural moisturizer that treats it as I didn’t like using the steroidal creams due to a predisposed hormonal imbalance. It doesn’t cause me to break out as I use very thin layers on the sides of my nose only.  I’d highly suggest you have this around if you suffer from any of the above ailments, it’s wonderful and clean.

SinfulColors is a mediocre polish. It has fantastic colors, but it doesn’t last whatsoever and adds no real value to your nails in terms of care. I received Mint Chip, which was a better color than it looked outside the bottle.fierce9

It was to have a Matte finish, but it didn’t live up to its Pretty Vintage “matte and retro vibe” promises. This would be an excellent bottom coat for something spectacular, but alone it was lackluster at best. Anime may be a better line with the promises of iridescence. I wish that we would have gotten Mystique or Pride because it seems that the real value of these polishes is in the extremely beautiful colors.

Carefree Acti-Fresh Liners are the bare bones of a liner. I enjoy them for daily use because they keep you fresh without getting in the way of anything because they are so thin. They move with you, but stay stuck unlike some off-brands that curl and ride up when you work out. Since I exercise pretty vigorously daily, these are a godsend and I highly suggest them.
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However, if you’re looking for something that absorbs more than sweat, look elsewhere because these are incredibly thin and only good for maintaining freshness rather than protection from leaks of any sort.

Madam C.J. Walker Softening & Silkening Brassica Oil was my hands-down favorite! It’s sugary, creamy, and soft with vibrant notes of vanilla, red velvet, cake, and candy. It’s not immature either, it’s perfectly playful. It smells like a heavenly bakery.  It is a lightweight oil that’s great for all hair types and was spectacular for mine.

madamA word of caution is that despite it being lightweight, you still must use sparingly and focus at the roots or you’ll end up with a grease ‘do rather than a brilliant shine and softened heat-styled hairdo. I use about 5-8 drops, absolutely no more than that, while it’s damp focusing on my roots . I work through my hair a bit and then moreso while I blow dry. Make sure you wash your brush out because it will stay trapped in there and wreck a future style.

It’s absolutely intoxicatingly delicious. I wanted this as a perfume it’s that sweet and delicate. The fragrance lasts and dries to a serene note while it leaves your hair moisturized, styled, soft, and beautifully shone. My hair had a mellow shine, felt moisturized,  and looked healthier after only one use. It softened my hair, straightened my wave, added some bonus volume, and made me not want to stop running my fingers through its silkiness! I cannot say praise this oil enough. I loved my hair for once!

Overall, I enjoyed this box, it portrayed a subtle fierceness with an emphasis on hair, skin, and nails.
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Walmart Winter Beauty Box

I received this Walmart Beauty Box for free.

I absolutely love this program. The samples are small, but it’s free*! It’s a decent grab bag of mostly hair and skin care, but this time came a little makeup from one of my most beloved brands.

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* You only need to pay $5 for shipping each season.

The following products were included:

  • Garnier Whole Blends – Green Apple and Green Tea Extracts Refreshing Shampoo and Conditioner which is focused on reviving hair and leaving a healthy shine. I received these samples before through Crowdtap and wasn’t that impressed. The ingredients are not fully natural to me, however it is paraben-free. I really love the scent of it and it does leave a good shine, but I have to use it sparingly as I have a sensitive scalp that really doesn’t agree with this shampoo daily.
  • Dove Deep Moisture – I love this body wash. It’s gentle and moisturizing. I always have one constant for summer and winter if my skin needs to balance out. It truly does help to smooth and soften skin, especially when shaving; it’s my favorite sudzer.
  • Curél® Hydra Therapy – One of my very favorite moisturizers. It eliminates my toughest eczema spots and makes my skin feel youthful and revived. It’s the best at absorbing quickly out of the wet moisturizers I’ve tried. It’s not greasy whatsoever either, which is a major win for this type of product that predicates itself on mineral oils. As a bonus, I was given a $4 off coupon, which could average out to be around 50% off near me.
  • L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Smooth Intense Ultimate Straightening System – that’s a mouthful and it tries to capture exactly what it’s supposed to do. I never have luck with L’Oreal products, so I was hesitant to try this. I tried a very small amount out of the packets and was INCREDIBLY pleased with the results. It’s not an every-day-use shampoo, but it made my date night a success. I used the treatment as described and blew it dry. The keratin and tourmaline combination worked wonders with my thick, naturally wavy, hair. It was straight for 2 days, which is a feat considering I can barely hold any style for longer than 8-12 hours. I wouldn’t use more than a little amount, though, because it’s somewhat heavy and could easily go wrong and weigh your hair down immensely.
  • CoverGirl LashBlast Volume – This is an oldie, but goodie! It’s the first mascara I can remember that came out with a wand like this. Instead of a brush, it’s little bristles that help separate and coat lashes effectively. I love keeping the brush as a separator after the tube is empty, it’s that great. As for the formula, it’s a drugstore gem. It volumizes easily from root to tip and doesn’t flake. It’s one of my beloved undercoats and claims 10x the volume in which I can vouch for at least 6x the volume, personally.
  • Pond’s Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream – THE FAVORITE. I am always blown away by Pond’s, I don’t know why I never reach for their items to try on my own. I’m happy they often participate in these sponsored samples so I can discover their diamonds in the affordable rough! I have put this on my list to buy the next time I’m out because it is actually working and feels wonderful on my skin. I’ve received compliments on my even skin tone and the light fragrance it has. It smooths my skin and reduces the appearance of my fine lines on my forehead, crow’s feet, and neck! It’s comparable to Olay’s Luminous line to me. I use it right after I shower and every other morning now in place of my usual moisturizer because it makes me feel youthful and confident. It does warn for some consumers that they may experience a tingling sensation if they apply it to quickly to freshly cleansed skin, but I haven’t had a problem and I’m pretty sensitive to many products.
If you aren’t subscribed to Walmart’s Beauty Box, I’d highly suggest you get on it. $20 a year for 4 boxes full of these types of products.

Secret® Outlast Xtend™ Clear Gel

I received a sample of Secret® Outlast Xtend™ Clear Gel through Crowdtap to facilitate my review. This review is 100% honest.

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At the gym loving my sample of Secret!

I haven’t used gel in a long time, so I was intrigued to try out Secret’s as I’m most familiar with their line. I have to say, I somewhat liked it, but it’s not my favorite.

Take $1 off now at Amazon!

I like that I can apply it while my underarms are still wet and it seems to dry with my body after a quick afternoon shower. I also really enjoyed that it came off easily in the shower or prior to so that way I didn’t muck my razor with deodorant like I do with the stick.

I could feel that it was different as soon as I put it on.

If you’ve been looking to try a new type of deodorant, it has amazing reviews and many benefits:

  • Keep your cool with protection that goes on dry
  • 48-hour odor protection keeps you fresh all day
  • pH-balanced formula helps stop odor before it starts
  • Sport Fresh scent: Designed with athletes in mind
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On my way out, confident with Secret!

My real qualm with Secret® Outlast Xtend™ Clear Gel was that it didn’t seem to outlast anything for me. I felt like I’d have to reapply this after 8 hours, which I don’t have to with a stick. It didn’t exactly hold it’s amazing floral scent through the day and that may be due to my natural biology. I didn’t stink, but I’d like to have capture that scent all day like other deodorants.

Overall, I think it’s a great deodorant and think I may have just tried one that wasn’t for me. I’d love to try the Olay version and think I might be adding to my cart ASAP.

Maybelline #SuperStay24 LipColor

I received Maybelline’s Super Stay 24 Hour Longwear Lipcolor complimentary through Influenster in exchange for my honest trial and opinion.

I received both “Keep Up the Flame” – a deep red color, and “Constant Toast” – a nudish, pinkish color.

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A night out in CLE

With 30 shades available, I’m going to be trying this again soon in different colors. The red is very deep and my most liked of the two. Constant Toast let me down because it’s not the nude I need for my extremely pale skin. Rather than toss, I’m going to gift it to another more fortunately colored woman to enjoy the heck out of. I absolutely love the pigmentation in both of the colors, it’s outstanding and really pops as you can see.

 

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Constant Toast doing nothing for me…

The application was pretty easy if you paid close attention because the gloss applier is not one I typically use as I normally use lipstick. I used a translucent lip liner that helped a ton with bleeding or movement while I applied. I found that it instantly mattified after application, so bleeding wouldn’t be an issue. However it was very dry, so I applied the balm hoping for a better effect that I could rub my lips together but I thought that it might make my lips flake and the more you do it, the likelier they will. Mine flaked about 4 hours in, but I’ll take a good, never-fading 4 hours. It’s a decent lip product, great for any time.

I found it best for an evening out, but it didn’t hold up too badly when I had to reapply on the go at Disney Parks.

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Election day spent at Disney parks with Keep Up the Flame.

I think this is perfect for sectioned events like morning or evening because it won’t last the entire day without a full reapplication. It flakes terribly and dries badly that you need to take it completely off (I had tried to reapply the lip color over my cracked coat and when it dried, it completely took off both coats which was much easier than washing it off!) My other qualm was that it’s horrible to remove thoroughly! It takes a strong makeup remover with a good elbow grease to get this off all the way.

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Completely washed out against my skin tone.

I have to say overall I did like these products and truly love Maybelline. I find their products to work well on my skin and make me feel more confident and beautiful. These colors made me bolder and worked for different uses. They always have products that I can apply across my routines.

Check out their full selection of shades on Ulta.com! I think I’m in love with Always Blazing and Unlimited Raisin. Let me see your pictures if you’ve gotten different colors in my comments below, please!

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Best of friends with the Tree of Life & poppin’ lips

RoC® MULTI CORREXION®

I received samples of RoC® MULTI CORREXION® products free through Crowdtap. I am providing my honest and own review.

RoC® MULTI CORREXION® 5-in-1 Restoring Night Cream literally makes my skin perk up! I never believed in Retinol until I tried a quality version. It’s the best night cream I’ve ever used! Ha, I say it’s like putting tiny diamonds in my skin at night. It makes me glow and gave me confidence in my dull areas. I would highly recommend if you’re worried about fine lines and wrinkles, it’s lifted my neck area dramatically even though I’m young. I was noticing signs, but RoC took my worries away!

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I never had a retinol routine, and RoC® MULTI CORREXION® changed my whole perception of trying one. It’s a very positive thing for me. RoC® RETINOL CORREXION® Eye Cream just replaced ALL of my eye products aside from eyeshadow and mascara. It’s brighten my lids so I use it every single morning and some evenings! Hoping I will love the effects over the long-term. 

RoC® RETINOL CORREXION® Eye Cream brightened my eyes, lids and bottoms so I looked youthful again! It’s completely changed the way I use eye products and showed me I don’t need to be nervous that I’m too young for something like this. It makes my eyes feel rejuvenated from the outside and I really feel like I’m helping and making a difference. I would recommend to anyone trying to reduce crow’s feel, brighten lids, and feel like looking younger!

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A week later!

My favorite RoC sample was the MULTI CORREXION® 5-in-1 Restoring Night Cream. It brightened my fading skin and started to work on my tiny worry lines developing. I felt younger and more confident after using it for just 3 days. A week was looking at myself at 22! I love it and will definitely be keeping it handy! #WomenWhoRoC