Surratt Relevee Lash Curler

Lash curlers most definitely divide the beauty community into two camps: either they are a must have or totally neglectable.

I personally love to use them and think they make a huge difference in how awake and bright my eyes appear. That being said, I was never sure if there is that much of a difference between the curlers you can pick up at the drugstore and the ones sold by high end brands.

That is, until I tried the Surratt Relevee Lash Curler. I had heard about them on Anna’s blog The Anna Edit and picked them up on a particularly spendy day, because they are a bit of a splurge.

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However, I haven’t regretted getting them one bit, as they are the most comfortable and effective lash curlers I have ever owned.

For one, they open up nice and wide, so the grab all my lashes easily and at once. Before, I always had the problem of not being able to catch the lashes at the outer corner of my eye, and with these, it is no issue at all.

The silicone pads are super soft as well, eliminating any pinching or pulling. I don’t know about you, but when I take any sort of apparatus near my eyes, I want to be sure it is as safe as possible and the Relevee curlers have been the ones I have been most comfortable with.

The curl itself is natural but noticeable without any weird kinks or droopy lashes. Plus, the actual tool itself looks absolutely gorgeous in all matte black, but really, this shouldn’t be a point (even though it totally is…).

So, a splurge for sure, but a great one. I am tempted by the whole Surratt Beauty line to be fair, but I feel that this was the best possible jumping off point.

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3ina Lip Primer

You know that feeling when you browse on Asos, not really looking for anything in particular, and you stumble across things you never thought you needed but somehow have to have? That’s exactly how I ended up purchasing the 3ina Lip Primer.

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I had never heard of the brand before, but the sleek design and confusion about how to pronounce the name (‘Mina’, FIY) intrigued me to no end.

It promises to create a base layer on the lips that provides longevity and smoothness, but can also be used as a mattifying topcoat to take away the shine from any lip color.

The product itself is a thin, slightly tacky soft pink gel that applies easily and smoothly onto the lips. It leaves the tiniest white cast, but since you would be applying lipstick over it anyway, this isn’t much of a problem. As it remains a bit sticky, lipstick adheres beautifully to it and stays on nicely. I haven’t had any pilling or balling up of the product, only a smooth lip that stays hydrated and soft.

Now, I haven’t tried it as a topcoat since my lips have been crazy dry this winter, but I will try it out as soon as possible. When I do, I think I will use it with a lip brush though, because fingers could be incredibly messy, especially with bolder colors.

 

Bookshelf #14

Light

One resolution (if you could even call it that…) for this new year has been to read more for fun. I love books, but with the weight of researching and writing a dissertation on my shoulders, I often feel guilty about reading anything outside that very specific realm.

This year, however, I will make an effort to read the novels and essays that have been sitting on my nightstand forever and take time out of the day to do something nice and engaging that is not connected to additional screen time.

One idea that I found extremely inspiring and feasible came from one of my favorite blogs, A Cup of Jo. Joanna talks about creating an ‘articles club’ where, just like in a book club, you regularly discuss articles with a group of friends. I love this idea!

Books are great, but articles can be prepared ad hoc and related more closely to distinct areas of life or political/cultural/economic world events. You could also relate this idea to short stories or longer essays, whatever strikes your fancy.

So I am thinking about starting a club like this IRL, to make reading more into a social event, but also to keep myself accountable in my efforts to read more.

What do you think?

ColourPop Haul: Lips

Back around Thanksgiving, ColourPop offered a one-off deal on free international shipping, and seeing as I unfortunately don’t have a North American address anymore, I jumped at the opportunity and hauled a few goodies.

A couple of items were birthday presents, so I don’t have them to show anymore, but I ordered enough stuff for myself to comprise a two part haul (the second part is coming up later this month). First up: lips.

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Since I’ve read mixed reviews on their Ultra Matte liquid lipstick, I decided to stick with the tried and tested Lippie Stix formula and order two more shades – Bossy and Contempo.

Bossy is right up my alley, a neutral tomato red that is bright without being too garish. The formula is matte but not uncomfortable and easy to apply. Still, I would suggest neatening up the edges with a lip brush since the bullet is slim but not overly precise.

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The second shade, Contempo, is a strange one. A beautiful darkened mauve in the tube, this comes up a bit too cool-toned and grey on my skin tone. Maybe it is just because I am not used to seeing this sort of color on myself, but it looked a little off. I am trying to work with it nonetheless and will keep you updated if I find a combination that works for me.

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The formula, however, is gorgeous as well. Opaque in one swipe, this too deposits a matte lip color that isn’t too drying or flaky. If you can get your hands on these little lipsticks, be sure to pick up a few shades.

PS: For any other Europeans out there, I had to pay customs fees in the end. It wasn’t a significant amount, but I had to go pick up the package at the customs office, so keep that in my if they offer the free worldwide shipping deal again.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil

Dupe Alert! As you guys know, if there’s something I like to try out, it’s a brow pencil. High up on the list have been the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil and the Anastasia Brow Wiz. The latter has gained a cult following for a reason, but the price (and quality of the pencil casing) have kept me from repurchasing it all the time.

Enter the NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Ash, a perfect dupe at about a third of the price.

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Both the pencil itself and the little spoolie are exactly like the Brow Wiz and deliver the same natural and soft result. To be honest, I wouldn’t be able to keep the two apart in a blind test.

The twist up pencil is neither too soft nor too hard and leaves the brows with hair-like strokes that look believable and not at all blocky. The color, Ash, is a perfect match for my cool-toned medium-brown brow hairs and keeps them from looking to harsh.

Funnily enough, the tiny brush has been my favorite part of the Brow Wiz and when it broke off, I was over the pencil too. I am happy that the Micro Brow Pencil comes with a similar brush and has seemed to keep up better than the original.

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So if you’re a fan of the Brow Wiz too but are looking to soften the blow on your wallet, here you go. Get yourself to a NYX counter and rejoice!

Herbivore Pink Clay Soap Bar

Usually when I hear the term ‘soap’ in connection to skincare, I stay as far away from the product as possible. Soap just sounds stripping, drying and antiquated, but as usual, there’s an exception to the rule.

The Herbivore Pink Clay Soap Bar has proven itself to be a gentle and natural alternative to my usual cleansing products and one that I’ve been happily surprised by.

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I tend to cut down a sliver from the bar to use up at a time in order to avoid the whole thing getting gloopy and gross. I then run this little piece of soap under the water to create a lather and go straight onto the face. I do not, however, remove make-up with this, it is strictly a second cleanse product for me.

What scared me before trying this soap out was the consistency of the lather. I was afraid it would be sudsy and drying but it really forms more of a gentle cream than a soapy foam, so it’s all good.

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Since the pink clay is formulated for drier skin, I have been able to use this throughout the winter as well without my skin getting too dry or flaky. The scent too has not aggravated my skin at all and is very subtle and refreshing.

All in all, my first foray into the Herbivore Botanicals line-up has been a pleasant surprise and I will be sure to try more from their collection soon.