Drugstore Dud or Delight: Pixi Glow Cakes

Four-in-one palettes

These gorgeous ombré palettes are a newer addition to Pixi Beauty’s line and I was so lucky to receive them in the mail recently. I really like that you can use each shade individually because the areas are wide enough to fit a blush or bronzer brush. Otherwise, you can mix all the shades together to create a unique highlight shade. They’re perfect for traveling with because they’re so versatile!

These palettes add the prettiest glow to the skin while still looking natural (versus those blinding highlights). The bronzers add definition to the face without looking muddy or sparkly. I love the soft, smooth texture of these powders – they blend like a dream and don’t have any fallout. It’s safe to say these are definitely a delight! You can find the Pixi Glow Cakes at Target for $28.

GildedBare Glow is my absolute favorite as I’ve been really into warm, peachy hues lately. The highlight is a true champagne that reflects light beautifully; the blush is a light, glowy coral; and the bronzer is warm-toned without looking orange. I love all three shades and use them on a regular basis. This is actually the only blush I’ve worn in over a week! It’s just such a lovely color that goes with any makeup look! When you mix all the shades together (like the swatch closest to my hand), it turns into more of a gold highlight shade.

Here is PinkChampagne Glow. It’s really pretty as well and all of the shades are more cool-toned. The highlight is a very light pink; the blush is a medium, brighter pink with blue undertones; and the bronzer is lighter with pink undertones while still having some warmth in the shimmer. When mixed together, this creates a shade that’s pretty close to my skin tone, so it’s hard to see on my wrist here.

Overall, I love the formula and think both shades are beautiful and would work on a variety of skin tones. If you’re torn between the two, think about what kinds of lipsticks or glosses you normally go for. Are you drawn to brighter or cool toned shades? Like baby pink or red with blue undertones. Or do you find yourself wearing more nudes and shades with orange undertones? I wear a peachy nude lip most days and go for a pop of coral when I’m feeling bolder. The GildedBare palette caught my eye right away; it’s in the same color family, so I knew I would get more use out of it based on my other favorites.

Which palette do you prefer? Have any drugstore loves I should try next?!

Kaleido Cosmetics Sponge Shadow and Vacay Vibes Palette – Swatches and Review

The most beautiful shadows!

Kaleido Cosmetics is a cruelty-free, vegan, ethically-sourced line with lots of beautiful, affordable products. They recently sent me a generous package and I’ve been testing everything for a couple weeks now. The eyeshadows have turned out to be my very favorite item from their collection, so I wanted to share my thoughts and some swatches.

Here are swatches of the Vacay Vibes Palette ($14). These are highly pigmented – I simply wiggled my finger for a second and then swiped once on my arm with little to no pressure. I would say the texture is like a pressed pigment – although there is hardly any fallout, except for with the shade Plankton. Overall I am very impressed with the quality of these shadows!

From the top we have Majesty, Element, Island, Plankton, Onda, and Eco-warrior. I love the names and theme of this palette. The colors are stunning and unique to my collection as well. I have similar golds, but these two are more bronze and more orange, respectively. My greens lean more forest green with yellow undertones while this is a deeper emerald. My red shades tend to be deeper burgundies while this is closer to rust. I don’t have anything like Plankton or Eco-warrior.

The palette itself is a thick and sturdy cardboard that magnetically closes. It has a nicely sized mirror on the inside and the same cute pattern on the outside. I know some people don’t like split pans, but these are large enough to fit even a fluffy crease brush into one color without dipping into the other. I think the duos are beautifully paired as well, so I really like the set up. If they were all single circular pans, the palette would be much larger and less travel friendly. Even as half pans, these are so pigmented that they will last me a very long time.

Next we have four of the Sponge Shadows ($9). These are a cream-powder hybrid texture and they feel bouncy in the pan. The name sponge totally makes sense and they remind me of the Kaja Beauty Mochi Glow Highlighters that I reviewed here.

I really love this formula because it’s easy to work with and gives a beautiful metallic finish without any fallout. I did want to note that I wore Pink Light on its own and it creased very easily. However, Furnace didn’t crease at all on me. To make things easy, I’ve just been using my Sephora Tinted & Cooling Eye Primer and that works perfectly with any shade.

Starting at the top is Furnace, Grunge, Fantasy, and Pink Light. Furnace is my favorite color of all of these shadows. It may seem boring, but it actually has a duochrome finish that catches the light in such a gorgeous way. My eyes are somewhat deeper set, so I can’t wear super dark colors; this is a medium brown with warm undertones, but the reflect is a light, cool-toned taupe. It’s so beautiful!

As a fan of green eyeshadow, the middle two shades are right up my alley. I think I’ll wear Grunge more than Fantasy because I don’t wear pastels that often. It does make a nice pop in the center of the lid though! Pink Light is a perfect one shadow look and also has somewhat of a duochrome finish in that it looks more gold or more pink depending on the angle.

These are single shadows in white, plastic packaging with a clear snap lid. I like how you can see the color without having to open each shade or check the back. There’s also a cute interwoven hexagon shape imprinted on each shadow.

Overall, I am loving Kaleido Cosmetics and would highly recommend their shadows, especially because they’re so affordable and cruelty-free!

Updates to my Shower Routine and Haircare

New bodycare and styling products

I’ve been using this Oribe Hydration and Anti-pollution Booster* for a few months now and I thought I had already raved about it here! Birchbox kindly sent it my way to create some content for their Instagram and I think it’s such a smart product; I use serum daily on my face and even sometimes on my body, so why not treat my hair the same?

This one has a thin, watery texture that’s packed with Hyaluronic acid to hydrate dry hair. I use about whole dropper of product as the first thing I apply to my hair once I’ve towel-dried it. I focus the serum around my crown where I get a lot of frizz and run it through my ends. I love how soft and moisturized this makes my hair feel. As with all Oribe products, it smells very luxurious and wonderful too! This is a pricey item, but I still have half the bottle left and I would easily spend more on a facial serum, so I think it’s worth the investment in my experience.

On day two or three hair, I’ve been using the Ghost Oil* from Verb to add back some moisture and perk up my strands after sleeping on them and flattening my waves. It truly is weightless and helps tame flyaways while adding shine. The texture is definitely thicker like a traditional oil, but it spreads nicely and is easy to rinse off my hands. I also like the minimal packaging and it smells great, like the rest of the Ghost line (reviewed the shampoo and conditioner here!). I had previously been using the Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil and like Ghost a bit better!

I’ve been testing their Dry Shampoo* too, which is a loose powder version. I like this smaller bottle for travel and it has a nice tapered nozzle for adding the powder directly to your roots. I tend to squeeze out too much on accident unfortunately, so I’m still trying to figure out the proper technique. As such, it requires a bit more working in than a traditional spray version, but it definitely adds volume! It gives my hair the perfect amount of grit and texture, which I really enjoy. By the way, you can always get 16% off Verb if you’d like to shop with me!

Lastly, my sweet friend Jessica sent me these beautiful body products from Soak + Unwind, a vegan and cruelty-free line. I love their minimal, chic packaging and pretty two-tone formulas. I can’t believe how affordable these are as well; I’ll definitely be restocking when I’m out!

The Whipped Sugar Scrub (left) has the perfect gritty texture that isn’t too harsh. It’s perfect to use before shaving. Sweet Dreams, to me, smells like lavender mixed with a tiny bit of candy (in a totally non-nauseating way), but it has a beautiful depth to it too. This is my new favorite body scrub!

I also love the scent of this Whipped Soap in Fall Vibes (right) which is basically the total opposite. It’s warmer, a bit spicy, and a bit fruity. It makes me feel cozy and is definitely reminiscent of apple picking in Autumn. The texture on this one is softer and a tad slippery, which creates a little lather.

These lovely products have shaken up my routine in the best way and I just had to share them all! What have you been loving lately?

Benefit Gimme Brow+ Quick and Easy Tutorial

My favorite brow gel

 

I’ve posted about my love for this product before, but I thought I would put together this super fast tutorial on how to use Benefit’s Gimme Brow+. These three simple steps take less than a minute per brow, but the final look adds polish and definition to my face. Gimme Brow+ even fills in the scar in my left brow while looking totally natural. Thanks to Birchbox for gifting me this when I had just run out of mine!

Drunk Elephant Review! Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, TLC Sukari Babyfacial, and Protini Polypeptide Cream

One of my favorite skincare brands

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I’ve been using Drunk Elephant for years now; the line was my first foray into clean beauty and I’m always impressed with how effective, yet gentle their products are. The Pekee and Juju bars are my favorite travel cleansers (reviewed here) and their Marula Oil was the first facial oil I ever used! I picked up D-Bronzi during my fall Sephora sale haul and am enjoying it even more now since I prefer cream products in the winter.

A couple months ago, the sweet Drunk Elephant team sent over the most generous package of products. It’s been so fun to try out more from the line and I wanted to share my thoughts on some of the new items that have worked out for me!

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Let’s start with the TLC Sukari Babyfacial! I’m sure you have seen this all over Instagram or other beauty blogs; I had heard so many good things, but I’d also read a couple horror stories. My skin is pretty used to chemical exfoliants thankfully, so I wasn’t too concerned about having a bad reaction. Babyfacial does have 25% AHA though, so be very careful if it’s the first chemical exfoliant you’re introducing to your routine.

After a few uses, it’s safe to say my skin loves Babyfacial! It’s definitely one of the most effective masks I’ve ever tried; my skin feels softer and looks more glowy immediately after each application. The next morning, my face looks bright and clear! I only use it once every couple weeks (since I use the TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum regularly), so this large size should last me a while. I’d definitely recommend trying this out if you’re looking for something to address texture and dullness. There’s a smaller size with a more affordable price tag at Sephora thankfully too.

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Next we have the Protini Polypeptide Cream, which I hadn’t tried before! This is one seriously hydrating face moisturizer, but I love that it has somewhat of a lighter, gel-cream consistency. I have dehydrated skin at the moment and need the added moisture, but I don’t want anything too heavy or clogging. Protini definitely fits the bill and has helped get rid of the flakes on my nose along with the exfoliants I use.

It sinks in really quickly and is my ideal night cream. Reed also loves this and he has really dry skin, so he uses it during the day too. I also wanted to mention the awesome packaging which has a hygienic pump that keeps the ingredients (like anti-aging peptides!) fresh and protected from oxygen and light.

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Lastly, the Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser is a favorite of mine for removing makeup and cleansing at night. It really does dissolve all traces of makeup (including mascara) without stripping my skin or bothering my sensitive eyes; it’s faster to rinse off and leaves no residue compared to an oil-cleanser or makeup removing balm. I love the gel texture and light scent too. This is quite a large size as well, so it will last a long time.

If you haven’t tried Drunk Elephant yet, you can actually get a mini Protini and Beste as your free birthday gift from Sephora this year! I will definitely be snagging the duo in April; they’re the perfect sizes for travel.