PTR Rose Stem Cell Bio Repair Gel Mask: First Impressions

In my review on the PTR Therapeutic Sulfur Mask, I waxed poetic about how great this mask was and my intentions on trying more PTR products. I have had my sights set on a few more masks. So, instead of blowing the bank just to try them and not like the results, I set my sights on the budget-friendly Meet Your Mask Sampler Kit, with retails for $25 for Sephora. According to the website, the kit contains¬†six of PTR’s bestselling masks that “detoxify, soothe, hydrate, and polish skin.” While this was a great way to see which masks work well enough for the full-sized investment, I was so stoked to try the Rose Stem Cell Bio Repair Gel Mask the most.

As the name states, the smell is slightly rosy, but not overwhelming. The texture is also gel like, as the name states. These qualities are important, because I hold a brand accountable when they advertise or name their products a certain way. It glides on cool, and it feels light. The packaging recommends a generous layer of gel onto clean skin, so I tried a toner or witch hazel instead of washing my face with a cleanser. I wanted to test it to see if that was all I needed to do to prep my face for the mask, and I was right: it did the trick!

Throughout the treatment, which was ten minutes, my face had a cool and calming feeling. No irritation nor burning. After I washed the mask off with cool water, my skin still had that cooling feeling…which was so pleasant! I like to know that a product is still working after application. My skin felt fresh and smooth, so I will be definitely adding this mask, which retails for $52, to my skincare arsenal. I’m also curious to try it with the Rose Stem Cell Bio Repair Cream, which retails for $75. I tried a sample of this cream before, and it was amazing. Just another PTR product to add to my wish list ūüôā

 

Ipsy Product Review: NYX Whipped Lip and Cheek Souffl√© in Cocoa Bean

If you haven’t tried NYX Cosmetics before, then you are certainly missing out! This cosmetics brand is so affordable, but yet they manage to deliver high quality products! Lippies, eyes, and skin products alike have all gotten rave reviews. Some even can serve as duplicates or “dupes” to, or even rival some luxury products. So, of course I was elated that Ipsy chose the Whipped Lip and Cheek Color in Cocoa Bean for one of my June products.

First, the smell. I love that vanilla, sugar cookie-like fragrance that the NYX Butter Lip Glosses also have. They have highly pigmented yet build-able lip colors for less than $10. Next, the texture. I love the doe foot applicator that makes this so easy to smooth across the contours of the lips. The NYX lip gloss formula feels so soft. It is neither tacky nor sticky like some lip glosses can be. Personally, I don’t need a lip balm under this gloss, because it has gives my lips enough moisture. A little also goes a long way. This does “matte” down after a couple of minutes, but it can slighly stain your Starbucks cup since it isn’t a long-lasting formula.

The color is amazing! I love nudes and can’t seem to deviate from them. This color I could wear without any make up, or it can balance out a bright and bold eye shadow. It is ¬†also versatile and complements a variety of skin tones. It can be worn with or without your favorite lip liner. I know this is advertised as a multipurpose product, but I am too greedy to share this product with my cheeks! However, I have seen tutorials on how great a cheek stain it could be. Finally, one of my favorite things about the NYX Lip and Cheek Souffl√© is its affordable $6 price tag, which can be found in Ulta, Walmart, Target or other select drug stores.

Have you ever tried NYX Cosmetics? What is/are your favorite product(s)?

Ipsy Glambag Product Review: Trust Fund Beauty Nail Color in Game Changer

I finally finished testing all products in my June Ipsy Glambag. Sometimes it takes longer ¬†for me to decide whether a product is good or not. But here is a quick rundown on each item: Sample size Chia Curl by Trissola’s 5-in-1 Defining Curl Cream, full-sized NYX Professional Makeup Whipped Lip and Cheek Souffle in Cocoa Bean, full-sized Beauty For Real I-Line 24-7 Eyeliner in 24 Karat, full-sized City Color Cosmetics Shimmer Shadow in Beach Cottage, and full-sized Trust Fund Beauty’s Nail Color in Game Changer, which I will be reviewing here.

 

I love bright nail colors for the summer, and I am not afraid to go bold. So, I was excited when I saw Game Changer in the bag, and such a suitable name! It is a bright neon coral color in a sizable glass bottle, that is beautiful on a variety of skin tones, so they get kudos for that alone. I like when a brand is all-inclusive, and are considerate of the variety of skin tones that exist in this world.

Another “game changer” for me is the consistency of the nail color. It is thick and creamy, so you know it is a great formula, which brings me to the third reason why I love this color. I polished my toes with it almost two weeks ago and the coats still look really great, with no chipping! So it is long-lasting, which is important especially during the summer. It also helps that I used my Ciate London Gelology Topcoat that I swear by! I also liked how easy it was to apply, so for those who are DIY manis and pedis, this is a great nail polish to try.

Also, the bottle came in pretty packaging, good quality carton with pretty splotches of paint strategically on the box. No wonder the brand is called Trust Fund; I definitely get a luxurious vibe from packaging to product. I tried a lippie from them before, which was also in one of my Glambags months ago, but I lost it! I was devastated, but getting this nail polish makes up for it. This retails for but $15 is definitely worth the price, and I am curious to try other Trust Fund Beauty Products.

Peter Thomas Roth: Therapeutic Sulfur Masque Review

I fell in love with the Peter Thomas Roth (aka “PTR”) brand after receiving a shocking news from a Sephora beauty associate who told me I had cystic acne, and that I should try the PTR Therapeutic Sulfur Masque. ¬†Not only did it clear up my acne and prevented future breakouts, but it also prevented any future blemishes. Two samples later, I broke down and bought the full-sized jar, which I still have a sizable amount about 2 years since. A little goes a long way, and since it actually works I rarely use it! I’ve even applied it to my seborrheic dermatitis breakouts and it has dried up the inflammation! So for me, this mask has a dual purpose and was definitely worth the $47.00. Since then, I have been secretly obsessed with PTR.

I am a firm believer that if something works, then I must get over the price of it and see it as a worthy investment towards clear, healthier skin. Also, because it is clinically formulated, it is tough on my occasional breakouts or outbreaks but still gentle on my skin. It leaves the treatment areas nice and smooth (sometimes I use as an on-the-spot treatment or all-over facial mask). Another thing I have learned growing up, is just because something is good to you, it does not mean it is good for you. What I am referring to are some of those skin masks, creams and such that smell so great, but do nothing to solve the problem I bought them for. Which leads me to my next point: sulfur smells horrific. BUT, I enjoy the results this product brings than to give it up for a smell-good, but do-nothing product.

Ipsy Glambag Product Review: Meg Twin Nail Polish in Lovey Dovey (Limited Edition)

I enjoy experimenting with various nail colors. While I equally love just about every color on the spectrum, oftentimes I find myself gravitating towards nude colors. I like their versatility and simplicity. While I have a preference for brands like OPI, Orly and Essie, I am still open to trying other brands.¬†Meg’s Twin Nail in Lovey Dovey came in my Ipsy Glambag this month which I was excited about. I Love the packaging, and how each tiny color snapped easily into one top.

The clear, twist off caps underneath are travel-friendly¬†spill proof. Also, getting two colors (nude & grey) is a treat! ¬†The brushes allowed easy application, so for those who aren’t really skilled at polishing his or her own nails, this is for you! The nude color suited my skin tone perfectly. Two coats of polish are sufficient¬†and gave full coverage on my nails. The color dried quickly to a slightly glossy finish.

The nude color looks even more beautiful with a shiny top coat. I used Ciate London Gelology top coat which was in my February Glambag! I am sure any top coat would do. However, ¬†the grey color wasn’t my favorite, just a bit harsh on my skin tone. But at $10 for two nail colors, ¬†I’d definitely try the others. Worn alone or mixing and matching the colors is also fun because the colors are complementary. This is a limited edition, so hurry while they last!

Ipsy Glambag Product Review: Elizabeth Mott Show Me Your Glow Highlighter

Lately, no one seems to get enough of highlighters. They are a staple to nearly everyone’s make up collection, and its shimmering effects can be added onto a full beat, or applied to a fresh face sans make up. So when it comes to highlighters, I am willing to try just about any brand. Of course, whenever Ipsy sends me a highlighter, I am just as excited about it as any of the others I currently use.

Before I received my Glambag, I did a little research on Elizabeth Mott’s Show Me Your Glow Highlighter. As soon as I discovered that it was sold out and on backorder, I knew I was in for a treat! Once I opened my Glambag, fishing for the pan I so desperately longed to try, I was slightly disappointed. It came in a minuscule plastic pan, which was hard to open at first. I get it, what should I expect from a¬†sample, but geez! However, I must say that at least I didn’t have to worry about losing any products as it did come in a safely sealed container…

On the other hand, I love the formula of the Highlighter! It is highly pigmented, whether I wore it alone or over my foundation. I got the product out¬†using my pinky finger or the tip of a blending brush. I could gradually apply more for that out-of-this world scintillating effect, or apply less for those conservative days at the office. Show Me Your Glow is also versatile, and can be worn as an eyeshadow. The full size version comes in a round compact, which¬†retails for about $25. It is no longer on backorder (but its status subject to change due to its high demand, so hurry!!) and can now be purchased on Elizabeth Mott’s website. I will be investing in a full size because I also adore a multi-use product. I get more for my dollar. Who doesn’t appreciate that?

Ispy Glambag Product Review: TONY MOLY LipCare Stick in Mint Light

TONY MOLY is a popular South Korean¬†cosmetics line full of whimsical imagery and witty packaging. This month, Ipsy sent me a full-sized Liptone Lipcare Stick in Mint Light, which I was excited about.¬†The other flavors are Honey Moisture, and Rose Blossom. The packaging is adorable, and the product was easy to apply. I love lippies and don’t have any one brand preference over others, whether¬†high end, mid priced or discounted. So, of course, I couldn’t wait to try it.

The packaging is similar to Pantone color swatches. Pantone is known as the “global color authority”, dictates “color of the year”, and influences which colors are in trend for the year. ¬†Also, I had high expectations because anytime a brand markets a product as having a “mint” flavor, I expect a minty experience. The lip balm has a¬†slight minty smell overpowered with an oily scent. So, I wasn’t really impressed with that.¬†When I actually applied the balm I noticed I had to constantly reapply, which I found off putting.

I find this unfavorable for a lip balm because reapplication made my lips drier! I’ve tried cheaper lip balms like Bert’s Bees ūüźĚ that have better quality, and kept my lips moisturized. I don’t believe that the LipCare stick is worth it’s¬†$10 price tag. I wanted to give a through review of this balm anyway, so I continued to try it. I really liked the packaging and I was hoping my experience with it would improve. So, I decided to try it with¬†lipstick. Surprisingly enough, it did work well underneath my lipstick. However, I still wouldn’t buy this. So Mint Light isn’t right for me, although I would be willing to try TONY MOLY’s other products in the future.

Have you tried the TONY MOLY brand? If so, which products have you used?

 

 

A Preview to Ipsy’s April ‘SideShow’

As an Ipsy monthly subscriber, I get five sample or full sized cosmetic products for about ten bucks (pre-tax, pre-shipping). While some months, I am pleasantly surprised at the selection, other months I find myself glancing at the products in dismay, then tossing the Glam Bag somewhere (hence no recent reviews about the past couple of bags). That aside, I know that no brand is perfect and since they have wonderful customer service,  I continue to be a loyal customer.

Anyhow, when I got April’s Glambag, I was excited, although I found out what I was getting via the Ipsy App that allows you to pretty much view the¬†products you should expect in your bag instead of waiting until the bag arrives. First, this month’s bag looks like a carnival ticket, which I adore, because novelty bags are so cute and fun! This one I will definitely use. They also allow us to stay in touch with our inner children. We should never lose them. After all, they pretty got us to where we are today!

Secondly, I like the selection of products, which are a variety that I can truly appreciate. I received a full-sized LipTone Care Stick by Tony Moly in Mint Light and Glamour Dolls x Lisa Frank Angle Brush.¬†I also received sample-sizes of the following:¬†Truffle Therapy Face Toner, Elizabeth Mott’s Show Me Your Glow Shimmer Shadow & Highlighter and Meg Twin Nail Colors in Lovey Dovey.

I am really excited about each product (especially the toner, angle brush and nail colors) and will post my reviews soon, so stay tuned!

Also, if you are also an Ipster, please feel free to share what goodies you got in your Glambag this month!

BzzAgent Review: L’Oreal’s Voluminous Mascara in Cobalt Blue + Primer

When I saw that BzzAgent was launching a campaign for L‚ÄôOreal‚Äôs Voluminous Primer and Mascara in Blue Cobalt, I was immediately excited because blue is my favorite color. Also, having¬†already¬†tried a luxury brand mascara in the same color, I have been longing for the same quality but with a more affordable price point. So I knew I had to try it out. I was¬†throughly¬†impressed with the primer, which serves as a base to prep the lashes and maximizes the impression of the mascara. It was easy to apply, not thick and gooey, which could give your lashes that ‚Äútarantula‚ÄĚ effect. After all, who wants to look like a hairy spider?

Afterwards I applied the Voluminous Mascara in Cobalt Blue, which I highly recommend even for those who are too shy to wear color mascara. It is very subtle, which I appreciate because I could get away with wearing it during the day and night. The mascara applies well, is not clumpy and dries very quickly. My lashes are still soft after application, which is beneficial because some mascaras I have used in the past made them dry and hard, which I think causes breakage. The color is also suitable for my skin tone. I like the shock factor it gives when people are close to me and they are pleasantly surprised that my lashes have a blue tint!

For¬†those who prefer a natural look when seeking mascara brands, L’Oreal’s Voluminous Mascara does the trick. While my own¬†lashes are long, this mascara gives them noticeably extra volume (as the name states) and length.¬†Although Bzzagent sent me this complimentary mascara set I would definitely buy this when I run out because the wand works well and it is affordable. The cost for both the primer and mascara retails for about $10, and about $6 separately. For the price, the quality of the product¬†is good¬†and it comes off easily with facial cleanser, or with make up wipes. The color is fun, yet easy on the eyes, and I definitely see a difference in volume and length.

Why Customer Service is Vital to Successful Branding

As with most customers, I am dedicated to quite a few companies, but there are a few key elements I look for. First, I am a sucker for packaging. I am easily attracted to color schemes, shapes and fancy lettering. ¬†Another thing I look for is good quality for my money. And I have learned just because something is expensive, doesn’t mean it is made with superior products and workmanship.But, the most important factor is one that determines a brand’s trust-worthiness and validity. A company’s ability to admit when a product or service wasn’t up to standard, and their willingness to take the necessary steps to appease the customer wins me over. Ipsy has proven to be one of those companies.

Ipsy is a reputable cosmetics subscription company, that allows the members to sample an array of products, from hair to skin to nails. As a monthly subscriber, I expect my Glambag to arrive in a timely manner, and when that did not happen, I took my concern to Twitter and messaged @ipsycare (Ipsy Customer Care Account). Ipsy responded in a timely manner, suggesting that I direct message them my name and address. Once I provided that information, they explained to me how they would resolve the issue, and to expect a confirmation email.

Once I received the email, I was informed to expect a replacement Glambag for my trouble, along with a Fed Ex routing number.  This showed me that Ipsy cared that a paying member did not receive her product, although it is not common, but went above and beyond to resolve the issue. A few days later, I received my Glambag, which turned out to have some great products (that are currently under review). But the point is, Ipsy was able to stand behind their brand even when something not-so-perfect happens.

Any company is great as long as all of their consumers are satisfied. When trouble arises with a product or service is when a brand really proves itself. A company is only as strong as its customer service, and has the maturity to accept when it has failed to please a customer. Good customer service is like health insurance. No one plans to get sick, but in case we do, it is great to know health insurance is available. I did not count on my Glambag being stolen in transit, but I am relieved to know that I can contact a company like Ipsy, tell them what happened, and they will happily solve the problem. That is when I can feel secure in my continued loyalty, and I know that a brand in need, is a brand indeed.