Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Mani Round Up: July 31, 2018

Zoya Elements have arrived! I received the 12 piece collection in yet another long, velvet, fancy box. I do like the idea, esp if given as a gift, but they take up a ton of room and I forget which polishes are in which box. Have you seen the boxes? What do you think?

Regardless of the outside packaging, the inside is filled with 12 mauvey, pinky, totally Lacey colors, so expect to see Elements this week!


Zoya Rumor: I couldn't decide which to use first, so I just grabbed Rumor, the first opaque polish on the left side of the box. Can I just say that after 6+ years of blogging, my dislike of metallic polishes with visible stroke lines hasn't changed one bit. But I love this color! Two streak-city coats here and topcoat.


Zoya Jenna: One reason I love Zoya is that the names often make me think of special people with the same name. I wonder if the color matches the person. In this case, I only knew/know one Jenna, from college, and she was a girly girl, so this fits! This is two perfect creamy coats and topcoat. This is everything I wanted in Rumor with no streakies.


Color Club On Cloud Nine: Oooheeee! So.freakin.sparkly! This is two thin coats of CC OC9, it's one of the original holos. I switched to this from Zoya because I knew I wouldn't get back to my nails for a couple days. I was also working at Ulta, so blingy nails are right at home there.


Zoya Taylor: I presented at an event over the past weekend and needed legit adult nails. I did this mani in bed at the hotel and thanks to Glisten & Glow topcoat, it came out great. (The event went great, too, thank you for asking!).


Sunday, July 29, 2018

Mask of the Week: TonyMoly Hydrating Sheet Mask

Lame-o post coming up!

I forgot to take my goofy mask face pic, but you know the drill with TonyMoly, the standard US easy to acquire sheet masks. TM masks are great because there is a clearly labeled solution to any skin problem you may have. Dry skin = Hydrating mask, easy! No need to worry about choosing the wrong solution for what your skin needs at the moment.

The price point is also there, these are under $3 each at Ulta and you can use the $3 off $15 coupon on this brand (and all the KB in store, BTW).


Standard instructions!


I chose to use this fairly late at night, due to the high lavender factor. It was SO relaxing and smelled very lightly of lavender, which is nice when it's right.on.your.face.

TM masks fit well - I believe they are created for the Caucasian face shape, and comfortable to wear. There is a perfect amount of essence and you can leave this on for at least 15 mins without it beginning to dry out.

If you're new to masking, try out TonyMoly! It is easy to pick what you need, the ingredients are gentle, and they are inexpensive and easy to find.


Thursday, July 26, 2018


So, I was a slacker and don't have a post for this Thursday.  I am truly sorry.  However, I think I can make up for it. May I offer you my kitten, Seth, in my makeup case?


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Mani Round Up: July 24, 2018


I am continuing my quest using Essie Millionails to stop the horrible peeling on my digits. So far, not too bad. A few have peeled pretty far down so grow time is needed to get past the previous damage. I try to keep my nails bare but when things are happening, the stains need to be covered.


Sation Prairie Fairy: Sation is so underrated! I don't see the brand in any mainstream stores, do you? This is two creamy dreamy coats and topcoat. I love the color but it is a touch orangey for my skin.


Zoya Dot: Delightful! Three coats - def three needed! - and topcoat, with Essie Millionails underneath. However, as you may have noticed, we are back to right handed swatches. Let's just not talk about it, okay?



Foo Fighters Nails!!! Zoya Rayne topped with China Glaze Ghoulish Glow: Over the past weekend, I went to see Foo Fighters in concert at Fenway Park in Boston. It was a great show! Obviously I needed nails fit for the occasion - did you know they have a song where they mention fingernails are pretty? LOL - so I did two coats of Zoya Rayne, which looks like a basic blue until the light hits that ultra blue shimmer, and topped with Ghoulish Glow, a glow in the dark polish. Loved the combo, loved the band.


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Mask(s) of the Week: Murad Eye Lift & Shea Butter Pucker Up Lip Mask


I was prepping for another (sigh - I am so bad at being social) event and wanted to do something in addition to face masks. I've been looking quite tired lately (ie: events) and needed a pick me up! I decided to finally try out the Murad Eye Lift Firming Treatment that's been hanging out in my mask box forever and I paired it with a lip mask because, ya know, YOLO.


I washed my face, did a layer of toner, and then applied these. It felt odd not to do my whole routine, but I wanted these to take effect without the other layers present.


For the Murad Eye Lift, you take 5 pumps of product and lightly tap it onto your skin, then take the pads - they include plenty, which is nice - and just lay them on top of the product to help penetrate the skin. It felt soothing with zero stinging or irritation.


The lip mask is a single sheet of lip shaped fabric or whatever it is, pre-soaked in essence. You are supposed to leave this on for about 10-15 mins and not talk while it is on.

With both of these on, I was pretty much stuck in a horizontal position for 15 minutes. As you can see, the lip mask covers from under my nose to about mid-chin, so even the skin around the lip is conditioned nicely. I also did a lip scrub before applying to make it saturate even deeper.

Once I removed both, I added just a serum and then moisturizer to maintain that moisture barrier. I didn't notice startling results but it was a nice experience.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Breaking My July No-Buy: Stuff I "Needed"

So, July No Buy in full effect.. however, after my June No Buy, I neeeeeeeeded a couple things...(Work with me here, people).

Here is what I purchased and why:



Did ya know I work at Ulta?!

I needed dry shampoo so I grabbed sample of the Batiste tinted dark brown.

I have been lusting after the Stila Heaven's Hue Highlighter in Magnificence, but it's very $$ so I snagged this elf palette on clearance hoping for a dupe (no way).

I grabbed the nonni cleansing balm because it was on clearance for $3.

I picked up the Essie Millionails after recommendations, and I needed a new strengthener anyway.

The Essence liner is amazing, thanks to my co-worker Kat for the recommendation, and I needed that as my Kat Von D is drying out.

Lastly, I bought a mini of the new Happy Blur foundation from Benefit, since they discontinued my Pore Minimizer one.  (PS: DONT buy the mini. I got ONE use out of it!)

My only splurge that I didn't somehow need was the Becca Hydra Mist Powder - NO REGRETS, that ish is amazing. I wanted it since reading reviews on The Muse.

See? Not so bad. The other stuff was free gifts w/purchase.



My favorite FB group is my Korean Skincare group, and every once in a while everyone chimes in and agrees on a cult favorite. Touch In Sol No Pore Blem Primer is one of those and let me tell you, my group didn't let me down. I legit needed a primer, and this is a winner. Bonus: it was $11, super comparable to my Benefit Pore Fessional which is thrice as much.



Lastly, I needed an essence and vitamin C, so I splurged a bit for a KB purchase. eopenmarket has everything I like (minus Klairs) and they sell samples. I purchased theSAEM Iceland Hydrating Essence, samples of Purito Vitamin C and samples of Purito Essence. The masks were on super duper sale (like 6 masks for $3) so I couldn't say no to those, and the samples on the left were free.

So, that rounds up what I purchased in early July. This will no doubt get me through the month! My birthday is August so I am pretty sure that Stila highlighter will be mine, but other than that, I am pretty well stocked up!


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Mani Round Up: July 17, 2018

Can we talk?

My nails are in rough shape right now. Peeling, splitting, practically tearing instead of breaking. I - we - need a break.

I crowd sourced on Facebook and it was suggested to try Essie Millionails.


Essie Millionails and Essie Petal Pink: So, here is two coats of Millionails with two coats of Petal Pink by Essie. Why did I add the lacquer on top, you may ask? Because my nails are also sadly stained.

This week...I am going to let them rest. I am going to do a massive mani clean up and buff (and probably do the denture cleaner hack) and file these bad boys down, down, down. And then I am going to use the Millionails...and try not to add polish.

Please send non-nail biting thoughts!! I also plan to make myself a little kit with a file and clippers to toss in my bag so I will fix instead of bite if something happens.


Essie Millionails & Yellow Stopper: They look better already with a buff, file, two coats of Millionails and a coat of Yellow Stopper!



China Glaze Wanderlust: Well, I didn't make it long, did I? LOL. I had a weekend of activities with friends and my awesome boyfriend planned, so they needed to look nice! I did two coats of Millionails and two coats of Wanderlust. I added one coat of the Perfect Pink Gel topcoat and then finished it with G&G topcoat.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Mask of the Week: Shea Moisture Instant Rebound Mask

In mid-June I went to a wedding (as a guest), which of course required extra skin prep beforehand to make sure I was looking my fly-est.

Enter: Shea Moisture Dragon's Blood & Coffee Cherry Instant Rebound Mask with Black Currant & Borage Oils!

I scooped this little gem at Ulta (of course) BUT! It was on clearance from around $12 to $4 AND I grabbed it on a day when clearance was half off - down to $2, plus I get an employee discount, which brought it down a smidge lower. Hello, bargain!!


This is a wash-off mask, so I did my double cleanse and then added this right away. It says to use a thin layer but YOLO:


Bahaha, great pic, right?! My ear headband was actually from WISH but Ulta sells those now, too, for under $10, I believe. I can't mask properly without my ear headband!!!! (I mean, I'm sure I could, but I wouldn't want to!). Anyway, the mask smells fresh - I don't have a quality sniffer so I am not going to emphasize notes of black currant or anything sophisticated like that. It just smells good! It's thick like a lotion, easy to spread, and easy to wear with no stinging or uncomfortable-ness.

After 10 mins, I washed it off - it does sting the eyes during removal - to review immediately brighter and glowing skin. Love this product!


Thursday, July 12, 2018

June 2018: Empties & Tossed Report

Empties time! Doing this helps me shop for later but also makes me realize what a freakin' hoarder I am! Ugh! Anyway, let me show you what I finished up this month:



Out of the 23 items that I used, there are some real winners in here! The NYC Smooth Skin Parfait Matte BB Cream has long been discontinued, but I found a few bottles online. They were cheap, pigmented, and so matte you didn't need a finishing powder. Pour out a lil acetone for my lost BB cream, would you? Pore Fessional by Benefit is really the only primer for me - I vow to stop experimenting with buying others. Sulwhasoo Emulsion is awesome but too $ for me. Ulta Mask Removing Cloths are awesome but unnecessary to repurchase. Orly Prelude to a Kiss has also been discontinued, so I keep mixing older bottles together to help keep it alive. Sugar Bear Hair Vitamins fall in the same category as Sulwhasoo. LUSH Twilight Shower Gel is a must-have for me (and my Mom). John Freida Brilliant Brunette Treatment is also a constant re-purchase. Kat Von D Saint perfume is also a constant re-purchase since my boyfriend loves it. Benefit Pore Fessional Makeup has also been discontinued but dang it, I loved that stuff.


I only used up 5 samples this month - I will try to do better in July. I'll be travelling a lot, so I should empty out a few more packets. The Sulwhasoo Radiance Energy Mask continues to be amazing, but nothing else here is worthy of a re-purchase.


Random collection of skincare products that I found in an old travel bag. Got to throw those out!


As usual, I ran into some items that just needed to get thrown away! The Hard Candy Matte Defense Serum is awful - I am sorry I ever blogged about it! My Purito Vitamin C Serum oxidized and needs to go, but I do love it so I repurchased samples which I think will live a little longer. The First Aid Beauty Moisturizer/Primer product is slimy and awful. My Bad Gal Bang needed to get tossed, as did those lippies. Phew.

Time for the totals!

Month of June:

Totals: 23 items, full or deluxe sized / 5 packets or samples / 12 items thrown out

Empties Report Year to Date: 113 items / 69 packets
Thrown out Year to Date: 91 items


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Mani Round Up: July 10, 2018

It's officially right handed swatch week here on MBHM. My nails will not.stop.peeling and therefore not even breaking but basically ripping. If you have miracle cures for peeling nails, please leave me a comment or email me - ljchrystal@yahoo.com.  Until then, enjoy my rarely-seen, rarely-photographed right hand.


Zoya Dot: I am in the camp of 'nubs look better with pale colors' as opposed to the 'shorter the darker' club where some people actually look hip and edgy with short nails in noir shades. Instead, you'll probably get a week of pastels here. Dot is sheer on the first coat, streaky with the second, and perfect with the third. As always, G&G topcoat for speed, shine, and protection from chips and tip wear.


Zoya Blu: This is the base for my 4th of July mani, below, but I wanted to take a pic to show off Blu by itself. This is ONE coat, people. One! The second would've evened out my pinky a little bit better, but whatever - a one coater pastel is an anomaly in the polish world, so I had to stop and acknowledge it.


July 4 Nails: I have had sheets of patriotic nail decals for literally years now and I usually remember that I have them on July 5th. This year, I remembered on July 2nd, which gave me time to actually use them! Huzzah! Furthermore, I went to the gym for the first time in 6 months on July 2nd also, so perhaps the middle of the year is really my turnaround point. Here's hoping. Happy 4th, yall.


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Mask(s) of the Week: Ole Henricksen Firm Action Mask & Masque Ology Watermelon Moisturizing Glow Mask

In case you can't tell from the fairly constant double masking posts, there are few better ways to pamper my skin than to do a double mask!


So, let me just get this out of the way...in addition to the products above, I also did a double cleanse - and used a face wipe, if we are being super detailed - which does equal out to 15 items. On my face. At once. WHATEVER - people routinely think I am 10+ years younger than I am, so 15 items it is!!!


I've mentioned before, but my order is as follows:
  • Formula 10.0.6 Face Wipe to remove makeup
  • Oil Cleanser (I've been using IT Cosmetics Bye, Bye Makeup - it sucks)
  • Cream Cleanser (Vit E Cream Cleanser by The Body Shop lately)
  • Wonder Pore Toner (1-2x per week)
  • Ole Henricksen Firm Action Mask


This is a heavy cream clay mask. Normally clay masks are quite drying, but this one has a cream consistency that makes it much less so. It does dry tightly to the skin, however, and take some serious effort to wash off. The smell is clay/clean/fresh and it feels cooling going on.

I actually snagged this at TJ Maxx and this was my last use. I don't plan to repurchase with the plethora of KB masks that I already own and love and, frankly, need to use up.


After I washed off the mask, I then applied:
  • LUSH Cosmetics Toner Water
  • TonyMoly Rice Smoothing Toner (not my fave, trying to finish the bottle)
  • The Body Shop Oil of Life Essence (ditto)
  • The Ordinary Niamicide (1-2x per week)
  • The Ordinary Buffet Serum
  • Masque Ology Watermelon Moisturizing Glow Mask



Ugh, where to begin?

It smells like a sweet jolly rancher, is near impossible to unfold, and has the.worst.fit.ever!! I know not every mask will fit every face, but come on!! No one has a face like this mask. Lame, lame, lame. I couldn't even enjoy the experience since I kept pulled and adjusting.  Furthermore, the spot I try to target with my skincare, the old lady lines forming on my lip, were not even touched by this mask. I ended up rolling up the chin area to get it to hit my upper lip.

Sigh. Can't win 'em all. Too bad I have another one of these, LOL. I think it came from CVS. Knowing how awful it is, I might just squeeze the essence out of it and just use the essence as is - although that wasn't special, either!


My face was slightly sticky after removal, so I followed it with:

  • eb5 Eye treatment
  • Mario Badescu Neck cream
  • Bite Beauty Lip Mask
  • Shisheido Cream

Have you tried Masque Ology masks? Any better luck on your face?


Thursday, July 5, 2018

June 2018: Favorites & Flops


Being on No-Buys make me really take the time to use products, to see how much I love them and reach for them, and also to consider if I should repurchase them when I run out. My No-Buy can always be tucked to the side when I run out of something, but not until then!



Wet & Wild Mega Cushion: I will update you with my color, but safe to say, you need this. Asian Beauty inspired, the W&W Cushion has a dewy finish and is best applied by lightly tapping it onto the skin. It is medium coverage but can be built up seamlessly for a fuller coverage.

Benefit Roller Lash / Benefit Bad Gal Bang: These two are my dream team of mascara! RL is too dry and BGB is too wet. The brush on BGB is too big, but the brush on RL is just right. I do a sweep of RL to separate my lashes, a couple coats of BGB to intensify, and another sweep of RL to declump. Holla!

John Freida Brilliant Brunette Shampoo / Conditioner / Treatment: These three go together like acetone, basecoat, and topcoat. Need 'em all! I am still not convinced on the colour deepening promises, but in general, my hair is incredibly soft, growing like a weed, and detangles nicely. These three are at a great price point, especially if you stalk Ulta for sales, and keep brassiness at bay from my well water.


This month I encountered two products that did not live up to their reviews!



Japonesque Pixelated Color Finishing Powder #01: I actually like this - as an eye shadow to highlight my brow bone. Used as directed, this high dust kick up powder is SO sparkly - you look like a clown. Seriously - who wants their t-zone pre-shiny!! There is legit glitter in this product, so I suggest using it as an eye shadow.

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo: I am in love with Prep Rally and other Drybar products, so trying their dry shampoo seemed like a no brainer. Wrong! There is a white cast that comes from this bottle like I have never seen before. It doesn't help to remove oil, it just adds a white build up. This one got thrown out.

Below, I swatched a Favorite and a Flop together. The W&W Cushion is shown above the Japonesque powder:


Once I attempted to clean up my arm, I saw this shiny leftover glow that really emphasized my point!


Can you see that!? Too much glow for all over the face!

Have you tried any of these products?


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Mani Round Up: July 3, 2018

Mixed bag this week! Let me show you what I put on my nails last week:


Nicole by OPI Carrie Underwood Southern Charm: I began the previous week on a somber note, attending a mass for the funeral of a friend's Father. Somber, subtle, and appropriate nails to match - Carrie Underwood's Southern Charm from the collab she did with OPI. My nails are a peeling mess, so I did two coats of Ridge Relief by G&G, followed by two coats of Southern Charm and topped with G&G Topcoat.


Arcane Lacquer Glooms Vileplume: I am sad to say, when I googled Arcane for more info, they closed down in 2016, which apparently makes my polish vintage. Holla! This is a gorgeous medium pink, really a bright peony color, with scattered flakies. It is perfect in two coats.


Arcane Lacquer Glooms Vileplume & Zoya Leia: I was feeling a little extra, so I added two coats of Zoya Leia and WOW! It transformed Glooms into the most amazing 1990's pink frosted lipstick color. I am legit obsessed with this combo!


LCN London Beat: To be honest, I am not sure London Beat is the correct name, but I am fairly sure. This mini came from a nail polish convention that I went to a few years ago but it didn't have a name label. I googled "mushroom grey" colors from LCN and that's the name I came up with, let's go for that. I am trying to use polishes that have been neglected, and I needed professional nails for a work event, so I went with this shroomy neutral. This is two perfect coats and topcoat.


Zoya Aster: In other news, welcome to some left handed pics. I cannot get my right hand to stop peeling or my nails to stop breaking. Aster is a nice polish that needs three coats - I only had time for two here - and I love the shimmer. Apparently, I am all shimmer in the summa.


China Glaze Metro Pollen-Tin: This is one of my favorite ugly polishes. I know the mustard meets cantaloupe color is legit awful, but I love it! Two perfect coats and topcoat. Don't worry, I didn't go in public like this!


April 2019: Empties & Tossed Report

Empties & Tossed Report time! Empties first! I am still trying to use up small perfumes, which I finished two of in April. The G...