Mars Unboxes

February Target Unboxing

Hello hey hey readers, did you do anything for Valentine’s Day?

I was feeling kind of lousy (unrelated) and bought myself two Target beauty boxes. Woah, Mars, you absolute madman! Right? The theme for one of them was “Pucker Up” which I thought was perfect for Valentine’s, but per usual, I’m late! The other box’s theme was self-love which can be enjoyed year-round. 🥰


TwelveNYC Perfect Pout Cooling Gel Lip Mask

If TwelveNYC is a Target brand, perhaps they’re old? Because I do not see them on the website. This lip mask looks like the eye mask of the same brand in the Self-Love box.

Dr. Bronner Peppermint Lip Balm

An organic balm that wasn’t tested on animals that Target claims you can also use it on your cuticles or other cracked skin. Would you use a lip balm like that? Received a full size which sells for $2.69.

Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Lip Mask $2.59

Meadowfoam seed and almond oils are supposed to help define your lips. Phthalate and paraben-free and not tested on animals. Single use mask retails $2.59.

St. Ives Passionfruit Lip Scrub

This smells really good, made with 100% natural sugar and not very gritty at all. Received a full size which sells for $4.99.

Pucker up affiliate links
Affiliate links
Burt’s Bees mask | Dr. Bronner’s balm | St. Ives scrub
Milani matte | Burt’s Bees shimmer | Soap & Glory gloss
Milani Bold Color Statement Matte Lipstick

This smells exactly like the vanilla extract you use to bake. It seems like a very pretty, creamy red-brown that is vegan and not tested on animals. This is marked as 0.13oz and the full size on Target’s website is 0.14oz, so I’m just going to count it so at $5.99.

Burt’s Bees Peony Lip Shimmer

Maybe other shades are more noticeable, but Peony had basically no pigment in it. Shimmer, yes, and also a peppermint scent and matching sensation. Burt’s doesn’t test on animals. Full size retails for $4.79.

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plumping Gloss in Plums Up

So I’m not going to lie: the recent profiting off bigger lips traditionally and negatively associated with black people by people who aren’t black to perpetuate beauty standards has impacted me so that I feel that I should look this way. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with having bigger lips (or not!), but any more is for another day/tag

Target says that it’s “suitable for vegans” ??? and not tested on animals. The full size is 7mL for $8.99. Received a 4mL version which would cost about $5.14.

Self Love affiliate links
Affiliate links
Pacifica Mist | Aveeno Balm
Village Naturals Soak |Yuni Aromatherapy Mist


Que Bella Radiance Boost Shimmering Cream Face Mask

Made with shea and cocoa butter, I would hope that this smells good! I couldn’t find this on Target’s website either, but similar masks by the brand around about $2.49.

Pacifica Island Vanilla Perfumed Hair & Body Mist

I hope my friends aren’t reading this because I actually got them a different scent for Christmas and was possibly going to switch somebody’s… I actually like their scents better, so I couldn’t unfairly switch. I will bear the brunt of this very sweet vanilla!

Pacifica is paraben and phthalate-free, vegan, doesn’t test on animals, and does not contain propylene glycol. A 6oz full size sells for $11.99. I received a 2oz which is worth about $4.

Aveeno Moisturizing CICA Balm

This balm is supposed to help with very cracked skin. Aveeno is owned by Johnson & Johnson which is on a BDS list though. The 1oz package retails for $2.99.

Yuni My OM World Calming Aromatherapy Body Mist

This is supposed to inject calm into any moment, but it smells like the soap in a public restroom. Perhaps it could work as aromatherapy, but I would not like to smell like it myself! It is vegan, not tested on animals, and crafted with wind power! With a 4oz full size at $19, the received 1oz should be worth $4.75.

Village Naturals Therapy Aches & Pains Muscle Relief Mineral Bath Soak

Another item to help relax, this mineral soak contains Epsom and sea salt, menthol, eucalyptus and spearmint. I don’t really take baths– this says you can use as a foot soak though!– so I might just give it to my mother.

Masque Bar Silver Foil Peel Off Mask

Made with raspberry, macadamia, and peppermint, this K-beauty mask is supposed to brighten and soften. I can’t find this silver foil one on Target’s site, but similar ones go for $3-$4.

TwelveNYC Bright-Eyed Cooling Gel Eye Pads

A pair of sparkly gel pads that should help reduce eye puffiness. Do these help you, readers?

Well, that was a big post! I felt kind of bad for buying unnecessities, but these are great bargains. Did you see anything interesting or that you’ve tried? Happy belated Valentine’s and leap day!

ulta haul pin

Ulta Xmas Haul!

Hello readers, are you using your holiday gifts?

How many years have I had this blog and haven’t really done a haul? Well, last year I won an Ulta gift card, so it was really able to help with my holiday shopping this past season 🤗 There will actually be a part two of this post because some items will be for my friends that read this, and I didn’t want to spoil their gifts (yes, we haven’t seen each other since before Christmas). This one will be for things I got for people that don’t read this and a few things for me.

This post contains affiliate links.

Indian Coconut Matte Stick

For the Sis in Law

Part of my brother’s wife gift along with a toy for baby nephew. She posted that he liked playing with pens, so I even got a couple of novelty pens for him but technically her. I got this Pacifica Indian Coconut Nectar body butter and Burt’s Bees matte lipstick because I think she’s more into natural beauty than I am and can also somehow pull off a red lip way better than me too.

Hask hair face wash sheet mask

For Mom

For Christmas, part of my gift for my mom was Hask’s Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner. I got them because *whispers* her hair is dry, and it claims to repair. It’s not rude to say her hair is dry, right? 😅 It’s just like, what people have. I have flat hair and combo skin. The Pacifica Coconut Milk face wash is for all skin types, so hopefully it’ll work for her. I got it because she always gets store brand face washes. And she actually uses sheet masks, so I got a TonyMoly I’m Real Olive one.

It was actually her birthday too, so in the pic with everything, you can see two hair masks and a kit. I couldn’t really find any spa type of product that would fit the budget but just searching around the Ulta site led me to this Cosy Comfort Kit from The Vintage Cosmetic Company. It’s just kind of an eye mask and knit thing to put a hot water bottle in, but reviewers said it helped with their sciatic nerves. The two hair masks are Hask Rosé Deep Conditioner and a Marc Anthony Aloe Vera and Jasmine Oil Deep Conditioner.

My Ulta Haul

A Little Something for Me

Can I please emphasize… that these aren’t the only things I got for people!? I feel like this makes it look like I bought more for myself. In any case, most of my things are just basics. I haven’t used tanning products with a mitt before or a stipple brush. I’m still searching for my perfect foundation, I was all out of scrunchies, and I got this Ulta brand sharpener with 2 sizes because my lip from Allure is larger than the standard pencil. But unfortunately it  fit this either. Any suggestions?

I hope you all had wonderful holidays! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to further review most of the items in this post, but I think what I did get for myself will provide plenty! PLUS, I did also sign up for Bernie Sanders’s volunteer social media team! New year, right? So I’ll be posting about my support on here and my social media channels.

black owned brands pin

Black-Owned Brands: Foxie Cos., Coloured Raine, Taliah Waajid

Hello hello all, have you fastened your seatbelts?

I drafted this while we were keeping an eye on Hurricane Dorian. Fortunately, Florida was mostly spared, but the Bahamas suffered major damage. If you have GoFundMes or other donation links, send them and I’ll share them!

I haven’t been blogging lately because I can’t get into my affiliate links program! I’m not here to sell you things every post, but I did just have some book posts and want to have variety. So I’ll promo things some more indie brands pro bono! (I was able to get in on a desktop??? So there will be affiliate links at the end of this post).

Foxie Cosmetics

First up in the incredibly Instagrammable Foxie Cosmetics which seems to sell more bath goods than makeup. Owner and creator Kayla Phillips, a writer, musician, and activist (!), knows the importance of vegan, animal testing-free and even chronic illness options and all those factors influence her vibrant and unique products.

Check them out at:

Coloured Raine

Coloured Raine might be the first brand I’ve come across to mention that they strive for fair wages. Created by Loraine Dowdy, I like that she acknowledges the push to highlight black and black woman owned businesses includes reasons like other brands don’t take different skin tones into account. Coloured Raine doesn’t test on animals, has many vegan items and also is environmentally-minded.

Coloured Raine is available at and select Targets!

Taliah Waajid Natural Hair

While “natural” may conjure thoughts of botanical ingredients, natural hair particularly associated with a movement may refer to the embracing of naturally curly, coily, and kinky hair. This is to whom Taliah Waajid has spent 20 years catering. But I like that like her ingredients still seem kind of plant and vitamin-based. A few skincare items are also offered.

Taliah Waajid is available at and at Walmart!

Coloured Raine Taliah Waajid products
Affiliate links
: Coloured Raine highlight | matte lip paint | eyeshadow
: Taliah Waajid leave-in | curl cream | castor oil

Did anything catch your eye? Let me know if I should feature your fave brand!

Sources: Marie Claire


Drugstore Foundations 2

Hi readers, are you ready to rumble?

I’m on a quest for The Perfect Foundation™, and at this point, I’m wondering if I should shell out a few more dollars 😥 I don’t wanna! Whether it be for something the over $5 point or having to use primer or some other adjuster, it’s looking like that’s where it’s headed.

Check out the first couple of foundations I reviewed here. I compare two Rimmel Stay Mattes, a Wet n Wild Photofocus, and an e.l.f. stick.

Drugstore Foundations

Wet n Wild Photofocus 362C Soft Ivory

I reviewed the same foundation in my first post but in the shade Soft Beige. Soft Beige seemed to oxidize way orange on me, so I thought I’d try a lighter shade and perhaps if it oxidized, it might work? LOL. No such luck. As you can see in some of my videos, it’s too light for me.

EMBARRASSINGLY, I just noticed Wet n Wild actually says skin tone and undertone right on the bottle! Soft Ivory is their light warm option and Soft Beige is their light-medium warm. So, I don’t really know what to do. Should I try their light-medium neutral? Should I make more of an effort to use primer with Soft Beige? I actually have a Rimmel “skin tint” which I think I could mix with Soft Ivory, BUT I don’t think they make it anymore. So I would have to buy something like e.l.f.’s shade adjuster. 😢 Whyyyy.

LA Colors Liquid Makeup in Creamy Beige

You know what? This was a bad buy from the beginning, and I acknowledge that. I’d conflated LA Colors with LA Girl and didn’t bother to differentiate. This has very little coverage and even though actually seems kind of creamy, I’ve started to swatch on a piece of paper and when I applied this, the wateryness is noticeable. The shade may have been ok, but it’s really pink. It’s only $2, so if one is short of funds, this brand/line could be a convenient shade adjuster, highlighter or bronzer! However, I’m not a fan of the packaging as I find the cap wasteful, and you really have no control over the pump. It’s all or nothing!  

Drugstore Swatches
Wet n Wild Soft Ivory | LA Colors Creamy Beige | Wet n Wild Fair/Light

Wet n Wild Coverall 816 Fair/Light

Honestly, I cannot remember where I got this because all Wet n Wild I’ve seen lately is Photofocus. Also honestly, I can’t really tell the difference. I’m sure a seasoned makeup person may be able to, but I’m Team Whatever Works for You. It’s interesting that this is supposed to be a light shade but it’s so much tanner than a light shade from the same brand and from other people’s swatches. I would think that if something becomes orange it has a warm undertone, but other people’s swatches look very yellow! So could this still be cool?

Drugstore Swatches on paper

I know that I’ve been considering primer this whole post, but I just remembered that the last time(s) I’ve used it, I really did not like how it looked around my nose. IDK what it’s called, but it’s like how it looks at the end of day if you don’t prime? Very bad! Does this just mean I need to moisturize better? AHHH.

Affiliate ads
Affiliate links
Wet n Wild Photofocus at Ulta | Target | Primer | Primer Water

Once again, it’s kind of bust for The Perfect Foundation™, but the fun is the trip, right? 😅 At least now I know that I can consider e.l.f’s foundations, maybe LA Girl and Flower which maybe a few dollars more, but I can justify if other products aren’t working. If you know which shades I should or other affordable brands (no CoverGirl, Revlon, L’Oreal, Maybelline, or Neutrogena, please!), let me know!

April 2019 Empties

Hello readers, get any April showers?

I typically try to close out the month with an empties, but I haven’t posted one in almost a year, so this is close enough, right? And you’ll forgive me if I don’t remember how these actually work and talk more about the brands 😅

Vo5 Conditioner

I usually just use whatever hair products around which tend to be White Rain, but I didn’t have a conditioner for my Tree to Tub shampoo, and I had a discount. I like that this variant is supposed to give extra body by having collagen. Whether it’s effacent is debatable; I think that I felt like I couldn’t wash it all out. But it does have a ton of other oils and vitamins. Many websites say that Vo5 tests on animals, but this bottle says that they’re paraben and silicone free, and this product hasn’t been tested on animals.

Chanel Hydra Beauty Serum

I believe this was a sample from a magazine and that it felt very silky on the skin. Nothing much else I can think of except that it’s said that Chanel tests on animals.

April Empties 2019

Art Naturals Face Wash

This clarifying wash has already appeared on the blog in my moisturizer skeptic post. It claims to be made for oily/acne-prone skin and is sulfate, gluten and paraben-free. The first thing I noticed is it’s unusual green color! I was suspicious that this was actually causing acne, but I think that if I use it as a makeup cleanser rather than my wake-up face wash, it’s ok. This product was also not test on animals.

Rimmel Stay Matte

Again I tried this drugstore staple and again, I’m neither impressed or frustrated by it. This is the Translucent shade, but I feel like I’m liking Wet n Wild’s powders that are meant to match one’s skin tone  more than a “transparent” option. Would I try again? Third time’s the charm.

Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar

This was just another sample about which I don’t have much to say. Although I did write “nice texture and light scent” on it. Personally, I don’t really like Philosophy’s product/line names make it sound like your skin is some epic catastrophe that need a literal miracle lest all hope be lost… It’s just skin dude.

April Empties Links
Affiliate links
Vo5 Conditioner | Chanel Creme | Free & Clear Cleanser
Rimmel Powder | Philosophy Moisturizer

I still have a bunch of empties and have just received a bunch of notepads for my birthday! So hopefully I’ll write shit down! Thanks for reading!

Jan Allure Beauty Box

January Allure Beauty Box

Mars Unboxes

Hi readers, do you believe in signs?

You may have noticed that yes, I am posting an unboxing from 3 months ago. Let me tell you! I thought I could get some nice products and try vlogging only for the first video to be completely wrong and the second to be interrupted at every turn. I went back and re-recorded my December unboxing and then while I was editing January’s, my program would crash every 5 seconds. I downloaded another and didn’t realize the free version was only a trial 😡 It’s like the universe does not want me to vlog 😫

Well, fuck you, universe! I’ve at least one more video idea, so you’re just gonna have to suck it up into that black hole of yours! Here is what I received in Allure’s January Beauty Box. It is usually $15/month, but you do get your first box for $10 and you get a new subscriber gift. They previously sent out in boxes like Birchbox but now use pouches made out of plastic (I think) that are still shipped in corrugated boxes. 



Mally Shadow Stick

This is an interesting product. It’s in a very pretty shimmering brown eyeshadow shade called Burnished Bronze. It’s supposed to make smokey eyes easy.
Retail Price: $25

Ouai Scalp & Body Scrub

This smells so nice! It’s like a perfume. I haven’t used it yet, so I don’t know if it has staying power or efficacy. But the included booklet say that a user uses it to clean product buildup off their scalp.
Retail Price: $38 (for 8.8oz)
Received size is 1oz which would cost about $4

Sunday Riley CEO Glow Face Oil

This is a big reason why I decided to continue my subscription through the month. I’ve never used a face oil before, and I’ve heard turmeric (apologizes to the turmeric gang if I mispronounced it in my vid) is good for scarring. I’m not big that it claims to “brighten” because I’m concerned about that meaning “whiten” and I don’t think that anyone needs to be whiter particularly to be beautiful or attractive.


Not to mention that it kind of romanticizes CEOs, but I’m willing to overlook that ’cause ok, I’m sure everyone just means it that they want to be their own boss and not actually want to cheat their workers out of health insurance and livable wages. But the fact that it is called CEO and “brightens”… makes it sound like you have to look a certain way to be boss… 💩
Retail Price: $40 for 0.5oz

Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum

I don’t know if I realized I’d be receiving both Sunday Riley products, but I was glad when I unboxed this. I’ve heard retinoid is good for dark circles and didn’t wait to start trying it. Unfortunately, my eyes must be sensitive because I think that whenever I try products more for (under)eye areas, my eye twitches!

Maybe I should just use it for the rest of my face though as that’s what it looks like it’s designed for on their website 😬 It is cruelty, sulfate, paraben, gluten, soy, phthalate, and fragrance free.
Retail Price: $85 for 1oz
Received size is .27oz which would cost about $22.95

Doucce Relentless Matte Lip Crayon

This is a pretty, blueish red called Winterberry. Apparently if you buy it from Doucce it comes with a sharpener, but it looks like I’m gonna have to buy one.
Retail Price: $22

January Allure Affiliate links
Affiliate Links
Mally Stick | Ouai Scrub | CEO Glow
SR Serum | Doucce Lip | Amika | NLCA {different shade}

Amika Soulfood Nourishing Mask

I just noticed that this brand has products that are made in Israel, so I think they may be on the BDS list.
Retail Price: $28 for 8oz
Received size is 2oz which would cost $7

NCLA Nail Lacquer

Apparently, everyone gets a bonus gift! These “luxury” polishes are 7 free, vegan, and aren’t tested on animals. I think I’m a fan!
Retail Price: $16

Estimated Value: $136.95!!

As I say in the video, overall, I’m quite pleased with what I received! I don’t think that I’ve tried not only most of the brands but a lot of the types of products as well. The only problem I have is some kind of disorganization with Allure and receiving brands I for which I don’t care. Frankly, I wouldn’t need more than these two boxes. Do you think that I should write a wrap-up of my experience or is this enough? 😅

Jan Allure Beauty Box

Thanks for reading!

Mars Unboxes

Allure Beauty Box December 2018

Greetings readers, are we still into subscription boxes?

I was pondering memberships as gifts over the holidays but didn’t really find a perfect one for my recipients. And perhaps unfortunately, I ending up buying myself one 😓 Fortunately, it wasn’t totally frivolous as I did actually need/want some products Allure magazine said would be in their December beauty box. I made an unboxing video where I also give a view first impressions and my experience so far!

Ofra x Nikkitutorials Everglow Highlighter

This month’s box was in collaboration with the Youtuber, so she helped pick the items sent including this full-sized palette. It looks really gorgeous; I’m excited to try because I’ve never had a fancy highlighter.
Retail Price: $35

Nyx Lingerie Lip Lingerie in Cabaret Show

It seems like a lot of people either like this line (I had thought Lingerie was the shade). But I’m not particularly looking for a lip product at the mo’, and Nyx is on the Art of Palestine‘s boycott list. So I may give this to someone or have a contest.
Retail Price: $6.99

Juvia’s Place Custom Nubian Palette

This was a big reason why I got this box! I wanted to try a Juvia’s Place item and this mini is a great way for me to try without having to buy a big palette. It’s 6 colors– 3 matte and 3 shimmer. The full sized has 12. I believe you’re able to buy this same limited mini from them!
Retail Price: $10 for the mini (on sale for $6!);
$20 full sized (on sale for $16 but it is sold out)

Mars Unboxes

Bliss Holographic Foil Eye Masks

This was another part of the decision to purchase. I can’t pass up something for dark circles plus a few other items for a reasonable price. Apparently, subscribers either got the eye masks or a face mask. I don’t think there was a choice which stinks! I would’ve been mad if I got a face brightener. However, I got 2 packets with a pair of eye masks with cute holographic stars on them. I’ve already tried one of them (shown in an Insta story) and… didn’t notice anything. Maybe I’ll actually do a before and after for the second one.
Retail Price: $4/pack

Lasplash Art-ki-tekt Waterproof Slim Eyeliner

And the final piece of the decision puzzle! My eyeliner, an e.l.f. marker, had dried out on me (but has since seems to work by keeping it upside down? 😅). This one looks fine. It appears darker and that it can go on thinner than the e.l.f. And hopefully it lives up to the waterproof label!
Retail Price: $14

I also received a single Neutrogena makeup remover towelette. This wasn’t in the booklet, so I’m thinking it’s just a nice little bonus. But Allure does say the box contains 5-7 products, so maybe the are counting it? That’s why I was so baffled in the video.

I made a big fuss about not receiving the new subscriber gift, but on the first page of the description booklet, it says it’s included (well, that’s why it’s called FIRST impressions!). My gift was a mini Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream Creme Fouettee! While it certainly makes me feel fancy to have a higher-end product… I’m not particularly impressed. It just seems maybe like a thicker Pond’s moisturizer?

Allure’s beauty box is $15/month. You do get your first box for only $10, though, and you get a new subscriber gift. Mine is worth about $18, I believe. One thing I wasn’t anticipating was tax! However,  considering that just the Ofra highlighter alone was worth $35, I’d say you get a good value.

Allure Beauty Box links
Affiliate links
Highlighter | Eye Masks | Moisturizer | Lip | Palette | Wipes

I was going to quit after this box, but… I received an email preview for January’s box which said it’d contain a turmeric face oil which sounded interesting because turmeric is supposed to be good for scarring, and I’ve never tried a face oil. I received that email Jan 4th and a preview for Feb. – Apr. on the 7th. Then, on the 17th, they said, “Sorry for the delay!” The box will be shipping soon with tracking info the next week. Then a few hours later, they literally say, “Oops…” You may have received incorrect info, but [insert same info]. What??????

Finally, on the 19th, they’re shipped. As of the morning of the 26th, I’ve not received (tracking info doesn’t start until the 24th…). What do you think about this? Would you accept it or would you think a magazine would have its act better together?

If you don’t mind and all these items sound amazing, sign up here with my referral link! 

Have you used any of these brands?
Let me know what you’d want in a contest!

Indie Biz Wish List

Hi readers, do you have a spare umbrella?

It has been raining all day in a very odd bout of winter weather. However, it is keeping with the whole not really feeling like Christmas atmosphere. So why not make another wish list? 😅 I don’t really like giving my money to places that already have a lot, so I’ve a couple of tags on the right there to share love and provide easy access for myself and others to these brands. Here’s some previously featured that would make great Christmas presents or stashed for a holiday down the road!

Urban | Wanderlust

I came across Judith Rojas’s URBAN | Wanderlust whilst perusing Shop Latinx for the second sharing of awesome finds from the directory. The soy vegan candles provide timeless quality, but if there’s a need for nativity, perhaps more seasonal scents like this Fraser Fir can help. Personally, I’d love to try the Bamboo Coconut.

Just Peachy

Do you have an enamel pin collection? Just Peachy makes the cutest and most unique ones! Their shop is  perfect for the anime or video game hobbyist. And if you or a giftee prefers, Just Peachy is also home to apparel, hats (particularly some sassy berets), and other accessories. I love this mean chickie, and everyone must too because it’s hard to keep in stock! 


We’re all thinking about how our purchases can be (more) “green,” but have you thought about how they can be “blue”? I heard about it through this PopSugar story. Brands like Kapua Browning’s Hawaiian Honua are also focusing on how to reduce harm to the earth’s oceans.

Cambio & Co.

Cambio & Co. is a marketplace that connects Filipino artisans with the rest of the world. Its creators, Filipino-Canadian, Gelaine, with her partner, Jérôme, also made a directory for socially conscious businesses in the Philippines. It’s the first post I named in my Pinoy Picks series (I retroactively placed Rags2Riches in it).

Beauty Bakerie

Owned by Cashmere Nicole, Beauty Bakerie has become famous for their unmovable lipsticks. They offer other cosmetics which are vegan and don’t test on animals! When you shop at Beauty Bakerie, you support a black woman-owned business! I expand on the importance of this in my original post. An item from the shop is sure to be a great gift.

Lip Whips
Affiliate links
Lip Whip Nude | Creme de la Crumb | Space Cake | Grape Life | French Toast


What’s your favorite indie brand?


Drugstore Foundation Comparison

Hello readers, brushed away that candy sugar?

To be honest, I don’t use makeup as artistic expression or whatever.  I’d elaborate, but let’s just say it’s a chore and that it’s easier for me to slather the paste on than deal with the shame, disgust, and depression I’d have to deal with if I didn’t. Since I didn’t really care about it, I didn’t really know about it, and that’s part of why I started this blog: perhaps I take some of the hassle out of it by finding what products work for me.

I just wanted to say this in case this post or if I ever start to look like other bloggers that can acquire bunches of stuff for fun. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with feeling like you’re pressured and that it’s not fun. A lot of money is pumped into making us feel inadequate, and it works! I wish I could tell you to make a mood board or something, but just know you’re not alone. And if you ever need to yell on Twitter, my handle is @_hariharian! 💕 

Drugstore Foundations Links
Affiliate links
Rimmel Ivory | Rimmel Soft Beige | Wet n Wild Soft Beige | e.l.f. Flawless Foundation

On to the content™! Today I’ll be comparing 3 brands of drugstore foundation I’ve accumulated: Rimmel Stay Matte liquid mousse, Wet n Wild Photofocus, and e.l.f.’s Moisturizing Stick. I’ve actually two shades of Rimmel’s, 100 Ivory and 200 Soft Beige.

Rimmel Stay Matte 100 Ivory

Rimmel 100 Ivory
Applied & blended in indoor light

A 100 to 200 shade difference may seem wide, but I had Soft Beige first, and it wasn’t perfect. And don’t you think from this swatch, Ivory may have worked? I think that I went with it because I was looking at other people’s swatches and actually trying to determine undertones, but these two colors (if not all Rimmel?) are all for cool tones. And this was way too light for me.

Rimmel Stay Matte 200 Soft Beige

Rimmel Stay Matte Soft Beige
Applied indoor light | Blended in natural light

Soft Beige may be a more appropriate shade for my face, but as shown with the blended swatch on the right, it becomes quite orange, so I thought it wasn’t the right one for me. Formula-wise, it’s a thicker mousse which is why I like it. It can be great for problem areas (maybe not dry spots) but hard to blend. It doesn’t feel heavy to wear, but I use my hands to apply, and it’s not the easiest to wash off!

Wet n Wild Photofocus Soft Beige

Wet n Wild Photofocus Soft Beige
Applied, blended in indoor and natural light

A CVS gift card led to this, and I liked the packaging when I first got it. However, I don’t really like the little spatula built into the lid. I felt like if I used it, it’d be getting all the oils from my face into the bottle. This is a sheer liquid and reminded me of a more affordable version of the L’Oreal foundation. Again, it seemed like a good shade but I guess oxidation makes it more orange. I didn’t really test the “flashback” this line was supposed to address, but it did seem to run out quickly. Also, it smells like paint.

e.l.f. Moisturizing Stick in Nude

e.l.f. moisturizing stick in nude
Natural light

I hadn’t used a Wet n Wild or e.l.f. foundation before, so I’m happy they weren’t utter failures. I actually love this stick because it’s portable and pretty easy to apply and blend. And layers well! I know that with other foundations, if you just want a little dab on a problem spot, it just becomes darker, but this is buildable. I don’t think it prevents shine as well as other foundations, but I think it’s my closest match. So I’m sad that it seems they don’t make it anymore! 

I don’t know if I’d try one of e.l.f.’s other foundations because Rimmel and Wet n Wild are cheaper. BUT I should probably spend a little more if it a better match, right? 😅 In writing this, I finally wondered if there’s something I could do for oxidation and wouldn’t you know? There is! Someone suggested primer. What do you think? Have you tried something like an undertone adjustor?

I do know that makeup may be self expression for some people, but regardless, it’s hard! We’re like scientists experimenting and recording data. That’s why I hope that we not only admire talented artists, but we don’t ridicule newbies. Ideally, we’d realize that beauty has been linked with oppression and has no bearing on values so… it’s kind of worthless, no? But I am writing a blog and not a thesis 😘

Niceface pin

Niceface Matte Lip Gloss Review

What’s up, subjects? Should I have this second cup of coffee?

A pal gifted me this 3 piece Niceface Matte Lip Gloss set either for my birthday or Christmas. Yeah, I know it was a while ago, but to be fair, we’re both procrastinators and didn’t exchange gifts until a while after December! Do you need to add it to your arsenal? Keep scrolling… 

Niceface Matte Gloss Set

This particular set came with the shades 22 Bare With Me, 06 Lulu, and 01 Silk Indulgent. Swatched, Bare With Me is a carnation pink, Lulu is a pink coral, and Silk Indulgent is a dusty pink. It reminded me of Nyx’s Lingerie in Corset, in color at least. I haven’t used Nyx, so I can’t compare about formula or anything.

Niceface swatches
Bare With Me, Lulu, Silk Indulgent

They have a typical fuzzy brush applicator and a somewhat thin consistency. I did not like the scent! Whenever I’ve bought e.l.f.’s tinted moisturizer, it’s had a similar, weird buttery smell, so hopefully both products have not expired!

Applied, Bare With Me and Lulu look very similar to each other on me. I tried to take photos, but now I can’t even tell which is which! When I first used them, I didn’t really like them because I thought they looked really awkward, but after taking photos, I don’t think that they look bad.

Silk Indulgent

I also thought that I would really like Silk Indulgent when I swatched it on my wrist because as I said, it looked like a Nyx Lingerie shade. It appeared very pretty, and I didn’t have a lip item like it. Unfortunately, it looked like I put some foundation on my mouth.

I suppose I could work with it, maybe mix it with another product. I was impressed with its… matteness, lol. I feel like some products labeled “matte” still have a sheen, but these typically dry very matte if a little sticky. This is odd since it’s a “gloss” too! The swatches on my arm could’ve probably stayed until I washed them off (with an oil), but they could probably last most of your school or workday. 

Affiliate Links

Affiliate links
Wet n Wild Lipstick | e.l.f. Lip Color | Nyx Lipstick | Julep Lip Mousse | Laura Mercier Lip Color


My verdict? I’m sure that you can find “matte” lip products in a similar (cheap) price range, but they may or may not be. With this Niceface set, they definitely are, but finding shades may be tricky. And smelly. However, if you think you see a color that could possibly be a dupe for something more expensive, I think it’s a great idea to try something like this to see if you’ll actually like the color of the more expensive product!

What are your favorite matte lip products?