Beauty Q&A: Do You Care How The Face of A Brand Presents Itself?

The internet is full of conflict. While some people thrive on it to the point of seeking it out, I tend to avoid it. There are positives and negatives to this type of mentality I won’t get into because this post isn’t about me but about you and what you think.

Within the last couple of days these things have been posted on Doe Deere’s Instagram page. Doe Deere is the creator of independent make-up brand Lime Crime.

doe deere screenshot 1
This obviously a screenshot but you can see it here.


Doe Deere reposted an IG post of Kat Von D's response to a commenter and praised her for it.
Doe Deere reposted an IG post of Kat Von D’s response to a commenter and praised her for it.

Some comments on the posts felt the response was justified while others felt it was unprofessional. I’m not exactly sure where I stand with this. I’m not the insulting type. Like I said, I tend to avoid conflict, but I can’t imagine what it’s like for people to try you on a regular basis. We all know some people suddenly become brave because they’re behind a computer screen and not in your face. However, another part of me wonders since the owner/face of a brand possibly has more to lose than some commenter why acknowledge them with vitriol and blemish your brand or persona?

While I like Lime Crime I’m not emotionally invested in the brand. It wouldn’t hurt me to stop using the products because I’ve only purchased one product from them. However, if François Nars(my patronus) did something like this regularly I would be conflicted about continuing to support that brand.

I bring all this up to ask, where do you stand when it comes to these issues? Do you think the face of a brand should always practice a certain level of decorum even in the face of (possibly unfair) criticism/insults or do you think he/she is allowed to defend his/herself without it affecting the brand?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this please leave a comment below.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster Review

I have a love/hate relationships with samples. Samples are great because it gives you the chance to test something out without commitment, but they suck when you find a product you really like and now have to shell out your pretty pennies for something you feel like you can’t live without. And it seems I can’t live without my Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum
My little 100 pt perk from Sephora.

Ok that’s probably an exaggeration but I do really like this product. I received the .25oz sample as a 100pt perk at Sephora. I think I read somewhere that serums should be part of a skincare regimen so I thought I’d give it a shot. My plan was to use it under my moisturizer during the day and under my night cream.

Some people use serums as an alternative to moisturizers because they tend to have a non-greasy finish and don’t leave behind a sticky residue. They seem to work well for people with oily skin(I have oily skin) but people with chronic skin conditions like eczema or rosacea should beware because the serums may penetrate too quickly and cause irritation.

I didn’t experience any irritation with this product. It has a orangey smell but it’s barely noticeable. I also find that I need very little to cover my face. It works well under my moisturizer with SPF and works well under my night cream. I’m not sure if my skin looks brighter. I do feel like my skin feels better to the touch especially upon waking up.

My night cream alone is pretty lackluster but I’m finishing it to not be wasteful. Sometimes I thought my night cream wasn’t doing enough or it was making me look greasy upon waking up. Now that I’m using this serum I’m not dealing with those problems anymore. As a sidenote I think this is best used on a mostly dry freshly washed face. I used it once and my face must not have been dry enough because the product mixed with the water and became white on my face. I patted a bit off and what was left absorbed into my skin, but I learned my lesson.

Since I still have quite a bit of product left I think I’m going to hold off on buying a full bottle. The 1oz is $48 and the 1.7oz is $72. Serums tend to be the more costly product in a skincare regimen because they have more active ingredients so I’ll just have to keep that in mind. photo of ole henriksen truth serum
The 1oz size retails for $48. (this photo is from

Have you tried any Ole Henriksen products? What did you think?

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster can be found where Ole Henriksen products are sold.

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Calcium Acerbate, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Euphrasis Offinalis Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Oleth-20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Benzophenone-4, Sodium Hyaluronate, Thioctic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Fragrance, Yellow 6 (CI 15985).

The Lipstick Tag

the lipstick tag

So Chrissy from A Casual Beauty did a lipstick tag and graciously tagged everyone to do it. I like beauty tags so I decided to do this one.

  1. How many lipsticks do you own? I’m going to follow Chrissy’s cue and stick to conventional lipsticks in this answer, so I own 33 actual lipsticks.
  2. What was the first lipstick you ever owned? The first lipstick I ever owned was Fashion Fair Pure Plum(?). I remember my mom taking me to the department store counter and picking it out for me. It was definitely her style because it was dark. I took a lot of make-up cues from her before I started reading magazines and books and formed my own opinion. Looking back, it probably should’ve been more of a big girl moment because it was department store make-up but it wasn’t.Bury Me In Red Lipstick 022
  3. What’s your favorite lipstick brand? NARS Cosmetics. In 2008 I walked into a Sephora to get a red lipstick, my first red lipstick. I was apprehensive but the associate swatched a few shades on her hand and I picked NARS Sephora Flame. That was a make-up watershed moment for me because back then wearing red lipstick was just unheard of for me. I had moved away from thinking I had to wear deep, dark shades, but hadn’t adopted the thought that I could wear color on my lips like red. When I began to break away from beauty rules NARS is the brand I used to do it.
  4. What is your most worn lipstick? It’s probably NARS Fire Down Below. It’s described as a semi-matte pure blood red.
    Fire Down Below
    NARS Fire Down Below

    Fire Down Below Swatch
    I’ve laid off wearing lipstick lately because I’ve been on liquid lip color kick lately but it’s the one I reach for first when I do wear lipstick.

  5. What’s your favorite finish? My favorite finish is probably matte. I went through years and years of shiny lips via lip gloss so I think my love of matte finishes was my way of breaking away from that. Matte finishes just seem like serious business and I’m here for drama.
  6. What was the last lipstick you bought? It was actually two in the same shopping trip. It was Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense 15 and NARS Cosmetics Future Red, a Guy Bourdin Cinematic Lipstick.
    MUFE Rouge Artist Intense 15
    MUFE Rouge Artist Intense 15
    NARS Future Red
    NARS Future Red

    Rouge Artist Intense 15 and Future Red
    Left: Future Red Right: MUFE Rouge Artist Intense 15
  7. How many lip products do you currently have in your bag? I have 3 lip products in my bag. 1 EOS lip balm and two Maybelline glosses that are still wrapped because I intended to return them but never did.
  8. What’s your favorite red lip color? My favorite red lip color is Lime Crime Velvetine in Wicked. It’s from the recently released Clueless Witch Collection.
    Wicked Lime Crime
    Lime Crime Velvetine in Wicked

    It comes close to NARS Sephora Flame which was discontinued years ago.

  9. How do you store your lipsticks? I store my lipsticks in a plastic drawer and my vanity drawer.
  10. Which lipsticks are you currently lusting after? I think Milani Red Label is one I’m lusting after but for some reason I pick up something else whenever I’m in Walgreens. I also want to try more Lime Crime Velvetines.

Since Chrissy tagged everyone I’m going to do the same. If you decide to do this lipstick tag please leave a link to your post in the comments below because I’d love to read it.

Cover Girl Queen ‘Jammin Gem’ Jumbo Gloss Balm

There are thousands of beauty products to try in the drug stores. I hit up Walgreens several times a month just to see if there’s something new or to grab something that I’ve really wanted to try. Lately I’ve been looking at the gloss balm stick that a lot of brands are coming out with. Revlon has a few but I passed on them to try the Cover Girl Queen Collection Jumbo Gloss Balm.

Cover Girl Queen Gloss Balm - Jammin Gem
Cover Girl Queen Collection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Jammin Gem

I picked the Jumbo Gloss Balm not so much because of quality(CG is still a good brand) or some affinity for Cover Girl, but because it was still wrapped on the shelf. I feel weird buying stuff that isn’t wrapped in the drug store. It would be great if they had testers but what can you do.

Anyway, on to the product.

Cover Girl Queen Gloss Balm - Jammin Gem
CG Jumbo Gloss Balm retails for 9.49 at Walgreens but prices may vary elsewhere

The Cover Girl Queen Collection Jumbo Gloss Balm retails for 9.49 at Walgreens. I’ve seen lower prices during a web search so check around. It comes in 16 shades and is fortified with shea butter and mango butter. I chose Jammin Gem.

CG Queen Jammin Gem Swatch
Left: Jammin Gem after a few passes.
Right: Jammin Gem in one swipe.

It goes on very sheer but with a few passes it builds up. It’s shiny like a gloss but not sticky like a gloss. It’s definitely the texture of a lip balm but more pigmented. It’s moisturizing which makes sense because it has mango and shea butter in it. It reminds me a bit of the tinted Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment balms but half the price. I have no idea how comparable they are to the Revlon jumbo balms. Perhaps I’ll compare at some point.

Since this is a Cover Girl Queen Collection product it’s safe to say this is black/brown girl friendly. There aren’t any overly pale shades that you just know aren’t for you. I think these gloss balms are a happy medium between a lipstick and a slightly tinted gloss.

I know some people aren’t ready for a fully pigmented lipstick or dislike the feeling of lipstick. At the same time they’ve moved beyond lip gloss want to try color. I think this product is good for that or a makeup junkie like me.

Cover Girl Queen Jammin Gem Jumbo Gloss Balm

COVERGIRL Queen Collection Jumbo Gloss Balm can be found wherever the COVERGIRL Queen Collection is sold and online.

My 5 Beauty Rules Beauty Tag

5 beauty rules

I think we all have things we think are important to us whether it’s a product or a practice. I wanted to share 5 beauty rules that are specific to me. You might be able to relate to them and you might not. Feel free to share your own beauty rules in the comments below.

  1. Drink Water – This is one of those things that I heard everywhere but only recently started doing regularly. Once upon a time I barely drank water. Honestly I barely drank anything unless it was with a meal. I’m realizing now that it’s not enough. Water is important for your body’s processes and for healthy skin. It used to feel like a chore but over time it’s become something that I need.
  2. Wear SPF – Thanks to Aprill at Glitter Gloss Garbage I’m a believer in SPF. I bought into the idea that I didn’t need it because I stayed out of the sun, but I’ve come the conclusion that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Wearing SPF helps protect from UVA/UVB rays and it helps prevent dark spots from getting darker. I’m hoping my commitment to wearing SPF, specifically SPF 30 or more, will help minimize my chances of skin damage which can lead to skin cancer and accelerate the aging process.

    A good face is a clean face.
    A good face is a clean face.
  3. Wash it all off – Even though I’m long past my teenage years I still have oily, acne prone skin. I can’t afford be lazy and not wash my make-up off because doing so ensures the high probability of a disrespectful spot rearing its ugly head. I’ve learned what works for my skin when said eruptions happen, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so I do my best to go to bed with a clean, moisturized face.

    Brows are everything.
    Brows are everything.
  4. Fill in those brows – I have pretty sparse brows. They’re not as sparse as some but still sparse nonetheless. I groom them myself and I’ve finally got them into a shape that makes me happy. I make a point to fill in my brows because it makes my face feel together. It’s one of those things I do whether I’m doing a full face of make-up or just wearing some liner and mascara. Fuller browed people may not have to worry about this but it’s make or break for me because my face doesn’t feel finished without it.

    I'll wear all these colors and dare someone to say something.
    I’ll wear all these colors and dare someone to say something.
  5. Cast fear aside – One of things I remember about wearing make-up was being afraid of what people thought and how I looked. It kept me in a box when it came to make-up. I stuck to dark lipsticks because I thought that’s what fit my complexion. I avoided blush and eyeshadow because I thought it wasn’t for me. I thought deviating from these unwritten rules was a mistake so I didn’t. Now I know the truth so I try not to let fear dictate my make-up choices. If it doesn’t work or I make a mistake it’s nothing a make-up wipe can’t fix.

So do you have any beauty rules? I’d love to hear them. Feel free to link me to a post in the comments or just leave your rules there.

E.L.F. Studio Mineral Infused Primer (Clear)


Elf primer
ELF Mineral Infused Face Primer (Clear) retails for $6

I’ve been putting off this primer review for weeks because I couldn’t figure out how how to describe what was happening with the product. I wanted to be truthful, but it felt like I was going to beat this thing into the ground because initial tests were making me feel like it sucked. I’ve moved away from that, but let’s start at the beginning.

The first thing you’ll notice about ELF’s Mineral Infused Face Primer is the gel-like texture of it. A lot of the primers I’ve tried are lotion-like but this one is not. This isn’t off-putting at first but when I rub my hands together so I can apply it to my face it looks like nothing is on my hands. Part of me is left wondering did it absorb into my hands or is it on my face? That question gets answered by this feeling of something on my skin.

When I touch my face after application I can tell that the texture of my face feels a bit smoother. This is a plus because I know the product is a least on my face. It also signals to me that maybe it is filling my pores. However, I’m not sure how comfortable I am with how it sits on the skin’s surface and how noticeable that feeling is.

As far as after make-up application, it did what primers do on my face. I was matte for a few hours and then I had to occasionally blot. This is a typical for me and my oily skin.

If you’ve made it this far you might be saying this is a bust. You may be imagining blinking “Do Not Buy” signs in your heads. I don’t blame you. Honestly up until now I would think it’s a bust as well but a change in technique saved this product.

If you’ve watched Wayne Goss on Youtube you know he’s clutch with his make-up tips and reviews. If you don’t know about him check him out. With all that said Wanye Goss posts this video last week.

In case you can’t/don’t watch the video the tip Wayne gave was to lightly powder your face after you apply your moisturizer and primer. As backwards as this seems I tried it and it worked like a dream. Essentially powdering the primer alleviated the feeling of it sitting on my face. And afterwards my foundation stayed matte longer and looked better. Now is it the technique or is it the primer? At this point I’m unsure but it doesn’t really matter.

Sometimes it’s about the product and sometimes it’s about the technique you use to apply the product. I’m sure at one time or another you’ve tried something that didn’t work at first but with a tweak here or there the product works for you. This fact is why I say this product isn’t a bust, at least for me.

I thought the technique made my foundation turn out well.
I thought the technique made my foundation turn out well.

Obviously if you’re the kind of person that wants something to work as promised you might be deterred to give this a shot. I get that. But if you try/have tried this and you relate to anything I’ve said about the product give the Wayne Goss tip a shot because throwing a little powder on top of a $6 primer to make it work better seems better than paying $20 or $30 to get the job done.

E.L.F. Studio Mineral Infused Primer can be found where E.L.F. products are sold and online.

A Few More Game Of Thrones Inspired Eyeshadow Looks

Season 4 of Game of Thrones premieres Sunday April 6 on HBO in case you didn’t already know. I’m terribly excited for its return. I’m so excited that I decided to create three more eyeshadows looks inspired by the house sigils of House Martell, House Tyrell, and House Greyjoy. I created four others in a previous post so be sure to check that out.

And here we go.

House Martell  Their words are: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken
House Martell
Their words are: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken
House Tyrell There words are: Growing Strong
House Tyrell
There words are: Growing Strong
House Greyjoy Their words are: We Do Not Sow
House Greyjoy
Their words are: We Do Not Sow

Are you excited as I am that Game of Thrones is coming back? If you watch let know who’s your favorite/least favorite character/storyline in the comments.

Black Radiance True Complexion BB Cream Review

There’s a lot of talk about BB creams in the beauty world. As a consumer I was curious about them because they’re a recent beauty development here in the United States, but discouraged to try them because there weren’t any for my complexion. However, beauty companies are beginning to make BB creams for women of color, which is great. So let me introduce to you the Black Radiance True Complexion BB Cream.

BB Cream Coffee Glaze
Black Radiance True Complexion BB Cream in Coffee Glaze

This BB cream is SPF 15 and comes in 5 shades. I happened to only get Coffee Glaze. I feel pretty lucky that I was able to get a shade that worked with my skintone because there weren’t any testers out so I was basically guessing.

Black Radiance BB Cream - Coffee Glaze
Black Radiance BB Cream – Coffee Glaze
BB Cream after it's been blended in.
BB Cream after it’s been blended in.

One of the big things about BB creams is that it’s supposed streamline your make-up application by possibly replacing your sunscreen, moisturizer, primer, and/or foundation. I used it more like a tinted moisturizer. I used my SPF 30 moisturizer even though this product. While products with SPF 15 can block out 94% of UVA/UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks out 97%. I also still primed because I’m just creature of habit and I have oily skin.

If you’re oily this product may or may not be for you. According to the website it says that it works well with normal and combination skin, but it’s also oil-free. Most drug stores have good return policies. If it turns out that this isn’t for you then make sure you take it back.

I don’t think this product is going to replace my foundation. This product is not going to give the kind of coverage I want when I’m doing a full face. However, I think this is a happy medium between a completely bare face and full face of makeup. And that’s a great option. Putting on mascara, brow powder and the Black Radiance BB Cream and feeling together is pretty awesome.

I'm wearing the BB cream here along with some Girl Meets Pearl on top part of my cheekbones.
I’m wearing the BB cream here along with some Girl Meets Pearl on the top part of my cheekbones.

So are you a big fan of BB creams? If you have darker skin will you be trying this product out? And if you have tried it let me know what you think.

Black Radiance True Complexion BB Creams retails for $5.99 and can be found where Black Radiance products are sold.

More NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams

I’ve been battling a cold for the last few days and this morning I woke up with a sty, so it’s safe to say I will not be doing a full face anytime soon. However, there’s nothing wrong with a few swatches.



In the past few weeks I’ve picked up more NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams from Ulta so I wanted to share them with you. I recently reviewed Copenhagen and Transylvania, so be sure to check that out if you haven’t.

Just to give you a quick rundown, these lip creams are matte, long-lasting, and highly pigmented without too much staining of the lips. You can use them alone or what I like to do is put it on top of a similar lipstick. Doing this gives my lipstick a long lasting matte finish.

nyx soft matte lip cream
NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams L-R Prague, Amsterdam, Morocco, Monte Carlo
nyx lip creams with flash
NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams with Flash

I can feel the hoarder in me wanting to get more of these because they’re good but we’ll see. Here’s a few more pictures though.

Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams retail for $6.00, are available in 22 colors, and can be purchased at Ulta,, and select Target and CVS stores.


Maybelline The Colossal Cat Eyes Mascara Review

When it comes to drugstore mascaras I think Maybelline’s are the bees knees. By no means have I tried them all, but I feel that I’ve tried more Maybelline mascaras that work for me than other brands. I think the Volum Express The Colossal Cat Eyes is another win.

Volum Express Cat Eyes
Maybelline Volum Express Colossal Cat Eyes retails for $5.99

The wand has a typical curved brush. When I pulled it out of the tube I was happy that the mascara wasn’t gooped all over the wand. I know it’s nothing to clean it off on a tissue but it’s just something I like. And the bristles get all my lashes.

The wand
The wand

The formula is thin. I put on several coats and really didn’t experience any clumping. I regularly use two coats with most mascaras and was able to do 5 with this one. And for 5 coats of mascara, my lashes didn’t feel crispy. The end result is subtle.

My bare lash
My bare lash
Colossal Cat Eyes
My lash with Maybelline Volum Express The Colossal Cat Eyes Mascara

It gives good curl and lengthens but because the formula is thin my lashes had a very natural look to them. It reminds me of what I wish my lashes did on their own. This isn’t a thickening, super glam mascara, at least for me. This mascara is something I’d wear when I don’t want to do a full face but want my eyes to look pretty and awake. A lipgloss and mascara day so to speak.

A sidenote: This mascara gives up the ghost quick when wet but there is a waterproof version.

So are you big on Maybelline mascaras? Let me know in the comments.

Maybelline Volum Express retails for $5.99 and can be found where Maybelline products are sold and online.


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