Tag Archives: Beauty Review

Beauty Reviews: Lash-Enhancing Serum, Malin + Goetz Cleanser, Kevyn Aucoin Contour Book, Ouidad Multi-Use Curl Treatment…

Welcome! We’re excited to bring you another round of beauty reviews, this time going further in-depth on eyelash serums, testing out the new Kevyn Aucoin contour, sculpt, and highlight book, sharing our favorite curl-enhancing hair products from Ouidad, and our first impressions on Malin + Goetz Face Cleanser + Moisturizer.

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1. Eyelash Serums

If you’re looking for an alternative to spending $$$ on lash serums, I think you’ll be surprised by the variety of offerings now on the market. A quick Google search yields dozens of different brands and price points, but what’s the difference? Can I trust the effectiveness of XYZ brand?

So, I did some further digging. From what I’ve gathered, all products promote the following ingredients: vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids to promote hair growth, hydration and nourishment.

If you tuned in to our last round of Beauty Reviews, you’ll know we’ve been trying out SkyOrganics Castor Oil.

Pros: 100% natural and organic. Promotes overall hair growth, including nourishment and hydration (meaning you can use it for a variety of purposes, to grow stronger and longer eyelashes, brows and hair). The best part? It’s currently only $15.95!

Cons: The product itself is sticky and can get runny, so be careful to apply only a tiny amount to avoid a sticky mess.
GrandeLASH-MD-Enhancing-Serum-Review
Among eyelash-enhacing products on Sephora.com, GrandeCosmetics GrandeLASH rises to the top with the highest volume of positive reviews. We have a lot of positive things to say about the product as well. (Although, be sure to read the reviews before making a purchase, because if you have sensitive skin and are prone to “staining” you may well want to consider a more natural product).

Pros: Easy / slick application, attractive packaging + easy to pack, has landed several “best of beauty” awards (so critics say it’s really something!).

Cons: I’m afraid it won’t last very long! We’ll see…

What about neuLASH? Is it really the best? Worth $95 per 0.1oz?

Ok, I haven’t actually tried this product (it’s been in and out of my Nordstrom shopping cart multiple times over the past few years though), but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to shell out this kind of cash on a cosmetic product. Would love to hear your POV on it in the comments though!

neuLASH promotes the following key ingredients: Sodium hyaluronate (for hydration, softness, elasticity, and shine) + Panthenol (for moisture, flexibility, durability) + pumpkin seed extract (nourishment + “leaving them luxurious”).

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Moral of the story…

You probably can’t go wrong with any of the above options (unless you have sensitive skin or have had issues with staining in the past). The ingredients lists and price points are quite different, but from the reviews, the results are similar and most consumers are pleased with the products.

2. Kevyn Aucoin “The Contour Book The Art of Sculpting + Defining Volume II”

An all in one contour, sculpt and highlighting palette for face and eyes.

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First impressions: This product is luxe and really pretty. There’s just something about the high end look + feel that makes using it an even more elevated experience. This product combines both cream and powder products inside, and comes with an in-depth guide how-to guide that includes detailed steps and easy-to-follow illustrations.

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I know I need a lot of practice in this department (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again!). Kevyn recommends practicing at home in daylight to make it easier to check your progress. The tutorial videos found on this product page can be a huge help, too.

“Dark colors shade and make areas recede, Light colors highlight and make things come forward” – Kevyn Aucoin.

The Contour Book Volume 2 is exclusively available at Sephora. for $65.00 ($226.00 value).

3. Ouidad Curl-Enhancing Hair Products

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Ok, it took me forever to figure out how to pronounce this one (“Oui” like the French “yes” + “dahd” like “odd” with a “D”).

I’ve been saying “yes” to embracing my curls/waves the past few years, and Ouidad products have been key in keeping my hair looking neat + tidy as opposed to frizzy and unmanageable.

Whether you have classic curls, tight curls, loose curls, or kinky curls, Ouidad has shampoo, conditioner, and styling products suited to your curl type.

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The latest product from the Ouidad line I’ve tried is the Mongongo Oil Multi-Use Curl Treatment. It helps heal split ends (lifesaver!), while adding softness and shine. It can be used in the shower, or on dry hair. So far, I’ve only used it on dry hair as a leave-in (hello, shine!), but I plan to try these other uses as well:

As a conditioner: Pair a quarter-sized amount of Mongongo Oil with a drop of water in your hand. Work into wet hair and leave on for 3-5 minutes. Rinse.

As a heat protectant: Apply before heat styling to protect and help speed up drying time.

As a finisher: Warm a few drops between palms and apply throughout hair (focusing on ends) for frizz control and shine.

Talk about a multi-tasker!  Shop Ouidad at ULTA, Sephora or Nordstrom.

4. Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser + Vitamin E Face Moisturizer

Bestselling Cleanser + Moisturizer for balanced skin 

So fresh and so clean clean! I love the apothecary, back-to-basics vibe of this product line. Also, the functionality: Deeply cleanse sensitive skin with just a dime-sized amount of product. Works to remove makeup, too (no need for multiple steps + products, which I love).

The lightweight moisturizing lotion is also great for all skin types, including sensitive skin. The founders note it also works in place of aftershave (so this multi-use product is certainly worth sharing!).

This is my first foray into the Malin + Goetz product line, but I’m certainly not disappointed. In addition to high-quality, effective products, the fact that the products are made in the USA (through local, small, family-run businesses) makes me even more loyal to this brand.

Shop the Post:

Thanks for tuning in to another round of “random beauty reviews.” Let us know in the comments below what else you’re interested in hearing about!

Beauty Reviews: Brushes, Body Hero Duo, Colorscience & more!

Ever wondered about highlighting / contour palettes? If magnetic eyelashes are worth the cost? If there’s any effective low-cost Neulash alternative? Well… you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got a fresh batch of beauty reviews.

  1. IBY Highlight + Contour Palette
    Artis-Brush-Review-Flatlay

    Confession time: I’ve been intrigued by the art of contouring for a long time, but too intimidated to try it myself. 🎨 That is, until I came across the all-matte contour palette by IBY (@ibybeauty). I took the leap, and tried it on my nose this weekend. Voila! Very satisfied with my slimmer nose.

    The palette comes with a “How To” card that walks you though how to define your cheekbones, slim your forehead, and define + slim your nose. As a total newbie to contouring and someone without a lot of free time (or patience!) to watch tons of YouTube beauty tutorials, this cheat sheet has been super helpful. If you want to try the IBY palette yourself, use code MARTHA at checkout for 20% off your entire order 👉 ibybeauty.com thru 10.9.17. 

    2. Artis Oval 3 Brush + Artis Oval 6 Brush IBY-Cosmetics-Palette-Review
    To complete the look for Review No. 1, I used the Artis Brush Mirror Oval 3 (perfect for smaller areas). For my foundation, I used the larger Artis Elite Mirror Oval 6 (also great for contouring the cheekbone area). If you’re looking to take your makeup application techniques to the next level, you’ll appreciate the specific uses for each patented brush:

    Oval 3: Great for applying eyeshadow, under eye concealer and brow bone highlight. You can also use it to apply foundation/concealer to the inside corner area of the eye and on the side of nose near the nostrils.

    Oval 6: Provides blended, natural-looking results for applying full-face foundation, as well as blush, cheekbone contour, or highlight.

    Artis brushes are made exclusively with CosmeFibre, an engineered fibre made specifically for cosmetic and makeup product application. The Artis Elite Mirror 5 Brush Set can be purchased at Net-a-Porter for $170. Similar sets and individual brushes can be found at Nordstrom and Anthropologie.

    3. Glossier Body Hero Duo: Daily Oil Wash & Daily Perfecting Cream Glossier-Body-Hero-Review
    Be honest, what “hero” song comes to mind when you read this label? I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night…

    In all seriousness, we were pretty excited about this new product duo because: we love 90% of Glossier products already, and our shower gel / body wash / soap situation is pretty boring in comparison. Classic example of something we didn’t know we needed until Glossier graced our inboxes and bombarded our social feeds with news of these new heroes (advertised via attention-grabbing images of famous naked ladies). Surely you’ve seen this campaign?

    Glossier-Body-Hero-New-Duo-Review
    If you caught our Insta Story on the topic, you’ll know that size-wise the oil is smaller than we were expecting. It also smells even better than we were expecting. While we (separately, of course!) have been using the Body Hero Duo for just a few days now, we’re “pretty sure we’ll reorder” given the innovative nature of the product and the smell. Oh, the smell. Our soon-to-be winter skin needs some love, ok?

    The Body Hero Duo is $35. If you had to pick just one product, we’d go oil wash – 8.4 fl oz for $18. We’ll update this post on “how long it lasts” when we have that info.

4. Castor Oil? Yep. Sky Organics Castor Oil for Eyelash (+ Brow) Growth

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I’ve had eyelash envy ever since I can remember. While my lashes are dark, they are quite short, and not really that noticeable. I’ve contemplated buying NeuLash (close to $100 per tube, yikes!) or Latisse (technically requires a prescription… unless you’re in Mexico, but… there are some dangerous side effects).

Ok, full disclosure: I bought a bottle of off-brand Latisse at a bodega-like pharmacy in Cabo San Lucas. I used it a couple of times, but got really paranoid, because discoloration including purple eyelids was one of the warnings and I thought I saw signs of this happening. Whether it was real or placebo I don’t know, but I’m nervous to try again.

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That said, when Sky Organics (makers of our favorite Bath Bombs!) sent over this Castor Oil kit for eyelash and brow growth, we couldn’t wait to test drive it. For one, the word “organic” has put me so much more at ease. While it’s only been a matter of days (and typically results are seen after several weeks) I’m confident this is the right choice for eyelash growth. I’ll report back on results at a later date.

5. One Two Lash Magnetic False Eyelashes Longer-Lashes-Product-Review

Remember how I alluded to my lack of patience earlier (some of those beauty tutorial videos just need to cut to the chase, am I right?). Well… while I wait to see how my natural lashes grow under this new Castor Oil regimen, I did bite the bullet and buy a set of OneTwo Lash magnetic false eyelashes. I don’t wear them daily (I bet some people do!) but I enjoy having access to them for special occasions / dressing up. They did take me a few applications to get it just right, but in my experience the magnets have staying power and they’re a huge improvement over the sticky glue solutions of traditional “falsies.”

For more information about One Two Lash magnetic lashes, I’d encourage you to read the reviews on the OneTwo Cosmetics website.

6. Colorscience All Calm Clinical Redness Corrector
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Roses are red, our favorite wines are red, our fave nail polish hues are red… but when it comes to facial redness we just can’t stand it. Luckily, Colorscience has debuted a new, redness-neutralizing formula that provides ongoing relief from sensitivity and the appearance of redness.

What’s more? The All CalmClinical Redness Corrector SPF 50 helps prevent up to 90% of skin aging (!!!), has no chemical active ingredients, is antioxidant and Vitamin E enriched, comes in a breathable, hydrating formula AND is dermatologist recommended.

I’m the first to admit, I was skeptical. What could this pump bottle really do to smooth out my complexion and reduce redness? Well, it delivered. I’ve used this product daily since receiving it (3+ weeks) and it’s quickly become a staple in my beauty routine. To be sure it wasn’t “too good to be true,” I consulted Brooke & Lauren, The Skin Sisters. These real-life sisters are both board-certified dermatology Physician Assistants and have expertise in all aspects of dermatology. In other words, they know what’s up.

According to them, “Colorescience is a fantastic brand! We love their brush on sunblock.”  

Hmmm, sounds like we’ll need to try SUNFORGETTABLE® Brush-On Suncreen SPF 50 next.

Stay tuned for more tips from this dynamic duo in an upcoming post!

P.S. Olivia Rink tipped us on a free gift offer from Kiehls going on now thru 9/24. The free 6-piece gift set is offered with any $75+ purchase. There are 3 options to pick from, and the samples include some of our all-time skincare faves. Plus, a free full-size Rare Earth Mask comes with any $115+ purchase. If you’re intrigued, we’d recommend checking out:

What We’re Into Right Now: Spring Skincare + Beauty

Skin is in!
You’ve heard us rave about Glossier (and soon we’ll review their latest product, Cloud Paint), but we have some new additions to our skincare and beauty routine to share, too:

Anti-Aging
Each March we’re reminded that our birthdays are just around the corner and that, well, we are aging whether we like it or not. Recently we’ve been introduced to some high-end wrinkle reducing, fine line minimizing, and preventative skincare products. We’ve been especially impressed by these three from Kate Somerville, Doll Face Beauty, and Fleur de Sante. Open to additional recommendations, too! For each of the following, a free sample was provided for review. Opinions are our own.

Kate Somerville
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Wrinkle Warrior gets two thumbs up! After reviewing this complimentary product, we’re excited to experience more from the Kate Somerville product line. To shop this product and others from the lineup, visit: kateso.co/Wrinkle_Warrior.

Doll Face Beauty
In this same category, we’re also super impressed with Doll Face DEFEND.

From the moment we opened the package we knew this was something special. There’s comfort in hearing that “eventually every Doll Face will see some early signs of aging,” and realizing that it happens to all of us. Thanks to Doll Face Beauty, there’s a new way to cheat nature and fight the signs of aging – it’s called DEFEND Intensive Age Defense.

Fleur de Sante
It was last March that I tried my first rose-infused beauty product – the Rose Face Mask from Fresh. I was intrigued by the ingredient originally, and have noticed it’s been popping up everywhere lately! Am I the only one who’s finding that some of the best beauty products are made with actual roses? 🌹 It’s scientifically proven to produce results, plus makes me all the more confident in doing what’s best for my skin (the alternative is, of course, chemicals).

This Intense Smooth Fine Line Minimizing Serum is from @fleurdesante and not only makes a gorgeous addition to the medicine cabinet, but appears to contain high quality ingredients and produce results. What more could you ask for?

And if you’re into the roses thing, also check out Glossier Soothing Face Mist (made with Rosewater) and/or Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater.

Lather Inc.
Next in the lineup, Lather. This line of holistic skincare products comes with some unique natural ingredient combos, like grapefruit + juniper and bamboo + lemongrass. We’re especially smitten with their Sea Kelp + Ginseng All-Over Mask (and yes, it can go “all over” – body, face, or even your hair). 
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If you’re into essential oils, you’ll love Lather products.

Sky Organics
If you’re into essential oils and DIY projects, you’ll really love Sky Organics. First, read up on the benefits of body care through natural nutrients. Next, decide which products are right for you and then read up on how you can make them yourself! You’ll likely pick a carrier oil and at least one essential oil (we love the freshly peeled scent of Organic Sweet Orange).

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For multi-purpose recipes and ideas for using your Carriers + Oils (and other ingredients, should you choose them), visit the Sky Organics Blog. I wrongly assumed one needed a chemistry degree to make hair masks, scalp treatments, and body butter, but I will be trying all 3 recipes out shortly. Follow along on TheJCRGirls Insta Stories!

Wander Beauty
Wander down the beauty aisle at Sephora at you’ll likely spot an up-and-coming cult fave, Wander Beauty. We gave the On-the-Glow Blush and Illuminator a spin, and we love the multitasking nature of this tool (not to mention the beautiful packaging!). The On-the-Glow Blush and Illuminator can be worn over 10 ways on the face, lips, eyes, and body. It’s perfect for gals on the go, and we love using it to refresh blush and highlights around the eyes between work and evening plans.

Shown here: Coral Rose / Nude Glow.

ShopandBox
Have you caught on to the Korean beauty craze? We just started exploring Korean products that are not available in the U.S., and have to say, there’s quite a few interesting lines worth exploring! For starters, check out the “Trending” section on Sephora.com to see a plethora of Double-Cleansing Oils, Watery Creams (we LOVE  Belief), Pre-Saturated Sheet Masks, and more. If you’re ready to take things a step further, a service called ShopandBox can help you shop for cult faves only available abroad, and then box them up and send them to you in a matter of days. ShopandBox is a global personal shopping service and they pair you with a “Boxer” to help you purchase the items you’re seeking.

Boxer Jess helped us find a few products we were interested in, including this Pantone Color of the Year Eye Palette, and then ship them to the U.S. for us to enjoy (along with several fun samples!).

Jess also recommended we test out a few of her favorite masks, and we’re excited to share details and results in an upcoming post.

What are your favorite beauty finds lately? Please share in the comments below or on Instagram – @TheJCRGirls.

Restock Alert! Glossier Stretch Concealer and Generation G Lipsticks…

UPDATE: As of July 13, Glossier announced that the sold-out Stretch Concealer and coveted Generation G Lipsticks are BACK. Grab them before they’re gone. If you’re new to Glossier, take 20% off your first order via: http://bff.glossier.com/d5bsl.

Mark your calendars! Glossier has announced that the sold-out Stretch Concealer and coveted Generation G Lipsticks will be restocked this July.

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Demand overwhelmed supply very quickly, and only the first to add to cart were able to get their hands on these cult beauty favorites so far this year. I snatched up Generation G in ‘Crush’ and just can’t get enough. It is the perfect compromise between lipstick, lip stain, lip gloss and balm. I want to collect them all (and not run out of my current supply before July – we’ll see!).

Also on my list upon restock is Glossier Stretch Concealer. Based on the blogger reviews to date, I have no doubts that this product lives up to its promise!
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So, what is in stock?

  • The new Flavored Balm Dotcom Trio {for a limited time!} features three fun flavors in Rose, Cherry, and Mint.
  • Boy Brow (in all 3 shades!) is currently in-stock and ready for ation.
  • My new favorite face wash, Milky Jelly Cleanser, is also available. (My favorite travel option is Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes).
  • If you’re in need of a new mask (or just up for trying a bunch of options), the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack has received high marks, and I trust the Moisturizing Moon Mask is a keeper, too.
  • Glossier also recently debuted some darling merch, including sweatshirts, pink pouches, logo pins and terry headbands.

Shop Glossier here, and get 20% off your first purchase + Free Shipping (over $30) and Free Returns on everything.

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