Friday, February 28, 2014

theBalm Cindy Lou-Manizer

Highlighter is by far one of my favorite makeup items to apply. A quick dusting onto high points of the face can make such a beautiful yet subtle difference to your overall look. Dull, matte skin is a look I strive to stay away from...I am all about the healthy glow. That being said, it should come as no surprise that I own an embarrassing amount of options. Peachy, multi-sparkle, golden, rosy, metallic, refined, liquid, name it I have some version of it. It got so out of hand that I banned myself from buying anymore highlighters last year, no matter how much I was lusting after them (Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder, Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks, and MAC Soft n' Gentle, RMS Living Luminizer, to name a few).

When I heard theBalm was coming out with the pink hued Cindy-Lou Manizer, there was absolutely no hope in staying true to my ban. I say this because its golden champagne sister, Mary-Lou Manizer, is my one of favorite highlighters in my entire collection. The texture can't be beat and the refined shimmer is something that quite literally makes it shine above the rest.

Another reason I wanted to purchase Cindy was for a rather silly reason: I wanted to complete my collection of all of theBalm's Lou Manizers. It's the makeup collector in me! The packaging is all the same, round plastic compact with mirror intact. It has theBalm's signature kitschy design which I am actually not a fan of. However, it is what's inside that counts so this is a minor detail.

My first impression when I swatched this was it was a much darker pink than I expected. I was worried I wouldn't be able to use it as a highlighter and that I would have to settle for using it as a very shimmery blush. Luckily, I didn't have to settle. Due to the soft, refined texture, sheering out the product was a breeze.

All three of the Lou Manizers have the same buttery, almost creamy feel to them. I don't know how theBalm does it to be honest; they make the softest powders I have tried by far. Every other powder seems rough and abrasive in comparison.

Not frosty yet not sparkly. All have the ability to add glow with its tiny reflective particles that bind onto the skin seamlessly and naturally.

Straight on Cindy looks like your standard peachy-pink hybrid, but at some angles it seems to reflect a bit of a golden luster. If inspected closer still, I detect a subtle lavender shimmer. It is very multidimensional and interesting. It isn't remotely garish or harsh.

Let it be known that this was one of the most frustrating items to try to capture in photographs. How do people capture highlighter on the face!? Wizards. I tried you guys. Above I applied it to the bridge of my nose, cupids bow, tops of the cheeks, and tops of my brow arch. Just trust me when I say the effect is beautiful and natural in person.

Happy to report that Cindy is unique to my stash. I pulled out a few shades that it reminded me of but most were either too pink, had a much bigger shimmer factor, or were more golden.


Even in the swatches you can see how soft it is in comparison to the rest. I believe the closest in similarity can be seen with MAC Redhead MSF but Redhead much more shimmery. If you have Redhead you PROBABLY don't need Cindy but if it were up to me you'd need all the glowy things so I don't know if you should take my word for it.

I can't think of a single fault unless you despise highlighter, which in that case you are certified nuts. Creamy texture, refined shimmer, easy to use. Would look good on all skin tones besides very deep ones perhaps. Paler skin could get away with using it as a blush. Consider it, look out for it, try to see it yourself in person. It is love.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

tag: 30 random things about me

I was tagged by Kar Yi to do the "30 Random Things About Me" post. I debated whether or not I was going to do this as I didn't know if you all would find a post about myself hopelessly boring. Then I remembered my post from almost a year ago where I stated I wanted to inject more of myself into my blog. I didn't do much of that last year! But there is still time for me to rectify this and what better way than to do this tag. Enough blabbing, here are 30 facts about me:

1. I value honesty above all other traits. I can not stand liars and deceivers or shady people. This is most likely the reason behind why I do not keep up with politics.

2. I sucked my thumb until I was 7. I think this has contributed to the crookedness of my teeth and wish it was a habit that never came into fruition.

3. I believe food is one of the greatest joys in life and will try almost anything once. I have always liked most foods and was not a picky eater as a child. My dream job would be a traveling food blogger/critic.

The struggle is real

4. I had very disfiguring, cystic acne when I was about 16 years old. I went on a generic form of Accutane for it which helped immensely. It didn't bother me much when I was going through it (I wasn't depressed or shy about it) but I don't like looking at pictures of myself during that time. I still have the marks of the severe scarring on my face. I don't feel self conscious or uncomfortable talking about it if someone asks or points it out.

5. I have one older sister (whom I live with), 1 younger brother, and 1 younger sister. Hands up to all my middle children out there! Our parents got the hang of that "parenting" thing by the time they had us and we don't get babied. We are clearly the best ;)

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6. I am right handed. Sitting in left handed desks gives me headaches.

what nightmares are made of

7. Most of my measurements are US averages. I wear a size 7 shoe and am about 5'4 in height. The good news is a majority of businesses cater to this bracket. The bad news is my size is usually the first to be sold out and never to be found in clearance racks.

8. One of the most attractive qualities of a man to me is a prominent clenched jaw muscle. Oddly sexy.

stare all you want, Tom's here all day

9. I despise sappy terms of endearment. Babe, baby, boo, honey, sweetie etc. They all make me cringe. I don't mind "love" though.

10. Hilary Duff was my pre-teen idol. I mimicked her style and attempted her all her hair-dos from Lizzie McGuire, a show that I worshiped. The hair attempts I made always ended disastrously and disappointing since I have unruly, naturally curly hair.

team crazy Andie, we all just want to be like Lizzie

11. I am a very direct person so passive aggressiveness really irks me. I find it incredibly immature. Why post a status, tweet, or leave notes when you can just directly communicate what is bothering you with who is involved? Especially if it is someone you are close with. If it is about a stranger, that's a different story.

12. I love pizza. I could easily eat it more than once a week and never get sick of it.

13. I've never gotten a speeding ticket (knock on wood?)

14. I absolutely despise milk as a beverage. Yes, even chocolate milk and the milk dregs of sugary cereal. I have never liked it, even when I was a child. My mother used to force me to drink it because she wanted me to be tall. I'd always have to have a food chaser and hold my breath for each sip. I don't mind when milk is incorporated in recipes to add creaminess but if the overall taste isn't disguised I can't do it. I love lattes though!

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15. I was a huge reader as a child. My mom took me to the public library every week and I read almost everything in my school library. Anyone remember the Ramona series, How to Eat Fried Worms, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Bunnicula, The Secret Garden, Encyclopedia Brown, The Indian in the Cupboard, Laura Ingalls Wilder books, anything by Roald Dahl, Wayside School series, the Boxcar Children, the Babysitter's Club, Goosebumps, and my favorite story ever, The Rat's of Nimh.

16. I'm a huge Pott Head. But who isn't, really? Shun the non-believers! I read and watch the series a few times a year and never tire of it. My little sister is the only one close to me that is on the same obsessive level with the series as me and will go in great depth to have discussions about various aspects of the series and characters. We always play a game of "would you rather" with the stakes always being Hogwarts being real versus a seemingly desirable option. Ex: Would you rather go to Rome or have Hogwarts be real? Spoiler alert, Hogwarts always wins.

17. I don't care for cake. I think it is a waste of calories and always skip out on it at birthday parties. Unless it is cheesecake or ice cream cake. I find cupcakes to be even more overrated. I do appreciate their aesthetic though!

18. I used to hate Taylor Swift but then one night I had a dream we were the best of friends and spent a really delightful day together. After waking up the next day, I couldn't bring myself to hate her and now actually like her. Weird tricks the mind has.

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19. I hate talking on the phone. I rely on facial expressions and body language in communication and the phone completely eliminates that. The only person I talk on the phone with on a regular basis is my mother and boyfriend, both who love talking on the phone. The things I do for the people I love ;)

20. When I was in middle school I used to paint my nails a new color every day to match my outfit. Dedication or just plain crazy? You pick.

21. I had my first kiss when I was 19. I consider that to be an older age than average. I was the girl that was waiting to save her first kiss for someone I had true feelings for. I got impatient as I got older and ended up having a rather disappointing first kiss with someone I didn't even like.

Mary Katherine Gallagher and I had so much in common

22. If I saw someone's diary sitting open on a desk and knew I wouldn't get caught reading it, I still wouldn't touch it. I value privacy and trust.

23. I love musicals, in film and Broadway/performance. I haven't seen many but the ones I have I almost always enjoy. Truly beautiful voices/harmonies always give me goosebumps.

24. I don't like sports. I find them utterly boring and not very fun to play. Probably because I am not a competitive person and am not the most coordinated.

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25. I don't mind driving by myself and am grateful I have the ability but I hate being the driver if others are tagging along. I avoid it and always make someone else be the driver. Funnily enough I don't particularly like public transportation.

26. My idea of a perfect day is spending the whole day boating, swimming, and relaxing in the sun. The smell of freshwater and sun kissed skin is very comforting to me.

27. I have a high spice tolerance. Nothing in restaurants or stores has ever felt truly spicy to me besides the rare few Thai places and Hmong pepper dishes. Sriracha is basically a tastier ketchup to me.

28. When I was little I was extremely frightened by thunderstorms but as an adult I find them beautiful and comforting. Despite this, I wouldn't want to live in a perpetual rainy area. Sunshine is happiness.

29. No animal strikes disgust in me besides the caterpillar. The most vile being the sneaky tiny green ones that hang from trees. I don't know what it is about them since I don't mind worms, centipedes, spiders and any other squiggly unpopular creature. Maybe it is the strange way they move or just the fact they hang from freaking trees, like they think they are acrobats or something. Nice try, squirmy one, acrobat you are not.


30. I find animals to be hilarious and extremely entertaining on the internet but I would never own any myself. I don't do pets, they are hard to take care of and their overall odor is not something I am willing to tolerate.

Do you feel like you know me now? Am I the only one that thinks this was a very challenging tag? It took me two months to scrounge up semi-interesting facts. I tag anyone reading this, make sure you comment if you do so for me to read!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

sibu sea buckthorn balancing facial cleanser

**This post contains an item provided by an outside company for trial.

A few months back, a representative from Sibu contacted me asking if I would like to try out one of their products. I had heard of the brand before from Michele and Sandra, both who had positive experiences so I was curious myself. After browsing the website to see if their products were something I'd be interested in, I ended up liking what I read and chose to try the *Balancing Facial Cleanser.

This cleanser claims to leave the skin balanced and clean while still being gentle. It also claims to remove makeup and be non foaming. From what I read Sibu is a very health conscious brand; it emphasizes natural, fair trade ingredients and recyclable materials. They pride themselves in the incorporation of sea buckhorn into their products, which you can read a little excerpt of the claimed benefits HERE.

The product comes in a 4 fl oz no fuss white plastic bottle with a pump. The cleanser itself is a transparent light orange color with some colorless micro-particles suspended throughout. I don't find the particles harsh or too abrasive; they have just the right amount of texture to feel like they serve a purpose. The scent is a zingy citrus, I find it rather pleasant.

I use this as my morning cleanser to cleanse away the residue of my evening products and excess sebum from the night. I take about one pump of it into my wet palms and lather it up to its full potential. It is indeed non-foaming, the picture above is about the fullest lather I can get. This can feel a tad bit drying, after washing my face I do feel a slight tautness in my skin. This isn't too bothersome to me since it is easily remedied by following up with my moisturizer.

When I first started using this I tried using it in both the morning and evening but I found it was a bit too stripping for this. I switched to morning use only and received much better results. I agree with the namesake in that this is a balancing cleanser. I found on the mornings I used this, my skin was not as oily during the day.

I have not used this as a makeup remover, as if you have been following me for some time, you know I am a full believer in oil cleansers for that purpose. Liz has tried it for this purpose and reported that she found it to do a decent job, leaving no makeup behind.

water, decyl glucoside, coco betaine, sd alcohol 40-b, lauryl glucoside, hydrogenated jojoba oil, carrageenan, glycerin, phenethyl alcohol, sea buckthorn fruit extract (hippophae rhamnoides), sea buckthorn seed oil (hippophae rhamnoides), panthenol, coco-glucoside, glyceryl oleate, xanthan gum, sodium levulinate, sodium phytate, sodium anisate, fragrance (from orange and lemon essential oils

I have been using this for over two months and I really like it. I would purchase it myself in the future. It smells nice, isn't harsh, and it balances my oily skin when used regularly in the morning. I also think it is fairly priced at $17.95 USD. This cleanser appeals to natural product junkies that have concerns about ingredients as Sibu has a philosophy that you will appreciate.

It should be noted that I don't recommend this to be used twice in one day as I think it can be a bit stripping if done so. I also disagree with Sibu that this cleanser is for all skin types, I reckon normal to dry skin types might need more hydrating options unless you are in the market for a clarifying type cleanser.

++ A Sibu representative sent the Balancing Cleanser to me free to review. This post does NOT contain any affiliate links.