I know it seems like I just shared my first PR haul; that’s because I did. I only wrote two other blog posts last week, so it feels like they were published one after another. Hopefully once my schedule normalizes and I go back to blogging five times a week, like I used to, this won’t be an issue anymore.
If you read the previous post, you know the drill. I am sharing this not to brag, but to give you an idea of what you will see in the upcoming weeks/months. I also welcome any and all questions you may have about these products. You don’t have to wait for my official reviews to ask them! Also, if there’s a product you really want reviewed ASAP, let me know in the comments below and I’ll push it to the top of my list.
With that said, here’s what arrived in my mailbox last week.
I received three PR packages in total, and the first one came from Kiehl’s. Before I even tried these products, I gave the PR guys a virtual pat on the back for not-so-subtly suggesting the use of all appropriate disclosures. Unfortunately, a lot of bloggers still don’t disclose gifted products, but it is actually required by law. Someone close to me started her own blog which eventually became quite popular, but I have never seen her disclose a single sample, or even sponsored posts [I only knew they were sponsored because she told me]. According to her, she doesn’t disclose because otherwise everything she posts about would either be an #AD or a #PRSAMPLE, and apparently her readers don’t like that. I couldn’t relate because it was never a problem for me. You guys know I don’t give two sh*ts about upsetting a brand if they can’t take criticism, so my opinion will always be honest whether the product is gifted or not. It’s different with sponsored posts, but the trick is to only partner with companies you feel comfortable speaking positively about. That’s just common sense.
But I digress…
Kiehl’s recently updated their cult classic moisturizer by adding SPF, and now it’s better than ever. New Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Sunscreen SPF 30 has all the ingredients you’ve come to love from the cream, such as Squalane, Fountain Plant Extract, and exotic Antarcticine [glycoprotein made from purified microorganisms from the soil of Antarctica!!], with added benefits of broad spectrum chemical sunscreen agents Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, and Octocrylene. Yes, it does have that typical strong sunscreen fragrance, so if you really hate the scent, then maybe you’re better off trying a different Kiehl’s product. This cream is advertised for all skin types, but the formula seems rich and thick, and I could see it not being a very good choice for someone with oily skin.
Kiehl’s also sent me their Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado Oil, which is one of their bestsellers. I have never tried this particular eye cream before, but I know that a lot of my fellow bloggers love it and even say it’s their HG product. The reviews online are mixed, some say it’s the best they’ve ever used, and others claim it causes breakouts. I may have an idea why both sides are correct – the Avocado oil. You can read more about it in my blog post about choosing the best beauty oil for your skin type, including the list of oils you should definitely avoid. Check it out, it’s very informative!
Anyhow, personally I think this eye cream is a bit too rich for my combination skin right now, but I will definitely save it for F/W season. The claims that it keeps the skin hydrated all day are true. I tested this by applying the cream in the morning, and I could still see the sheen outlining the area in the evening.
The second package came from BH Cosmetics. I actually bought a starter brush set on their website about 6 years ago, and I was very happy with it while I slowly built my custom collection of Japanese handmade brushes one by one over the past several years. Chikuhodo, Hakuhodo, and Wayne Goss brushes are definitely a splurge for me, and sometimes I could afford to buy only one brush every 4 to 5 months. I must say, BH Cosmetics brushes were not the fanciest, but they served me well and I was pretty happy with the quality.
This time around when BH Cosmetics reached out to me, I decided to revisit their brushes to see how the quality improved over the years [spoiler alert: they’ve improved a lot!], and also to try a couple other products I had my eyes on. Aside from brushes, BH Cosmetics is famous for their affordable eyeshadow palettes, but I am just not in a palette mood lately.
I chose Lavish Elegance 15 Piece Brush Set With Cosmetic Bag, Sculpt and Blend 2 – 10 Piece Brush Set, Smooth Canvas Long-Wear Shadow Primer Veil, Studio Pro Waterproof Brow Pomade Brunette, Blacklight Highlight 6 Color Palette, and Studio Pro Total Coverage Concealer 102. I must say, the brushes are very nice for how inexpensive they are. Yes, the bristles are not all perfectly leveled, and they are not nearly as soft as my gray squirrel ones, but I wouldn’t expect them to be. I will give both sets a test run and then include my favorites in a future post about the best budget-friendly brushes.
I have not yet tried the brow pomade or the eyeshadow primer, so you’ll have to wait on those reviews for now.
Swatches: Blacklight Highlight 6 Color Palette.
The concealer is pretty impressive: it’s ultra pigmented yet very thin and liquidy, so it’s not like you are packing on a ton of product to achieve full coverage. Once it sets, it won’t budge, so I had to work fast if I wanted to blend it out. The color was a close match for my skin tone too, which was unexpected, because I just have this crazy fair olive skin tone that’s hard to match in general. We’ll see how it fares in the long run, but I like this concealer a lot so far.
Finally, the highlighter palette is what truly blew my mind. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the swatches in my Insta stories. All six highlighters are seriously gorgeous! Each shade is richly pigmented, buttery smooth, and stays on the skin all day long. I like that most of these are unconventional colors, so if you wanted to try a lavender, pistachio, or a sky blue highlighter look but don’t feel like spending on pricey palettes from Anastasia Beverly Hills and other mid-range to high end brands, this is a great budget alternative. There’s one con though – the paper palette itself [not the pans] stinks of factory glue, or at least mine does, so keep that in mind when ordering.
Last package came from Paula’s Choice, and it was small and sweet. They sent me two complimentary bottles of Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid, which is actually one of my HG products that I repurchased on my own many times [there’s an open bottle on my bathroom counter right now]. I am very thankful for this gift, as it will save me some money in the future. This liquid is basically a Salicylic Acid toner that works best when applied to clean dry skin before the rest of your skincare routine. My skin is prone to breakouts and congested pores, so with daily use it helps keep things in check. I know it works for me, because I always notice its absence when I stop using it for a few days. A+ product from an A+ brand!
Aaaand, that’s it, folks! This was a lot less PR mail than last week, but that’s just how it normally goes in life, sometimes things are slower, and other times it gets overwhelming and hard to keep up with.
Let me know in the comments below which products you want me to review sooner than later, and feel free to ask any questions in general!