Hey girls! These haul posts tend to get wordy, so I won’t waste your time on the long intro. If you are new here, please visit my PR Haul #1 post and read the first couple paragraphs there, so you know what these posts are about [hint: I don’t do this to brag]. And as always, if there is a product you really want me to review ASAP, or you want to hear if I there are dupes or alternatives, please let me know in the comments below.
Without further ado, here’s what arrived at my doorstep within the past couple of weeks. I received more mail than usual, so my reviews will be very brief.
The first package was from Rodial with a few goodies I’ve been wanting to try: Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Moisturizer SPF15, Bee Venom Body Serum, and Dragon’s Blood XXL Lip Plumper. I actually already shared my thoughts on these in a separate post last week, you can read more about it here. TL;DR version: love the lip plumper, the moisturizer is kinda meh, the body serum is promising since it has both bee venom and retinol.
Moving on, the next package was from NOW Foods. I know I already talked your ears off about this brand on this blog and social media, but I just genuinely love their products. Before I was a brand ambassador, I used to buy NOW products with my own money, and it was always money well-spent. This time I restocked on my everyday essentials, like Eggwhite Protein Powder and Organic Quinoa Penne, and also decided to try a couple new things, like their Amber Agave Nectar and Green Banana Flour.
I seriously adore these eggwhite protein powders! For obvious reasons they won’t work for a vegan diet, but those of you on a quest to find great-tasting protein powder should totally consider trying NOW Eggwhite Protein powders. Bonus: they come in Rich Chocolate, Vanilla, and unflavored varieties.
I’ve also been exploring with probiotic supplements lately, so I am excited to give NOW Women’s Probiotic 20 Billion a whirl. Supposedly, it contains strains that help support women’s health and reduce occasional bloating.
If you never tried quinoa pasta before, it actually doesn’t taste that much different than regular wheat semolina pasta, all while being a lot healthier. That’s an easy way to add some whole grains to your diet, too. I actually don’t even remember the last time I cooked regular white pasta, but it feels like it’s been ages.
Next package was actually a beauty box. My Beauty Box 5 June 2017 arrived just a few days ago, but I had plenty of time to try out the products over the weekend, so the review will be posted later this week. Maybe even tomorrow if I finish meal prep Monday early. 😉 BB5 spoiled us with six products this month, and one of them is a really nice Mongongo lip balm. I am burning through lip balms way too fast lately, but what can I do, my lips decided to be extra dry all of a sudden. Anyhow, review is coming very soon, so I won’t waste your time on mini reviews here.
Next package was from Octoly, a marketplace where Instagram and Youtube influencers can get free beauty products to try and post about within 21 days of receipt. If you have over 10k IG followers or average 1k views per video on Youtube, you should definitely apply here. Even if you are not quite there yet, apply anyway and your account will be unlocked as soon as you’re eligible. Anyhow, Octoly sent me a bottle of OPI Hold Out For More, which is a gorgeous rusty red creme and I am totally obsessed with it. The formula feels so rich and buttery, and the color sets with a lovely glossy finish.
Speaking of Octoly, I also got these two lovely products to try: 100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm and Pretty Naked Palette. The palette does not swatch well, but I had zero issues using these colors on my lids and cheeks. Besides, it’s a clean formula that utilizes fruit pigments instead of traditional minerals and synthetics, so it won’t perform as well as the less natural counterparts. The cleansing balm I was not a fan of. It doesn’t emulsify, and it’s very hard to remove with washcloth, konjac sponge, and even some foaming cleansers. I feel like it’s targeted for people with very dry skin. But I must say, it smells absolutely heavenly! I mean, who could resist the blood orange scent? [which, by the way, is all-natural]
Last week I also did a quick promo on Instagram for Wella Color Tango, and told you guys that I will do a live demo on lightening my hair. Well, I hadn’t considered that I need at least one more tube of dye, since my hair is too long to use just one. I haven’t forgotten about the live demo, and will give you a heads up when I’m ready to actually do it.
Next package came from StriVectin, and they sent me Multi-Action Stress Defense Hydrating Water Gel. This is a very timely release, because a lot of us with combination and oily skin like to switch to gel moisturizers for summer. I tried this one a couple times so far, and to be perfectly honest, I am not that impressed. The gel is very heavy on fragrance, and feels more siliconey-mattifying than moisturizing. StriVectin skincare usually agrees with my skin, so this first impression caught me by surprise. I will obviously give it a fair test run for at least a few weeks of daily use, so I may change my mind.
I also received this beautiful bottle of Petite Cherie by Annick Goutal. Annick Goutal originally created this sweet perfume, that features notes of peach, pear, and musky rose, for her daughter Camille, describing the scent as “a cheek you want to kiss”. This year the House collaborated with French designer Claudie Pierlot on a limited edition release to bring awareness to children’s education. Half of the process from purchasing Annick Goutal x Claudie Pierlot Petite Chérie fragrance and Claudie Pierlot “Petite Chérie” Marinière sweaters will be donated to La Chaîne de l’Espoir charity, whose education programs allow 11,000 children to attend school every year.
PIXI deliveries are on point lately! The brand’s makeup is a hit and a miss for my tastes, but their skincare has been well-received by fans in the US and abroad. I could totally see PIXI re-establishing themselves as a skincare company! This month influencers on the brand’s PR list received three tubes of PIXI Peel & Polish exfoliants, and I literally fell in love after the first use. There is one tube in my bathroom, and another one in my husband’s, since we’re both super impressed with the instant glowing results. I would probably only use this scrub once a week or less often, because it’s a tad abrasive, so it’s easy to overdo, but it’s a great quick solution if you need to look your best ASAP.
I’ve been planning a post about my e.l.f. Cosmetics favorites for a while now, and been adding little bits to my draft from time to time as they pop in my mind. This month I received a package with new Best Friend Eyeshadow Duos in Peach Squad and Tea for Two, a tube of best-selling Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer in Sheer, and classic Liquid Eyeliner in Charcoal. So far I only tried the eyelid primer, and frankly it’s not as good as Milani eyelid primer, so I’ll just give it to someone else since I won’t be using it anyway. I have high hoped for the eyeshadows – the duos are super pretty!
I also received another package from Paula’s Choice. There was a bit of a mixup with shipments this month, and some people received products twice; I was one of them. You guys already know that I adore PC 2% BHA liquid, so I am curious if Resist Pore-Refining Daily Treatment 2% BHA is any different, since they’re both 2% BHA. Resist is the brand’s anti-aging line, which may be more in line with my skincare routine, so I look forward to trying it and comparing the two. And yes, I will make a blog post about it!
How cute is this packaging from dermalogica? The outer box looks like a cozy bed with pillows, which houses two boxes of brand new Nightly Lip Treatment that officially arrives in stores this week. dermalogica adamantly insists that this is not a lip balm, and it’s more of a treatment, or an overnight mask for your lips and the skin around them. Cooling applicator delivers this very luxurious formula with precision while soothing the lips. Over time, it should improve the appearance of feathery lines and make the pout look plumper and more youthful. I’ve been using it for a week now, and I really like it. My lips really do look plumper in the morning, but it’s a temporary effect.
I received a bunch of products from the cult Japanese skincare brand Kose for an Instagram promotion, but I actually don’t like one of them at all. Ugh, hate when that happens! Among Kose Sekkisei Emulsion, Lotion, and Herbal Gel, the latter one is by far my favorite, and I currently use it as a sleeping pack. This lightweight cream-gel creates a nice tight seal over my serums and essences, and makes my skin feel very moisturized in the morning.You may even see it on my next favorites list. 😉
Next package came from Elemis, a brand that I am kinda sorta familiar with, but the only products I’ve ever tried were sample-sized. This time I had the opportunity to try their QVC exclusive 24/7 Superskin Collection that includes Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, and Peptide4 Night Recovery Cream-Oil, all full-sized. This set retails for $99, valued at $313 if you were to buy all of them separately. Quite a deal, right? I was also sent a tube of Gentle Rose Exfoliator and a handy cotton washcloth. Of these four, I tried the cleansing balm and the overnight cream-oil. I am truly impressed with both of these products! The cream-oil feels like a lightweight veil on the skin, and makes my face look soft and well-rested in the morning. The cleansing balm is fantastic as well, because it emulsifies and turns into milk on contact with water, so it’s really easy to remove from the skin along with any makeup residue.
Last, but not least, I got a big package from Garnier. I received Frizz Guard Dry Spray, Sleek & Shine Shampoo, travel-sized Micellar Cleansing Water, three varieties of the new sheet masks, and a pack of Micellar Makeup Removing Towelettes. I have tried the shampoo before and unfortunately I am not a fan, but I will say that it smells delicious and last time it made my hair smell really good. The pink micellar water is an amazing product and a dupe for Bioderma Sensibio. I love both of them, they’re gentle on the skin, even the eye area, and remove makeup as well as any foaming cleanser. Lastly, I will have to give the hairspray a try, because my hair tends to get quite frizzy in the summer. Have any of you tried it? What are your thoughts?
And that’s it! Wow that was a lot…I hope you enjoyed this blog post. I tried to be brief with my mini reviews, so if you have any additional questions, leave them below and I’ll be sure to answer.
And by the way, I’ve been collecting products for upcoming roundup of negative reviews, so far there are three in the bin. I don’t know when I’ll finally post it, maybe when there are like 5-7 items, or maybe I will do it monthly, but it’s definitely on my to-do list. We’ll see!
What new interesting products have you discovered lately, either through blogs or in-store? Which if the above should I review first? Let me know in the comments below!