March Beauty Review

I haven’t done a beauty-related post in quite some time now, and considering how cold it is in Minnesota this time of year, I haven’t been getting out much to do activities worth writing about. The dry air of the winter has done a number on my skin and hair and thus, I felt it would be a good time to write a review of some of the products that have been helping me to survive the winter months, which are now (finally!) coming to an end.

St. Tropez Self-Tanner 

Whenever I read about self-tanners, I always think of the nasty smell that I’ve associated with them ever since first trying them years ago. I had seen this product in multiple magazines over the course of several years, always ranked as the #1 self tanner, and finally I decided to take the plunge and try it after returning from my trip to Roatán in order to maintain the tan that I had worked hard to cultivate over the week that I was there.

This self tanner does work wonders and can give anyone an amazing glow with just one application, but careful steps must be taken to make sure that you don’t have a bronzing disaster occur on your skin. I always make sure I exfoliate in the shower before applying this product, and I mix it with the body lotion that I am applying to my skin. It comes out as a mousse foam, and it can be difficult to spread it evenly without using some sort of moisturizer alongside. Wash your hands VERY carefully after using this product too, otherwise it will stain your cuticles an ugly brown color. It’s also not a bad idea to have someone help you apply it to the back and hard-to-reach areas


Buy it here

Bobbi Brown Twilight Lip & Eye Palette 

This beautiful palette was a birthday gift from my dear roommate Julie. I’ve always loved Bobbi Brown cosmetics, as the company has a strong commitment to producing cosmetics responsibly, and often donates a portion of sales to various charities. The palette is gorgeous in packaging and the contents are awesome. I particularly like the creamy consistency of the lip colors and the variety of eyeshadows; there is a range of colors but all of them are very wearable- none are shocking or absurd colors like some of the eyeshadows in my Urban Decay palette.


Buy it here

Pond’s Dry Skin moisturizer

This product has been a lifesaver; no matter how hard I try, my skin really suffers from the dry winter air. My daily moisturizer was not enough to help quench it, and using this twice a day has really saved my skin. It is inexpensive and available at Target, CVS, Walgreens and many other similar drug stores. The one thing I do not like about it is that it is in a jar instead of a pump container, so it is super important to make sure your hands are clean before dipping them into the cream.  


L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara 

At first, I hated this product. I thought it was clumpy and made my eyelashes stick together. Eventually, when I ran out of the other mascaras that I had, forcing me to use it, I gave it a second chance and ended up falling in love with the results. I’m not sure what it is, maybe the first couple uses out of the tube are just extra thick and do not apply well, but I am glad that I kept giving it second chances because I am very happy with the results now.


Leave-in Conditioner 

This spray-in conditioner by Davines is the newest addition to my hair product collection and I am loving everything it does to my hair. Davines is a family-owned international hair product line that is strongly committed to sustainability in all of their products, which is something very important to me. This spray-in conditioner leaves my hair silky smooth, tames flyaways and is a heat protectant, so I spritz it on before using any heated tools.


Buy it here

LUSH Sandstone Soap

Not only does this product smell amazing, it works wonders on dry, flaky winter skin. The rough sandstone that is integrated into the soap exfoliates like a dream; just make sure to moisturize after using this soap. I love it, I am so happy my roommates picked this up for me for my birthday. By far the best bar soap I have ever owned and used.


Buy it here

Dove Dryspray

This deodorant is not really worth taking pictures of, but if you’re in the market for a new deodorant that is applied a different way from a usual stick, this is the way to go. Spray it on and within minutes it is dry, and I have gotten the best protection from this product than every other deodorant I have ever tried. It isn’t perfect and still sometimes doesn’t work, but I would say I’ve had the most success and would definitely buy this product again.


Dessa Remixed: The Elixery Lipstick Review

I am not a professional when it comes to wearing lipsticks. I eat and drink things almost constantly, smudge it accidentally by touching my face and sometimes even downright miss half of my lip surface area when trying to apply it. This inability to master the in’s and out’s of wearing lipstick has resulted in a collection of colors that is quite small, and is limited almost exclusively to cheap drugstore brands, which are nice colors but nothing special when it really comes down to it. A few weeks ago, I read an article about one of my all-time favorite musicians, Dessa, an incredible rapper from my own city of Minneapolis. The article mainly focused on music of a re-release of one of Dessa’s old albums, but a small snippet at the end mentioned that she now had her own lipstick color that she got to design herself at a local cosmetics company in Minneapolis. The Elixery Cosmetic House is a locally owned company that specializes in original, vegan and cruelty free cosmetics, including lipsticks, body care products and essential oils. Despite my lack of passion for lipcolor, I was intrigued at the prospect of owning a lipstick that was designed by none other than the *gasp* Dessa Darling of Minneapolis. I had to have one.


After searching around on their website, I soon learned of an upcoming event where their products would be featured: The No-Coast Craft-o-Rama 2014 hosted in the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis. I alerted the troops (read: roommates) and we all bundled up and headed off to the event, excited to see what guilty pleasures it would hold in store.

I quickly sought out the Elixery booth and informed the saleswoman that I wanted the lipstick. She was very friendly, and I soon learned that she was the owner of the Elixery, and she had a chemistry and biology background. It was very refreshing to hear her story of how she had started the company, first working as a microbiologist and then branching out to start her very own cosmetics line, fulfilling a dream that she had since she was seven years old. As a soon-to-be graduating senior with a biology degree, sometimes I feel like my passions do not always line up with my field of study, but people like her really remind me that no matter what you go into, you can use the skills that you’ve gained to fulfill passions or expand on a hobby and turn it into a career.

Ok, enough blabbling. Here is the actual product review of The Elixery’s “Dessa Remixed”.

Criteria 1: Packaging

The gold-colored metal casing of the lipstick is one of the novelties that made the experience of purchasing a lipstick that much more special. It feels vintage compared to all the other lipsticks in my (rather limited) collection. It is a sturdy design without being too that I will pay more attention to take care of, and it is a unique piece amongst all my other lipsticks in identical plastic cases. I love the feel of it and the imprint of “Elixery” around the perimeter.


Criteria 2: Color

Looking past my bias from being obsessed with the lipstick solely because it is from the “Dessa” line, I sincerely do love the color of this lipstick. It is a rich red pigment with some purple undertones that not only compliment most skin tones, but also work really well for winter. For me, I have to pair it with a more natural eye-makeup scheme to prevent my face from looking gaudy and overdone.


Criteria 3: Application ease and resilience

The application of the beautiful, perfectly sculpted color stick was intimidating at first, but once I got over the initial anxiety I had about putting it on, it glided on with ease. So far, this lipstick has stayed on well even through drinking some wine and eating, but it is not a lip stain, which is a good thing.

IMG_3854Overall, I love this lipstick. I love the color and I love that I am not only reppin’ one of my favorite rappers, but I am also supporting a local business run by a dedicated and inspiring woman. Props to the Elixery.

Get your “Dessa Remixed” lipstick here! 

Summer Beauty Update!

haven’t done a beauty post in awhile, and I don’t really do many of them as it is far from my field of expertise, but I truly enjoy reviewing products and trying out new things for my skin/hair, so I figured why not do a “summer makeup” routine post.
If you have been reading my blog, you are well aware that I am studying abroad in Toledo, Spain for this summer. This means a lot of heat and sweatiness and sunshine, which has forced me to modify my makeup routine a bit since being here.

Because it is so hot, I really try to avoid excessive use of concealer and powder on my face, as I would probably sweat it off quickly and it would clog up my pores and cause breakouts. Sunscreen is almost a necessity, as it is always super sunny here and I burn easily. Lately I have been combining neutrogena’s oil free moisturizer (SPF 15) with my maybelline Dream Fresh BB cream (SPF 30) to protect from harmful rays and even out my skin tone. I really really love the maybelline BB cream, this is probably the third or fourth time I’ve purchased it, as it’s a great all-season foundation for me. The titanium dioxide sunscreen component does wonders for protecting skin against ALL forms of harmful UV radiation. Many people don’t know this, but not all sunscreens protect from burning rays as well as aging rays, but titanium dioxide does!

On the far left in the above picture is my travalo. If you haven’t heard of travalo, it’s a perfume atomizer, which means a travel size spray tube that you can pump your own perfume into. It’s really awesome for traveling due to small size and it’s refillable and it sprays, which I highly prefer to purchasing rollerball versions of perfume for travel. My current scent is Vera Wang princess, a personal fave. 

The far right is a new one for me, it’s the European Wax Center’s baked brow powder. ($18?) I bought it after my last eyebrow wax because I wanted a product to use to shape and intensify my eyebrows for going out, and so far I have really enjoyed it. Shaping eyebrows is not an easy task, however, but I am slowly improving. Patience is key. 

I like to keep it light when it comes to lipstick colors in the summer, as being hotter can run the risk of smudging. Above is maybelline color sensational lipstick in sugared almond, my personal favorite at the moment.

Another product that I’m not sure if I would recommend to others (because I’m still not quite sure what it is) would be this 

Aveda’s Balancing Concentrate blue oil. I sort of got talked into buying this in a moment of money spending frenzy and didn’t pay much attention to what the stylist at the salon was saying. Basically it’s a rollerball oil to rub on temples or pressure points to relax. It is a strong minty scent, and while it is relaxing, I’m not sure I would recommend it as it is quite expensive and not really a super useful product, unless you get a lot of headaches. It is nice to relax and gently rub into temples, just a pricy item ($20 or so for this small tube) for a broke college kid like myself. 
A new product that I have been LOVING is the Hawaiian tropic silk hydration after sun lotion. Normally for sunburn, I use aloe gel with lidocaine but because this little bottle was so cute in the travel product section, I had to buy it. 

I absolutely love it!! I have always had good luck with Hawaiian tropic products, and I have been using this aloe as a normal moisturizer even when I am not burned because I love the way it hydrates my skin and smoothes out imperfections.

And that’s about it as far as new beauty products go, hope you enjoyed this post! More beauty reviews in the near future, with one being specific to Toledo, Spain!

Blog at

Up ↑