Category Archives: Product Reviews

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Buxom Lip Polish: Plump it Up?

Lip plumping glosses were all the rage a few years ago, but I hadn’t heard of any legitimate ones in a while until I read about Buxom’s Lip products, most of which contain at least a gentle plumping affect. I saw Sephora was offering the Buxom Full-On Lip Polish as a 100 point reward and I snatched it up right away to find out if it was anything like the tingling (sometimes burning) plumping products I tried as a teen.

Upon receiving this product, I had mixed feelings about it, so check out what I have to say in my full review below.

Plumping Action: 3/10

ABM_1398619496Let’s get right to the point.  I was NOT impressed with the plumping abilities of this product.  The photo above shows virtually no difference in plumpness, and the situation in person is not much better.  I noticed a slight plump of my bottom lip after wearing it for 5-10 minutes, but nothing on my upper lip.

Lip Feel: 6/10

Warning: Tingling will occur.  Some of Buxom’s products claim to be tingle-free.  This is not one of them.  You will notice a strong tingling feeling for the first 10 minutes of wearing this lip gloss, but it will fade.  The tingling on my lips does not bother me, but I tend to somehow get it all over the inside of my mouth and tongue which just isn’t pleasant.  This formula is a bit sticky at first, but fades away as the tingling does.

Longevity: 5/10

Meh. Mediocre.  This product stayed on my lips for a while when unprovoked, but came off easily if I drank, ate, spoke, etc.  And I was resistant to reapply and go through that tingling fiasco again.

Shade: 8/10

The shade I received is Sophia and it’s actually my favorite thing about the product.  It is very close to my natural lip color and goes on quite sheer so it looks very natural when I’m wearing it.

buxom vs nyx butter glossI was also extremely impressed by the size of the deluxe sample that I received.  I choose this as one of my 100 point rewards from Sephora and was amazed at how big it was! (Especially compared to the Benefit The Big Easy sample I also spent 100 points on.)  Above you can see that this sample really isn’t that much smaller than a full size NYX butter gloss.

Overall: 6/10

I am glad I received this product for free instead of paying full price for it in store.  It is a great color and an easy lip gloss to throw on when you’re running out the door and need a lift, but I will not use this everyday.

Some people love plumping glosses and some people hate them.  Which side do you fall on?  Does the tingling get to you?


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GlamST: Try Before You Buy

With the amount of items on my wishlist right now, there is no way I will ever be able to afford them all, and honestly I probably wouldn’t even use most of them.  While researching and trying to narrow down my choices, I stumbled on a great way to test out new products before you even buy them.

GlamST is a new site launched by two intelligent and hard working females in the largely male driven engineering industry.  They aim to help women with some of the biggest problems we face when it comes to beauty: choosing the right products for our personal style and learning about other products that could work for us.  The software was originally marketed to and used by cosmetics companies like L’Oreal on their websites, but now has evolved into its own online platform.

GlamST’s goal is to make it easy for the user to try and discover new products, so they have their own social platform where you can share looks you create and get recommendations of other similar looks and products.  They already have a ton of products and are adding new ones constantly so its a great way to learn about new releases from your favorite brands.


This part of the website is one of my favorites.  After you’ve had a chance to play around with all of the products, everything from face to lips to lashes, you can see what exactly you used, how much it costs, and potentially buy it.  They’ve recently added a ton of new features for your eyes including liners, mascaras, and a whole slew of eyeshadow products and shapes, so there’s tons to play around with!

glamst screenshot

GlamST offers products to test from all sorts of brands, everything from Benefit to OCC,  Ilamasqua to Dior, and everything in between.  Create your own account here to get started!

Have you ever tried a virtual makeover site like this in the past?  All the one’s I’ve tried before turn out looking super clownish and drawn on, but I was impressed by the subtlety on GlamST.  Let me know if you have a chance to try it out!


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LORAC afterGLO Review

I was so excited when I first laid eyes on the LORAC afterGLO palette and I quickly ordered not just one, but two, of these beautiful looking palettes from Ulta as soon as they were available.  Check out my swatches of all the shades included and then read my review below.


This palette has arrived just in time for summer.  The great range of shades provide you with a ton of colors to play with and mix together to create some super fun summer looks.   The first colors to catch my eye were the blue and green along the left side, and the dark blue really is a magnificent shade.  It is super pigmented and goes a bit tealish when applied heavily.  The green is a bit more sheer and shimmery, but makes for a great transitionary shade when blending with the blue.

Upon seeing pictures of this palette I was extremely excited about the gold because I could wear a good gold eyeshadow everyday, but I was not especially impressed with this particular shade.  It is not very pigmented at all and it looks much more yellow than gold when applied.  It is super shimmery though, so I usually use it to layer over the other colors.

I haven’t actually used the copper or purple shades on my eyes yet but I did play around with them a bit when I was swatching them.  The cooper is beautiful and extremely pigmented and shimmery.  It almost has more gold sparkle in it than the actual gold shade has.  The purple, on the other hand, was a bit disappointing when it comes to pigmentation.  It did not show up very well on my arm and what you see pictured above is after applying many layers.  However, I do like that it is a matte shadow because most of the purple shades I own are super shimmery.

I was quite pleased with the two brown shades and the coral in the right half of the palette.  I will post some pictures this afternoon, but I actually used these three shades together to creative a neutral eye with a pop of color.  The pink is super pigmented and I loved how it layered to look super bright.  The two browns blend really well together and made for a super quick neutral smoky eye with only two shades.

The two shades along the bottom are honestly a little blah for me.  They are supposed to be there to layer the colors over or use for blending, but they are not super useful in my opinion.  They are both pretty shades but could definitely use some more pigmentation in my opinion.

Overall I have been very pleased with this palette and it’s potential uses in the upcoming summer.  Some of the shades are lacking in pigmentation but the colors are beautiful and the price is right on point.

Don’t forget that I have an extra LORAC afterGLO palette just waiting to be sent out to one of you in my upcoming giveaway!  I will announce all of the details once we hit 10,000 views so make sure to keep sharing with your friends and visiting daily to see all the exciting things we have in store :)


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Make-up Sponge Comparison: Beautyblender or Real Techniques?


Check out this great post on make up sponges from Jolie Pagaille. I personally own the Real Techniques sponge but am still perfecting my skills with it. There are some great tips here on the proper way to use and care for these make up sponges, as well as pros and cons of each brand, so check it out. Have you tried either of these? Any good tips or tricks you’ve stumbled upon?

Originally posted on Jolie Pagaille:

Hi everyone! It’s Kristina from The Feminine Files here again, and i’m back with a comparison review!

Makeup Sponge Header

Sponge make-up applicators…have you used them? If not, i’ll be going over “what are they”, “how do you use them”, and “what’s the difference between them” today! If you have used them i’ll also be showing 2 varieties (one being a great dupe) so stick around! First up…


Sponge Make-up applicators have been around for a few years now, (beauty blender being the first) so a lot of people already know all about them. If you don’t, here is a quick snippet from the Original Beautyblender page: “The Beautyblenders elliptical shape is designed to match the contours of your face, and it’s lack of edges eliminates streaks, allowing for a perfect application every time.

I only started using my beautyblender a couple months ago when I got one it my Glossybox. At…

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March Favorites: NYX, Smashbox, Anastasia Beverly Hills

March Favorites


The month of March was spent trying to persuade myself not to buy any make up until April, since it’s my birthday month and double points will be abound.  I still managed purchase some fantastic products though, during forbidden trips to Ulta and detours to the Target cosmetics section while shopping for new apartment swag.  Check out some of my favorites below.


First up is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Brow Pencil.  This miracle device has saved my brows, or lack thereof.  My brows are virtually nonexistent in most places and patchy where they do manage to grow.  This brow pencil glides on easily and mimics the look of actual brow hairs.  The spoolie brush on the opposite end then brushes the product into the existing hairs to even it all off.  And all of a sudden you have perfect looking eyebrows that look like they grew on there by themselves.  The range of colors is fantastic, and the ash brown is the only eyebrow product I’ve been able to find that doesn’t have the auburn tones most brown pencils do.  It matches my hair and makes my eyebrows stand out well with its grayish tones against my pale rosy skin.


My second favorite purchase this month were the NYX Butter Glosses, in Eclair, Cherry Pie, and Apple Strudel.  These glosses feel smooth and delicious on your lips, and don’t leave a funky taste in your mouth.  They don’t seem to get dry or tacky throughout the day, and I don’t find myself having to reapply that often.  I love how easily these glosses are to apply as I run out the door, and the range of colors is beautiful.  I can’t wait to buy more soon!


I just can’t seem to get enough of Smashbox Photo Finish Primer.  I’ve been raving about it all month, but that is only because it really has become my go to, everyday primer.  This oil free primer glides over my skin like butter and makes it feel silky smooth.  My skin used to get dry and flaky when I put foundation on, but this makes it apply evenly and smoothly every time.  Ulta has this product on sale for half off Saturday 4/5 and you can bet I will be at my local Ulta bright and early to snag my self a tube or two.

Join me tomorrow for my April Wishlist.  It’s my birthday month so it should be a good one, haul wise.  I have some purchases planned to take advantage of my double points at Ulta, and I know the boyfriend has a thing or two up his sleeve.  So stay tuned!

FOTD: Stila In The Know Palette

Last Monday I wrote about the amazing deal Ulta was having on the Stila In The Know palette for only $20.  Well my amazing boyfriend must read my blog or listen to my incessant hinting, because he woke up and went to Ulta right when they opened that day to get one for me.

EOTD Stila In The Know

This is my first all matte palette so I was excited to play with the colors and work on my blending skills.  I was immediately drawn to the beautiful orange shade named Fire and decided to use that in my first FOTD with the palette.  I also used Wind, Earth, Clay, and Driftwood.

Stila In The Know
Stila In The Know

I think I could have tried to blend a bit better but I love how all of the colors complement each other.  The shades included seamlessly transition from one to another and all have a great earthy feel.  I paired it with a simple lip because the eye color is so dramatic, and used Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Dark Brown for the brows.  Check out the full face below!

FOTD Stila In The Know

As always, comments and constructive criticism are welcome.  Let me know which colors are your favorite from this palette!  Did anyone else pick this up in the Ulta deal of the day?

henryface Favorites: Urban Decay Naked Basics 24/7 Eye Pencil

I recently received an amazing clearance haul from Urban Decay, including my now favorite everyday eyeliner.  Below is a picture of everything I got, including the Black Market set, Heavy Metal glitter liner, a lip liner, and the Naked Basics 24/7 Double Ended Eyeliner.  I really only bought the last one so I could get free shipping, but I am so glad I did.


The Naked Basics 24/7 Double Ended Eye Liner has quickly become my favorite everyday eyeliner because of the way the colors compliment each other and my eyes.  This pencil includes Crave, the deepest, the darkest brown-black matte, on one end, and Venus, a soft off-white shimmer, on the other.  Crave is very dark and shows up basically black on my eyes, and Venus is slightly lighter than a nude tone.  Both live up to the high quality products that we are used to by Urban Decay, and glide on beautifully.


I love to use this pencil when I’m not wearing a whole lot of other makeup, and just want to define my eyes and make them pop.  I use crave along my top lash line in whatever shape I’m feeling that day, usually just a simple wing, and Venus along the bottom lash line.  I find that using a light shimmer along my bottom lash lines makes my eyes look wider and more awake.  The colors together draw your attention to my eyes, and away from whatever imperfections I’m trying to distract from.


This picture was taken after working for six hours so it also gives you a great example of the staying power of Urban Decay products.  The eyeshadow is Sin and Mushroom, also by Urban Decay.

ABM_1394323667Even with a bold red lip, you can see how the dark winged lined on top and bright shimmery liner on the bottom really makes the eyes stand out.  The above picture was a day I only had time to throw on my eyebrows, some eyeliner, and some lipstick, but I still feel put together.

The Naked Basics 24/7 Double Ended Eye Pencil is only $16 on the Urban Decay website which is a great deal for two different shades of eyeliner.  Their normal eyeliners run for $20 for a single color.  This specific pencil was designed to compliment the Naked Basics palette, but they also have ones for Naked, Naked 2, and Naked 3 if you’re looking for something to go with your favorite one.  I chose the Naked Basics because it came with both a light and dark color, but the other three options have some great black, browns and neutral purples.

henryface Favorites: Lorac Pro Palette


To kick things off, I’m planning a series of reviews on all of my favorite products, starting with the current love of my live, the Lorac Pro Palette. (Don’t tell my boyfriend or cats that I said that.)  The Pro Palette was my first real palette and I did a lot of research before choosing one.  I was looking for something that had a good range of colors for me to begin experimenting with, provided a good amount of pigmentation, and was cost effective, since I knew I would most likely be spending a lot more on make up once the ball started rolling. And oh, was I right.


The Pro Palette has a beautifully sleek and minimalistic outside, which allows you see the true intensity of the shadows inside.  The palette contains sixteen shadows, eight mattes and eight shimmers.  Having this mixture of matte and shimmer shadows is one of the things that drew me to this palette.  You have a full range of colors in both finishes, from a stark white matte and shimmery nude, to a true matte black and deep purple shimmer.  The shadows are incredibly pigmented and go on your eye as the exact same color you see in the palette.  They blend and layer easily together, and each color compliments the other fifteen colors beautifully.  The combination of looks using these colors are endless.

I love to use this palette pretty much everyday.  I use one of the matte colors as a base for my looks everyday because it provides a clean base to work on and keeps any other eyeshadows I layer over it in place.  Because I am so pale, I also love to use the white shadow as a high lighter occasionally.  It is difficult to find a light enough powder highlighter for my skin, but this true white blends and brightens beautifully.

The shimmer shadows provide your eyes with a bit of twinkle, but don’t cover your eyelid in glitter.  I love to wear the nude or champagne alone when I’m doing ‘no makeup’ makeup, and the gold, light bronze, and pewter are my go to colors when I’m creating a metallic look.  I was originally a bit apprehensive about the garnet because I’m not used to putting red on my eyes, but I love how it looks with the gold, browns, and black.  You can really make some striking but still natural looking creations with this range of colors.

The Lorac Pro Palette sells for $42, which is in the average range of prices for higher end palettes, and a good value for the quality of product, in my opinion.  You can find it online from many retailers or in-store at Ulta or Kohls.