Welcome to The Dark Side: Bath Bombs by Cryptessence Limited

Shop Local! Check out Cryptessence Limited Oils, Bath Aromas and Art at their website, https://cryptessencelimited.godaddysites.com

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This product was actually gifted to me by my lovely younger sister Hannah. She recently met the owner of Cryptessence Limited at her work and was generously gifted a few bath bombs to try out. Not only did she love the bath bomb and how incredible it smelled, but we couldn’t help but love the darker origins behind the name of these beauties. I was lucky enough to get to try one of the many she received from Jim, and I’m so eager to share my thoughts with you.

First off, the packaging is very neatly done. They have each bath bomb individually sealed in an air tight foil bag. It keeps moisture out so you don’t need to worry about long term storage in your bathroom or damage in between gifting/use. The label is handwritten which is a lovely homemade feature. I love it when producers add their own handwriting and show themselves through their products.

Carpathian Love Poem is actually a blend of two separate scents, Impaler and Elisabeta. Named aptly after Vlad the Impaler and his wife, Elisabeta. It’s a perfect combo for horror-obsessed couples. It looks like a bright and happy bath bomb, but the scene gets dark quickly after submersion. The two colors combine to create a lovely lavender color in the bathtub, and the scent is phenomenal. I did notice a few flecks of pink and silver glitter too. Not complaining, your girl loves glitter. It was very little though, so this could either be apart of the product or possibly mixed with another batch that contains glitter on accident. Either way, just want to disclose it for those glitter-phobic individuals out there.

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Elisebeta is the bluer color of the two, and Vlad is the pinker tone. The colors are slightly different when combined in comparison to their classic batches. This was likely done to achieve the gorgeous purple bath water at the end. Originally, Vlad is a rich red color. Perfect for signifying the blood baths he left behind. And Elisebeta is a lovely lilac, printed with a beautiful flower perfect for a Princess. I included a screen shot of their website so you can see more of their bath bombs. The creators Jim and Theresa really took care in creating a beautiful and fun product.

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Seriously in love with this sweet, and slightly musky scent. I used this bath bomb while sheet masking and binge watching youtube videos with a glass of Pinot Noir. Absolutely recommend enjoying this one either completely to yourself or with your significant other. My partner really loved the smell of this one!

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I hope you guys enjoyed seeing something a little different here. Check out more from Jim and Theresa at https://cryptessencelimited.godaddysites.com

Thanks for sharing your products guys! My sister loved them!!

♥ Mia

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Cult Favorite: Mario Badescu

Cult Favorite: Mario Badescu

The only man you’d ever want to hear your signifiant other talking about, Mario Badescu. This skincare brand has been around for over 50 years and has a variety of effective products so you can find whatever you need to tackle your skin issues. Read on to hear about my favorites from this brand.

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Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Rosewater & Facial Spray with Green Tea Duo, 4 oz.

I’m obsessed with facial sprays. I’ll own it. It’s easy for me to go through a bottle quickly too, and I just used this trio to replace my Clinique Moisture Surge face spray. There were a lot of ingredients that stood out to me in these, especially the aloe for soothing my skin throughout the day. Unfortunately – while they’re packed with the ingredients they claim to be like chamomile, cucumber and aloe – these are also artificially fragranced and dyed. If you’re sensitive to those ingredients and know they break you out, I would stay away. But for now I’m really enjoying playing with these and testing them out.

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Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream, 0.5 oz.

This is the second eye cream I’ve tried from Mario Badescu. Both of the eye creams I’ve liked have been rich, creamy and ultra hydrating. This one takes awhile to blend into the eye area but yeilds great results. I use this cream morning and night after rolling on my Caffeine 5% + EGCG from The Ordinary. It’s helped to moisturize and help de puff my eye area tremendously. You have no idea how happy I was to use this product after the It Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream. It’s tremendously better for my dry eye area, and is actually currently on sale on Amazon too!

My other favorite eye cream from Mario Badescu is the Mario Badescu Ceramide Herbal Eye Cream, 0.5 oz. which you can also pick up from Amazon. Yay for prime memberships!

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Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, 1 fl. oz.  photo from Mario Badescu’s website, http://www.mariobadescu.com/

My final favorite from Mario Badescu is their miraculous drying lotion. Without this and my COSRX hydrocolloid patches my face would still be covered in tiny closed comedones. I use this on troublesome spots in the morning and at night to eliminate acne and dry out the sebum and fluid beneath the skin. It works quickly, and lasts a lifetime. This can be very drying on surrounding skin. Take caution that you use just a little if your skin is dry or easily irritated by drying products.


 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases in this post.

Have any favorites from Mario Badescu? Let me know in the comments below!

♥ Mia

 

April 2018 Boxycharm Unboxing

April 2018 Boxycharm Unboxing

Love makeup and skincare subscriptions? Check out this months Boxycharm unboxing, which is a $21/mo subscription that includes 4-5 full size products. This month features products from Dr. Brandt, MAC, Colourpop and more!

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I’ve been a subscriber to Boxycharm for nearly a year now. This post is in no way sponsored by Boxycharm. I’m just a loyal lover of their service. Every month I get at least 1-2 full size products that I love and such a great price point of only $21/mo., I think it’s worth it. Each box includes at least 4-5 full size products and is valued at over $100. There’s usually at least 1 luxury item in the box every month, but this month is featuring two luxury brands in both skincare and makeup. Another benefit to this subscription is the tools. Often, boxes come equipped with a variety of face and eyeshadow brushes. To some subscribers this can be a downside. I could understand that for people with larger collections, but if you’re just starting out or looking to build this subscription is a more affordable way to do that!

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I’m so impressed with this month’s items! Spoilers on Boxycharm’s facebook page and http://www.mysubscriptionaddiction.com revealed that April would include a Colourpop palette in every box, and that there would be a variation of 5 different palettes. These included Element of Surprise, Golden State of Mind, Semi-Precious, My Little Pony and You Had Me at Hello. If you missed out, you can also find these palettes on Colourpops’ website: https://colourpop.com

My box included the Element of Surprise palette. I wanted this one, or the My Little Pony palette. Both of the variations had colors that I would feel comfortable and excited to wear and add to my collection.


 

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Another featured item that was revealed in earlier spoilers was the Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner mask. This is a pore clearing mask that you leave on for up to 5-10 minutes to deeply cleanse and purify pores. The blue beads tint the mask light blue for a guide when you rub them in, and the mask dries quickly and feels very cooling. The cooling sensation even lasts after removing the mask, leaving skin feeling refreshed and clean. So far I really enjoy this mask! It retails for $42 on Ulta’s website. $42 freaking dollars.

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My favorite item in the box was actually a product that I wasn’t sure I would even like. It’s The BrowGal Instatint microfiber brow gel. I got the light hair (blonde) shade (subscribers either got a blonde shade or a brown shade variant in their box). Magically, I got a shade that matches my hair. I know many people weren’t lucky enough to get a color that fit their shade. One downside to Boxycharm is they don’t really offer customization options for skin tone, skin type and hair color and type unlike Ipsy and Birchbox.

This product not only keeps my brows in place, but it also tints and thickens them while still looking natural. It’s quick and easy, and if I want a little bit bolder of a look I can always use it to top my Anastasia brow pencil. I definitely recommend picking this up if you like microfiber brow products, I know I’m going to replace it as soon as I notice it starting to dry out.

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This box also included two eyeshadow brushes from SL Miss Glam. They’re so cute too. One is a nice fluffy brush and the other is a great little base lid eyeshdow brush. Both seem to work okay, but I really appreciate the attention to detail on the brushes themselves. There’s little gems on the wand, and the pastels are perfect for the “Eye Candy” theme Boxycharm was going for this month. The final item that I received this month was a MAC Liptensity Lipstick in Burnt Violet. It smells incredible like you would expect your typical MAC lipstick would. I always thought they smelled like rich vanilla frosting. Its creamy and very well pigmented. The color is just quite a bit too dark for me. I don’t tend to reach for purples in general, especially since I look more like a vampire than a glam goddess when I wear them. This is still a great product though. I know I can give this to a family member or friend and they would love it!

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I can’t wait for next month’s box! Do you subscribe to Boxycharm? Let me know what your favorite beauty subscription box is in the comments below!

 

♥ Mia

Boscia Luminizing Mask: Review

Boscia Luminizing Mask: Review

Charcoal infused products can be found everywhere now. In your toothpaste, in your water and of course in your favorite peeling face masks too. Boscia is an incredible brand known for its plant based products and a beautiful approach to skincare solutions. I put this Sephora favorite to the test, read on to find out more.

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Boscia Lumizing Black Mask


Full disclosure – cuz that’s just how we roll here. I never want to hide any partnerships, paid ads or if I was gifted products from you.  I’m here to find the best in skincare for my sensitive, ghostly, combination skin and will always be up-front with you about my genuine opinions of these products. Bad products exist, but so do really good ones too. Just remember that I’m here for you babes – always.

This mask was sent to me complimentary in exchange for a review from Influenster. I absolutely love using this service to try new products and show you guys what works and what doesn’t. It takes the partnerships out of the equation, so you can rely on the fact that most people are going to be very honest about if the product works or doesn’t.

Application:

The application directions suggest applying a very thick, opaque layer to the areas of concern on your face. Sephora’s website claims this mask is “An innovative, powerful, mineral-rich mask infused with activated charcoal that peels off to reveal a brighter, more clarified complexion.” It’s meant for all skin types, and it’s recommended that you avoid your eye area, hairline or lips. Once applied, leave the mask on for up to 30 minutes. Always run a test patch before fully testing the product to avoid allergies, skin sensitivity or any other awful reaction. Beauty shouldn’t be pain, please test before trying on your face!

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(me feat. sloppy mask application and crazy eyes – it was late guys, please forgive me)

Ingredients list from Sephora’s Website:

-Activated Charcoal: Absorbs impurities and excess oil, detoxifies, and exfoliates to refine the appearance of pores.
-Calcium Montmorillonite Clay: Absorbs excess oil, impurities, and toxins, gently exfoliates dead skin cells, and minimizes the appearance of pores instantly and over time.
-Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Glucoside): Helps brighten skin tone and minimize fine lines as it defends against free radical damage.
-Maritime Pine Bark Extract: Improves skin elasticity and hydration, helping to prevent the first signs of aging; provides antioxidant soothing benefits.

Full Ingredient List:

Water, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Glycereth-26, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Montmorillonite, Polysorbate 20, Acrylates/Palmeth-25 Acrylate Copolymer, Acrylates Copolymer, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Diglycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Extract, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Charcoal Powder, Iron Oxides (CI 77499).


So, Do I Love It?

I definitely recommend leaving this mask on for the full 30 minutes to get the most out of the peeling effect, and I did notice that my skin did look much brighter on the areas of application. I’ve reacted to charcoal peeling masks in the past, but this one didn’t cause me to break out so I’m very, very thankful for that. Honestly, I wasn’t really impressed too much with this mask. Tough, peeling masks like this just appear to rip out all my little baby hairs and take off some dead skin. Removing dead skin cells is awesome, but I have other exfoliating tools like my Hangsun Electric Face Brush SC200 does. I will continue to use this face mask as replacement for pore strips. I kind of like the sensation on my nose, but didn’t notice it removed much besides small patches of dead skin.

All in all, if you’re looking to purchase a black charcoal infused face mask this isn’t a bad product. It is a little harsh though, so sensitive skinned people please be careful!


Have you tried this product before or received an influenster vox box as well? Let me know in the comments below!

♥ Mia

The Ancient Benefits of Jade Rolling

The Ancient Benefits of Jade Rolling

Happy Monday, lovelies! Bringing you a new review on an ancient beauty practice known for balancing energy and promoting proper lymphatic drainage of the face. Twenty Prime reached out to me on instagram with a generous coupon in exchange for an honest review of this new trendy skincare tool! Read on for more about this traditional skincare practice and where you can purchase a jade roller of your own. 


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So why are people rolling around a stone on their face and promoting these bizarre facial exercises? Is it because it’s a beautiful tool that’s aesthetically pleasing to add to photos, or is it actually useful? There’s some large claims on this product ranging from wrinkle reduction and improving skin brightness to  balancing your “chi”. Brands are coming out with new versions of this left and right, and some are even in rose quartz instead of jade, and I have to admit they’re freaking adorable!I gave this specific brand a try after they reached out to me on Instagram, I’m always willing to try a new product despite how silly the claims might appear to be.

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This is much more than just a “facial exercise” tool, this facial roller is made from genuine, solid jade stones. Each is unique and no two stones look the same. Typically seen in ancient China as a precious stone meant only for the elite; it embodies wisdom, courage and compassion. Jade is also known for it’s uplifting energy and purifying properties in skincare. You won’t just see this stone in Jade Rollers, jade is also used for flat facial stones. The idea behind them is the same; massaging and rolling skincare products into the skin with your Jade tool is supposedly beneficial for distributing the healing energy of the stone.

Using the Product

Before trying this product I did a little prep work for the best results. I found it was a little squeaky out of the luxe black velvet bag it came in, and used a little of my Rosehip Oil from Radha Beauty to lubricate and calm the squeakiness. This isn’t that uncommon either, so feel free to do this with yours too if you have a similar issue with the squeaks! Then I cleaned it with a warm washcloth and gentle soap, and placed it back into it’s back and popped her into the fridge to make sure the stones would be extra cool for my first use. The little black bag she came in was a little ripped on the side which was disappointing but I can find another bag to put it in if it rips any further.

When it was time the next morning to do my skincare routine, I was excited. I actually really enjoyed using the roller after applying serum all over to my face. The jade was so cool, and it felt incredible on my skin. I applied the rest of my face products, and then used the roller again when it was time to use my caffeine eye serum. As I do every morning,  I applied one drop onto my under eye area and then used the smaller end of the roller to massage it in place. It was incredible! The cooling sensation felt amazing on my eye bags and I think it helped the serum work a little better.

My face has been much puffier in the morning due to spring allergies, and after using this I felt that I looked a little less puffy and little more awake. Especially around my under eye area. If facial rolling doesn’t work in the long term for me, I would keep this product just for my dark, puffy eye circles. My eye area is already so sensitive that using this Jade Roller instead of my fingers sounds like a no-brainer to me. There was no visible difference in brightness or wrinkles, but I’m sure that would take a few more uses before I could genuinely test that claim.

There’s a lot of claims, gorgeous photos and beautiful faces out there touting this around, but I still have yet to see solid proof on all of this products listed benefits. In the end, this is still a very cute, affordable and interesting product. I don’t believe it’s an alternative to derma-rolling at all – there’s no way a rolling a non porous stone across your face could compare to physical retexturing power of sharp needles. I would definitely recommend Twenty Prime if you’re in the market for one of these – especially since they’re one of the most affordable I’ve seen so far.

Order Your Jade Roller Here:

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The Original Premium Jade Roller for Facial Massage by Twenty Prime | 100% Natural Jade Roller Massager


What skincare tool have you invested in recently? Let me know in the comments below!

Looking forward to seeing you again,

Mia 

 

Friday Flatlay: Sweet Dreams

Friday Flatlay: Sweet Dreams

She’s back, and she’s absolutely glowing! #Fridayflatlay is here for all you makeup and skincare flatlay lovers. Enjoy some gorgeous shots while you hustle through the end of your busy week and work on accomplishing your dreams.

♥  ♥  ♥


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Thank goodness for the weekend! This #fridayflatlay post is inspired by sweet dreams and recovery through the weekend. We’re hard working individuals and we deserve some relaxation in between doing big things! I got this adorable light box print as a gift from a friend a few years ago, so I’m not sure where it came from but this quote rings true. “Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move mountains.” These last few weeks have been absolute chaos for me, I’m looking forward to spending some relaxing time with my love and trying out my new jade roller that I’ll be reviewing for you all soon.  Keep your eyes out for a review on that next week babes.

What are your weekend relaxation plans? Any big goals you’re working on right now or mountains you need to move to make your next big step? Let’s chat in the comments below, I’d love to know!


Product List:

The Ordinary

  • “Buffet” Serum, you can read more on this product in my review here:  The Ordinary: Triple Threat
  • Lactic Acid 10% + HA, also reviewed on The Ordinary: Triple Threat
  • Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalene – Anti-Aging and fine line and wrinkle fighting little gem that is already starting to show results after a few weeks of inconsistent use. I’m going to begin using this regularly and will update you all in a new and much more thorough review soon!

It Cosmetics

  • Confidence In An Eye Cream – Anti-Aging Eye Cream to help balance and heal skin and help with aging eyes and wrinkles. – – – I’m really trying to finish up this product as fast as possible! My eyes are really suffering right now, and I ordered a new eye cream to help with moisture and puffy eyes rather than wrinkles. I’m 23, I gotta get my priorities straight! I originally tried this after reading excellent reviews online, but I personally won’t be repurchasing this item.

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Let me know what #fridayflatlay content you guys want to see next!

See you next week,

Mia ♥

The Ordinary: Triple Threat

The Ordinary: Triple Threat

 

They may take forever to ship their products and appear to regularly be out stock of cult-favorite items, but their approach to affordable but effective science based skin care is far from ordinary. Read on to find out more about these three simple yet powerful products.

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Deciem’s CEO (the parent company of The Ordinary) is under a lot of fire right now for his outrageous social media posts and border-line breakdown demeanor.  After letting go his Co-CEO, hosting a mass firing spree and continuously posting extreme imagery on the companies social media accounts, it seems like most people would want to jump ship. I get where they’re coming from. From the outside, a glimpse into one of the firecracker CEO’s dramatic and lengthy instagram posts might make it appear as if the whole company is on fire. And hey, it might very well be.

I’m here to offer a slightly different perspective. While I personally believe that the CEO of Deciem, Brandon Truaxe is acting out of line, I still firmly believe in the company and it’s products. Here’s the thing, customer service and company culture is important. Especially in today’s day and age where companies are put in the spotlight over poorly planned out marketing decisions or advertisements regularly. Personally, I think this is a cry for help, but we’ve all been there. I’ve had mental breakdowns shake my career, school and life many times before. Things are just a little different when you’re a public figure and brand owner. Regardless, I still believe that the quality of Deciem’s products are incredible, worth the money and the shipping wait time.

And guys, I fucking hate waiting for shipping.

So today in light of all the chaos, we’ll be chatting about some products that have impressed me the most from The Ordinary’s skincare line.


 

THE PRODUCTS:

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG – Of all The Ordinary’s products, this one is my holy grail favorite. I have a very sensitive and delicate under eye area. It’s difficult to find products that both reduce puffiness and redness and don’t start to bother my eyes after using it. This one is different though. I use this solution under my eyes – just a drop each – morning and evening. Immediately, I saw a difference in the puffiness of the bags underneath my eyes. Freaking outstanding if you ask me, it’s what every person wants! This won’t just instantly de-puff your eyes though, this product is also designed to fight eye contour pigmentation issues too. Over time I’ve noticed a huge difference and I rarely wear concealer under my eyes now. BTW, you get a full OZ of product when you purchase this, I’ve had mine for almost 5 months and I’ve made such a small dent. It’s the best!

“Buffet” – Classified on Deciem’s website as a Multi-Technology Peptide Serum, this serum is one of The Ordinary’s few combination products. By that, I mean they combine multiple ingredients or “technologies” to create the product. Most are simply one trick ponies but the whole point is to create and customize your own skincare routine to exactly what you need. I like this approach much more than other traditional skincare companies, which is another reason I will continue to love this brand.

I’ve been using this serum for 2 months. To use, I apply 2 – 3 drops in the AM and PM after cleansing and toning my skin. I’ve noticed a significant decrease to fine lines, and my face is looking so much more plump. This product is suspended in 11 amino acid complexes and hyaluronic acid complexes, which are designed to help nourish and keep the skin moisturized. This serum is just as effective when combined with harsh acids or vitamin C formulations to help dilute the product and minimize the irritation on your skin.

Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% – A stronger formulation of the Lactic Acid 5% + HA, this acid is for more experienced skin care lovers. If you have sensitive skin, build up your tolerance first with the weaker formula first before trying this one. I use this product in the evening, and dilute it with one of my two favorite serums to reduce irritation. My favorite serum at the moment to cocktail this product with is “Buffet”, which has a very thick consistency. The Lactic Acid 10% + HA is very watery, so it’s the perfect pairing for easy application. Right now, this is my favorite exfoliator. It does contain hyaluronic acid, much like the “Buffet” so not only does it help to strip and reduce congestion and build up in my pores but it also helps to moisturize and heal the skin. Make sure to use a sunscreen when using this product though because it also contains AHA’s. They’re known to cause an increased risk of sun damage with exposure, so keep your pretty skin safe!
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*header image from The Ordinary’s website, http://www.theordinary.com


 

Have you used any of these products? What’s your opinion on the chaos happening at Deciem’s headquarters right now? I’d love to talk more about this with you in the comments below!