Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Balm TimeBalm Blueberry Face Treatment Mask Review

Wow. August has been insanely busy for me: work, writing, family, friends... just life in general. I am now part of a project for a cause close to my heart, but I'll speak more about that later. :)

I have been wearing makeup and using different beauty products--don't worry about that! In fact, I finally had an opportunity to try my sample of the blueberry face mask that came with my order from The Balm around Mother's Day.

This small packet holds enough product for at least two applications, but I used my sample up in one application. I don't like leaving open packets lying around. It just...grosses me out, I guess.

Prepare for a schmexy face!

Fierce right here.

Anyhoo, what surprised me most about the mask is that it doesn't have a blueberry fragrance. No pros or cons to that (if you have sensitive skin, I am sure that works out in your favor).

I left my mask on for way longer than the suggested 15-20 minutes. You see, I got side-tracked with a video game or a book (can't recall) and my cats. =^_^=

After I wiped off the mask with a warm, damp washcloth, my skin felt smoother and softer. I had no irritation, no redness, no itchiness--nothing negative!

Here's what the Website has to say:

"Blueberry Face Treatment Mask works to tighten and renew your skin with a combination of botanical extracts known to clarify your complexion and combat visible signs of environmental stress, while Glycerine and Aloe leave the skin fully hydrated and soothed.
How to Use:
Apply to cleansed skin up to two times a week.
All of our skincare is:
Paraben-free, Synthetic Dye-free, Phthalate-free, Cruelty-free & Made in the USA."
*It's recommended for normal to dry skin.*

Should You Try It: If you like trying new facial products, go for it. It's a bit pricey, though, for just a little over 2 ounces. I imagine you could find comparable face masks at the drugstore or at Ulta.
What: The Balm TimeBalm Blueberry Face Treatment Mask
MSRP: $22 for 2.36 fluid ounces
Pros: Virtually fragrance-free, non-irritating, seems to be suitable for sensitive skin, leaves skin softer and smoother
Cons: Pricey, available online only (as far as I am aware)
Have you ever tried this facial mask? What is your favorite beauty mask of all time? Let me know!

Pretty Panda's Ponderings
  • IBS strikes again! (TMI, I'm sorry...)
  • Mechacon is THIS WEEKEND!!!! 
  • Muffin and Katsuke like to play together, but Katsuke doesn't understand just how fragile little Muffin is. We have to make sure to watch them while they play.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Save Your Lips in the Summer!

It's Friday!!!!!!!!!!!! Is it normal to be this excited for a day of the week? I just love returning home after work, changing into something more comfortable than I what I wear to the office, and doing whatever tickles my fancy. 

I've been enduring some brutal heat here in southern LA, and along with the on-again/off-again rain, the outdoors often feels like a rain forest. Humidity, thou art a heartless wench!

One of my beauty woes is dry, constantly chapped lips. I always always always apply lip balm at night to allow my lips to heal and soften while I snooze, and I put some on before I apply my lipstick and/or lip gloss during the day.

I have a few favorites, but one that I am currently using and liking because of its texture, color, and SPF content is Neutrogena's Revitalizing Lip Balm with SPF 20.

I found it at Wal-Mart in May, and I have been wearing it almost every day (usually underneath another lip product). I own the shade Soft Caramel, a sheer, slightly pigmented neutral.

Who "nose" me best? Hahahahahaha--sorry...

If you wear lip balm (you really should so your lips are protected from the sun's rays), then you would like this one. There isn't a noticeable fragrance (really none at all to me), and I haven't experienced any side effects or irritation from this balm.

I like the slight shimmer it gives my lips, like a natural "lip glow." I sometimes wear just Soft Caramel and nothing else on top of it.

Neutrogena's site gives it a price of $8.99, but you can buy it at Wal-Mart for cheaper (the site lists it at $6.97).

My lips are doing well and feel safe whenever I am out and about, so this lip balm is worth a shot!

What lip balms do you like? Let me know!

Pretty Panda's Ponderings

  • Muffin, the little kitten we're fostering until my sister's friend comes to pick her up next week, loves to eat a slice of turkey for breakfast and dinner. Anytime, really. She's probably only two or three weeks old, so harder food is difficult for her to chew.
  • I recently discovered Lipgloss Leslie on YouTube while I was looking for tutorials on Wet N Wild's Three's a Party eye shadow trio. I think she's pretty adorable! I love her tutorial with those shades, too.
  • Brett is working this weekend. :( I hope we can grab supper or something when he gets off.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hey There, Puddin'! My Harley Quinn Cos-Play Photo-shoot!

Wowzers! I have had very little time or energy to sit down and write a blog post. I recently received some extra responsibilities at work, so I've been too busy to write anything at lunch.  Whenever I return home, I usually have chores to do; I also need to unwind with a good book, video game, or some swimming.

Forgive me, pretty pandas! :( Here's a new post!

In August, I am attending MechaCon in New Orleans for the second time (it's an anime/movie/Japanese culture/video game/comic book convention). I am going to cos-play as my own version of Harley Quinn, The Joker's loony sidekick who wears wicked colors. This past Sunday, my friend Brad shot some amazing photos of my youngest sister, Anne, and me in downtown Houma. He attended UNO for film, and he knows what the heck he is doing. Anne is going to cos-play as Catwoman! I wish our other sister, Kristen, would cos-play as Poison Ivy so we could be the Gotham Sirens, but that's not her thing. 

For your viewing pleasure, here are his shots! Enjoy, and please let me know what you think!

Makeup I used (in order of application):

*If you ever decide to paint your face, I recommend placing a strip of Scotch tape along your jawline or in the desired location(s) before applying the face products. This is how I was able to have a perfectly straight line.*

Have you ever cos-played before? Who or what were you? Let me know!

Pretty Panda's Ponderings

  • I still haven't had a snowball this summer!!!!!!
  • My dad found a little kitten near our neighbor's mailbox! We're taking care of her until Anne's friend comes to pick her up next week. Her temporary name is Muffin.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Avon Mega Effects Mascara Review

If you believe the eyes are the windows to the soul, wouldn't you want to make those beauties as gorgeous as possible?

I have been on a bit of a mascara kick lately. I don't believe in spending a hefty amount of money on mascara; I find cheaper ones work just as well--if not better--than the department store brands.

What most mascaras have in common is the application: a wand comes in a tube filled with the product. The wand's brush can differ: some brushes are large and thick while some are rubbery and have thin bristles.

Avon has unleashed a brand new way to apply mascara with the Mega Effects Mascara, which recently became available.

For just $10, I had to order one for myself. My mom requested one as well after she had seen it featured on the Today Show. Ours are both in the black shade.

Here's what the product description is on the site:

"This breakthrough mascara provides 24-hour volume, leaving lashes darker, denser and more dramatic. Get ready for a corner to corner lash transformation with our first ever Wonderbrush.

The Wonderbrush bends and adjusts to multiple angles capturing every lash, top to bottom. The unique brush fits the natural shape of lashes, coating them evenly with formula from root to tip. The extra surface area of the Wonderbrush bristles are designed to deliver 40% more mascara to the lash.

Mega Effects Mascara provides a clump-proof, sweat-proof, non-flaking and non-smudging experience. Ophthalmologist-tested. .317 oz. net wt."

So, how does one release this unique wand from its prison? After popping off the cap, simply wiggle the wand around and gently pull it out.

Let's see how it looks!

I am quite impressed with how easy this mascara is to apply. Simply brush the product on your lashes as many times as you wish, and then go on about your day. I love the volume this mascara gives my lashes. I am a volume freak

There is no clumping or irritation whatsoever. Just be careful when applying the mascara to your bottom lashes; some may get on your skin. I recommend keeping a cotton swab handy to gently remove the excess.

Should You Try It: Without a doubt--yes! It's affordable, convenient, and effective. I really love this new method of mascara application.

What: Avon Mega Effects Mascara

MSRP: $10

Pros: Affordable, no clumping, great volume and length, revolutionary and effective application method

Cons: May have excess mascara under bottom lashes, not readily available without an Avon representative (visit www.avon.com and click on "Find a Representative" if you don't have one)

Have you tried this new toy out? What about similar revolutionary mascaras? Let me know!

Pretty Panda's Ponderings

  • I tried a blog sale for the first time ever from Cosmetically Challenged! I bought her Tarte Treat Yourself to Gorgeous  eye shadow palette, and everything came preciously wrapped and as described! I'll share that later. :)
  • Brownies are better with chocolate frosting, y'all.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

True Blue Spa Blackberry Purifying Peel-Off Face Mask Review

Do you like Bath and Body Works' products? I certainly do--especially during their semi-annual sales. ;)

I picked up a product from True Blue Spa, a face mask, from the clearance bin last month. I love using masks to soften my skin and deep-clean it.

This particular mask is made from blackberries and claims to "purify" your skin.

The things I'll do to keep my skin healthy.

It's called a peel-off mask, which intrigued me. Most of my masks are just creamy.

So, after finishing my bath the other night, I pulled my hair back and applied this mask over my face.

It has a sticky consistency, and you may need a few globs to cover your desired areas. It is dark brownish black, and it doesn't dry clear or anything. You could have some fun sneaking up on people! It also has a sweet berry scent, so be careful if you have sensitive skin. This product may be too strong for you. :/

(Be careful when applying any type of mask around your eyes and lips; these areas are especially sensitive!)

I left my mask on for about half an hour, though the back of the tube says that only twenty minutes are necessary. I was playing a video game, so... yeah, time flew by.

With the "peel-off" claim, I expected to take an edge of the mask and just pull it off. Oh, no--I had to take a damp cloth and rub the mask off. It turned my little towel black, but that washed off in the washing machine.

My skin did feel softer and smoother after this mask; I just wish that it were actually a peel-off mask.

Should You Try It: If you cannot tolerate fragrances, dislike stickiness, or have sensitive skin, I would avoid this mask. If you like trying new facial products and like masks, have at it! The results are pretty nice.

What: True Blue Spa Blackberry Purifying Peel-Off Face Mask

MSRP: I paid about $5 for it on clearance, and it seems B&BW carries it only during the semi-annual sales. You can find a smaller version on Amazon for $10.00 if you are interested. 

Pros: Leaves skin feeling softer and smoother, stays put on face

Cons: Sticky, doesn't peel off well, rare

Have you tried this mask yet? What about other products from True Blue Spa or other brands' face masks? Let me know!

Pretty Panda's Ponderings
  • My sisters and I will be at MechaCon in New Orleans on Saturday, August 24th! See you there! ^_^
  • I love chicken salad sandwiches.
  • I got to see a job site for work yesterday--pretty neat! I liked getting out of the office for a bit.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mary Kay Lash Love Lengthening Mascara Review

Mascara used to be something I didn't think was important enough to use. When I first started wearing makeup, I thought eye shadow, some face powder, and lip gloss were enough.

Well, I was 12 and didn't have as many complexion issues just yet, so I got away with my style.

Today I have a review on Mary Kay's Lash Love Lengthening Mascara in I <3 Black. 

My MK consultant gave me a sample recently, so, of course, I used it as soon as I could!

Here's what the product claims to do:

Long, strong, seriously separated lashes. What’s not to love?
  • Creates bold, instantly intensified length of lashes.
  • Lifts, curls and perfectly separates lashes.
  • Conditions and strengthens lashes.
  • Non-clumping, flake-free formula wears all day for over 10 hours

The brush has short rubber bristles. I like the sleek, simple packaging. The full-size mascara comes with 0.28 ounces of product.

As you can see, the mascara does do a great job of separating my lashes and adding length. I really like to see more volume added since my lashes are somewhat sparse, but that's not the goal of this particular mascara. The formula doesn't irritate my eyes, and I use just one or two coats.

For $15, you're getting a nice deal. Mary Kay mascara tends to last for a while, and it really does perform better than some drugstore mascaras. My mom has sensitive eyes, and she's been using MK mascaras for years without any problems.

Should You Try It: If you crave length and separation, check out this mascara. Ask your consultant for a sample if you're not ready to spend the money. Contact-wearers, you'll be all right!

What: Mary Kay Lash Love Lengthening Mascara in I <3 Black

MSRP: $15

Pros: Great length and separation, no irritation, great for everyday use

Cons: Little volume added, a little expensive, only two colors available (I <3 Black and I <3 Brown), no waterproof formula available

What kind of lashes do you prefer? Do you like Mary Kay mascara? Have you tried this one? Let me know!

Pretty Panda's Ponderings:
  • I just ordered some Mehron white face cream and setting powder for my Harley Quinn cosplay! ^_^
  • I commissioned one of my favorite Etsy artists, Miss E's Accessories, to make a Harley Quinn-inspired jewelry set for my cosplay. Eloria has serious talent; just look at how amazing these pieces are! I can switch out the Joker card with the red and black pendant!