Today I wanted to talk about something that has me excited. Why? Because it pertains to one of my primary skin concerns and that is the area around my eyes! 

I have accepted the fact that my eyebags aren't going anywhere unless I go see Dr. Juvederm. And even though I am aging like fine wine :)  I still detect fine lines around my eyes and crows feet when I smile. But that acceptance hasn't stopped me from being overprotective about it! Which brings me to PCA Skin Ideal Complex Revitalizing Eye Gel* ($84.00)!

PCA Skin Ideal Complex Revitalizing Eye Gel
I find myself always drawn to purple and pink eyeshadows. A recent release from Kiko led me to the Kiko Milano Artist Stroke Mineral Loose Shadow ($8.00)! I swatched three colors and settled on Abstract Burgundy.

Kiko Artist Stroke Mineral Loose Eyeshadow - Abstract Burgundy

Do you want a long-lasting liquid lip color that doesn't dry your lips out? I have the answer for you with Studio Gear Cosmetics True Whipped Gloss Stains!
Studio Gear Cosmetics True Whipped Gloss Stain
Today, I want to talk about sheet masks, in particular, from a brand called WHEN. You might have seen them in Sephora or Ulta, and I'm going to talk about three of them today.

About the brand:
When has been around since July 2011 and specializes in sheet masks. They are a Korean company (which I love) and has expanded its products into the Western market. They use bio-cellulose for the mask as opposed to regular cotton masks or even hydrogel masks. Each mask contains 23 ml of essence, about standard (most masks I've tried contain between 20-30 ml of essence). All When masks contain hyaluronic acid and ginseng extracts. This would be my first time trying a bio-cellulose mask. 

When Glamour Base Mask Pack
Valentia Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum ($35.00) is a lactic acid-based serum that is supposed to moisturize, minimize fine lines. even out hyperpigmentation, renew texture and tone, increase elasticity. I've had a facial before that included lactic acid and it came out beautiful. So when the brand sent over the serum, I was quite excited to give it a go!

Valentia Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum
I've heard quite a bit about blackUp Cosmetics, a brand based in France targeted for women of color. I've yet to try anything from the brand, well, because it's quite new and just as pricey as everything else I buy. In essence, I find myself needing a good reason to pull the trigger on anything from the brand. Well, I made my way into my local Sephora recently and what do I find? Teasers of the blackUp Cosmetic Contouring Sticks. There were two colors on display, Medium Light and Medium Dark. What was also interesting to me, is that there are two colors after the shade I swatched, and the dark end was pretty dark. So if you're a chocolate lady, these show some serious promise! I'm looking forward to seeing more from the brand.

BlackUp Cosmetics Contour Stick (Medium Dark)

Where on earth did April go? And I thought February was short... This month just flew by!

I recently wrote a preview post about the April Play! by Sephora beauty box and finally received my mine in the mail this week. I had a chance to play around with it for a bit, and since it's my first, thought I'd show you all what was in the box and what it looked like.

Play! by Sephora (April 2016)

Today, I have a look for you all, brought to you by MAKE Beauty. It features their Matte Finish Eyeshadow in Alabaster and their Silk Cream Lipstick in Taffy. I used Inglot's makeup base as a primer for the shadow and I should mention that the lipstick is quite moisturizing and a very pretty, professional pink.

MAKE Beauty Alabaster on lids; Taffy on lips
I'm pretty picky... and I have never called any beauty product a holy grail anything. But this here...

Murad Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence

I went to Jamaica and came back to everyone hollering about Beyonce's new visual album, Lemonade. I haven't seen it yet (will take care of that TONIGHT), but I thought it was totes approps to publish this review on the Too Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick Queen Bee. 

Too Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick: Queen Bee

I am ready to play! 

from the Sephora website
I haven't done beauty boxes in a while because I find them hard to customize and get right for everyone. I'm sure they have gotten better and more sophisticated since I quit my Birchbox subscription years ago (they just piled up and I never seemed to have time to open them). When Sephora sent me an email inviting me to join their subscription service, I couldn't resist! 

I did check the website for previews beforehand, but it wasn't giving me much until it actually shipped. I am excited about the samples included in April's box!

I have been wanting to try Sunday Riley's Good Genes for some time and am happy to see this highly-raved-about cream in the box, especially since I have been after it. Good Genes is an "all-in-one Lactic Acid Treatment" that's supposed to exfoliate, brighten, and clarify for "immediate, smooth radiance." As excited as I am about Good Genes, I am currently testing a lactic acid serum with similar ingredients, so this will have to wait until I'm done with that. But just as a hint, my skin seems to be really enjoying lactic acid! So I'm even more eager to try and compare Good Genes to the product I am using now! The only unexciting part about Good Genes is its retail price, $105.00 for 1 oz. Folks seem to love it though, so there must be something.

Also included in the box is a sample Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien. I really like Nars Cruella, the velvet matte version of this lip pencil included as a birthday gift for Beauty Insiders last year. Rikugien is described as a rose pink and I'd like to imagine it's the name of a beautiful, bad-ass, sword-wielding anime character. :) Turns out, it's a beautiful garden in Tokyo. I'm ok with that.

Milk Makeup is relatively new on the scene and recently I tried two of their lip colors and was pretty impressed by them. So naturally, I am curious about their addition to the Sephora Play! box with their Sunshine Oil. The oil can be used on the face and body for moisture and brightness. Now because I have oily skin, and also because this appears to contain fragrance, I probably won't be using this on my face, but will definitely try it on my body. It doesn't currently have many reviews, but the ones it does have are all positive. At $38.00 retail for 0.5 oz., I'm hoping it turns me into a soft, golden goddess. 

I'm pretty cynical about eye creams and this is how I will likely approach Clinique's Pep Start, included in the box this month. It's described as an "instant brightening and hydrating eye cream" that's designed to fight the look of fatigue and support "natural collagen preserves." As with Good Genes, I am currently testing out a different eye cream, but will definitely keep this one in mind once I've made up my mind about the other one. I'm down to try anything that might help with my eye bags!

It wouldn't be an inclusive beauty box without a perfume sample, right? Derek Lam 10 Crosby's 2am Kiss, is included as a sample in the box this month. The fragrance is described as a "Salty caramel wrapped in a rich crystalized amber." I'm skeptical about that description, as I'm not a huge fan of amber anything, but willing to keep an open mind. 

Lastly, I must say how pleased I am that Sephora includes something from its own brand (seems to be a recurring theme). I think the Sephora Collection is highly underrated and they make really good products people should pay more attention to. For this box, they included the Sephora Collection Colorful Cheek Ink Gel in Peony. I'm not a huge blush person, but I do love trying blushes that aren't powder-based! I really like their Airbrush blush and am very excited to try this gel formula. If I like it enough, I might just pick up Water Lily, a bright pink which I suspect will suit me better as far a color payoff and intensity. But that is me jumping to conclusions; I can only wait and see what Peony has in store for me!

I am scheduled to receive my box by Thursday so the countdown begins! 

*This post includes affiliate links

I haven't been having much luck in the highlighter department that much lately because my skin has been holding a mutiny against me for some time and I've only recently been able to quell the rebellion. It just seemed like when I use highlighter, it just emphasizes my pores and acne scars. Sob! So when I came across the Kiko Glowing Pearl Cushion Highlighter 02 ($10.00), I thought it was interesting because it wasn't in powder form and I thought maybe this might be a possible answer to my problem.

KIKO Glowing Pearl Cushion Highlighter 02 Dynamic Coral

The Kiko Double Dare Eyeshadow and Eyeliner ($12.00) is supposed to be a long-lasting, double ended shadow and pencil combination. While it is a double-ended shadow and pencil combination, long-lasting, it is not (at least not for my oily ass lids).

Kiko Double Dare Eyeshadow & Eyeliner Gold - Teal

Bioderma Sebium Mat Moisturising Mattifying Fluid ($16.95) is a great option for those with oily skin. I just love it when a brand says their product is supposed to do something, and it actually does it. 
Thanks to its high matifying power, S├ębium Mat instantly and lastingly acts on all the causes of shiny skin:It regulates biological sebum secretion thanks to the synergic action of its sebo-regulating agents (zinc gluconate, vitamin B6).It neutralises reflection through the unique action of original microparticles (silica and micropearls). The skin reflects less light (optical correction).It absorbs sebum excess.AHA esters improve skin texture.It also contains the Fluidactiv® exclusive patented complex which biologically regulates sebum quality, keeping pores from becoming clogged and limiting the formation of blemishes.
Bioderma Sebium Mat Moisturising Mattifying Fluid
This bob was life changing! If only temporarily, that is enough for me. I can't remember ever getting so many compliments in my entire life. 

Sensationnel Empress Lace Front Wig Amelia