Kitsune Beauty

My Experience with the Honest Beauty bundle subscription

Makeup, Product ReviewsAnnisa DavilaComment

WHY I CHOOSE HONEST BEAUTY?

When it comes to purchasing new beauty products, I'm a complete sucker for chic packaging. It's one of my greatest flaws. I can't help myself. I must collect cute things! My lack of self-control is how I ended up with so many products from Glossier. Yeah, sure, the products never produced great results for my skin, but the adorable powder pink and white packaging displayed in my bathroom made the money spent well worth it. So, it probably goes without saying that I knew I wanted to try Honest Beauty at first glance. The sophisticated minimalist packaging seemed to be calling to me.

I was also intrigued because while promoting the new brand, Jessica Alba mentioned that part of her reason for creating the line of cosmetics was because she found it hard to find makeup that matched her skin tone. It's a problem that has plagued me for years, so I appreciated the fact that Honest Beauty made it a point to celebrate diversity by offering a wide shade range.  

The average price of one product is around $25, but you can also choose to make it a bundle and save up to 50% off the retail price. If you choose to go the bundle route, you get three products of your choice sent to your door for $50. Never being able to resist a good deal, I decided to go with the bundle and picked the products I wanted. 

Please note that if you choose to purchase the bundle, you are also agreeing to opt into their subscription service. The bundle subscription will ship automatically every four weeks with three items of your choice. However, you do have the ability to change the ship dates easily on the Honest Beauty App. You can also easily cancel your bundle subscription with a quick phone call if you decide.   

The entire collection consists of 83 pieces ranging from skincare products to makeup. With so many different items to choose from, I was certain that I would keep the bundle subscription for a while. However, after receiving my first bundle, I quickly began to wish I had paid closer attention to the organic and cruelty-free claims. 

The fact that this collection is considered "all-natural" or "green," quite frankly, went in one ear and out the other. But, please, if you only take one thing away from this chat, let it be that those phrases do actually mean something. While this line is great for people who are specifically looking for a green approach to beauty, overall, I found the texture and consistency of these "natural" products to be very different from mainstream products. 

Keep reading for insights on individual products. 

EVERYTHING PRIMER ($27)

Honest Beauty Everything Primer Review

The Everything Primer, in my opinion, is the shining star of the collection. This primer is packed with Hyaluronic Acid and Aloe Vera to keep skin plump and hydrated. I have used this product as a base for my foundation but have found that I prefer to use this product alone, on my good skin days. The Mica in this primer adds a subtle, luminous glow. 

I only have two gripes with this primer. The first is that it has a strange smell, but it dissipates over time. The other problem I have is that it comes in such a small tube. While I do like this product, I'm still on the fence about re-buying. 

RATING 4/5

EVERYTHING TINTED MOISTURIZER SPF 20 ($28)

Honest Beauty Everything Tinted Moisturizer .jpg

I picked this product because I was looking for a summer alternative to foundation. Hoping to find something with sheer coverage and solid SPF, I thought choosing this item was a no-brainer. After using the Everything Tinted Moisturizer for a few weeks, all I can say is that this stuff is THICK. The consistency of this tinted moisturizer is very dense and is best applied with your fingers. The coverage is medium-to-full. Depending on what your needs are this might be a good thing, but since I was looking for something more sheer and build-able I was not pleased. This stuff just felt like a mask on the face. 

RATING 2/5

TRULY KISSABLE LIP CRAYON – SHEER($18)

Honest Beauty Truly kissable lip crayon
 Truly Kissable Crayon, Coral Kiss

Truly Kissable Crayon, Coral Kiss

Being a lipstick addict, this was the item that I was most excited to try. I chose the color Coral Kiss because it looked like the perfect color for everyday summer wear. This product, however, was a letdown for the same reason as the tinted moisturizer. The thick consistency of the crayon did not sit well on my lips. However, I will say that the crayon had a great color payoff and was not sheer at all. 

RATING 3/5

Before I go I should say that even though I did not love the products I received from Honest Beauty I hope it does not stop you from trying them out. Everyone is looking for different things in there beauty purchases and just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean someone else won't love it. Have you tried Honest Beauty? Comment below with your favorite or least favorite products. 

Sunscreen Review: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid

SunscreenAnnisa DavilaComment
Annisa_Beauty_73.jpg

SUNSCREEN SINS

Growing up in Florida I had tan skin year ‘round. I wasn’t a huge sunbather, but just going about my regular scheduled activities in 90-degree weather was enough to keep me with a dark brown complexion that I always assumed was natural. I can remember my mother constantly nagging at my sisters and me to "remember to use sunscreen," but of course by the time we reached the pool or beach her pleas were forgotten. Instead, we would opt for tanning lotion with SPF 4 or even worse—sometimes baby oil. Yes, part of it was that we felt a little rebellious shrugging off our mother's concerns, but the other—maybe the most important thing to note—is that the sunscreens available to us at the time were mediocre at best. I'm sure your mind has now conjured up an image of an orange Banana Boat bottle or perhaps a pale pink tube with a blond baby on it. Whatever brand you may have used, as a child in the United States it really doesn't matter because the differences end at the packaging. The formula was always much too thick to go onto the face without clogging pores, and always seemed to leave behind an unpleasant white cast and strong smell.  

It wasn’t until my early twenties when I moved from the sunshine state to the heart of the Midwest and experienced my first winter that I realized I was not naturally tan. Even after I shed my Florida skin, I still had no interest in sunscreen. It does get pretty sunny here in Chicago during the summer months, but with my limited exposure to the sun, I figured my skin was fine because my foundation always had at least SPF 15 (I know, I was a fool.)

AFTERMATH

I didn’t become a self-professed sunscreen addict until after a long day outdoors at a music festival. When I came home and looked at myself in the mirror, I was completely shocked at my reflection. My forehead and cheeks were a shade of red that I never knew possible. The next day, when the pain set in, I made it a mission to protect my skin. I went to CVS and was initially very impressed with all the new sunscreen products on the market. I purchased a spray can for my body, and then on a recommendation from my mom, I picked up the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunscreen that boasted a broad spectrum of SPF 70.

With my new sunscreens in tow, I made it a point never to leave the house without my face and body being significantly coated. I even started to nag my boyfriend about the importance of wearing sunscreen daily. Thus, proving we are all destined to become our mothers. After a couple of months of incorporating my new finds into my daily routine, I began to realize that even though these sunblock’s had new packaging and cool delivery, they weren’t very different in formula than the sunscreens from my childhood. The spray can formula went on easily and dried fast, but after an hour of wear, it began to ball up and peel off the skin. Which, as you can imagine, was very embarrassing. I stopped using it opting instead for a more traditional SPF lotion on my body.

RESULTS

I kept the Ultra Sheer in my routine, but after some time of regular use, my face began to break out. I also found that it never seemed to play well with my foundation. Another reason I knew I had to ditch it was because even though it was a very sheer and seemingly fluid consistency, it did not go onto the skin easily. I had to tug to apply it, and once I did cover my face, I noticed that it left behind the universally unflattering white cast.

Even though the Ultra Sheer didn’t cut it for facial wear, I still loved its SPF70 claims, so I now solely use Ultra Sheer as protection for my hands. It might seem silly, but we all have to remember that it's very important to protect our hands and necks from the sun because they are one of the first parts of our bodies to show aging.  

With my first sunscreen picks leaving much to be desired, I knew that I had to use something. I refused to let the sun steal my youth. So I made it my mission to find the best sunscreens on the market focusing mainly on facial use. I hope you all will keep returning to see how I score my new sunscreen finds.

I would also love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below to share your holy grail sunscreens. Im also looking to add to my collection! 

 

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunscreen Verdict:

Pros

  • Broad spectrum SPF 70
  • UVB protection
  • Fluid consistency

Cons

  • Strong sunscreen scent
  • Hard to blend
  • White cast
  • Clogs pores
  • Drying
  • Chalky

 Rating: 2/5

This rating is based on facial use. The Ultra Sheer breaks two of the cardinal rules of sunscreen use by clogging pores and leaving behind a white cast. There are several better sun protection alternatives on the Asian and European markets.

 

 

Review: Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

Product Reviews, Skin CareAnnisa DavilaComment

WHAT IS A CLEANSING BALM, ANYWAY?

When I first heard about cleansing balms, I immediately knew I had to try one. Not because I necessarily needed a new cleanser, but because I'm a sucker for new and unusual skin care products. Seriously, the more foreign the product sounds, the more I want it. In the wee hours of the night, I've convinced myself that I needed a Korean essence, packed with bee venom and snail secretions. I had never even used an essence before, but I had to have it! I've also spent countless hours in search of peel away lip stains (Ouch!) and Derma Rollers (Double ouch!). While my lack of self-control for all things obtuse has sometimes been in vain, I have also found some amazing Holy Grail products like Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm.

Just like the rest of you ladies, after a long day at work and especially after a night out, I'm tempted to just hop into bed without taking off my makeup. A few years ago when cleansing wipes were all the rage, they seemed like an easy and fast option to clean skin. Maybe I just never found the right brand or variation, but the cleansing wipes always required a lot of work on my part while delivering mediocre results. I always needed multiple wipes to remove all of my makeup and even still, I knew there was stuff left behind. (Let's not forget about the trauma of removing eye makeup.) So, when more and more brands started to release cleansing balms, I decided to do my research and see what all the fuss was about. After a few long nights of intensive research (insomnia is real), I decided to pull the trigger and purchase the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. Coming in at $29, I thought it was a reasonable price from a trustworthy brand.

HOW TO USE

Cliniquetakethedayoffcleansingbalm.gif

When it first arrived, I will admit I wasn't completely sure how to use it. The product comes in a plastic jar with a metal twist-on lid. The product itself is completely solid until it comes into contact with body heat. The first night, I tried to swirl a cotton ball around to pick up some product, but it wasn’t a great result. I was hesitant to put my fingers straight into the jar for hygienic reasons, and because I wanted to spare myself the probable mess.

After a bit more review-trolling, I finally came across the best piece of advice on how to apply it: use a knife (or spoon) to scoop out the desired amount of product. If you’re a complete germaphobe like myself, you can use a new, disposable knife every night.

Once you get the product out, you have to begin warming it up by rubbing your hands together. The heat from your hands turns the balm into a rich oil. I usually spend 30 seconds or so massaging it into my dry skin in a circular motion. I even rub it gently around my eye area. After 30 seconds, I take a clean washcloth, wet it under the faucet, and then begin to wipe my face in sections. When the balm comes into contact with water, it emulsifies and turns into a milky white substance that dissolving along with every last bit of your makeup.  

RESULTS

The cleansing balm is extremely gentle on the skin. It’s a true godsend for me in the winter because it never leaves my skin dry or tight. Even stubborn eye makeup comes off without a struggle or sting. For that reason alone, the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm will always have a place on my skincare shelf. Yes, there are a few more steps than using a cleansing wipe; but in the long run, the cleansing balm removes makeup more thoroughly and with such ease, you’ll never want to use anything else to remove your makeup again!

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm Verdict:

PROS

  • Dissolves all makeup including eyeliner and mascara
  • No fragrances
  • Doesn't dry out the skin
  • Good for sensitive skin

CONS

  • Unhygienic jar

Rating: 5/5

This cleansing balm gets a perfect rating because of its amazing ability to dissolve makeup—including stubborn eye makeup—with ease. It’s gentle enough to use year ‘round. Do you have any experience with cleansing balms? Leave me a comment with your favorites! 

Review: Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Skin CareAnnisa DavilaComment

Paul's Choice 2% BHA Liquid

MY SKIN BEFORE THE SKIN PERFECTING LIQUID

 When I was a teenager, my skin was perfect. I would get the obligatory hormonal pimple once a month, but aside from that, I had no real concerns. The only makeup I wore was mascara, and if I felt like it, I would sometimes remove it before bed. If I were feeling really inspired, I would maybe wash my face at night. My skin stayed that way until my mid-twenties when my body chemistry decided to do a complete 180. My clear and effortlessly glowing skin was replaced with dry patches. Aside from the texture change, I also had to deal with what seemed like a never-ending string of breakouts. The pores on my cheeks, which I honestly never noticed before, grew larger with every passing day. 

TAKING ACTION

After a few weeks of sulking around and hoping that my skin would even itself out, I decide to take action. I started with a simple routine of diligently removing my makeup with a cleansing wipe every night, followed by a foaming cleanser, and then applying a night cream. While taking better care of my skin did seem to help keep the breakouts at bay, I kept feeling that my routine could use an upgrade. After many nights of tireless research, I decided that if I really wanted to get serious about seeing results in my skin that I had to commit to a proper, grown up, 6-8 step routine. Which, yes, I’ll admit is a little bit on the crazy side, but once I get into something it consumes me and all of my $$$.

Since I didn’t have the funds to just go out a buy an 8-piece set, I decided to add the new steps in gradually. This also helped me to see how each individual product was performing. First, I added a hydrating mist, then a serum, and then an eye cream to the mix. After a few months, I began to grow more comfortable with my longer skin care routine. In fact, with every new product added, the more I began to treasure my nighttime routine. I found the time dedicated to my skin relaxing, and more importantly, I loved being able to see the positive results in my skin.

Even though I was beginning to see my skin change for the better, there was still one-step that always alluded me—finding an exfoliator. This was proving to be a harder task than I originally thought. I purchased several exfoliating scrubs and washes but was always left with nothing more than a red and irritated face. Desperate to find a product that wasn't so physically rough, I stumbled into a realm of exfoliants that I had never knew existed before: chemical exfoliation!

RESULTS

There are several different chemical exfoliators on the market, but I decided to go with the universally loved Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid. Having never used a chemical exfoliant before, I very slowly incorporated the powerful liquid into my routine. After a couple trial uses, I began to use the product every night. After a week, I quickly began to see what all the fuss was about. The skin perfecting liquid lived up to all of its claims. Within the week, my skin began to appear noticeably brighter and smoother.

Another almost immediate result was that I began to see my blackheads dissolve. I won't lie to you and say that my blackheads are completely gone now, but I can say that this chemical exfoliant has helped significantly reduce the size and amount of them. To be honest, this is the only product I have ever used that has ever had any kind of effect on my blackheads. Also as a note, I only use this liquid once at night, but it is safe to use this during the day as well. Just make sure to use a sunscreen if you're going out into the sun. I’m sure using this product twice a day would help reduce blackheads even more. 

I knew before using this product that it would help with blackheads which was certainly welcomed, but it's the other results that have made me a true fan of this product. I started to notice that the constant patch of tiny red bumps on my forehead began to disappear. I also saw the redness around my nose and cheeks even out with the rest of my skin tone. 

This product has made such a noticeable improvement in the quality of my skin that I never go a day without using it. 

Paula's choice even offers the chemical exfoliant in varieties other than the liquid. If you have dry skin, you may consider trying the Skin Perfecting Lotion, or if your skin is oily, you should check out the Gel.

For $10 off your first purchase click here: https://goo.gl/I3eSqQ

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Verdict:

PROS

  • Fast acting results
  • No scent
  • Easy to apply
  • Dissolves stubborn blackheads
  • Helps to relieve redness
  • Brightens complexion
  • Smooths skin

CONS

  • Can be somewhat drying

Rating: 5/5

This is a life-changing product that I would recommend to friends and family. Adding this chemical exfoliator to my routine has made a tremendous difference in the quality of my skin. It has also noticeably reduced stubborn blackheads. This product has been a welcome introduction to the world of chemical exfoliants. If you know of any other brands I should try please leave your recommendations in the comment section below! 

How to grow stronger fuller lashes in 4 weeks with RapidLash Eyelash and Eyebrow Growth Serum!

Product ReviewsAnnisa DavilaComment
Rapidlash review.jpg

The Incident

Last year, I had a traumatic experience involving an eyelash curler—and before you click out and stop reading—I promise to spare you all the horrid details. Instead, I will just tell you about the devastating aftermath and the frenzy I was in to try to repair and minimize the damage. My first thoughts quickly traveled to those Claire Danes’ Latisse commercials I had seen for so many years. So, I began my research with how to get my hands on a bottle. After learning almost immediately that you had to have a prescription for Latisse, and that one bottle would set me back at least a hundo, I decided to set my lashes on a product more attainable.

Eyelashes prior to the "Curling Fiasco of 2015" had never been a problem for me before. So, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there was a huge market dedicated to eyelash and eyebrow growth that I had never been exposed to. I found trusted reviews on a number of products ranging from $8 to over $100. I didn't want to be a complete cheapskate when choosing a product, but I also had to be realistic and not get myself into trouble by starting an expensive habit I would never be able to keep up. The obvious choice quickly became RapidLash at $28 a tube. I knew I wouldn't be completely heartbroken if it didn't produce the results I was looking for, but I also knew that if it did work I had the means to repurchase easily. You can find RapidLash at CVS or Walgreens, but I have always had luck purchasing mine safely on Amazon where I can find it for a few bucks cheaper.

The Results

As soon as my first bottle of RapidLash arrived I quickly incorporated it into my nightly skincare ritual making sure that I was diligent about applying it every night. The serum itself has a very thin, water-like consistency that you apply to the top lashes the way you would eyeliner. I never tried it, but you can also use this on your lower lash line as well as your eyebrows.

After a few weeks of consistent use, I finally had the answer to the question that has brought you to this blog post, which is: Yes! RapidLash eyelash and eyebrow enhancing serum really does work. I can't say that it has made my lashes any longer. However, after four weeks of use, I began to see lashes transform from long and sparse into a set of strong and full lashes with no signs of damage. Once you get the results you are looking for its easy to just stop using the serum, but be aware that if you do, the lashes RapidLash helped you grow will fall out. That is also the way you can tell that you need a bottle; the liquid won't run out, you will just begin to notice your lashes thinning out. I hope that doesn't come across too dramatic—it won’t hurt or anything, and it won't leave you patchy.    

Since using RapidLash for over a year now, I have gotten compliments on my lashes from friends and complete strangers. I have also had professional makeup artists rave about how lucky I am to have such full and long lashes. I always laugh off the compliments with a “they’re all natural, wink-wink” joke before I spill my secret weapon.

rapidlash review

RapidLash Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancing Serum Verdict

PROS

·       See results in as early as two weeks

·       Easy to apply

·       Doesn't darken eyelids

·       Doesn't interfere with eye creams/serums/moisturizers

·       Tube lasts for several months

·       Easy to find at drugstores or on Amazon

·       Reasonable price

CONS

·       If you stop using the product your new lashes will fall out

 Rating: 4/5

RapidLash doesn't get a perfect score because if you stop using this product the lashes grown with it will fall out. It’s not painful or anything, but it would be nice to find a product that could grow permanent lashes. I have, and will continue to recommend this product to friends looking for fuller lashes at a moderate price.

Living Proof (PhD) Night Cap Review | The Overnight Hair Treatment Miracle

Product Reviews, Hair CareAnnisa DavilaComment
Living proof perfect hair day Night Cap

BEFORE THE NIGHT CAP

I was born a slave to my hair. Frizzy, fuzzy, unruly were all words that could be used to describe my unkempt mane. As a child, my parents nicknamed me the Lion King. I lost hours of my life dedicated to flat ironing out any texture that I had, making sure every section of my head was completely straight. Of course, if there was ever any humidity in the air then it really was all in vain. My silky indoor locks would quickly turn to frizzy waves at the first signs of moisture in the air. All my hard work undone on the short walk from my apartment to the 'El' stop. A horror that is all too familiar in the spring and summer months where it seems like it rains every day.

IMMEDIATE RESULTS

That was until I came across the Living Proof Night Cap, which is a part of the Perfect Hair Day (PHD) collection. I half haphazardly received a sample of it with my rewards points from Sephora and after the first use, I knew that this stuff had to be some kind of miracle from the heavens. When it comes to hair care products, I typically keep to a drugstore budget. I’ve probably never spent more $15 on any hair care item before. After using the Night Cap for a week, I was back in Sephora purchasing the full-size bottle. At $28, it was a little steep for me, but with the results I got I would probably pay double for a bottle of this phenomenal goodness. With its multiple uses and immediate results, it has made its way to Holy Grail status in my eyes.

HOW TO USE

One of the many ways to use the Night Cap is to apply a dime size amount to dry hair before bed and to rinse it out with a shower in the morning. This application also works great if you blow-dry your hair; it keeps your roots frizz-free as you work, and results last for up to three days.
If you don't like to use heat on your hair, you can use the Night Cap as the last phase in a beach wave’s routine. There are hundreds of different ways to air-dry hair but for the purpose of this article, I will share the routine that works best for me.
Step 1) After the shower coat wet hair with a leave-in conditioner focusing on the ends. The one I use is by Amika.

Step 2) Generously spritz hair with a sea salt spray or curl enhancer. I use a combination of two John Frieda products, Dream Curls, and Beach Blonde Sea Waves.

Step 3) Run a comb through your hair to distribute products evenly.


The last step in the beach-y wave’s routine of times past would be to braid my hair and call it a night. While this routine did produce the waves I was looking for, it also made my hair very crunchy and stiff. Now I follow the same process, but I lock it all in with 2-3 pumps of Night Cap from roots to ends and then put in two braids. In the morning, I now wake up to soft-to-the-touch, shiny, frizz-free waves. All I do is add a little texture via powder or spray, and I'm out the door!

Another way to use the Night Cap is to use it on a 2-3 day-old hairstyle that you would like to get a little more life out of. The texture of the cream is very lightweight so your hair will never feel weighed down by the additional product.

 Before I started using the Night Cap, blow-drying my hair was a complete nightmare! The minute the hot air made contact with my hair, the frizz would come on strong. Even getting my hair blown out at a salon would produce the same embarrassing results. The way I knew the product was doing its job was when I went for a haircut after using the Night Cap for a few weeks. When the hairstylist began to rough dry my roots, she mentioned how manageable and frizz-less my hair was without any product in it. Maybe she was just talking aloud, but in my eyes, that was a full-blown compliment.  

Living Proof (PHD) Night Cap Verdict

PROS

  • Makes hair more manageable while you sleep
  • Results after one use
  • Great smell
  • Weightless texture
  • Quick absorbency, will not leave residue on sheets
  • Makes hair soft and smooth
  • De-frizzes
  • Works well with other products

CONS

  • Price

 Rating 5/5

Overall, I would, and have, recommended this product to everyone I know. Yes, $28 is on the pricey side, but it delivers big time lasting results. The product is not meant for daily use so the 4 oz. bottle will last for several months.