Haul and Review – Gifts From Christina

Hello, interwebz!  Today, I want to share some thoughts and reviews on products that one of my BFFs, Christina, has given me.  She is much more knowledgeable about beauty than I am and has been really supportive of my efforts to find beauty and skincare products to help my “new” skin.  Also, I found out that her mom has eczema.  So, I’ve been swapping stories and suggestions with her mom as well.  Hooray for supportive friends and family!

Christina was kind enough to share some Kat Von D products with me.  I have never tried the brand, but have heard alot of good things about them.  I immediately smothered my mouth with the Studded Kiss Ultra Violet lipstick and loved it!  I had never worn a purple lipstick as an adult, but it looked better on me than I thought it would.  I tried the red a few weeks later and it was VERY red.  I liked it, but definitely need to do a full face of makeup to balance out the VERY red lipstick.  The third color was a nude that worked whether I wore makeup or just sunscreen.  Christina also gave me a Tattoo Liner that I tried a few times before washing my face.  I am not very skilled at eyeliner, so I mostly use it just before washing my face because I’m trying to get better at applying it.  I wore it once in public and kinda messed it up, but I managed to mostly remove and cover the mistake with alot of eye shadow.  Mostly.  Either way, I love this eyeliner because it’s a very smooth application, the brush is fine tip, and the color is rich.  It stayed through puddles of sweat in the Texas heat, and that’s the highest compliment for any eyeliner!  These products are also vegan and not tested on animals.  Wearing this makeup made me feel a bit more glamorous than normal because I knew they were designed and approved by Kat Von D, who is a completely badass!

At a time when I was using foaming face washes that burned the sore spots on my skin, Christina gifted me with Pacifica Quinoa Sensitive Super Gentle Face Wash.  Guess what!  This stuff actually works!  It calmed my skin while also cleaning it.  There is a scent, but it’s not strong or perfumey and has not bothered my skin or sinuses.  I started using the other foaming face washes on my back and chest and I use this on my face.  Since switching, the eczema on my face has calmed down quite a bit.  Yay!

In my late teens – early twenties, I used Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lotion like it was going out of style.  I was self-conscious about stretch marks all over my body from gaining and losing weight all the time.  I figured that if Palmer’s worked for pregnant women, it could work for me, and it did, but it was too rich to use in the summer.  (I don’t think they even sell it now because they have so many specially formulated products, but this may be it.)  However, they recently came out with coconut oil products.  Christina’s mom gave me a bottle of Palmer’s Coconut Oil Body Lotion to try and I love it!  I use it every night on my hands, legs, and feet.  My heels are so dry right now, even during this sweaty summer.  This lotion keeps them pretty well exfoliated and smooth and has taken care of some cracked areas around my fingernails as well.  This is definitely a must try for anyone needing deep moisturization in high-humidity areas.

Christina also gave me some Acure Ultra-Hydrating Shampoo to try on my eczema-ridden scalp.  It doesn’t irritate my scalp, but it doesn’t work quite as well as the Korean stuff that I have been using (post on that to come!)  That being said, since this shampoo is organic, sulfate free, and paraben free, it works better on my hair after I have used hair dye than the Korean stuff.  The Korean stuff I have just heals your scalp and prevents hair loss.  This stuff heals your scalp (a bit more slowly than the Korean stuff), makes your hair smell nice (light almond scent), and protects your hair (and any dye on it).  So, I’m alternating it with my Korean stuff as needed and am very grateful to have just the right arsenal of hair products at my disposal in the shower.

Those are not all of the things Christina has given me over the past few months, but those are all of the beauty products!  Thank you for reading this post and let me know if you’ve tried any of these products.  Are you as in love with Kat Von D makeup as I am now?  What do you use on your dry heels?  Any other suggestions for gentle face washes?  Let me know in the comments below!

Unboxing – Kira Kira Crate

For Valentines Day, my husband bought a subscription to Kira Kira Crate for me. Kira Kira boxes have Asian hygiene and beauty products. I normally avoid these things because I’m allergic to everything, but my Asian mom always allowed me to use uncool Asian hygiene and beauty products when I was growing up because she said it would be okay on my sensitive skin. This was not what the girls at school or in Teen magazine used, so I resented my mom for this. Now, all the fashion magazines are always writing about the latest trends in Asian beauty products. That can only mean that I’m finally cool again right?!

Here is the adorable box that I will probably keep for storing craft and art supplies.

It always surprises me when companies put so much thought and artistry into shipping boxes. My husband buys a lot of computer and car parts online and they come in the ugliest boxes. He never knows what’s in them until he opens them up, which I think is terrible marketing. Kira Kira knows where it’s at; they even love you!

The pamphlet is adorable! It has info on everything in the box and reminds you to tag yourself in photos online using the products for a chance to win a free box. (Sweet!) I love the article on the lip palette. I’m definitely going to use this art in my journals. Bonus surprise!

Items in this month’s box:

  • Oil in Moisture Hand Jelly – This is cassis and berry blossom scented and the writing is in Korean. So, guess I’ll be learning Korean. The moisturizer is very light, absorbs quickly, and has a slightly floral/slightly fruity scent. Love this!
  • Mini bath ball – Cutest bath bomb ever! The bath bomb had a plastic outer shell that looks like the stuff that comes on detergent pods. I’m guessing this means that the wrapper will dissolve in water. (Edit:  It did not dissolve in water.) There are also adorable little strawberries on it, which makes me think this smells like strawberries. Other than the image that tells me eating these will make little boys cry, I don’t understand any of the writing on this product. I might let my daughter use this because she loves bath bombs, but has eczema like me. So, normal bath bombs irritate her skin. (Edit: I did let her use it, but the bath bomb was so tiny that it barely did anything, which was good because of her eczema.)
  • Art Collection Tokyo lip gloss palette – I’m guessing that’s the name, anyway. This is actually made in China, haha! The four shades of red appear to just tint your lips various hues of pink. The colors all go well with Asian skin tones, so that’s cool.
  • Sakura Soap & Towel – Score! The soap is shaped and scented like a Sakura flower and the little hand towel is adorable! This would be a great gift for someone. I’m keeping it for myself, though!
  • Pure Smile Hello Kitty Essence Mask – Oh my god! First off, Hello Kitty. Secondly, this one is infused with sake. I’m expecting miracles from this.  (Edit:  I used this in bed one night after my husband fell asleep and I was wide awake.  It worked well and moisturized my skin without irritation.  It would have also worked well if a burglar had broken into our bedroom at the time.  Do not look at anyone while wearing this mask without working that person first.  It’s scary!)
  • Kocostar Slice Mask Sheet Cucumber – I have never seen anything like this before! They’re preserved cucumbers infused with moisturizer to place on “problem spots”. Sounds good to me. Now, where can I find a full body-sized cucumber?  (Edit:  Still haven’t used these, but I did see them at Target for $5 or $6.)

I’m so excited to try these products! I thought about doing a review after I tried them, but my motivation will probably be replaced by life distractions by then. I don’t want to work tonight. I just want to pamper myself with these products!