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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Decoden: Part Three!

A while back, I posted some decoden phone cases that I made.  I've got another one to share.  I'll keep this brief. 
This is one I made for myself to replace the old one.  Sad to say this, but buying any old case on eBay can sometimes lead to malfunctions.  The one I bought the first time was about $12.  With all the time I spent decorating it, you'd hope that it would hold up.  It did not.  It's construction wasn't that great, so, though it's still pretty to look at, it can't really hold on to a phone. 

I got this new case for half the price of the old one and it is much better constructed.  The decorations themselves, I believe, reflect more of me than the old one.  It was more of a hodge podge.  This one is more in line with my "cautiously optimistic" and "proactively pessimistic" approaches to life.  I like to see the beauties, even in misfortune.  I hope this case never breaks.  Given how many times I've dropped it already and it's remained intact, It's safe to say that I will be able to spend a lot of time with it before it fails me. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Pure Plus Cocoon Returning Toner

Forgive the lack of structure for this post.  I celebrated my ability to avoid getting the flu during cold and flu season a bit too early, I think.  

As a rule, I don't use toners.  They make my skin feel weird.  Most toners are really astringent and irritate my skin.  HOWEVER... I found this particular toner on Memebox in their 1+1 special not too long ago.  It's called ...well, it's in the title of this post. 
Borrowed from Canyoucwhatisee because I was too lazy to photograph.  Check her out!

Pure plus Cocoon Returning Toner is actually really gentle.  It doesn't smell very strong and it leaves your skin lightly moisturized and hydrated.  It has ingredients like witch hazel and B vitamins.  It is supposed to help with fading dark marks and moisturize your skin.  I also found it to be very versatile.  Particularly because well, I ran out of make up removal wipes.  I was able to put some of this wonderful toner on a cotton pad and clean off the makeup really well, actually.  This stuff is going to be my new best friend- right up there with my Borntree Vitaberry cleanser.

Try K-Beauty Sweepstakes

Snarktopus has been up and running for a while, and I've been wanting to give back to you guys for a long time.  Since, I've been yapping about K-Beauty for a while now, I want to share some of the products that I liked most with you as well.  SO.  Introducing the....

All you have to do is like me on Facebook, Subscribe to the Snarktopus Blog (How else will you know if you won?), and Share the post on your FB or Twitter accounts.  I will randomly select a winner and ship them out their prize package.

I will run one sweepstakes giveaway each month, starting in February.  You'll have a week to enter.  After that, I will randomly select a winner and publish their name in a blog post along with an email address that you can privately share your contact information so I can ship your prize.  Each prize will include something for your lips, face, a skin care product, and some samples.   You can find the legal dialogue below.   Good luck, guys and thanks for sticking with me!

Try K-Beauty Sweepstakes:
Disclaimer: This promotion is in no way sponsored by blogger, Facebook, or any other social media outlet, nor does it reflect the views of those outlets’ respective owners or staff.

Terms and Conditions: Only open to residents of the 50 United States. All entrants must subscribe to Snarktopus Blog, like the Snarktopus Facebook page, and submit a comment. One Winner will be selected, at the Snarktopus’ owner’s discretion, from all eligible entries. The winner will be announced via blog post one day following the sweepstakes' closing date.
The winner must contact the Snarktopus’ owner within 48 hours of the announcement or another winner will be announced and the previous winner will forfeit the prize. The prize is valued between approximately $15-$30.
The Snarktopus’ owner reserves the right to substitute the original prize with a prize of equal or lesser value. The item will be shipped via USPS with a tracking number, which will be emailed to the winner. Prizes will only be shipped within the United States. All federal, state, and local taxes, insurance, and registration are the sole responsibility of the winner.
The Snarktopus’ owner is also not responsible for any delays, or lost or stolen packages. Any form of mishap resulting from the use of the prize is the sole responsibility of the winner. The Snarktopus’ owner is not liable for any fees, damages, or compensation for injuries, property damage or unforeseen dangers.
By participating in this sweepstakes, the entrants agree to be bound by the terms and conditions, the decisions of the sweepstakes holder, and the rules of the sweepstakes. By accepting the prize, the winner assumes all responsibility and liability associated with damage caused by or claimed to be caused by the prize, the sweepstakes, or their participation in the sweepstakes.
The Snarktopus’ owner reserves the right to obtain the names, likenesses, and personal information of the entrants for the sole purpose of administering the sweepstakes prize.
The Snarktopus’ owner will not distribute, share, sell, or otherwise circulate entrants’ personal contact information (email address or home address) with any third party for any reason not directly related to awarding the prize. The Snarktopus reserves the right to publicize the name and likeness of the winner.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Secret Key: Sweet Glam Tint Glow

This beauty arrived in the memebox K-style box.  I need a new lipstick ike I need a bullet in my head, but the description on the obligatory box insert peaked my curiosity.  I popped open the cute, white and pink box to see what color Puscia or Purple+Fuscia was. 

Initial Impression:
I nicked this image from Google
I didn't expect to see such a high 80's fashion looking lipstick tube.  The outer packaging was simple and sweet, but the tube itself looks like a runway prop.  A slick chrome nub marks the base of the lipstick itself while a semi-opaque bubble gum pink squarish tube forms the top.  I like it. 

The lipstick is described as being a purple fuscia.  To be honest, it looks too purple for me or anyone to wear.  I was scared to put it on.  I already have fat lips.  The last thing I need is to color them purple and start looking like a muppet.

This lipstick looked like a giant wand of purple that would instantly turn me into a big-haired, neon-lipped 80's vixen.  It fooled me.  The lipstick is just as semi-sheer as the tube!  One swipe gives your lips a healthy burst of soft mauve pink with purple undertones.  The color is buildable.  It's a semi-glossy too, with a soft, shimmery matte look.  It's not very creamy, but has a smooth glide and leaves your lips feeling hydrated. 
Right to Left: 1 Swipe, 2 Swipes, 4 Swipes

My record with this lipstick is a good 5 hours before needing to touch up.  A bonus with this lipstick is that it leaves a subtle tint to your lips, so unlike normal lipsticks, your touch up doesn't look streaky or like you scraped a half melted crayon over your face.

I would recommend this shade to folks with a cool color palette- like mine.  It will bring out the warmth of your skin.  However, I would caution against building the color to its fullest.  After about 4 swipes, it starts looking a bit chalky and a little too close to Nicki Minaj's lipcolor choices.  Using it as a tinted lip balm or with a dab of gloss to amp up the shine works best.  If you're interested in it, you can find it on eBay pretty easily.  Memebox seems to have run out.

I should start tagging these posts with the words "African American" because lots of Chocolate Children like K-beauty, but there isn't an abundance of reviews for our skin colors...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Berry Body Lotion

I'm very picky about my body lotion.  I suffer from both dry skin and extremely sensitive skin.  Furthermore, my skin is prone to hyper-pigmentation.  I got a papercut on my hand two weeks ago and when it healed, it developed eczema and turned as black as a dog's nose.  I need a lotion with some serious UMPH!

To be honest, I wasn't even going to use this one.  However, one day, like the idiot I am, I found that I had forgotten to buy body lotion, so I had no choice.

Initial Impression:
Well, it's in a flexible red and white tube.  The product is thin, but creamy.  The smell is like a berry medley with some floral undertones.  It's not overpowering.  I don't expect it to moisturize my skin very well, but it bears trying.

Well, this product gives you a long lasting, light berry and floral scent, just as I expected.  It did next to nothing for my super dry skin, also, as I expected.  It's moisturizing effects lasted for four hours at the most.

If your skin is relatively moist and only needs a little hydration, this lotion is great.  If you need all day moisture, good luck.  You'll have to mix this one with a dollop of Vaseline or coconut oil to get the skin nourishment you want and need.  At least it smells great. 

Note: Apparently, there's a whole line of skin care with this scent.  I would be intrigued because I love the scent, but the lotion did nothing for me so... no.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Holy Tony Moly

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away...Apparently that applies for your dermatologist as well.  I got a wonderful surprise in Memebox's My Cute Wishlist 4.  Tony Moly Appletox.

I heard good things about the Tonymoly Appletox cream and was anxious to try it out.  I wanted to give it a longer treatment than most beauty blogs do and actually spend a week using the product to see how it worked with my current skincare routine and observe any long term benefits or problems it might cause.  Though I am rather artsy fartsy, I have always been a scientist at heart.

Initial examination:
It comes in a jar shaped like a shiny, red apple.  It's also about the size of an actual apple.  I was expecting the amount of product inside to be tiny, but no... this thing is full and better yet, the majority of the jar is actually used to house the cream instead of just being pretty, but ultimately useless packaging.   
The “cream” is actually semi-transluscent and has a consistency like honey.  Its texture is smooth and gel-like, almost similar to thinned out jam.  It smells like fresh cut apples- and not a chemical version of apples, like, for real for real, legit apples.

After washing face, apply a thin, even layer to skin.  Pat away excess cream to help absorption.  Wait at least 5 minutes before applying make up or other face products.

I applied the cream at night.  My rationale was, “If I apply this at night and it ruins my face, I'll have the whole day to try to fix it with my other masks and creams”.   

Day 1 
I have a very greasy, comedone-ridden face, so I applied just a dab of it to my face.  Good thing too.  A little goes a long way with this stuff.  I applied it right after washing my face and you know what happened?  It moisturized my skin.  Big whoop. 
But the next mornin' let me tell ya... My complexion was glowing.  My skin was smooth, supple and radiant.  My pores were minimized and the little, “I'm going to be a zit in about 2 days” specks I had on my cheeks had come to a head.  With my morning face wash, they were scrubbed away.
Day 2
Once again, I applied the cream at night.  I wasn't so worried about the results or what it might do to my face this time, so it was all good.  When I woke the next day, my skin was smooth, the red spots were gone and the places where I had little mini-zits working their way to the surface were flaking and peeling.
Day 3
I tried using the cream in the morning and at night.  I mean, you can never have too much of a good thing.  My skin felt moist.  My make up glided on.  I had that healthy glow thing going.
Day 4
Day three was a mistake.  My skin was flaking and peeling kind of badly.  What was worse, it was sore and red in spots.  I'm pretty sure the fruit extracts they add to this cream were giving me a mild chemical peel when I used them, so using them twice in one day might have been a mistake.  I'll take a break from it for today.
Day 5
I let my skin rest today as well.  It's still peeling.
Day 6
I forgot to apply it today.  I can see the spots where I usually get whitehead and blackheads starting to raise up like the world's most ill-conceived skin-themed version of jiffy pop- unfortunately, whatever's under my skin isn't going to be pleasant.
Day 7
Hello cystic acne, my constant companion.  I applied the cream today in the evening.  I hope it works as well as it did before.  I really, really do.
Day 8
Already the zits are calming down, some of the smaller ones have come to a head, the deeper ones have started to be less painful.
Day 9
My face is still kind of rough, but it's hydrated and the zits are starting to either slough off or come to a head.
Day 10
I am once again mostly zit free.  I noticed something else too... my dark spots and acne scars have faded a fair bit.  That's a bonus.  I'm going to see if this stuff works just as well on my backne.  It would be great if I could clear up those breakouts for the summer. 

I would totally recommend this cream.  It smooths your skin, soothes your acne, and helps to clear up your dark marks.  Furthermore, it smells great and doesn't leave your skin feeling greasy.  The added bonus is the price tag.  You can find it online ranging from $5- $20 dollars, depending on where you go.   
Memebox and eBay are your price leaders.  Memebox has it on special for $5, but with shipping, it comes to about $13.  eBay had some listings of $12 with free shipping.  Grab yourself an apple...or 5.  I stocked up.
My final recommendation for those of you who try this product, use only a little bit of it.  You really only need to poke it with one finger and you have enough for your entire face.  It does have fruit extracts and honey in it.  They have a mild peeling effect.  Don't use it if you're allergic.  If your skin gets irritated because you've used it too often, take a break, but not too long of a break because whatever skin problems you were having before will come back with a vengeance.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Holika Holika Pig Nose Steam Starter

That is one heck of a product name.  I actually laughed at it when I first read it after opening “My Cute Wishlist 4” from Memebox.  Pig Nose Steam Starter?  Just what in the world does it do?  After checking out the Holika Holika description, I found that it's supposed to make your nose as smooth and blackhead free as a pig's.


Initial impression:
It comes in a pink and brown polka dotted tube with an aqua green top.  The product inside has a mild, sweet and fruity scent, is clear, and has a sticky, thick consistency.  Upon application, it's supposed to have a warming sensation and open the pores to melt out the So far, I like it a fair bit. 

Apply a small amount to areas with excessive blackheads and whiteheads.  Massage gently for 3 minutes.  Rinse with lukewarm water.  Pat dry.

I'm not going to lie.  I was skeptical about this one.  It seemed too good to be true.  However, I decided that I would try it out for a few days.  You can't just try skincare products for one day and know for sure that they work well. 

Day 1
I noticed that it DID have an effect.  It heats gently for a few seconds, but after a while, the massaging action turns it into a slippery liquid.  I wondered what the purpose of this was.  After the first use, I noticed that my blackheads and whiteheads were strangely pronounced.  Wiping my face down with warm water pulled the majority of them out of my pores and left my skin smooth and... kinda uncomfortably dry.
Day 2
After the second use, I noted that some of the skin surrounding the whiteheads and blackheads sloughed off and even more of the offending blemishes were sucked out of my pores.  I was starting to like this treatment. 
Day 3
By the third use nearly all of my pores were gunk free and starting to appear smaller.  I decided to use the product in the morning and night, hoping to full rid myself of the icky acne blobs hiding in my pores.  Bad idea.  My skin was red and peeling the next day.  It seems this product has some sort of chemical peel-like properties...
Day 4
I skipped using the product today.
Day 5
Today I used the product prior to steaming my face.  The effect was incredible.  After just 5 minutes of steam and then massaging my face, all my problem areas were relatively clear.  My pores were cleaned out and looked smaller.  No more raised lumps showing me where the next white or black head would pop out.  It was awesome.  However, I still had a few small ones lingering.

I think that in the future, I may try Holika Holika's entire Pig Nose line.  They have a scrub, mask, and pore strips.  Adding those to my acne care routine might have a greater benefit than scrubbing the crap out of my face and manually squeezing out nasty pore gunk.   

Although this product isn't PERFECT, for those of you who have extreme problems with blackheads and whiteheads and have yet to find something to loosen them up without hurting your face, this is good to try and at an average price of about $5-6 dollars for 30ml tube, your risk is fairly minimal.  I mean, it's not like buying one of those $200 dollar facial brushes that only irritates your face...

My final recommendation is that if you choose to try this product, try using it once every other day with actual steam.  Steam is one of the most common blackhead remedies and I saw that combining it with this product improved both's effectiveness.  Also, don't use it more than once in a day and use a MOISTURIZER after you apply it.  It dries your face out a bit and you do not want to deal with irritated skin.