REVIEW: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50+

With all the hype around the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream, I just had to see what all the fuss was about. While I’m happy with my Rachel K CC Cream Renew, Hera Complete Care CC Cream, Etude House Correct & Care CC Cream, Chanel CC Cream – Complete Correction Sunscreen, and Banila Co. IT Radiant CC Cream, I got curious and swatched the IT Cosmetics CC Cream at Ulta before purchasing. For helpful YouTube videos, check out Michele1218′s Quick Mommy Makeup and Glowy Skin Tutorial and MakeupByTiffanyD’s Spring/Summer Foundation Routine.

IT Cosmetics describes the Your Skin But Better CC Cream as “an all-in-one multi-tasking beauty miracle that truly gives full, flawless, perfect coverage, protects your skin with SPF 50+ from the harmful rays of the sun and is clinically proven to improve skin texture and hydration.” This “anti-aging hydrating formula is infused with peptides, niacin, algae, vitamins A, C, B, E, hyaluronic acid, and hydrolyzed collagen along with anti-oxidants and exotic natural botanicals for long-term brightening and color-correcting benefits.”

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“Packed with anti-aging ingredients that is clinically proven to improve skin,” and it works with both a “full coverage color correcting cream…and anti-aging serum” as an all-in-one product. Much like most Asian CC Creams out on the market, the skincare benefits of CC creams is a major part of the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC. It is also “infused with cutting edge anti-aging technology and is clinically proven to improve skin texture, brightness and increase skin hydration by 79%.” Currently, the word around the blogosphere is that this CC provides impeccable coverage without looking cakey and thick. Many people have claimed that their skin tone and and texture have improved as well.

A little bit of this product goes a long ways, so about half a pump is good enough for your entire face. I buff this product on either with my hands or a synthetic buffing brush — like the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush or the Real Techniques Stippling Brush. Coverage is truly flawless and smooth on the skin. It sinks right in without being too matte, dry, or flat; and, there’s a glowy quality to it without looking oily.

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I chose the shade “Fair,” which is the first and lightest shade in the range of five colors. It leans heavily on the yellow side, but seems to balance out my skintone and redness on some parts of my face really well. It conceals pores, lines, and pigments well without looking like too much. The added skincare benefits help with my skin’s irritation as of late. As we transition into much warmer temperatures here in Texas, my skin has been a bit bipolar lately, so I find that this CC cream is very soothing.

I’d recommend this CC and find that IT Cosmetics is a line that I’ve become more interested in. Next on my list is the Celebration Foundation Illumination, which I’ve heard/read a lot about as well. Stay tuned for my future purchase on that and my upcoming review on the Tightline Full Lash Length Black Mascara Primer.

Contains 1.08 fl. oz.
Made in Korea.
Retails for $38.00 USD.

REVIEW: Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish

I can’t say that I’m all that interested in hair products, because normally, I’d like to consider myself pretty low-maintenance with my hair. Over the last year or so, I’ve been trying to keep my hair healthy and maintained with regular trims and re-freshening my hair with moderate re-layering. I’ve also changed my general hair routine to washing every 2-3 days, using a deep conditioning mask in place of conditioner, and using hair oil/serum before letting my hair simply air dry. Since this change, I’ve noticed much fuller hair without any volumizing products, my scalp seems more balanced, and my hair seems to be growing at an astronomical rate!

However, I’ve been having some trouble maintaining texture in my hair without product/product build-up. Keeping my roots clean is essential since I leave a few days in between before washing. I’ve noticed that if I use hair wax for volume and fringe maintenance, my roots get oilier quicker and I haven’t been able to find a decent solution.

Enter Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish.

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The Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish is “a translucent dry spray for instant fullness and texture.” Much like hairsrpay, you shake the can and hold it a few inches away from your hair before spraying. It “creates instant fullness and texture to spin hair into an airy silhouette.” The texture of this spray is super lightweight and feels like nothing is coming out of the can. In fact, it just feels like air with some weight to it. The “raw silk powders with light-holding polymers adhere instantly for a softly interlaced texture to make hair look weightless and effortlessly full—and keep it that way.”

I lift my hair in sections and spray the product underneath. I shake my fingers through my hair and re-arrange it around my head as I continue to spray. It gives me lift and slight volume that’s piecey and “worn in” looking. It keeps my hair from getting oily since it’s dry air and not waxy like most of my hair styling products. For me, I spray this in my hair the night after washing in the morning. My piecy, yet naturally “put together” look stays throughout the day and into night…well into the next day without issues. It doesn’t dry hard like hairspray, but somehow keeps everything together without looking too neat. It seems to thicken up the texture of my hair, giving it some lift and volume without looking or feeling heavy. On day 2 hair when my hair usually goes up in a bun, I spray this into the ends of my hair and it gives my bun some oomph.

It’s expensive, but worth it in my opinion — so if what I’ve described sounds like a look you’re going for, I’d recommend this product. If you’re looking for strong hold/hairspray, this isn’t the product for you. However, if a messy worn-in look is your thing, give this a try!

Retails for $29.00 USD.
Made in USA.

REVIEW: Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara

For quite some time, I ignored the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara because it seemed gimmicky and a waste of money. Out of sheer randomness, I purchased the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara out of curiosity and was pleasantly surprised with its performance. As a “mascara with a brush specifically designed for coating the bottom lashes,” it seems really insignificant, but it’s truly life changing and absolutely necessary. Normally, I wait until the end of the post to say this…but I highly recommend this product and it may just change your makeup life. :)

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“This mascara’s brush was engineered to grasp even the tiniest of bottom lashes; its expert formula resists pesky smears.” It’s super teeny tiny, much like the Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow. The brush is super itty bitty but perfect for getting the bottom lashes and coating it with mascara. It doesn’t smear, budge, or run long the lashline; yet, it plumps and volumizes the lashline — almost as if you’re wearing eyeliner for definition. It may seem like a product you can skip, but it makes a big difference in opening up your eyes and giving an extra oomph to your eye makeup.

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For some, I can see why this product may not be necessary. But, for me, as an Asian, every lash counts when it comes to eye makeup. This product really helps to emphasize the lash line and doesn’t smudge at all. I highly recommend this for your every day makeup — whether you’re just applying every day makeup or a out-on-the-town makeup.

Made in Japan.
Product contains 0.07 oz.
Retails for $10.00 USD.

By Terry Ombre Blackstar Color-Fix Cream Eyeshadow in “Bronze Moon”

Cream products scare me sometimes because I’m always unsure how to apply them correctly. While I’ve made my peace with cream blushes, cream eyeshadows have been something I’ve intentionally avoided because I didn’t want to complicate my life! In the last few months, I’ve been curious about By Terry products since I hear such great things about the line from UK beauty bloggers and YouTubers. In the US, By Terry products are available at Barneys online website. I took the plunge and went for the By Terry Ombre Blackstar Color-Fix Cream Eyeshadow in “Bronze Moon,” and I’m totally in love with this product and shade.

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The Ombre Blackstar Color-Fix Cream Eyeshadows are cream shadows in pencil form and is “concentrated with ultra-smoothing Tahitian black pearl extract.” It “lights up eyelids with radiance-trapping multi-reflective shine,” and “its ‘tattoo-hold’ stretch texture evens out eyelids with a waterproof radiance-lift reshaping film.” I can’t really say much about the “radiance-lift reshaping film,” but the formula and texture of this product is great. It’s super smooth, blendable, and dries in a reasonable amount of time.

One of my problems with the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours was that they dried so quickly they didn’t really give me enough time to blend and sheer out. The By Terry Ombre Blackstar Color-Fix Cream Eyeshadow is soft and creamy, but is still stable enough to give some degree of control. The color places well exactly where I want it, including the lower lashline; and, I’m able to blend with my finger or brush easily.

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The color “Bronze Moon” is a warm bronze shade that leans a medium brown color with golden and bronze flecks of small shimmer. I like that this bronze isn’t too orange, too brown, or even too red. It’s just muted enough where it could just be a neutral medium brown tone when sheered out; and, when packed on, looks radiant and pretty on the skin. I own many, many neutral eyeshadow shades — many of them being in the brown and bronze range. And, I’d have to say, this is my favorite bronze.

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By Terry is certainly a high end range and this Ombre Blackstar Color-Fix Cream Eyeshadow is pricey. However, the formula is superb and the texture is truly amazing. I find that the investment is worth it and will be looking into other colors since “Bronze Moon” has won me over. While this may the beginning of an extremely expensive relationship, I know a good product when I see one so I’d recommend this product over any other cream eyeshadows I’ve tested!

Made in Italy.
Retails for $43.00 USD.

Current Face Routine

Lately, I’ve been going for a more no-makeup kind of look because the weather has been warmer and I haven’t been inspired by any foundations as of late. When I feel like I’m stuck in a rut, I normally don’t do a whole lot makeup-wise and I prefer to keep things simple. However, even with downsizing the amount of products I’ll apply, maintaining my skin is still a priority. In the name of keeping things simple, I used very minimal products (not pictured: eyebrow pencil and mascara).

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Rachel K CC Cream Renew
As a sun protectant and a product for evening my skintone, I refer to the Rachel K CC Cream Renew to save me time. I like multi-functional products like this to cut down on the amount of products I apply. And, since CC creams act like skincare, it’s great to know I’m not piling loads of product on when it’s so warm outside. With this, redness, pigmentation, and pores are instantly blurred — and, with decent oil control — it’s very low-maintenance throughout the day. Thus far, this is my favorite CC cream.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder
Normally, I skip on powders but I’ve been really into my Ambient Lighting Powder in “Ethereal Glow” lately. It’s a “opalescent sheer, cool white powder” that doesn’t cover the glow of the CC cream; and, it brightens my skin without looking white or chalky. Described as a “sheer, cool tone that eliminates shine [that] mimics a moonlit glow,” I love this powder for being light and fluffy.

MAC blush in “Lovecloud”
After wandering around and experimenting with other blushes, I’m back to my MAC blushes this week. I recently picked up a new shade called “Lovecloud” and it’s such a fun, bright mid-tone pink that’s flattering and great for the warm weather. It’s pigmented so a light hand is all you need; and, it seems to last super long on my skin which is an added bonus.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush & Real Techniques Blush Brush
My go-to brushes are the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush for base makeup and the Real Techniques Blush Brush for my powder. They’re easy makeup brushes to use that are low-maintenance. I’ve got multiple RT brushes on hand, and it helps that they’re easily accessible and so affordable. The Expert Face Brush is simply great for BB creams, CC creams, and foundations; and, they’re great for applying cream blushes as well.

What’s your current face routine?

A Comprehensive Guide to Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils are famous for being a one-stop-shop for makeup removal and face cleansing. Developed to protect the skin’s delicate balance while removing make-up and impurities in a single step, cleansing oils are gentle yet powerful. I’ve written previously about how wonderful Shu’s cleansing oils are; and, no matter what other brand I use, I always come back to Shu’s oils because there’s just nothing like it. Currently, there’s tons of cleansing oils from various brands: Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil; Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil; Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil; Amore Pacific Treatment Cleansing Oil Face & Eyes; Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Purifying Cleansing Oil; Shiseido Ultimate Cleansing Oil; and, Dior Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil to name a few.

Refer to my posts here about the Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil and the Shu Uemura Whitefficient Clear Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil. Information about my makeup removal process is posted here.

Here, I’ve put together a comprehensive guide to Shu Uemura’s cleansing oils.

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For me personally, the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils are staple items in my collection. And, they’re an important part of my skincare/cleansing routine. I immediately notice a difference when I don’t use this oil to remove my makeup in the evenings and I refuse to be without one. They’re expensive but worth it since they last nearly all year. And, if you’re like me, you should purchase a replacement and a backup when there’s a major sale during the holiday season!

For general makeup removal/skincare, try the High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula. It’s designed for all skin types and addresses general concerns, like makeup removal and skin conditioning. Evolved from the original “Classic” Shu Uemura cleansing oil, it is reformulated with an advanced High Performance Cleansing Oil system for improved removability of waterproof make-up and sunscreen.

The Cleansing beauty Oil Premium A/I is a step up from the High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula, but targets dry or sensitive skins. This luxuriously rich cleansing oil with plant extracts “focuses on improving the texture of the skin, leaving the skin moisturized, nourished and more radiant looking.” This is great for general makeup removal/skincare as well.

For specific concerns, try the Porefinist Anti-Shine Fresh Cleansing Oil for oil and pore concerns; the Whitefficient Clear Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil for brightening and evening the complexion; and, the Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil for anti-dullness — specfically targeting environmental concerns that affect aging of the skin.

The Porefinist Anti-Shine Fresh Cleansing Oil is a “water-like cleansing oil goes beyond make-up removal to dissolve and wash away excess sebum and blackheads that are stuck inside pores.” This newly advanced formula includes “cinnamon bark extract [and] regulates sebum secretion day after day.” Oil is controlled and pores are cleansed; and, with that, “blackheads are removed to reveal a refined, smooth skin.” The Whitefficient Clear Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil is for those with brightening concerns, as this oil removes “melanin-filled dead cells” and it cleanses. “Fortified with the Ultimate Removal System, [Shu's] latest development, the lightly textured formula effectively removes accumulated melanin and heavy make-up.” The brightening technology contains an “innovative combination of Mito-White Complex and Vitamin C to help prevent the accumulation of melanin deep within” to clarify and brighten the skin, giving it an even-toned complexion. The Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil targets dull and sallow complexions by using a combination of “moringa extract and green tea extract [to] create a result of glowing clarity and refined smoothness.” This cleansing oil is designed to clear pollutants that accelerate aging stress.

How to use Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils:
1. (optional) Use a cotton pad and eye makeup remover to remove eye makeup, including mascara
2. With dry hands, pump 2-3 pumps of cleansing oil
3. Apply onto dry face and massage — including lips and eyes
4. Apply water to the oil on the face so the product emulsifies and turns white
5. Continue massaging and rinsing
6. Rinse thoroughly
7. (optional) Follow-up with a cream/foaming cleanser + Clarisonic
8. Pat skin dry
9. Proceed onto skincare routine

MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil in “Go For Girlie”

MAC released their Patentpolish Lip Pencils, and after seeing some online swatches, I knew I had to check them out in person for sure. The Patentpolish Lip Pencils are designed to be a product that combines both “colour and shine of a gloss..[with] the precision of a lip pencil – all in one colour stick.” Much like the Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balms or the Revlon Color Stay Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains, the concept of the Patentpolish Lip Pencils are pretty much the same.

With a unique blend of creamy emollients to replenish moisture, this lip pencil keeps lips soft with an ultra-smooth texture that isn’t heavy or sticky. “The pencil’s effortless twist-up keeps application clean and simple, with no need to sharpen.”

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The design and concept of these lip pencils are the same as most “chubby sticks” — so to speak. I like that it twists up, but the rounded tip of the pencil makes it less precise than a pencil with a pointed tip. I like that it’s portable, however, and I can just take it with me in my makeup bag or even pencil bag. The color “Go For Girlie” is a bright pink that’s buildable; but I like to wear it sheer since it can be kind of loud on the lips.

I’ve noticed that there is a slight staining effect with these, and they don’t transfer or wipe off easily. The slight stain is pretty — even though it’s not marketed as a staining product — and I like that it fades nicely. The bright pink of “Go For Girlie” is new for me since I don’t tend to go for shades like this. However, for spring and summer, I find that it will be fun and flirty.

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The shades in the range are quite regular with a good mix of all colors. I think it will be flattering on many skin tones, for sure. However, the concept is really not that new and the product itself is nice but nothing life-changing. For less money, the Revlon pencils will do just fine so it just depends on if you just really want these. I like “Go For Girlie” and will stick with it as my spring and summer color. But, in my opinion, these aren’t that special and they’re not a necessity either.

Try out the colors in person before making your decision, but if you’ve already purchased something like this in the last few months, I think it’s safe to pass these up.

MAC

Retails for $20.00 USD.

REVIEW: Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth Effect Makeup in BR 12

Last week, Chanel released their newest foundation called the Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth Effect Makeup, and I was a little hesitant in trying it out. In the past, Chanel’s foundations have been just okay for me; more often than not, they either caused major oiliness for me or caused clogged pores that would lead to some breakouts. When my local Nordstrom released it early and my curiosity was seriously peaked, I caved and knew that I needed to give this a try. I wasn’t really into the Perfection Lumiere Long-Wear Flawless Fluid Makeup, and it really wasn’t all that special compared to my usual favorites.

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The Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth Effect Makeup is a “lightweight, oil-free fluid foundation by Chanel [that] provides you with a gorgeous, long-lasting matte-velvet finish for complexion perfection.” Designed to be light and feathery on the skin, “its soft-focus pigments smooth and perfect the skin for a flawless look that lasts all day.” The watery-light texture is thin, and is formulated for those with normal to oily skin. Much like the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup, the concept is the same — with the texture of the formula and similar packaging. However, the finish for the Velvet Smooth Effect foundation is different. It’s powdery soft — giving the skin a softer look, with some pore and pigmentation coverage and oil control. It also zeros in giving the skin a more matte and polished look — seemingly less natural-looking than the effects you would get from the Vitalumiere Aqua.

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This time around, I chose the shade BR12 (Beige Rose 12), which is the lightest shade in the pink toned range. Previously, I used B10 in Vitalumiere Aqua, and felt that the yellow base didn’t really help me at all. I like the BR12 shade better since it matches my skin’s undertone much better. Compared to the B10, there’s a slight difference in tone but the lightness of the shade still matches me well. Overall, I like the Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth Effect Makeup and I would recommend it for those who want more a powdery-effect finish on the skin. This foundation controls oil well and is long-lasting on the skin; it doesn’t require powder and the finish is natural, even though the coverage is quite high.

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I think the Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth Effect Makeup is worth checking out for the summer months. However, it’s not a life-changing product and you can get by with the Vitalumiere Aqua if you still have that. Nowadays, a lot of companies are coming out with lighter textured foundations, so this concept isn’t new. It’s best to find what works for your skin, so if need be, ask for a sample of this product and see what you think! Overall, I like this foundation because it looks and feels like skin — and, for me, that’s an important quality in foundations/base makeup. I like the texture, the finish, and the way it looks on the skin; and, I’d also prefer this formulation over the Vitalumiere Aqua version.

Check out more blog posts about this foundation here at The RAEviewer and The Beauty Look Book.

Made in France.
Retails for $45.00 USD.

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in “04 Plum Pop”

Clinique’s newest Cheek Pop blush line has been super hot in the blogging and YouTube world. I admit, it’s been awhile since I looked at any Clinique products; and, it’s certainly been a very long time since I’ve purchased anything from Clinque. The Cheek Pop blushes definitely caught my attention with its rave reviews, cute packaging, and superb lasting power on the cheeks.

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Described to a “effortless, natural cheek color,” the Cheek Pop range is a “pure, natural cheek color [line] that looks virtually powderless” on the skin. “This silky smooth, stay-true formula comes in a shade for every season for an effortless, natural blush of just-pinched pop.” All the colors are wearble and pretty, but I chose the “Plum Pop” because it was a pretty, bright pink. There is glowy sheen within the product that translates beautifully onto the skin without being too much. Even though it’s a powder blush, it looks and feels creamy — but, stays put on the skin once applied. Amazing.

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A little bit goes a long ways, but the product is buildable so there’s an option to really pile this on if you really wanted to. The flower design is so pretty and will probably wear down nicely; and; the plastic case is strong and sturdy that snaps shut nicely. Check out Essiebutton’s comprehensive post about the Cheek Pop blushes to see the rest of the colors in action.

Made in Italy.
Retails for $21.00 USD.

Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick in “Retsina”

MakeupByTiffanyD’s newest March Favorites video features the Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick in “Retsina” and I just knew I had to get my hands on it once I saw her wearing it. A few months ago, I wrote a post about the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask and it’s still a regular part of my nighttime routine. As my first attempt to dabble in some Bite Beauty products, I’d say that so far, I’m happy with the line and I’m curious about trying out other products as well.

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The Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick are marketed as “lush, long-lasting, moisture-rich lip color” that “delivers super antioxidant resveratrol, which fights free radicals with potent long-term antiaging benefits.” Made with “natural food grade” ingredients, it’s actually probably quite possible to eat this lipstick, lol. However, I don’t suggest that you do. “Each lipstick contains the amount of resveratrol found in five glasses of red wine.” This lipstick range appears to be nourishing for your lips, natural, and is like wearing the perfect combination of lip balm and lipstick.

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The shade “Retsina” is a natural pink color that leans a warm nudey-pink tone. This is the shade recommended by MakeupByTiffanyD and I just love this color. Initially, in the tube it looks unappealing and I thought it was going to be quite orangey and unnatural on me. But it’s a warm pink shade that’s a little nude but not that much. The consistency is creamy and moisturizing, but doesn’t feel sticky or thick on the lips. The texture of the product is quite slick, so I like to dab the product onto my lips, rather than swiping it back and forth. It feels nice on the lips; and, most of all, it wears nicely throughout the day and fades pretty too.

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The packaging is cute and is designed by color. It also varies since Bite Beauty features red, neutrals, pinks, and berry tones in the range. The lids of the lipstick packaging resemble how you may “wear down” a tube of lipstick, so I thought that was unique for packaging design. I like “Retsina” a lot and it’s a great go-to shade that is both work/school-friendly; while at the same time being great for a night out on the town. I think other products are worth looking into, so I’ll be experimenting with other products soon. Below, I’ve included the description of what each color category’s lipstick lid design correlates to.

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Retails for $24.00 USD.
Made in Canada.