Saturday, August 1, 2015

Skincare Saturday: Aromatica Sea Daffodil Cleansing Mousse and Cremorlab Herb Tea Blemish Minus Calming Mask from Peach & Lily

This post contains press samples. (Squee!) All expressed opinions (of which there are many) are my own.

I've been interested in exploring more Asian skincare, but between the vast variety of products and the fact that most of the reviews for said products aren't in any of the languages I know, initial forays proved so overwhelming that I scurried off in fright. It was very serendipitous, then, when Peach & Lily's PR team reached out to me a few weeks ago.

Peach & Lily was founded by Alicia Yoon in 2012, with the goal of providing Korean skincare and beauty, known for being on the forefront of product development and technologies, to a Western audience. They're based in the US, which means faster shipping (free over $50, samples included) and no customs (assuming you are also based in the US, of course). They also have an extensive vetting process for all products, which contributes to the comparatively limited selection they offer––and this is honestly the part of the site that I was most impressed by: search for cult favorites in Japan and Korea, explore reviews, examine formulas, talk to brands' R&D teams (fun fact: they don't offer products from any brands that don't have internal R&D), and finally, do focus group testing. In their own words,
Only items that receive at least 8 out of 10 stars across the board (and cause no adverse reactions) make it through the final round.
Pretty neat, eh?

I'm terribly indecisive, so I made a list of all the things I was interested in trying and told them to pick; they sent along Aromatica Sea Daffodil Cleansing Mousse* and Cremorlab Herb Tea Blemish Minus Calming Mask*.
Aromatica Sea Daffodil Cleansing Mousse* and
Cremorlab Herb Tea Blemish Minus Calming Mask*

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fragrance Friday

Yep, it's back! I've got a big jar of perfume samples that I've decided to try and make my way through*. Rather than try and write complete summaries of them, I'm going to restrict myself to no more than a haiku-length review (17 syllables); this may sometimes result in some unusual formatting. I'll also include whether I'll keep the sample or not. It's an exercise in literary restraint! (This is not my forte, nor does it lead to the most informative reviews, but it's a fun new challenge for me, and hopefully entertaining for you to read.)
*yep, ending with a preposition, don't even try to sue me because I will linguistics the shit out of you.

Bond No 9 Hudson Yards
via
Hairsprayed fruit bouquet.
(And that bottle is hi-de-
ous. Two hundred bucks?!)
Judgment: Throw it out.

Tocca Giulietta
via
Another gener-
ic fruity floral, but at
least less synthetic.
Judgment: Pass it on.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

On Medical Leave, Chronic Illnesses, and Guilt

I cross-posted this on FB, with minor differences, so if you're friends with me there, you may have already seen this. If you're not, you should friend me! Email me (beyondjustbeauty at gmail dot com) for my full name, if you don't have it.

Some of you already know this, but: I'm taking medical leave from grad school for part of next year. I have lots of feelings about it, and because I am ultimately an extremely verbal person (a linguist, verbal? say it ain't so), I decided to write about them. If you don't care about the minutiae of my experiences with chronic illness(es), this is not the post for you (and if you wonder what I'm doing posting about something so clearly non-beauty-related, *points to title* *and {personal} tag*). But email me! Or comment? We should do a package exchange (! because getting mail is GREAT, though as my friends can attest, I am absolute shit at getting things sent out promptly; I currently have two packages for friends that I meant to send before I left for the south in June, but...they're still works in progress. Sigh. Definitely don't message me unless you're willing to put up with my lackadaisical pace, that's for sure).

Friday, May 29, 2015

"They Don't Have Great Attention to Detail", or: How Sephora Failed Me Thrice

Remember how I wanted the crazy Dior tie-dye blush?
this guy!
Ebates* was having 16% back at Sephora for their anniversary (though it seems I somehow restarted my Ebates-Sephora session, as I never got the cash back notification; fortunately, as you'll soon see, it's a moot point), so I pulled the trigger and ordered it. A few days later, I gleefully opened it, only to discover they'd sent the wrong shade.
*affiliate link
poached from my Instagram; I don't know why sometimes
my phone decides photos should be the wrong direction.
So I called and got it resent and returned the original. The second one came several days later (damn you, holiday weekend), and guess what?
This time it decided to orient itself correctly, at least!
It was the wrong shade! I received it after a few very rough days, and it was just about enough to break me entirely. I called again, and the customer service rep said he made a note to be extra careful about sending the right color and reminded me to be sure to send back the wrong one so I wouldn't be charged twice (he also called me "hon", which annoyed me––I'm calling with an actual problem, dick!). He finished with, "Let's hope third time's the charm!" (This is what I might retroactively call foreshadowing.) I figured I would wait until I got the replacement so that I could keep the packing tissue from the original to use in a package I had to send, and because seriously, you screwed up twice, I'm in no hurry to get your package back to you. At this point, some friends (some of you!) said they should give me both shades for free. Whatever, I thought. They're a big company, their customer service isn't great, it's not worth the hassle.

Then the third one came. Guess what?
I now have 10 photos of 3 unique wrong Dior blushes taking up
space on my phone. #thanksobama
Yep, it was the SAME WRONG SHADE. At this point, of course, it crossed the line into farce, so all I could do was cackle. Hysterically, of course, because this was supposed to be a nice pretty (very, very expensive) present to myself, and it somehow became a tragedy in three parts. (My brother's response is the quote from the title; he is a master of understatement.)

I tweeted Sephora and tagged them on Insta, and got a response from their Twitter but nothing has been resolved. I may need to call again, but y'all, I fucking hate phones. Just, so much. I've already had to deal with them twice, and on top of all the upheavals in my personal/professional life (I'll probably do a full post on it, but the short version: looks like I'll have to take medical leave from grad school, because #mylifeisawesome #ohwaitthatmightnotbetherightword), I think if I call them now, I'll end up sobbing on the phone to some poor person with no power.

So now I've got two Sephora packages on my kitchen table, both containing the same wrong shade. In an ideal world, they'd let me keep one of them and send me the actual correct shade (though at this point, I'm not sure they're even capable of it) free of charge. Barring that, though, I'm going to return them all and wash my hands of it. And of Sephora, as much as possible. (Customer service, you're doing it wrong.) I guess Dior and I just aren't meant to happen, sigh.

ETA: They finally got back to me! "We are truly sorry for all the inconvenience [...] In reviewing the item, an error with the skus caused a mix up with the shades. We have placed the sku on hold to fix the issue. In the meantime, we have processed a refund [...] Please expect to see the refund posted to your account within the next 5-7 business days. And we have added an extra 500 points to your Beauty Bank. Please use the free merchandise label to send the incorrect products back to us at your convenience. Thank you again for your patience throughout this process." In other words: "We're terrible at our jobs, but here, have a bunch of points you can use when you surely shop with us in the future! PS Send our stuff back thanks." Hello, Nordstrom, let's be friends.

What's your worst customer service story? How do you feel about talking to people on the phone?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Flormar "Pretty Lipstick" Cream and Gloss Lipstick P319 Review and Swatches

I received this as a gift from the lovely Sarah, like, a thousand years ago. I have quite the backlog of lippies, but thought I should start with one that I love, to get us off on the right foot. (#spoileralert, I guess?)
back when it was new and pristine

Friday, May 8, 2015

Currently Coveting: Dior Crazy Tie-Dye Blush

It's been a couple years since I've done a Currently Coveting, but I'm bringing it back for an encore for this most beautiful of beauties:
via
That's the Dior Diorskin Nude Tan Healthy Glow Enhancing Powder Tye Dye Edition 001 Pink Sunrise. (Also, Dior, WHAT THE FUCK WITH THE NAMES.) The 002 Coral Sunset is equally stunning, but I would get much more wear out of this pink. It was released a few weeks ago, but not at Sephora, so I didn't pick it up during the sale, but now I see that it's on the Sephora website (I buy stuff from there when I can because if I'm gonna spend the money, it might as well go towards my points [not that there's often anything I actually want to use my points on, but you know, just in case there ever is]) and you guys, I NEED IT. (I also need to learn how to have sentences that don't consist of 8 separate clauses, but one thing at a time, folks.) I come from Eugene, for God's sake. I grew up surrounded by tie-dye, though my mother is no fan of the look, so the only tie-dye I ever owned was stuff I made at friends' birthday parties. I feel like it's ridiculous to even consider spending $57 on a blush––the hippies that actually wear tie-dye would be appalled at the price (and likely, the entire concept of cosmetics)––but YOU GUYS. IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL. I won't buy it, because I do not have that kind of money right now, but ... maybe someone will give it to me for my birthday. Or someones, since $57 for a gift is a lot. Of course, it might not still be available by the end of July. Have I mentioned it's $57? I'm hoping the madness will pass if I remind myself of that enough. But then I look at it, and...le sigh. DAMNIT, DIOR.

The crazy tie-dye blush beauties are available from Sephora, Nordstrom, Macy's, Saks, and Dior at $57.00 ($57!!) for 0.35 oz. Give me strength, my friends.

What have you been lusting after lately?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

For the Lazy and/or Layerer: Eyeshadow Sticks

The "My Collection" page on the blog is about half unreviewed products, so I'm going to make a concerted effort to try and talk about some pretty things! I've culled my stash several times over the past year, getting rid of things that no longer work or that don't get the love they deserve, and at this point, I'm pretty happy. I think I've still got a couple purging cycles left (and don't even get me started on my closet), but the effort of trying to decide what to discard is more than I feel like putting forth right now!

I have a zillion "new" lippies (some of which I've had more than a year, hence the scare quotes) and I don't really know where to start, so instead, I'm going to talk about cream eyeshadow! Yay! Eyeshadow!
Clockwise from top left: Laura Mercier Sugar Frost*, Mally Champagne,
Rimmel Bulletproof Beige*, Laura Mercier Rose Gold*, Laura Mercier Khaki,
Laura Mercier Pink Opal*, Boots No7 Cool Mink, BECCA Romanticism*,
Sephora+Pantone Tuscany
I've found that I really adore eyeshadow sticks (it's like drawing on yourself!), and between the generosity of friends and some fortuitous sales, my stash has grown considerably. I now own 7, plus two liquid eyeshadows, which, while slightly less convenient, serve a similar purpose: they work great as quick washes or as bases underneath powder (the "lazy" and "layerer" from the title, respectively).

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Absurdist Beauty Scenario Tag

I should be doing corpus stuff, but instead, I'm gonna do this tag. Look at me, posting again! (Don't count on it to last, though.) You should read Larie, Liz, and Lily's answers, too.


1. You have to get rid of all your foundations and only keep one high-end and one drugstore; which do you keep?

Welp, there's no drugstore foundations that match me, and I've yet to find a high-end one that matches, either. Right now I mix NARS Sheer Glow Siberia (too yellow) with MAC Matchmaster 1 (too dark) and it's mostly okay, though mixing is kind of annoying. If someone were sadistic and cared way too much about restricting my base makeup choices, I would probably take my chances with a white foundation (I've got my eye on Manic Panic's once the NARS runs out) and the MAC. Though I'm hopeful that the new NARS Luminous Weightless Foundation in Siberia actually matches the Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, as it looks like it does based on Temptalia's swatches, and doesn't slide off my oily face, because one-and-done would be ideal (minus the fact that it's $48 fucking dollars and it doesn't even come with a pump, goddamnit NARS).

And, as usual, I manage to say too much without actually answering the question. Buckle in, y'all!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lately

So it's been 3 months since my last post O_o How time flies. I've obviously not really been feeling the whole blogging thing, and don't know if that will be changing anytime soon, but wanted to check in and say hi anyways. Hi! Lately I have:

–Been learning Python, using How to Think Like a Computer Scientist (highly recommended; it's the only tutorial thing I've tried [and I've tried several of the big ones] that scales up difficulty at a manageable pace while still explaining a lot of different concepts)

–Been running subjects, and coding subject data, and teaching undergrads how to code subject data, and checking their coding, and working on conference abstracts and running models and trying to write a program to find phonaesthemes in Turkish (I've been running into problems with it taking up too much memory, blagh) and reviewing R and all the other fun things that experimental linguists get to do

–Continued translating a Turkish fairytale (Sevdalı Bulut, by Nazım Hikmet) with the help of my Turkish teacher. We hope to finish the line-by-line glosses by early spring term, and then I'll work on translating it into more natural, poetic English. Having never done anything translation-y before, it's very different from just learning a language! There's a lot of artistry in it, and it's been an interesting challenge. Our plan is to recruit someone(s) from the art department to illustrate it, and then work on getting the rights to have it published. Whee!

–Finished teaching another term, with another great set of students. Teaching is great, guys. If only it paid, like, twice as much.
From one of my students

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holidaying

Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you're all having a marvelous season. I've been absent around here for awhile, as usual, but here's some pictures of what I've been up to.
Final day of the (8 day long!) strike
Lions from a visit to the Oregon Zoo
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