June has been a month of exploring some higher end brands in skin care and makeup. With lots of sales and promotions going on, bargain hunting for beauty has been my side job. So, this month's hits & misses includes a few pricier products, but sometimes the quality is worth investing in. For the hits, they're products I tried this month or prior that wowed me. The misses don't mean that they're horrible products or brands, just things that in my honest opinion didn't work well for me. Let's just dig right in to the list for this month! 


Origins Make a Difference + Rejuvenating Treatment moisturizer ($43)

 This moisturizer is more of a gel cream-like texture. Not heavy, but hydrating for the skin. To let you know a bit more about my skin type, I've got pretty temperamental combination skin. Moisturize too heavily and the oily spots break out; don't hydrate enough and the dry spots start getting scaly. I've got a tendency to break out also, so finding this moisturizer that doesn't break me out is a miracle. 

For a minute after applying, there's a bit of a layer on your face before it sinks in that made me panic, "Is it supposed to be feeling greasy?!" But after sinking into your skin, no film is left behind. It does take some time to sink into your skin, so if you're running late putting on your makeup be aware this will feel wet for a little while. As for scent, it's got a light citrusy scent, similar to a lot of other Origins products. It is pricier for a not too big container (1.7 oz), but imagine the money you save on high coverage concealers and foundations!

Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Palette ($36)

 If you've got a day job that has nothing to do with fashion, beauty, cosmetics, etc or just isn't very "bold eye bold lip" friendly, being friends with matte eyeshadows comes naturally. They don't attract as much attention (most of the time) as shimmery shadows, but you can still have fun with some different tones of nude style shadows. Case and point: this palette.

Pricey it may be, but all the shadows are buttery smooth, pigmented, and easy to wear. The palette has larger pans for the lighter shades and smaller pans for the accent colors. There's a good range of taupe, red, and warm brown toned nudes; you've got flexibility to match a variety of lipstick tones... if that's your thing. After trying a bunch of matte shadows in largely shimmery, more affordable palettes, I decided to invest in this palette after swatching it in person. It's worth every penny, but look for a coupon anyway; a lot of websites have discounts off your first order.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Eye Chrome in Beige Luster, Khaki Kool, and Bronze Sheen (~$8-10 each)

 These are newer releases from Maybelline and boy, are they AMAZING for the summer. As a perpetual sweaty person (raises hand), eyeshadow that doesn't crease like crazy or slip and slide all over my face in the summer heat is CRUCIAL. These liquid-style shadows fall under that category. After letting them set and dry, they won't budge until you go over them with a oil-based makeup remover. 

 These swatches (from left to right) are: Bronze Sheen, Khaki Kool, and Beige Luster. I particularly like these shades because I'm a nude eyeshadow fiend. Khaki Kool has a beautiful green tone, which I'm usually not a fan of, but you can blend it out with your finger or a brush for a more subtle look or go bold khaki. Bronze Sheen is a great outer corner accent color for a nude base shadow, like Beige Luster. For finer, detailed areas, you can also use a brush to apply these, though they do come with a doe-foot applicator.


Bare Republic Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 - Tinted ($15)

 In my epic search for a sunscreen (because it's a necessity, not just in the summer), I came across this brand in a style and beauty newsletter. It was described as a good mineral sunscreen, found easily (at Target), and "powered by COOLA". With my skin being in it's angry, red, broken out state, I thought trying mineral sunscreen would be a good idea. (Because when your skin is breaking out, just slather more products on it... kidding).

But for me, this sunscreen was just plain grease. Even after shaking it until my arm cramped like the instructions said, it still left a greasy film and no hint of tint. For the price tag, which is on the more expensive side for an affordable brand of sunscreen, I figured I could do better.

Liptini Cream Lip Color in Pinktini ($12)

 I received this in my Ipsy Glam Bag for June 2016. It actually watched fairly well on my arm, but when I spread it on my lips all of the pigment just disappears. The cream is also a bit of a sticky, pastey texture on my lips with not the most long-lasting wear time. 

As cute as the martini decal is, the packaging was a bummer. I don't usually like to use lip brushes (because with all the different types of makeup brushes we need, lip just slips my mind) and I don't like rubbing my finger and getting lipstick on it and everything I touch.

Crown Brush 3 Tone Bronzer (price not found)

 This product, I also received in my Ipsy bag this month. I like the idea of a 3 tone bronzer that includes everything I need for my cheeks: highlight, blush, bronzer. But this sample size (I assume) was just difficult to work with. Each section was about the width of a finger, so most makeup brushes besides an eyeshadow brush wouldn't be able to isolate colors. 

The pigmentation didn't wow me, and I like a pigmented highlight and blush. My highlight should punch you in the face when it hits the light! But only the bronzer was able to get some good pigment when actually applied to my face. The others just disappeared.


And so... there is my list for June 2016. I hope the price ranges helped you decide if the product is something you want to try or not, if it fits into you existent or non existent budget.

For daily check-ins of products as I purchase and try them, check out my blog: http://kaffeintatedbeauty.wordpress.com/ Also you can check out my updates on Instagram (@imkaffeine) and Twitter (@kaffeinebeauty).

Published by Jia Kaffeine