REVIEW: Lancôme Visionnaire Skin Solutions Collection

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve done an Influenster VoxBox review, yeah?

I seem only to get one at a time, and each one takes about a month to complete (with the exception of my BareMinerals foundation one, which took two months), so at that rate, I have a new VoxBox about once a month.

I’ve been really lucky recently, though — I’ve gotten some really good products to review for free. In fact, one of my holy grail eyebrow products, the Lime Crime Bushy Brow pen, was something that I received in my last box.

But I think this most recent box takes the cake for some of the best full-size products that I’ve ever received to review — this time, Influenster pulled out the big guns and sent me products from Lancôme.

Let me give you a little background on my history with Lancôme: there basically is no history. I’ve never purchased any of their products because I can’t afford them (well, I suppose I could spend the money if I really wanted to…but I’m just not enough of a makeup person to justify it. I’d rather spend the money on clothes, to be honest), and so the only Lancôme makeup I own actually comes from my grandmother’s collection. She buys classier makeup than me.

Anyway, I dug into this box with very little in terms of preconceived notions about what Lancôme products should be like. I knew they were pricey, and so I hoped for something of good quality, but that’s about the only expectations I had. I actually calculated the total monetary value of everything I got in my box — $211 — and so I hoped that the products would be worth someone out there spending $211 on them.

I received the Vissionnaire Skin Solutions 15% vitamin C concentrate, the Vissionnaire Skin Solutions 2% Retinol night corrector, the Fix It and Forget It setting spray, and the Long Time No Shine setting powder. As far as I could tell, all of the products were their full-size versions.

Long Time No Shine Setting Power

I’ll begin with the Long Time No Shine setting powder because of the four products I received, I probably used this one the most.

Overall, I liked it. It’s a good setting powder — maybe not almost-$40 good, but still very good. I liked the packaging it came in — it felt much sturdier and of better quality than my ELF HD setting powder or even my BareMinerals Blemish Rescue powder. My one complaint is that there’s no way to close off the holes where the powder comes out, which can be very problematic when you’re traveling and the container gets bumped around in  your bag. Sure, you have a lid, which should prevent the powder from leaving the container, but that doesn’t prevent the product from spilling into the space in between the main storage compartment and the lid. My BareMinerals loose powder has a simple mechanism for closing the holes; you’d think that for $40 Lancôme could do the same.

The powder itself is good, though I’m still not a huge loose powder fan for everyday use. In general, I do like it more than pressed powder, but given how messy it is to apply, I usually only use loose for special occasions. I’m afraid this Lancôme powder hasn’t changed my onion. I like it, don’t get me wrong — but I don’t like it enough to get over my hesitations with loose powders as a whole. But it’s a good loose powder, as loose powders go.

Fix It and Forget It Setting Spray

This might be my favorite of the products I received from Lancôme, or at least, the one I see myself using the most. I found the staying power of this stuff to be really fantastic. I have long days — I go to class in the mornings, and I often don’t take off my makeup until late at night. By the time night rolls around, my makeup can look pretty awful.

With this product, though, I found I could get my makeup to hold up pretty decently. I didn’t do a test of how many hours I could get my foundation to last or anything like that, but I can say that it made it though a day — and a day for me can go from 9:30AM to 2AM the next morning.

My one complaint is, again, the packaging. The way the spray mechanism works gives you a very fine mist — so fine that it’s hard to perceive it on your skin. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, I guess, but I found that I was often confused as to whether I’d gotten any of the spray on my face at all, or if I’d completely missed. I’d end up going through several pumps of the product, just to realize that the spray was hitting my face but I couldn’t perceive it. Compared to heavier sprays, like the famous Urban Decay All-Nighter stuff, it’s a little difficult to get used to. Regardless, it’s still a great product, and one that I would recommend the most out of all of these.

Vissionnaire Skin Solutions 15% Vitamin C Concentrate

It’s a little hard for me to review the Vissionnaire Skin Solutions 15% vitamin C concentrate (as is the case with the 2% Retinol corrector as well, which you’ll see below), as I don’t really think it’s a product that’s meant for me, a 20 year-old woman. From what I understood from the package, it’s meant for people dealing with aging skin, which, while I guess my skin is technically aging constantly, is not really an issue that I’m worrying about right now. I still get acne sometimes — I’m not ready to worry about wrinkles! I suppose it might be useful for preventing wrinkles in the future, but don’t want to lie and pretend that this product does something for me that I can’t see yet.

So I can only speak to what I did experience with the product — and that’s that it kind of smelled lousy. I mean, I’ve probably used smellier products before, but I was kind of hoping for something better out of Lancôme. As for the actual effect on me, I did find that it had some moisturizing properties. It didn’t sting going on, like some serums do, and apart from the scent, it was an overall inoffensive product. Am I sold? No — but like I said, I don’t think it’s meant to be sold to me.

Vissionnaire Skin Solutions 2% Retinol Night Corrector

And that’s the case with the Vissionnaire Skin Solutions 2% Retinol night corrector too. Again, Retinol is an ingredient known for its anti-aging properties — and my skin just isn’t aging that badly yet. Retinol is also supposedly a very strong vitamin; in fact, the box that the tube came in even warned me against using it more than once a week when I was first trying it out. I’ve heard about people having some pretty negative reactions to Retinol, and with my sensitive skin, I didn’t think it was a good idea to chance it.

I did try the product, though, if only in a very small quantity. My impression was that it smelled kind of chemical-y, and that it stung a little bit (or maybe more like a tingling sensation?) going on. I had no strong negative reactions the next morning, but no miracles went on either. Maybe I could speak to strong negative reactions or miracles a little more after I’d used the product for longer, but with only a month to review all of the products in this box, and with the restriction of using the Retinol night corrector once or twice a week, I didn’t really notice anything. Sorry if this is an anticlimactic review, but I can’t speak to what I haven’t experienced .


Have you tried the any of these products? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite soaps, brow products, primers, or serums? Let me know your thoughts below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

 

REVIEW: Influenster Showstopper Voxbox (Clarins, Lime Crime, VDL, and Copper + Crane)

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Influenster sent me a box full of assorted skincare goods, and I’m not really sure what to make of them.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m always super appreciative when Influenster sends me things for review. It’s just a little weird this time, because the products seem to be mostly unrelated. I got an eyebrow pen, eyebrow gel, soap, serum, and two primers. I suppose they’re all beauty products, but they’re all different brands and don’t really seem to have a common theme. They’re just supposed to make me into a “showstopper,” whatever that means.

Welp, I don’t really know if I’m a showstopper now, but I do know know that I’m a reviewer, so that’s what I’ll do.

First up, I’ve got the Copper + Crane spa bar. For context, I’m usually more of a body wash and loofa kind of a person. I’ll use bar soap for my hands, but it’s rare that I”ll ever use a bar soap for my body.

This soap has me considering changing my mind, though. It smells heavenly — like sweet roses — and feels luxurious and creamy to the touch. It doesn’t lather quite like a good body wash, but the scent is so beautiful that I can look past that. I’m a fan. You can bet that I’ll be looking into more bar soaps.

Up next, I’ve got the Lime Crime Bushy Brown pen and gel. I’ve never used a brow pen either, though I think I’ve used just about every other brow product out there. Pencils, creams, powders, stencils — I own them all.

I am a huge fan of this brow pen. I’ve admittedly never tried another, so I can’t compare, but for a first try, I love it. My problem with filling in my brows is always that the hairs are dark but sparse. I need to fill them in, but I always run the risk of making them look too heavy and too dark. This pen avoids that problem. Because the strokes are thin, I can make them look like tiny hairs, making my brows look fuller without looking drawn-on. I’ll definitely be looking into more products from this brand.

For two small tubes of the VDL Lumilayer primers, I was a little less impressed. I received both the “fresh” and “original” versions. To be honest, I’m not really a primer person, so maybe I’m not one to write a review on this. For me, a primer should make my makeup apply more easily and maybe last a little longer. I don’t really know if I got that effect from these products — there’s just better out there. I’ve had good luck with the Revlon Photoready primer. Again, though, I’m just not normally one who wears primer — it deserves a mention because it came in my Voxbox along with the other products, but I can’t honestly say that I recommend it.

The last product I got — a sample of the Clarins Doble Serum and  — is a the most difficult to judge. I don’t struggle with aging yet, and that’s what this serum is meant to combat. Anti-aging products usually work slowly, and I only had a month and a few small sample  foil packets to test this product out with. I don’t really feel comfortable giving you guys a review on this one. I appreciate the sample from Influenster, but I’m just not able to offer an honest opinion here, as I’m not the kind of person the product was made for and I haven’t had enough time to test its effects. Also, full price, this 1.6 oz product will set you back $122. I don’t know, that seems rather overpriced to me.

Have you tried the any of these products? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite soaps, brow products, primers, or serums? Let me know your thoughts below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

REVIEW: Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Neutrogena for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

If you told me five years ago that I could point a flashlight at my pimples and make them go away, there’s no way I would have believed you.

So what about now, that I’ve tested Neutrogena’s new Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment? Do I believe it now?

Well, I believe that it works. I don’t know if I believe it works particularly well, or if I believe it works well enough to be worth the effort, but I think that its claims of helping to clear breakouts are true.

Honestly, after giving it a shot, I feel like the effect was just about the same as a regular benzoyl peroxide spot treatment. I’ve never really struggled a ton with acne, but I do get some white heads, and I feel like the Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment pen does the job, and makes the spots go away more quickly than they would on their own. However, I don’t feel like the amount of time it takes for me to use the pen and make the pimples go away is worth it.

Here’s how it works: you take the light and point it at your given pimple for two minutes, until the pen beeps. In that sense, it’s very easy — just point and shoot. The issue, though, at least for me, is that I don’t really deal with a few huge pimples, but rather, more numerous little ones.

I didn’t really realize how long two minutes could be until I stood there in the bathroom pointing a light at my face. Two minutes can stretch on for a long time, and there’s really not much you can do, as one hand is busy holding a pink pimple flashlight. And if you have multiple pimples, or if your acne covers a larger space…you could be standing there for a long time.

Compare this to a traditional spot treatment cream, which you apply to your face in a minute, and then you’re done. You don’t have to hold a flashlight to you face for two minutes at a time. Perhaps a traditional spot treatment is a little more drying, but it takes a lot less effort.

Maybe I’m just lazy, but I just couldn’t justify standing in the bathroom doing nothing but holding a flashlight to my face, even if it’s ultimately a little better for my skin. To save time and save effort, I’d really rather just keep to the traditional spot treatment cream I’ve been using for years. Call me boring.

Summary:

Pros:

  • Lives up to its claims — helps pimples go away
  • Pen beeps after two minutes to let you know it’s done
  • Less drying than a regular spot treatment

Cons:

  • Requires that you hold the pen to your face for two minutes per pimple, which feels like a long time
  • Is it worth the effort, when you could just use a regular spot treatment and get a similar result?

Have you tried the new Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite acne treatments? Let me know your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries and collars, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Review: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion Sunscreen

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Neutrogena for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Don’t get too excited, but I’ve got a new beauty review for you guys today!

I’m not sure why this is, but my beauty product reviews are always some of my blogs with the highest view counts. You’d think that with a fashion blog, it would be something to do with fashion, but no — my most popular blogs have to do with makeup and beauty reviews. Maybe I should switch to being a full time beauty blogger.

Actually, I find writing these beauty reviews  to be quite enjoyable. They’re a great respite from all of the OOTD posts. Don’t be mistaken, I won’t be switching to a new format any time soon, but maybe if I continue getting sponsorships with brands I’l continue posting these reviews.

Today’s review post comes from Brandbacker, a new influencer-brand connection service that, so far, I like about as much as I like Influenster. Maybe I’ll write more on Brandbacker in a different post, if you’d like to hear a comparison?

Anyway, Neutrogena sent me two sunscreens, one SPF 30 and another SPF 50, from their Water Gel Lotion line to try.  According to Neutrogena’s website, this sunscreen line “delivers powerful broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with a water-light feel. This water-resistant sunscreen lotion with SPF leaves skin looking healthy and moisturized for up to eight hours without any greasy residue or white marks. The non-greasy sunscreen has a light, clean feel and layers invisibly under makeup.”

So how do these claims hold up?

Actually, I think pretty well. Sunscreens aren’t my speciality, and I guess I can’t speak to their chemical ability to actually protect my skin from the sun, but I can say that their claims of being light and non-greasy are valid.

I am a big sunscreen person — I’ve been incorporating it into my beauty routine almost every day since middle school. Still, I’ve never really found an absolute HG sunscreen that I’ve wanted to stick with in all of these years that I’ve been a regular sunscreen user. My biggest problem with sunscreen has always been how heavy and greasy it feels on the skin, and how it affects my makeup application.

That’s got to be my favorite part of the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Lotion Sunscreen — I don’t feel it after I’ve applied it. And that’s really how sunscreen should be, right? Totally unnoticeable. The point is to protect your skin from the sun and maybe add a little bit of moisture in the process; there’s no reason for it to be or do anything else, in my opinion. That’s what other skincare products for.

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Lotion Sunscreen is simple, but its simplicity is its strength. It doesn’t do much beyond its claims for being light and providing SPF  coverage, and I can appreciate it for that.

Summary:

Pros:

  • Light, non-greasy feel
  • Doesn’t feel heavy under makeup

Cons:

  • Tubes are kind-of small at only 3.0 FL OZ

Have you tried the new Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion sunscreens? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite sunscreens? Let me know your thoughts below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

REVIEW: BareMinerals Blemish Rescue Foundation Collection

Here’s fun fact: the original BareMinerals foundation was one of my first high-end makeup purchases way back when I was in middle school.

I mean, okay — BareMinerals isn’t super high-end and it’s not budget-breakingly expensive, but it was to me when I was 13. I was getting $7 a week in allowance from my parents, so a $30 purchase like the BareMinerals foundation was a big deal — if you think about it, that was over a month of allowance for me.

The sad bit was that I didn’t really like it that much — the lady in Ulta who shade-matched me didn’t do a great job because I found that after I got home and actually started using it, it was much too dark and orange-y. I also remember oxidation issues, with the foundation durning even darker and more orange as the day went on.

It made it practically useless, so even though I didn’t have any problems with the product itself, I wasn’t able to ever really wear it. And since I was 13 and only getting $7 a week, it didn’t make any sense to take the risk of another month’s money on another shade of the foundation that still might not match me properly.

So I guess you could call my attitude towards BareMinerals when I received my Influenster VoxBox was fairly mixed. On one hand, I do remember liking the coverage and texture of the product itself, and I still do rather enjoy the stick concealer I was sent for review earlier this year, but on the other, I was never able to get my money’s worth out of the original foundation, and I’m still a little sad about that. I think it’s still sitting in the back of my makeup drawer, practically unused.

But I tried to go into the review with an unbiased mind — impossible, I guess, but still worth making an effort to do. It wouldn’t be fair for me to judge this new product using my bad experience from six years ago.

In my VoxBox, I received the new BareMinerals Blemish Rescue Skin-Clearing Loose Powder Foundation in Neutral Ivory,  the Skin-Clearing Anti-Redness Mattifying Primer, and Seamless Buffing Brush with Antibacterial Charcoal. Altogether, it’s about $83 worth of product, so I’ve got to give it to BareMinerals for being super generous.

Firstly, as these products are marketed for their skincare benefits as well as their general cosmetic use, allow me to give some background on my skin. It’s best described as combination. My biggest issues are mild acne and sensitivity. I’m 19, nearly 20, so my pimples aren’t quite as bad as they were when I was 13, but they haven’t really gone away entirely either. It’s mild enough that with good makeup, I can pretty much cover up everything I need to, but without, it’s pretty obvious that I have a smattering of pimples on my temples and between my eyebrows. The worst for me is when, due to the benzoyl peroxide spot treatment I use, I wind up with a patch of dry skin surrounding a pimple that hasn’t yet gone away. An ideal foundation for me would be light enough that I could use it on the parts of my face that don’t really have any issues to smooth away the mild imperfections, but buildable enough that I could apply it to my acne-prone areas and conceal them without highlighting the dryness there.

Now onto the review — I’ll go in order of application, so let’s begin with the primer. Out of the tube, it’s a green paste-to-gel -like substance meant to correct ruddy tones in the skin. I assume it would appeal to people with acne all-over as it would, in theory, correct the redness of pimples.

I’m no stranger to green color correcting products. There was a time in middle school where I used a green concealer religiously to conceal redness on my cheeks. I never really got into green primers though, as I generally found that the color-correcting properties of a green product were best when used sparingly, but in concentrated amounts, rather than all-over. I believe the same rings true for this product. I just don’t think the green is strong enough to do anything. As for the other qualities of a primer — texture, staying power, mattifying-effect — I’d say it’s just average. It’s not bad, but there’s better out there.

The foundation turned out to be the pleasant surprise of this review. I had wondered if I would have the same oxidation issues I’d had with the original Bare Minerals foundation, but I have not had that problem at all. The color is slightly darker than I would have chosen for myself, but it’s not so far off that I can’t use it.

The best part was easily the buildability and texture. It did just what I wanted it to — went on light on my less-problematic areas, and built up to heavier coverage with some stippling in my acne-prone areas. For that, I have to give it credit.

The worst part is an issue not exclusive to this product, but that applies to all powder foundations — it’s messy to put on. If you’re looking for something to just slap on and go, this is not it. While application itself isn’t too hard — I just buff it on, with a bit of stippling for more coverage — it’s getting the powder out of the container and onto the brush that’s difficult to do with being messy.

As for the brush, it, like the primer, is perfectly serviceable. Not great — there are better buffing brushes out there for less money (I personally like the Real Techniques buffing brush). But this one’s soft, picks up product well, and is stiff-enough for buffing, so it functions as it is supposed to. My main complaint is the shape — it’s short and fat, so it doesn’t fit in my brush-holder with the rest of my brushes. I can’t really speak to the “antibacterial charcoal” claims. It sounds like a label they just slapped on there to make it seem more hygienic, but I don’t know — maybe the charcoal really is more sanitary.

Finally, what about the skincare benefits? Did I find that my acne improved thanks to using this product?

Well…I don’t know. To be honest, I didn’t use it for long enough to be able to assess its long-term skincare effects. Additionally, one’s skin condition is affected by such a wide variety of factors that I don’t know if I’d see the effects unless they were drastic and fast. Which, for this product, they weren’t — that’s not to say there wouldn’t potentially be benefits from long term use, but I just can’t say with the few days I’ve taken over the last month to test this out. Alternatively, maybe my acne would get worse. I just don’t know.

All I can assess this product fairly on is on its ability to function as a foundation. And you know what? It’s actually pretty nice. It’s way better than the original Bare Minerals powder I tried out six years ago, and I would say that if you, like me, didn’t really like that one, you may still find that this new one is a pretty decent product. You could probably pass on the brush and the primer though. They’re serviceable, but there are better options out there for less money.

Summary:

Primer

Pros:

  • Perfectly serviceable

Cons:

  • Why settle for serviceable when you could find something for less money that works better? (I’m personally a fan of the Revlon Photoready Primer)

Foundation

Pros:

  • Light-to-medium buildable coverage
  • Doesn’t oxidize!
  • Wide range of color selections
  • Smooths over my dry patches without emphasizing them

Cons:

  • Messy, time-consuming application

Brush

Pros:

  • Perfectly serviceable

Cons:

  • Why settle for serviceable when you could find something for less money that works better? (In my opinion, the Real Techniques buffing brush is a good substitute)

Have you tried the new BareMinerals Blemish Rescue collection? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite foundations? Let me know your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries and collars, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!