Introduction to Influenster

I heard about Influenster through the grapevine, and wanted to give it a try! I filled out a million questions, and waited…and waited… and then finally, I was chosen to receive a box!

Today, I’m reviewing the Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads.

I’ve used nail polish remover pads before, and I love the concept! Less mess, easy use, easy disposal. Bing, bang, boom! But my hesitation to buy them is that for the price of a few small pads, I could go to Target and buy a bag of cotton balls and a bottle of nail polish remover and it lasts a lot longer. And the store brand pads are pretty small.

But then I opened this sample! And it’s awesome! The pad is huge and super soft. It took of all the polish from my 10 fingers and had enough space to remove my toe nail polish, too! The smell wasn’t too bad for nail polish remover either, and my fingers don’t feel dried out either like nail polish remover tends to do!

Overall, I give these an A+

#SoCutex

#HealthyNails

#contest

Stay tuned for more reviews!

@CutexNails and @Influenster

2014 Beauty Favorites

Make up can get real old right? One day, you have a fantastic on “fleek” day, and then you fail…miserably. You may do the same routine, and get different results. If you’re anything like me, you get over things real quick…and discover a new item you just can’t get enough of. Needless to say, I get you…and I’ve got you covered. Nikki is kind enough to let me rant and rave about my faves from the past month her page. She’s into beauty boxes…and I am too. I’m really into trying new things, binge watching beauty YouTube gurus, and perfecting my winged eyeliner.

In 2014, because we’re a little late for monthly favorites, I loved approximately 65 beauty products. No, I won’t be evaluating most of them…because I don’t remember the ones that I was over after a week.

Primer

Ok, so I never actually realized that primer was as important as it actually is. I don’t have the best skin…more of a combination of freckles, good patches, and ridiculously large pores. I don’t hate it; I’ve learned how to handle it. My favorite primer has got to be Benefit’s The POREfessional. Yep. My first and only love. For some reason, that stuff gets me, and it does what it has to do to get the job done. It’s fast absorbing, lightweight, and evens out skintone like nobody’s business. I usually will mix this up with a little Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Cream SPF-35.

Foundations

Speaking of that, Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Cream SPF-35 is a super productive item for lazy chic girls like me. First rule: don’t get crazy about foundations. Don’t make an assumption about your color…because you don’t know it. Ask a friend or a professional to help you…like really; those girls at the Ulta Brow Bar know their shit. If I don’t have my BB cream with me, and I just have a quick foundation fix, I use Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation. When I was 17, my mom took my sister and I to get made up…and it made me look like a flipping movie star.

Bronzer

Eek…another almost tragedy; let’s just say it’s not an easy task to find a bronzer that doesn’t make you look like you fell out of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. There are some things in this world that make me cringe. 1) Improper Neck to Face ratio 2) Over contouring and 3) Sweaty bronzer

For those not familiar with sweaty bronzer: it is a new thing for me. Apparently, a person can put on so much bronzer that when they sweat, their bronzer literally falls off their face in sweat drops. Eek.

Anyway, my favorite bronzer is Tarte’s Park Ave Princess or Benefit’s Hoola. Both bronzers have a natural glow and just enough pigment. Both have a great matte finish that would make any guru proud.

Eyes

I must say, eye makeup is a newfound obsession with me. My favorite eye makeup: YSL Dessin Du Regard Long Lasting Eye Pencil no. 1 (Velvet Black). My favorite and go to eye primer: Tarte’s Clean Slate 360 Creaseless 12 Hour Smoothing Eye Primer. I love this primer because its creamy and clear! Some people love tinted primer, but I don’t want anything to take away from my eye shadow color! Lastly, my favorite palette is split between Urban Decay’s Naked3 and Urban Decay’s Ammo Palette. The great thing about the Naked palettes is that each one is designed specifically for a certain skin tone. Naked3 is all about pink undertones. Each color is selected to highlight your rosy skin (I mean, if you have that.) Naked1 highlights almost everyone, and has some really daring colors for a neutral palette. Naked2 highlights more of a bronze undertone. I love Urban Decay packaging and look. Most importantly, I feel like a badass when I wear it…so that’s a reason to buy…right?

K, so I love you all, and can’t wait to tell you my favorites for January in a couple weeks! That will include some fashion, hair, and lifestyle favorites, too!

xoxo- Kate
https://katemcgate.wordpress.com

First Ipsy Bag: Girl Meets Glitter

Sorry this update is so late, I blame the holidays. The November ipsy bag was my first and I looked at my bag before it shipped, and to be honest I wasn’t too excited by what I saw. The bag itself was sliver glitter and pink. It was a cute bag but wasn’t wowed. When the bag came I wasn’t thrilled by it at all. It was plastic feeling and I won’t use it. I actually gifted it to my goddaughter.

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The first product I got was it cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer. This was a really heavy concealer. You do not need a lot of this at all. I tried to take a picture of how little I used and my camera wouldn’t even focus on it. I’m not a huge fan of this concealer. It covered the circles under my eyes but it felt like I was wearing a lot of make up, even though I wasn’t. I will probably only use this if I run out of the normal concealer I use.

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Next I got was J. Cat Beauty Wonder Lip Paint. This was watery and sticky. It didn’t really stay on that great. I’m not a fan of sticky lip products. They bother me throughout the day. I definitely wont be using this product.

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My third product was Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Volume Shine Hairspray. I don’t use hairspray much. I usually just straighten my hair. This was an ok hairspray, nothing really special about it. I wont really use it.

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Next was Starlooks Gem Eye pencil in Olive. When I looked at my bag for the first time this is the product I was looking forward to least. I use eye liners every day however the green color just wasn’t something I thought I’d use. It’s a greenish goldish color. This turns out to be the product I liked the most. It was a nice eyeliner that went on smoothly. The color was light and very glittery. That was the one down side to it. I liked the color a lot more then I thought I would. It looked very pretty on. I just won’t use a glittery liner for daily use.

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My last product was SeaRX Birch Sap Moisturizing Lotion. I already received this product from Birchbox and that was all I remembered about it so that should say a lot. I had to find my post on it to even know what I thought about it. It was ok. I used it, but won’t purchase it. It wasn’t that great a moisturizer. Nothing all that special.

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Now between my November Birchbox and ipsy bag, I liked my Birchbox a lot more. There were more products I would actually purchase from my Birchbox than from my ipsy bag. November winner: Birchbox.

November Birchbox. Giving

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of reviews lately. It’s been a little crazy with the holidays. I’ve finally caved and signed up for ipsy. Today I’m going to review my November birchbox then next time I’ll review my November ipsy bag and compare them.

First November’s theme was Giving. Birchbox teamed up with (red) and had facts about aids on every mailer.

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They also donated one dollar to (red) for every photo of the mailers shared on social media.

I was excited about my box. First I got Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain in Heartthrob. I absolutely love this lip stain. It’s creamy and stays on nicely. And I love the pink color. I’ve wanted to try this for such a long time and I’m so glad I got it in my box. I’m definitely going to purchase this!

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Next I got Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body lotion. I have crazy dry skin in the winter, so I was excited that I got a new body lotion. Its not that great. my skin was dry and itchy after using this still. I’ve been using it as a hand lotion, but it smells horrible. The scent it relaxing sea fennel, I don’t know what sea fennel should smell like though. At first the smell it doesn’t smell too bad but it has a weird after scent and that is reason enough for me not to use it.

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My next product is theBalm cosmetics Cindy-Lou Manizer. I love this highlighter! I’ve had the worst luck with highlighters. They haven’t worked or were strange colors for my skin tone. I absolutely love Cindy Lou-Minizer! Its such a pretty color. I’ve been using it at a highlighter and an eyeshaddow as well. I will absolutely purchase this once I’m done with my sample. The packaging on all theBalm products is always super cute and this is no different. I love it!

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My next product is Dang coconut chips. I really don’t like coconut. maybe they would be good if I like it, but I can’t stand the taste of coconut. I tried this, thinking maybe I would like it, but I do not.

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I love face masks and was excited to try Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask. This one did not disappoint. It made my skin feel soft and it has a pretty purple color. I wont purchase this though because the price is insane. It costs $58 for 6 little tubs that you’re supposed to use all of. That’s definitely not worth it.

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Finally I got amika Nourishing Mask. I try and use hair masks about once or twice a . amika’s hair mask smells amazing and it made my hair feel amazing. Also you don’t need to keep it in long for it to work.

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I was a fan of this box! The only thing I really didn’t like was the coconut chips. Next time I’ll post my ipsy review and compare!

Fanfare – October Birchbox

Hello everyone! After a few months of not liking a good amount of my box I have finally received a box I really liked. There was only one thing I absolutely didn’t like. This month was fanfare, things everyone is a fan of. What your binge watching on Netflix, or what book you can’t put down. Some of the products in this months box will definitely become products I absolutely love.

First lets start with the product I didn’t like. I love perfume. I change it up all the time depending on how I feel. This perfume I would not use at all. TOCCA Eau de Parfum, Florence smells horrible. It is far too floral and far too strong. I could smell it all day long even after I tried to wash it off. I felt like all I could smell all day was gardenias. If you like floral perfumes I recommend this but if you don’t, step away  and don’t even open the bottle. I opened the sample and knew I wouldn’t like it, but thought maybe it would smell better on my skin. It did not. This sample will be given or thrown away.

TOCCA Eau de Parfum, Florence

TOCCA Eau de Parfum, Florence

Next I got a face serum, I don’t use serums often and I doubt I would use this one. It was nice though. It made my skin feel nice especially when pared with a tinted moisturizer. It was a little oily and I’m not a fan of using oils on my skin as my skin can get really oily. It did rub in nice though and the oily feeling didn’t last so that was nice. I just see myself using this on a daily basis.

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Antioxidant Serum with Retinol

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Antioxidant Serum with Retinol

I got this in Mally Melon, which is a light pink color. It was very light on my lips. It showed up more like a lip gloss then a lipstick and didn’t really stay on my lips that long. Also you had to twist it a lot before you could get any out and even once it started to come out you still needed to get any to come out. I’d much rather wear an actual lip stick or a lip gloss that would stay on longer.

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Mally Beauty High-Shine Liquid Lipstick Pens

Next I got suki exfoliate foaming cleanser. I like this cleanser a lot. I like how it foams however you can still feel the exfoliating beads or whatever they are. It makes my skin feel amazingly soft and it doesn’t dry out my skin at all. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about the scent. I’m not usually a big fan of lemon scented things but this isn’t too bad. Its not too strong a lemon scent like most lemon things are. I will most likely use my points to get this as the only thing I don’t like about it is the price.

suki® exfoliate foaming cleanser

suki® exfoliate foaming cleanser

Finally I got Jouer Matte Moisture Tint. I have a few products from Jouer already and its slowly beginning to become one of my favorite brands. I like this product a lot. It gives nice even coverage and you don’t need a lot. It doesn’t dry out you skin or give you that heavy feeling some tinted moisturizers and other skin products can give you. I like this a lot!

Jouer  Matter Moisture Tint

Jouer Matter Moisture Tint

I was a big fan of this months box. I can’t wait to see what I get next month! If you’re interested in joining birchbox join here!

September Birchbox

My September Birchbox wasn’t all that impressive. I decided to go with a surprise again and not pick any samples before they shipped out the boxes. Nothing I saw really stood out as something I had to have. When I opened my box nothing really stood out as something I had to try right away. My first sample was Yu-Be moisturizing skin cream. I get really dry skin in the winter so I was excited to try this product. I had heard good things about it so I was looking forward to it. I was seriously disappointed. It was sticky when you used it and it just kind of sat on top of my skin. Then on top of the sticky feeling it smelled gross. The smell was enough to put me off of this lotion. It would have to be the best moisturizer in the world for me to put up with the smell.

Next I got TEMPTU highlighter. I don’t really use highlighter but I wasn’t impressed by this at all. I put it on in the morning before work and could see. By the end of the day I forgot I had it on, and not because it was a natural look but because it didn’t look like I had even put anything on. I tried it again the next day and used more, thinking I hadn’t used enough the day before. I had the same result. I definitely won’t be purchasing this product.

The next product I got was Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, and it was another disappointment. It made my skin feel kind of sticky. Sticky isn’t the exact word for it but I didn’t like the feeling. It didn’t seem like it did anything for my skin. After the stickiness went away it didn’t feel any different from before I put the serum on there.

I’ve received a few dr. brandt products before and have had mixed feelings on them. This pore cleanser wasn’t that impressive. It had a cooling sensation which I didn’t mind. What I did mind was how dried out my skin felt after using this. I didn’t like it at all. Also there wasn’t really a difference to my pores.

Finally I got Whish shave cream in acai grapefruit. I didn’t mind the scent but probably would have preferred something different. The scent was really the only thing I semi liked about this product. I feel like I could have done a dry shave and got better results. This was painful. I got a horrible shave. I felt like I was dry shaving. My when I rinsed my legs off after shaving the water, yes water, burned my legs. HOW DOES WATER EVEN BURN? I felt like I had been day drinking and then decided i needed to shaved legs. This was the worst shave cream I have ever used.

I also got Chapstick day and night which i already reviewed earlier this month!

Here’s hoping my October box is better!

sorry no pictures. My computer isn’t working and I’m posting this from my phone and don’t have the pictures on here. I will add them when my computer works again

OPI Nordic Collection

After being unimpressed with Julep’s selection for September, I wasn’t sure if I would get any nail polish for the month. Then for my birthday, my boyfriend surprised me with a bottle of OPI polish from their Nordic Collection. So I was inspired to write a post reviewing a few bottles from the same collection. Somehting I really love about OPI’s nail polish is the quality. The brush applies the right amount on each coat of polish and holds up really well. I would rate this high up on the scale of nail polish. If you are going to spend $9 on a bottle of nail polish, it should last.

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The color I got for my birthday is called How Great is Your Dane? I love Great Danes and when I heard that OPI named a polish after them, I had to have it. I was so excited to open it on my birthday this year. It’s a warm, chocolate brown shade that is perfect for your fall manicure.

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The second shade I decided to purchase is called Viking in a Vinter Vonderland. It’s a very dark shade of purple, and with two coats it has an almost black quality to it. Which might not appeal to everyone, but I have a similar bottle of blue with the same dark quality, also from OPI.

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Finally I decided I needed a lighter shade, so I went with My Dogsled is a Hybrid. It’s a jade green color. Perfect for a transition color from summer to fall on your nails.

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I loved most of the colors in this collection, and would highly recommend OPI as a brand to nail polish lovers out there.

Chapstick – Birchblogger Review

Hey guys! This month I didn’t get Julep box instead I got a phone case from Phone Case of the Month. It’s a monthly phone case subscription where they send you a different phone case each month. You can’t pick the case you’re getting and they don’t sell them on their website so you can only get a new case from them monthly. I have received 3 cases from them and they’re really cute. They try to be gender natural but I don’t think they all necessarily are. This month I actually dropped my phone when getting out of the car. It landed face down and I was positive the screen would be cracked. Luckily my phone was fine thanks to my case and all that happened was my phone case broke a little but I could still use it. They currently have cases for Galaxy and iPhones (not the iPhone 6 yet but soon) if you want to get a case for $5 use this link to get your first case half off. Oh! Shipping is included so it only costs the $10 (or $5 if you use the link the first time.)

Phone Case of the Month

Phone Case of the Month

Now back to the makeup. I got 2 new Chapsticks to review for you from Birchbox. The first is Chapstick hydration lock. It has 2 sides to it the first side is renew and the other is moisturize. I use Chapstick all of the time and I’m honestly not impressed with this Chapstick. It feel like both sides are too heavy and just sit on top of my lips and don’t actually do anything. My lips are still chapped right now and I have the Chapstick on. I honestly wouldn’t use this product that much.

Chapstick Day and Night

Chapstick Day and Night

The next Chapstick I got is called Day and Night. This is the one I was most excited to try. I use Chapstick at night all the time so I was interested to see how this product works. I like the night Chapstick. It had a chamomile scent and it goes on nice. It is a little on the heavier side but it slowly sinks into your lips. I woke up with my lips feeling nice. The day Chapstick has SPF 12 in it which is wonderful. All Chapsticks should have an SPF. Sunburn sucks and no one wants to put sunscreen on their lips. It’s gross. The day is unscented. I use it under lipstick or gloss. I’m not a big fan of it. It’s an ok Chapstick nothing really special. It doesn’t last all that long and my lips get chapped pretty quickly. Id rather purchase a Chapstick I know is actually going to work.

So overall the Chapsticks are just alright. Nothing wonderful or horrible about them. Chances are I won’t buy them on my own. I do like the night Chapstick the best.

Sign up for Birchbox here! 

Beauty Schooled: Ipsy August Glam Bag

I’m back from a short blogging hiatus! Apologies that this review is coming so late, with school starting I lost track of time!
But here we go!

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Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

I first learned about this Mascara when I noticed a friend wearing it. Her eyelashes looked amazing and I had to know what she was wearing. I searched high and low in every Ulta within driving distance, but due to a coupon in their email that allowed a free sample to their beauty club members, they were all out of the sample size. So I caved, used a $10 gift card, and bought the full sized with the free lash primer included.

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And then my Ipsy bag arrives… and my bag included a tube of this mascara. So I decided to share the wealth and gave my sister the sample size since I still have a full tube.

I have to say I really like this mascara. It adds length and definition to my lashes. I used it for a date night out and thought it was a huge success.  I have clumping issues with most mascaras I use, so I use a safety pin to separate the clumps (credit for this tip goes to my sister, Jackie!)

This is a mascara I would probably purchase again.

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Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

 If you follow our blog at all, you’ll have read my previous post about dry shampoo. Cait and I both rely on dry shampoo a lot. I was very excited to receive this sample in my bag this month. I was even more excited to hear that Cait had gotten it in a past Birchbox and really liked it.

The instructions on Ipsy’s website state:

  1. Shake can well before use and in between sprays.
    Spray roots evenly holding can 10 inches from head. Do not spray on hair’s length–it’s meant for the scalp and roots.
    3. Leave product in for 2 minutes to allow it to soak up oil.
    4. Brush hair thoroughly to remove excess product and distribute evenly.
    5. Style as desired!

I followed the instructions pretty closely. The dry shampoo itself smells very clean and almost reminds me of nature or the outdoors. Like a clean spring day. But the product itself didn’t wow me. I think that Dove did a better job on keeping my bangs looking clean and refreshed better than this did.

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Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo Lip Conditioner

Let me start of by saying, I’m dating a chapstick addict. I welcome the opportunity to try new kinds of chapstick, and when I needed this item reviewed, I knew exactly who to turn to.

This particular chapstick smells amazing. It smells almost like lime and orange skittles. Which sounds weird until you read the name “Mandarin Green Orange Ginger” … so it makes more sense.

It feels great when you put it on your lips and is great for conditioning.

This is a product I would like to try again if I could locate it in stores.

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Reviews from my sister, Jackie:

GLAMGLOW YOUTHMUD® TINGLEXFOLIATE TREATMENT

“It’s really nice. It’s gritty, but it’s an exfoliating mask so that’s expected and the grittiness is really fine. It tingles going on and then dries up like clay. My skin feels tighter and super smooth afterwards. And it smells awesome. Probably not worth it’s crazy price tag, but definitely a good product.”

Pixi Beauty Mini Tinted Brilliance Balm

My sister got this product in her July Ipsy bag, and just couldn’t get past the coloring. So we scored another fun product to review.

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This came in the shade Pretty Pink. I absolutely loved this product. The color is a vibrant and fun shade of pink that matches my skin tone great. I’m very pale with hints of pinks and reds in my skin. The balm goes on my lips smooth and lasts a long time without wearing out too quickly. It also gives off a slight minty smell, almost like Burts Bee’s chapstick would, and your lips get a nice tingle out of it.

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This is a must purchase on my list.

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Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner:

I’m always a little hesitant when a product says it minimizes your pores. Personally, I don’t obsess over the size of my pores. I just want my foundation or primer to cover up acne and similar blemishes.  I opened the tube of Pores No More Pore Refiner and the smell was originally off putting. Maybe it was just me, I don’t care for the smell of liquid foundation. I’m strictly into powder based makeup.  I was also hesitant to put any new liquid on my skin, as I have sensitive skin.

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I washed my face, and applied the Pore Refiner on clean and dry skin.  It came out of the tube as a liquid, but it felt great and very soft on my skin.  It absorbed quickly and I put on my powder based foundation on top of it.  I have to say I was very impressed.  It didn’t feel heavy or gross, and I barely noticed it was there.  But it was a nude shade and helped to cover red marks and little bits of acne on my face.  I also added bronzer and blush on top as well as per my normal makeup routine.  I’m definitely a fan of this product. Depending on the retail price for a full container, I’d buy this again.

Per Ipsy’s website, these are the Key Benefits:
– Minimizes the appearance of pores by diffusing light
– Blurs imperfections & lines
– Erases shine & mattifies skin
– Absorbs oil, reduces shine and helps regulate sebum production
– Antibacterial action for a healthy skin
– Acts as a shield to prevent make-up from clogging pores

Beauty Pick of the Week — Benefit Cosmetics – They’re Real Push-Up Liner

I love all things Benefit Cosmetics.I use their products on a daily basis. So when I heard they were coming out with a new eye liner I was really excited. I’ve tried a lot of their makeup and haven’t been disappointed yet. I decided to order it for myself in July for my birthday and I have been using it a few times a week since I got it. I absolutely love this eye liner! 

Let me start off by telling you if you don’t wear eye liner at all this product is probably not for you. It takes some getting used to and a few tries to figure out how to use the pen. If you know you aren’t going to want to spend the time figuring out how the pen works don’t get it. My sister, who wears makeup all the time used it once and didn’t like it. This takes a few tries to get used to it and to figure it out. I used it for a few days in a row just to get the feel for it and once you figured it out it is amazing! 
 
Next if you are used to wearing only eye liner and no eye shadow you are going to have to change that. 99% of the time I wear eye liner without eye shadow because I’m very low maintenance hen it comes to my makeup I wear foundation, concealer eye liner and mascara and sometimes blush. Recently i have stepped up my makeup game and have been doing my eyebrows daily. I use Benefit’s Gimme Brow – its amazing and so simple basically just a mini mascara brush and you brush the makeup onto your eye brows. It couldn’t get any simpler! Okay back to the eye liner. This eye liner when worn without eye shadow clumps. It will look good in the morning or whenever you put it on and then by the end of the day it will look like it has cracked – which is super annoying. If you wear a shadow with it it looks amazing all day. I’ve been wearing light colors that you can’t even see, it really makes the eye liner pop as well. 
 
The color of this eye liner is awesome. It is a black that pops. I love how dark it is. It seems to make my eyes pop when I’m wearing it. I have also found that I am now comparing my black eye liners to this one and find they aren’t dark enough. 
If you are a fan of either a lot or a little eye liner you can easily do both. you can easily control how much gel you let out of the pen and how high you want to go. This also makes cat eyes so much easier! The end of the pen is pointed so it makes angling up for a cat eye a breeze. you just have to place the pen on your eye in the direction you want and drag up. its so simple! 
 
Now just some reminders! If you try it and don’t like it right away don’t give up! try again and again and a few times really to get used to the pen. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it until I used it a few times and now I absolutely love it. Next don’t forget eye shadow you really will need it. Finally get a good makeup remover! Its a dark eye liner and you will need a great make up remover to take it off!