Tomoson Review

We’re going a little meta today. Blogging about blogging.

Tomoson is a platform that many bloggers use to get free stuff. Uh, I mean, it’s a platform that bloggers use to receive items for “testing and review”. I understand why it exists on both sides. Bloggers spend a lot of time, effort and their own money to grow their blog. New businesses have trouble getting the word out about their products. I don’t have a problem with the idea of these kinds of platforms.

I’m on a few of them. I’ve been a member of Influenster since before I had a blog. I’ve received items from Brand Backer. I tried Tomoson.

I’m not above wanting free stuff. The problem with these platforms is that you’re often incentivized to leave positive reviews to keep receiving things. With Tomoson in particular, “influencers”/bloggers are rated by the company they work with, with the more legit companies seeking out people that have done more campaigns and have a higher rating.

What ends up happening is that people request a lot of the easy items to review (ebooks, weird supplements) in hopes that one day they can get nice products. A lot of these campaigns request Amazon reviews. Amazon has a HUGE problem with fake reviews at the moment. I wasn’t planning to be part of the problem.

I did one campaign for a menstrual cup, Cali Cup, which was great. It’s a genuinely good product that I was happy to put the word out about. I did a facebook and instagram post for them. And then nothing. I realized that I needed to play the game and do some ebook reviews.

Now, I like books. I just thought that the ebooks on Tomoson seemed like garbage. I bit the bullet and requested a kind of self-help/time management/personal success book. Right up my alley. I love planning stuff. I thought FOR SURE I could find something nice to say about this book.

Guys. Entire pages were missing from it. Short lists of tips had duplicates. There were weird condescending bits about kids these days. The author photo was a stock photo. This was a clear scam product.

I had no way to report the listing on Amazon for being a sham book. There was no option to contact Tomoson directly about my issues with the product. I emailed the company through the platform and told them about the missing pages and poor editing, asking if I had received a draft. They just emailed me the same book in a different format.

So my options were to give the book a nice Amazon review, or to not submit anything and let my account be shut down for not completing a campaign. I didn’t complete the campaign.

And now I’m SUPER suspicious of any disclaimer that says the item they received was from Tomoson. There’s absolutely no product oversight on that platform. I don’t want free stuff that badly. Neither should you.

(Edit: Side note, pretty sure that leaving Amazon reviews in exchange for products is against their ToS and people are having their accounts shut down for that. Fun and good ethics all around!)

Rimmel Lasting Finish Colour Rush in Give Me a Cuddle Review

I’m still working my way through my lip color collection one week at a time. This week I tried to wear Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Colour Rush lip balm in Give Me A Cuddle for a solid week.

I mean, I succeeded. It just wasn’t the most fun.The tube of Rimmel's Lasting Finish Colour Rush in Give Me a Cuddle. The silver lettering is rubbing off.

This is where I confess to you that I bought this lip balm three years ago. That’s why the label looks so godawful. You can still purchase it, so I could have pretended that I bought it last week.

This blog isn’t about my dignity.

A shot of the opened gloss stick. It's sort of like a lipstick, but is supposed to be more hydrating. It looks like a balm and a lipstick had a baby. It doesn't act that way.

Three years ago I knew that I wanted to wear lipstick, but was having some trouble easing into it. This lip balm looked like a nice tame pink. At least on me. Some reviewers said it was too candy pink for them.

There is no flash in the image on the left. The image on the right has flash.

I can see the candy pink complaints. I do think this balm applies pretty thin, so you can adjust it to be less bright.

On my lips. A thin, baby pink.

It looks fine, right? Barely even there. That’s what I was going for three years ago. The problem is that this balm isn’t particularly hydrating. And while it’s not an in your face color, it does dry my lips out and the resulting flakes are BRIGHT PINK. I don’t have an at the end of the workday picture for you because I wiped this off at lunch every day. It didn’t matter that I used my lip mask the night before. It didn’t matter if I exfoliated and hydrated in the morning before the application.

In the trash it goes. It’s not a good track record for Rimmel’s lip products. I also trashed some of their glosses for drying me out.

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator Review

This lotion has a NAME. Surge! Intense! It’s making some claims. And it should for $40.

I didn’t pay $40 for a lotion, don’t worry. I got a sample using ipsy points back in May.

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You might remember that I wasn’t initially impressed with it. I didn’t think that it was moisturizing nearly as well as my CeraVe. A bunch of you yelled at me to really give it a chance because you love it.

And you were right. I just wasn’t using enough.

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I had to hurry to take pictures before I used it all.

A 7 mL sample lasted me for a month of once daily use. I still used my CeraVe at night. Why only once a day? This lotion doesn’t make my sunscreen pill up. I was rationing it. The pill life is real, but I refuse to try new sunscreen when I have so much left of what I’m using.

It hydrates well when you slather it on and dries pretty quickly. It doesn’t have any added fragrance, but does smell faintly of alcohol. Butylene glycol (an alcohol) is the fourth ingredient. My organic chemistry classes didn’t teach me to identify alcohols based on smell, but I think that might be it.

So, am I going to start budgeting for an annual fund of $80 on morning moisturizer alone? I was pretty tempted. It’s good. BUT it contains some of the micro-plastics that I’m trying to avoid in my skincare. Environmentalism has saved my wallet.

I think that the major ingredient my daily CeraVe doesn’t have is squalane. I’m going to try adding a squalane serum to my routine and continue to pray for a sunscreen that doesn’t pill with my current set up.

Any squalane recommendations for me?

Funkless Deodorant Tangerine & Lime Review

You know the no plastic kick is getting serious when I start buying deodorant that comes in a glass jar.

A small jar that says "FUNKLESS NATURAL DEODORANT Tangerine Lime"

I’m no stranger to ~natural~ deodorants. I jumped on the no aluminum train about ten years ago when I started using the crystal. Now I think that the aluminum fears have pretty shaky evidence. Which is great, because the crystal deodorant still contains aluminum. That’s a different post. Greenwashing is real. The important part here is that I’ll rub a solid rock on my armpits. A paste wasn’t anything strange for me.

I quit using the crystal because it was a colossal pain to remember to use it while my armpits were still wet from showering. I’ve bounced around between other ~natural~ deodorants that irritated my armpits, and then settled for men’s deodorant. I hate smelling like flowers and I hate the pink tax. I also kind of hate how quickly I go through a stick of deodorant. That’s a fair amount of plastic that I didn’t feel was necessary.

So I went down the internet rabbit hole of eco-friendly deodorant. It gets little weird. There are lots of burnt armpits from essential oils being misused. I’m very wary of ~natural~ deodorants because of things like this. Funkless had good Amazon reviews, though. I decided to give them a try.

Back of the jar. Made in Brooklyn. Ingredients list: Arrowroot starch, baking soda, coconut oil, shea butter, magnesium oxide, citrus reiculatal, citrus auranfolia, and vitamin E.

The ingredients are pretty straight forward. A lot of homemade deodorants are basically baking soda and essential oils for scent. I think the arrowroot starch is just an added thickener, and then the magnesium oxide presumably acts the way that aluminum does in commercial deodorants. It keeps you from sweating by plugging up your sweat holes.

That’s scientific.

I’m not fussed about rubbing magnesium oxide in my armpits because I currently eat 200 mg of it a day in tablet form. If magnesium (a normal thing that we need in our diet) turns on us, this deodorant is going to be the least of my worries.

A look inside the jar. It's a plain white paste. The consistency depends on the temperature of the room. It's solid here, kind of like play-do.

So how does it work? At room temperature this deodorant is a pretty solid paste. I have to use some pressure to get it out. It smells lightly of tangerine and lime. The smell doesn’t linger. I kind of wish that it did. It smells like something I’d want to drink. I want to smell like a fancy drink.

"This amount" is a little pinch on my finger. A little bigger than a pea.

I usually get about this amount out, then rub it between my index fingers to warm it up so it spreads easily.

This picture is showing how the solid deodorant melts with body heat so that it can be easily spread. It looks kind of like a gritty lotion here.

One finger for each armpit. You don’t need a representation of me rubbing this on my armpits, right? Good.

It dries a little chalky, but I haven’t noticed any rubbing off onto my shirts. After a few wears it does leave a little white powder on my bra. That doesn’t bother me.

I haven’t had any weird armpit irritation. A+ safe use of essential oils here, at least for my body chemistry. I haven’t noticed that I get sweaty (but then again, I also don’t actively look for antiperspirants in my deodorant). I will say that when do get disgustingly all-body sweaty, my armpits still don’t smell. It’s pretty impressive.

Based on my current use rate, I’d guess that one jar of this would last approximately..forever. The pictures were taken when I had been using it daily for a month. A MONTH. A jar could easily last a year.

My only complaint is that it will melt during shipping. I received a pretty messy, but yummy smelling envelope. I gave the deodorant a good stir and let it return to room temperature. It’s been fine.

Ingredients are good. Performance is good. There’s not a giant plastic tube for me to buy, like, every week. We’ve got a winner here.

 

Stay Glossy Lipgloss by Rimmel

Disclaimer: I got this from Influenster for testing/review purposes uh..two years ago? Three? It’s been a while. This blog post was not required because I had no blog at the time. They didn’t ask me for a good review. Obviously.

I’ve been on a long kick of clearing out my belongings. I started with books, then clothing, and now makeup. The lip products are getting purged first.

My lip product collection. There are a lot of them. My lip product collection. There are a lot of them. You can see at least part of 25ish tubes.

Look at this. It’s fine to have a lot of products that you use and enjoy having. I’m not going to get on my internet high horse and say that everything you do must be minimalist. I just don’t wear or like all of these. I can’t justify buying new products that I want to try when I have lipstick mountain in my closet.

So I’ve been running a little test. I pick one thing that I haven’t worn in a while and make myself wear it every day of the week for a week. If I haven’t figured out to use it in a way that works, or still don’t like it, it goes in the trash.

First up was Rimmel’s Stay Glossy 3D in Candy Floss.
Image of Rimmel's Stay Glossy 3D lipgloss in Candy Floss.

And since Influenster sent me two colors, I’m swatching Popcorn for 2 here as well. I didn’t wear that one for a week because I hate it.

Image of Rimmel's Stay Glossy 3D lipgloss in Popcorn for 2.

I’m not sure if they’ve changed their formula since I got this one, or if the images on their website are horrifically misleading. This is what their official image for this color looks like.

Official Rimmel image of Popcorn for 2. This one is baby pink, whereas my tube is very beige.
Mine is old, but it was never baby pink.

I arm swatched them so you guys could get a good look at the sparkles. Candy Floss is on the top, Popcorn for 2 on the bottom. The right image has no flash and the left is with flash.

 

Candy Floss has less shimmer to it. What shimmer is there is closely matched to the gloss color. It looks purple under flash, which I’ve never noticed in person.

Bright pinks have been growing on me. This isn’t the worst lip gloss.

Picture of the shade Candy Floss on my lips. It's glittery and bright pink, but not excessively so.

You’ll notice that I don’t have my typical “end of the work day” image for these. Despite Rimmel’s claims of “cutting-edge Shine Extend technology”, this lip gloss completely dissipates within two hours. No glitter left. No tint. Nothing. I guess if you remain perfectly still and don’t drink any water for six hours, it might still be there?

I really want a PowerPoint on cutting edge lip gloss technology.

That’s not sarcasm.

I’d also like a detailed explanation of how cotton moisturizes your lips. I’m not making this up, their website says: “Its lip-loving formula pampers lips with a caring complex of cotton and silk for increased lips moisturisation.”

Anyway, it’s a perfectly nice color that doesn’t stay on my face long enough to warrant spending the time to put it on evenly in the morning and keep my hair out of it.

Full face shot of me wearing Candy Floss.

More negatives: It makes my lips feel dry once it wears down. And it’s full of micro-plastics. Not cool.

Popcorn for 2 is a terrible beige color that is packed with iridescent shimmer. It doesn’t look awful when I first apply it, but unlike Candy Floss, the gloss wears down long before the shimmer. It leaves me with milky, fish scale looking lips. I don’t have a picture of that because I have self respect, weirdly enough.

Picture of Popcorn for 2 on my lips. It's much lighter and packed with shimmer.

It might work better as a topper for lipstick. I don’t want to make it work that badly.

A full face shot of Popcorn for 2. I think this color washes me out a little.

They’re both going in the trash before this post is published. I’ll have this post to look back on if I ever feel bad about it. (Edit: I don’t.)

But really,  why did I keep the beige one for so long? It smells like sunscreen.

Tell me what lip gloss you really need to throw away in the comments.

The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Mask Sheet by Tonymoly

This sheet mask makes me bummed that I’m quitting sheet masks.

A spoiler, I guess. Sometimes I have to put nice things on my face, okay? I can’t just squirt lemon juice and baking soda all over my skin and then go sit in the sun every day.
(Don’t do that. Get off Pinterest. Your skin thanks you.)

Image of the front of Tonymoly's The Chok Chok Green Tea watery mask sheet (sheet mask). It's pretty minimalist and touts that it contains 100% pure green tea ferment extract.

My friend in South Korea sent me that good Tonymoly shit! And it’s good. So good that I’m letting the weird little blurb about tea being cultivated throughout four seasons slide (kind of). Tea plants don’t like winter.

I, too, thought that I would tone down the science snark when I left my research job. It turns out that it just means that I have more energy at home to look into random plant biology.

And the back of the packaging. It's mostly in korean, aside from the ingredients list and instructions. Nothing interesting in English.

I, uh, still don’t read Korean. Who knows what claims they’re making on the packaging. Let’s rip this bad boy open.

It smells so good. I want my entire skincare routine to smell like this product. The scent is all of the nice parts of green tea without the bitterness. Maybe a little lemon, too. I want to cover my body in it.

An unflattering picture of me wearing the sheet mask. I've got my giant weekend septum ring in.

The mask material is solid. It’s one of the thick ones that feel like cloth. Maybe it is? It’s not one of the ones that are super flimsy and dry immediately. You can hang out with this one for a while.

My face felt moisturized after using this mask, but wasn’t greasy or sticky. I’m into it. My friend is an angel and sent me multiples, so I can confirm that nothing bad happens with repeated use. It’s straight up nice.

I’m also quitting sheet masks. They create more waste than I’m comfortable with. I don’t need a foil packet and a cloth/paper face cover for half an hour of use. I don’t believe that they’re any more effective than a traditional mask or lotion, so I’ll be switching over to those.

I was hoping that I could just transfer my love of this product over to the rest of Tonymoly’s green tea line, but after a quick glance it looks like everything contains microplastics. Boo.

I’ll be scouring the internet for a green tea mask that smells similarly. Do you have any suggestions?

Maybelline Lip Studio Color Blur Lipstick in Orange Ya Glad

There was a brief period of time when I couldn’t go into CVS without grabbing a new lipstick or nail polish. This is one of those impulse buys, as evidenced by the gimmicky applicator (not pictured because I don’t use it) and the fact that it’s ORANGE.

The idea of these lip pencils is that you can color the inside (or edges, I guess) of your lips and then create a gradient using their weird blender. This does not work for me with this color. It just evenly smudges. The pencil itself goes on pretty creamy and I have small lips. It doesn’t work.

Maybelline Lip Studio Color Blur lip pencil in Orange Ya Glad. Top swatch is solid color, the bottom is my blur attempt using their blur tool.

So, the “blur” is a no-go for me. The orange, though. Orange lipstick is awesome. I didn’t know this. I thought I looked better in “blue” reds, but now nothing makes sense. I love the color…when I wear green shirts. I haven’t been brave enough to wear it with other colors, but I think it would also look good with black. Black is safe.

Image of me wearing Maybelline's Lip Studio Color Blur lipstick in Orange Ya Glad.
Say hi to my septum ring!

So, yeah, it’s cute. But does it stay put? You guys know by now that I’m not going to reapply mid day. Are you ready for these gritty shots of my lips at the beginning and end of my day?

Here’s the before:

Image of me wearing Maybelline's Lip Studio Color Blur lipstick in Orange Ya Glad at the beginning of my day.

And the perfectly acceptable after:

Image of me wearing Maybelline's Lip Studio Color Blur lipstick in Orange Ya Glad at the end of my day. It's faded a little on the inside of my lips, but still looks presentable, especially when you aren't zoomed in like on these pictures.

This is $9 lipstick after something like 10 hours and a full lunch. I need it in red now.