3/14/18

Lace Henley Top + LipSense, Monat Reviews

|
Last weekend, I finally experienced the situation I've heard many bloggers complain about: "I'm supposed to take blog pictures today but I can't because it's raining [or insert other bad weather condition]!" We are in a severe drought here in San Diego, which is terrible for the environment but great for blogging! Ha! I rarely have to factor weather into my picture taking plans, but my luck finally ran out so I had to get creative with what to share today. So...how about an iPhone snap of an outfit I wore on a Spring-like day back in January?


I shared a pretty similar version of this outfit here with a blush cardigan, so in the unlikely event you remember that, sorry for the near-repeat! I do prefer to wear this lace henley top all by itself rather than covered up, though. It runs one size small compared to mall brands (Express, Gap, LOFT) but normal for Pattyboutik pieces. It does come with a white bandeau top to wear under the henley (it's not attached to the lace henley, though), but I didn't see how that was going to stay up or be comfortable throughout the day, so I just wore a basic white cami underneath instead.

My jeans are a great lighter wash for Spring and the only other current item I've wearing. They're true to size, and the distressing does look a little different on me than on the model, but I purchased them online so I know for sure they are the exact pair. I do have this similar pair of boots in taupe and they are a great option for reasonably comfortable pointed-toe ankle boots.

LipSense & Monat Reviews
If you're on Instagram at all, chances are you've heard of one or both of these brands. I thought I share my thoughts on these today as an unbiased, non-sponsored (I purchased every product I'm about to discuss), non-distributor in case it helps any of you make a decision on these for yourself.

LipSense
I've really been wanting to try these since Amy Ann shared her review and favorites, but I was very indecisive about which colors would work for me. I happened to see a LipSense sign hanging in a local beauty supply store, so that's where I ended up making my first purchase since I could sample the colors (on the back of my hand) first. I now have the colors Bella (Example here) for daytime wear, Plum (Example on Pinterest) for evening wear, and a tube of Glossy Gloss.
Top to bottom: Bella, Plum, Glossy Gloss
PROS:
This stuff is really, really long lasting. Absolutely the longest lasting stuff I've tried. I love wearing it to any kind of social event with food or drinks involved. I know that I'll still have full color on my lips without having to dash off to the bathroom to re-apply, even though I'm eating and drinking. I look completely washed out without lip color, so it's nice to finally have an option that eliminates the problem in social settings.

For me, it comes off easily enough with a makeup removing wipe. I do have to scrub a little, but the whole process takes under 30 seconds so no complaints there. I find waterproof mascara harder to remove than this, so for the lasting power you get, the easy removal process is on the pro side for me.

CONS:
First, most people will tell you it's very drying on your lips. Yes, it comes with gloss to moisturize, to me, it still feels dry underneath the gloss. Second, it takes a very careful, precise application. If I'm in a rush to get out the door I can't use this stuff because it takes a few minutes for me to apply it correctly. Third, you also cannot pair it with a regular lip liner, and I really need a liner to make my lips look decent. What does work for me in place of lip liner is to line my lips first with the LipSense color using tiny, fine point cotton swabs (imagine a Q-tips with a tip the size of a a ball point pen). After "lining" them, I fill them in with the regular applicator wand. I also have to apply a few layers of product to get the color impact I want, so again, it just adds to the time-consumption factor of the process.

In all fairness, even though the application process is a little tedious, it's still easier than say, applying false eyelashes. It's probably on par to carefully applying mascara and attempting not to smudge. I may get faster as I wear it more often, but right now I mainly use it for special occasions so my skills are not improving very quickly.

I would also say that I'm not 100% thrilled with either of the colors I have, but that's no fault of the product. Even though I tested them on the back of my hand before buying, they still looked different on my lips and in natural light vs. store light. I think it's just going to be a trial and error process to get the right color, which isn't exactly great news given the cost involved.

Ultimately, yes, LipSense was worth it for me. It's not an everyday product for me, but it's a great option to have in  my beauty arsenal for times when I'm willing to sacrifice a little convenience comfort for very long wearing color. Since I purchased mine in store, I can't recommend a particular distributor, but I know Amy Ann is very happy with her distributor, so I would probably start there if I wanted to buy online.

Monat
I have seen nothing but positive reviews for this all over Instagram, but I still just could not get myself to pay $100 for their products (retail price for the three items shown below) without trying them first because I am very picky about shampoo and conditioner and hardly ever find any high-end hair products worth the money.
Image via Monat

So instead I decided to purchase a set of 7 Sample Sizes on eBay for $14.50. (Link goes to the exact seller I used.) I am sure there is some slight risk that eBay products may not be authentic, but...I'm okay with that risk. That's all I was willing to spend to try this stuff, period.

I have fine, highlighted hair so it needs all the volumizing and deep conditioning it can get. My sample set came with seven products and I have tried the following six: Revive Shampoo, Renew Shampoo, Intense Repair Treatment Conditioner, Restore Leave-In Conditioner, Revitalize Conditioner, Replenish Masque. (I think I misplaced the leave-in oil, c'est la vie.)

In a nutshell, I was just underwhelmed by all of it. The Leave-In Conditioner left my hair limp and unstyleable. The shampoos were okay, but they didn't seem to do anything special to justify the cost. I'm sure you have to use them longer to see any of the growth benefits promised, but if I can't style my hair after using a certain shampoo or conditioner, I really can't be convinced to keep using it for more benefits somewhere down the line. My favorite product from this set and the only one I'll consider purchasing full size was the Replenish Masque. That seemed to condition and "restore" my hair nicely without weighing it down like the other products


I am sure other people will have different results based on their hair type, climate, etc. so I don't think there's anything wrong with the line, per se. I just didn't "wow" me enough to justify the high price. I hope that helps you make a more informed decision!


Linking up with: Lindsey | The Blended Blog | Kelly, Anessa | Brooke | Carrie | JoLynne



Link Up Hosts:
Join us to share your Style on the Daily by linking up your latest fashion-related posts below! If you link up, we ask that you link back to your hosts Amy Ann and Gina and follow us on the social media platform of your choice. Thank you!


CONVERSATION

17 comments:

  1. Love that lace top! The weather here has been DREADFUL for taking pictures. So cold, and a new coating of snow at least once a week. Ugh. I'm so over it!

    I use Monat and I've liked how it works on my hair, but I agree - it depends on so many factors, and the price really is outrageous. I have thinning hair issues, and I feel like it helps to some degree so I keep shelling out the big bucks on it. :)

    Thanks for the linkup! :)


    Jo-Lynne
    https://jolynneshane.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love that lace Henley on you, Gina! It goes great with your hair and perfect for a cooler spring morning.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love that pretty lace henley, especially with the distressed jeans. It's such a great contrast. I appreciate both reviews too. I've never heard of Monat but I have been wanting to try LipSense, but I'm not sure it's for me--it seems like a lot of work and a lot more than I want to spend on lipstick. But it's good to know that the staying power is the real deal.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love the outfit! It looks perfect for spring.
    http://sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. The lace henley is sooooo cute! You say you're not wearing it right now? Let me shoot you my address. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. That top looks gorgeous! And thanks for the honest LipSense review. I have yet to take the plunge. I really wish they had a trial size option before you have to invest $50 to see if the product is right for you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love that lace henley! I don't know that I would even consider the bandeau top underneath (lol) but that cami is perfect. It could so easily be dressed up or down - terrific top Gina!
    I am so happy to see your review of lipsense. I have wanted to try it but I find choosing a color daunting - unless I can try before I buy. I'm also a little shell shocked at the price but if I didn't use it every single day and only for when I'm out that would be worth it. Like you I need color on my lips! The dryness factor is an issue for me. I know so many women love CoverGirl outlast lip shine but it is way too drying on my lips.
    I know a few people who sell it so I may reach out to them (they're all online and not local -boo!). Just a few weeks ago I saw that they added foundation and eye color to their line. That sounds intriguing!
    Thanks for a great review!
    xo,
    Kellyann

    ReplyDelete
  8. I didn't know Monat products were so pricey. They would be hard to justify if you don't know if it will work or not. I have some Lipsense products too and really like them for occasions like you mentioned. It's too drying for me to wear everyday too. And my one complaint is by the end of the day, the lip color starts wearing off on the inner part of my lips and looks a little odd. Because of the product it's not like you can reapply just on the inner part of your lips. You have to take it completely off and reapply. All in all though I do find it worth it, especially for date nights or nights out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not trying to butt in here on Gina's post, but I have had this happen a time or two. I just wait until I don't have gloss on (or wipe it off) and then apply another coat only to the inner part of my lip. Then let it dry and add more gloss. It has worked well for me. Just in case you want to try that!

      Delete
  9. Thank you for these reviews! My friend Nicole sells monat and her hair always looks amazing but I have my doubts. Same with lip sense - I have a hard time buying into hype but since you have had a pleasant experience, maybe I will too :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Interesting reviews! Haven’t tried either product. Good to store your thoughts about them as I consider trying myself. I usually don’t wear lipstick, just a gloss. So I doubt I’ll ever invest in LipSense. But who knows. Stranger things...

    ReplyDelete
  11. The lace top is so pretty! I am in the boat of bad weather = no outfit photos right now, but I just need to buck up, because winter isn't going anywhere!
    Chic on the Cheap

    ReplyDelete
  12. it rains so much in South Florida so checking the weather is always a must, I love this lace henley. I've heard of lipsense but it never tempted me because there's so many like it out there. Never heard of Monat but I really don't believe in super expensive hair products, so yea I wouldn't want to get hooked on that.

    xo
    Pinksole

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ugh, I feel your pain about the weather it has been so difficult to take blog photos here in the northeast with all of the snow we have gotten recently. I love this top, such a great casual look!

    xx, Elise
    www.sparkleandslippers.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lol living in Kansas City means you not only check the weather every day- but every few hours! Haha. It's second nature to me now, but would be so disruptive if I lived in a more stable climate like SD, for sure!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

    ReplyDelete
  15. This lace top is so gorgeous! I love the longer sleeves. It's always a bit chilly up here for spring so a long sleeved top is really a must!

    http://www.mylittlenest.org

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am so glad you like it. It does take time to apply. It only lasts the way it is supposed to with three full coats. You should see me sometimes trying to apply it in a hurry - never a good idea!! Thank you so much for the shoutout and the link to my friend. She will be so happy. :) You are so kind!! I don't own either of these colors though I have tried on plum and didn't love it. I have found finding the right color is the HARDEST part of the whole thing because you can't just try them on like normal. Once you find one you like it is great. I hadn't heard of the hair product, so I am glad to have your review.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I sincerely appreciate each and every one and always do my best to answer questions promptly!