Sunday, December 22, 2013

Review: Real Techniques Foundation Brush Set

I just wanted to do a quick review on a purchase I made this week at Walmart. Earlier this year a lot of people spotted a feature display at their Walmart of Real Techniques brushes. Though I do not see this brand on the shelves regularly, I didn't even see the feature display in any of my Walmarts! I have never lived anywhere close to a place that sold Real Techniques and being that I have never tried their products, I was reluctant to order them online. You can order other Real Techniques brushes on the Walmart website and someone returned an unopened package of brushes at my Walmart, so I decided to buy them and try them out.
This 3 brush set is for the face. The first brush, starting on the left, is the "Essential Foundation Brush"; the middle brush is the "Pointed Foundation Brush", and the last brush on the right is the "Contour Brush". The set was $14.98 and just in case you didn't know- all brushes from the Real Techniques line are synthetic. After doing some research, I found that this specific set was part of the feature display at Walmart found earlier this year and I do not see them for sale on the official website or Walmart's. 

As far as the brushes themselves, I would say they are nice and they work pretty well. I like the aluminum handles. I travel quite a bit and take my brushes with me, and wood handled brushes just do not hold up the same and definitely peel quickly. I found that the brushes applied foundation, concealer, and bronzer/powder well. The brushes are a little rougher than I am use to though, more specifically the 2 foundation brushes. I have always been told to use synthetic face brushes, because I have pitted acne scarring and the pros say that synthetic brushes help put the product into the pits and make them less visible. I personally find it's more in choosing the right brush for the product you're using and I like to use a thick creme foundation and I have found that a flat foundation brush is not my best friend with that type of formula, so I do not see myself using these brushes often.

Overall, these are decent brushes, but a bit on the expensive side when compared to other similar brands like Eco Tools or BH Cosmetics. I'd like to try the eye brushes and see how they compare, but I'm not overly thrilled with them. They are just okay to me. 

I'd love to hear your opinions on this brand. Leave comments below!

Cancelling IPSY

I had planned on making a post on this months (December) IPSY bag that I received and letting everyone know it was my last bag, as I have cancelled my subscription. However, I'm not even going to open or try 3 of the 5 items I received, so it wasn't even worth it to me to post. -This is a big reason why I cancelled my subscription; throughout most of the year I have only enjoyed about 2 or 3 products per bag and I don't feel it's worthy to try and post a review when half of the bags contents will not be used. 

I do get a few things here there that are amazing and I have discovered a few new brands that I like through the service, but I just don't think it is worth putting the money out for those few products or brands a year. With today's technology word gets out pretty quick and you can see YouTube videos and blogs with new products and product reviews. For the past few months I haven't even used the codes that you can access in your account for the different brands that are promoted each month and most people post those anyways (including Michelle Phan herself). 

Honestly, even though it's only $10 a month, I still feel that's $10 I can put towards something that I personally pick out myself. Over a year, that's $120 and if you saved that you could put that $120 to a real nice make-up purchase of your choosing.

I'm happy for anyone who was on the waitlist that took my spot and I hope they enjoy it, but for now I'm done with monthly subscriptions that do not allow you to have control over what you receive monthly.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thinking Outside The Make-Up Bag

I wanted to share a little find of mine from Walgreens. This mini bag/case was in the "Toys" section when I was looking around Walgreens and I found it to be adorable. It features Princess Tiana from the Disney  movie "The Princess and the Frog".
This is the other side of the bag. It features Tiana in the blue dress she wore in the movie at the ball.
I wanted to show that I could not get a full size lipstick to fit in the bag, but I could get a mini lipstick and eyeshadow in it. I think this is a super cute way to carry makeup or accessories around. So, next time you're looking around your house or the store for something to put your make-up in, think outside of your normal make-up bag.

RiRi MAC Holiday Collection

When I first started getting into make-up seriously I only bought MAC for the most part. I owned Juicy Tubes (from Lancome) and I had skin care from Clinique, but my real make-up came from MAC. I also had some friends who worked for Estee Lauder, so I owned a few things from there, but it was more for me helping them out with their sales than actually being a fan of the company. Then a couple years later I discovered that there were brands just as good as MAC and in some cases better. So, the past few years I've been building up my make-up collection with brands like Make-Up Forever, Urban Decay, Too Faced, and most recently Tarte. This past year I've focused a lot on drug store products too (which I'm sure you've noticed on this blog), because again it was like a discovery for me to find out that you can find some really good things in the drug stores. 

When I heard about the RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday collection, I knew I had to get my hands on it! I honestly didn't pay much attention when they first released RiRi Woo, because of my avoidance of MAC. Then I saw swatches and reviews of it and I was really intrigued by the retro matte formula and the color. I missed out on the RiRi Hearts MAC Fall collection that came out for the fall. I went to the MAC store the day it was released, but I went after work and by the time I arrived it was pretty much sold out. So, my quest for the holiday collection began! 

I stalked the internet for the release date. The online release date came first and I had the lipsticks in my cart, but when I went to process my payment it said it had sold out and there was nothing in my cart. I guess I just wasn't fast enough. So, then I saw that the MAC stores and counters would have the collection Thursday, December-12. With all of the demand for this collection I decided to look up the best way to get it. I also went and talked to my local MAC store and Macy's (which also carries MAC) to get any advice I could from the associates. Well, my luck happened to be that Macy's opens an hour before the regular MAC store, so if I didn't get the collection there, I would have a chance to try and get it from the actual MAC store. I read online that most girls waited about an hour for the last collection and that most stores only received about 6-8 of each lipstick. Since the lipstick was what I really wanted I decided I would go wait at Macy's at 8am -an hour before it opened. My fiance was sweet enough to go with me, as he was going to help me get what I wanted and pay for it. (I know, I have a keeper!) He thought I was crazy going an hour early, but obliged. It was a little hard getting him out the door that early though and we actually arrived at the mall at 7:55am and he thought I was buggin' as I was telling him to hurry up to get to Macy's. Well, I wasn't completely crazy! When we arrived at Macy's I was 6th in line and although we did wait an hour I was able to buy everything I wanted. They also did sell out of the lipsticks before I paid for mine.
From left to right: Superslick Eyeliner in "Cockiness" and lipstick in shades "Pleasure Bomb", "RiRi Woo", and "Bad Girl RiRi".
The packaging features a Rose Gold theme look and it is very pleasing to the eye, although MAC's packaging never really disappoints me.
Here are the lipsticks live and in color! From left to right: "RiRi Woo", "Bad Girl RiRi", and "Pleasure Bomb". You can see the lipsticks themselves have "RiRi" etched into them.
Here are swatches of the lipsticks. From left to right: "RiRi Woo", "Bad Girl RiRi", and "Pleasure Bomb". I tried to separate RiRi Woo so you could see it is Retro Matte and it a little more matte than the other 2. Bad Girl RiRi and Pleasure Bomb are regular mattes. All beautiful shades though.
Here is a swatch of "Cockiness". A lot of people gave negative reviews of this before the collection hit stores about these liners being not very pigmented and too sparkly. Well, I love sparkly and I love glitter, so that part did not phase me at all. However, I was a little worried about the pigmentation. This may not be as dark as some people like, but it is pretty opaque and I like it. It's very nice for the holiday season as well. My picture did not capture the sparkle very well, however. My only downside to this is that I felt it took a little long to dry. It stays put pretty well after drying, but you gotta give it about a good 15-20 seconds, which can seem like forever when you're applying make-up. - The only reason I passed on "Pisces Persuasion", is because I didn't feel it was that unique and I was concerned about it being opaque from the reviews I saw.

Up unit now, I have never waited in line to buy make-up. I've had to hunt for collections before, but never woke up early and stood in line. My exerpience was good though. About 5 minutes before 9am, Macy's consultants came out and handed us pieces of paper with numbers on them; the numbers were what held our spot in line should we want to shop more once we were inside the store. On the paper they had a list of the items and we were allowed to check whatever items we wanted, but were only allowed 1 of each. This would ensure a first-come-first-serve system. Everyone at my location seemed to be pleasant and no one cut or did anything real hostile. As I was paying for mine 1 of the girls that was ahead of me was complaining that her friend didn't receive 1 of the lipsticks, but I left before I saw how that ended and honestly I really didn't want to deal with any drama. I got what I wanted and got out. I saw and heard from a lot people online that they were disappointed and upset with MAC and how things were handled, but all the locations where there were disappointments were actual MAC stores and not Macy's or counters inside of department stores. I saw people online who posted and bragged about getting every lipstick in stock from their MAC store and then you can imagine the complaints from others. I personally did not experience this, although I do feel bad for those who are fans and did not have a chance of getting what they wanted. I'm not sure how to make the system fair, other than for those certain locations to be reprimanded for their wrong actions.

I'm very interested in seeing what other people bought and to hear your story, so please leave a link to your blog if you have a RiRi Mac story!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Christmas Tale: "A Girl and A Few of Her Favorite Things"

In the spirit of the holidays, I would like to share a story about a girl and her quest to get her hands on "A Few of My Favorite Things".

With all of the holiday palettes, sets, and limited edition items that cosmetic companies come out with this time of the year it can be hard to choose what to get and what you'll pass on. -At least for me it is.

I narrowed down what I wanted pretty fast and when I finally decided exactly what I was going to get with the money my mom gave me to specifically spend on a treat for myself (thanks, Mom), I found that Sephora was sold out online with the Too Faced limited edition palette entitled "A Few of My Favorite Things", which is an exclusive to Sephora only. Bummed out for days, I finally decided that I would go to Sephora after work, last Friday. While I was sitting on break I thought to myself- What if they don't have it and you waste that time going there? And since there were multiple Sephora locations around, I could end up driving all over just to try to find it. Then that genius-part of me finally came through and said, "Kaitie, call the stores to see if they have it in stock." So, I called the Sephora location closest to me and not only did they say they had it, but they would hold it for me! (Apparently, this holding thing is common at Sephora, but I had no idea they would do that.) So, now you can imagine how excited I was for the rest of the day!

After work, I drove down to the mall and walked into Sephora. I walked up to the counter and when the girl asked what I wanted, I told her that they were holding a Too Faced palette entitled "A Few of My Favorite Things" and she started looking for it. 

She couldn't find it. -Trying not to get worried.

A second girl approaches and the first girl explains what she's looking for, and then they're both looking and cannot find it. -I'm worried now.

They ask me if I came to the correct location, which I knew I did, and even asked to see the # on my phone to confirm it is their store, which it was. -Ladies, please! I know who I called!

They get a third girl involved now and she can't find it either! -Now I'm just upset. Feeling like I wasted time and I'd been standing there for a good 15 minutes or so and no progress is being made.

Finally, a fourth girl comes over and they all explain what is going on and this new girl says, "Are you sure you have the right palette, because we've been sold out of it since last week." -Now, I'm raging inside, because I feel like I've wasted 20+ minutes and I called ahead, and all my happy feeling was being stabbed and shredded.

So, the first girl then says she will call other Sephoras to see if they have it. -I do not want to drive all over after this nonsense. 

She calls the Sephora inside JcPenney at the same mall they are located in and they assure her they have it and will hold it for me with my name on it. So, I dash out of that Sephora and make my way down to JcPenney.

As soon as I arrive inside JcPenney they ask me if they can help me. (Of course they can!) I tell them I am here to pick up the Too Faced palette on hold for me. The girl goes into this big draw where all of these products with names on them are in AND........she can't find it. -WHAT?!

She looks in another draw with items on hold. Can't find it. -ARE YOU SERIOUS?!

She double checks both draws and takes everything out, and cannot find it. -OMG! WHY ME?!

And then she looks around the register and cannot find it there. -Heart sinking.

She looks in the draw where all the back stock of Too Faced is kept. It's not there. -They're sold out too.

She then asks me if I'm at the right location. -Not this again.

A manager came over and asked what was going on, and after explaining everything she walked over to the registers, pulled up some papers and said she had left it there. -RELIEF!
I not only walked out of the store with the palette, but also with a goodie bag that the girl put together for me. I don't know if she just felt sorry for me or what, but I'll take it! The bag was just one of those reusable bags that you usually buy for groceries, but it is a little better made than most (the ones I have gotten from the Disney Store & Bath and Bodyworks are not near as sturdy as this one).
The Sephora bag came with a Snowglobe from Disney that features Mickey Mouse with "2013" printed on it; Lorac's "TANtalizer" sample; and a plastic pouch of goodies.
Most of the samples in the pouch were repeats. I received foundation, primer, and perfume samples. I'm not complaining. It was all free and I'll take what I get.
The packaging features a very eye-catching chevron print and as you can see in the background- it comes with a make-up bag that holds everything, including the palette; a deluxe size of their "Better Than Sex" mascara; and their Lip Injection Color Bomb in "Bee Sting", which is an exclusive color to Sephora.
The set contains 20 eyeshadows, 2 blushes, and 2 bronzers, along with what I already mentioned.
And when you open it up, you are just simply taken with it! Even though it took me about an hour to get my hands on it, it was well worth it. I will be posting looks that I do with this palette soon enough, as I plan to use it on some upcoming events I am attending. If you would like swatches I suggest checking out these blogs:

With all these blogs out there who have already swatched these, I feel like there's really no need for me to do so. The 3 blogs I listed did a great job and swatching and explaining the colors, and there are many more out there!

I hope you enjoyed my story and if you're still trying to get your hands on one then I suggest trying the Sephora inside of a JcPenney's if you're lucky enough to live near one. I know when I was living in Tennessee there was no Sephora inside any JcPenney around me, so it's not an option for everyone else. Otherwise, your only choice is Amazon or eBay where these babies are going for an average of $100, which the initial price is $56. 

***Don't forget: If you're a Sephora Insider you have $15 to use by SUNDAY. They expire after that!

Mini Jewelmint Haul

Most of what I feature on this blog is some sort of cosmetic-type items. This does not mean I exclude fashion or accessories, I just tend to buy more cosmetics on an average daily basis. I have purchased a couple things from Jewelmint in the the past month and I thought I would share them.

A quick overview of Jewelmint- If you already know what Jewelmint is feel free to skip this part. I just thought I would share what this company is for those who do not. Jewelmint is owned by Beachmint. The Beachmint company owns Stylemint (endorsed by the Olson Twins), Shoemint (endorsed by Rachel Bilson), and Intimint (who recently was taken over by Cosabella). These are all monthly subscription sites that cost different amounts depending on which one you join. Jewelmint is $29.99 a month or you can choose to skip every month if you opt out between the 1st-5th of every month. They also customize a showroom for you on the 1st of every month, but to be of today I have yet to every buy anything that was in my showroom. I have no idea why, but my showrooms never have anything that I like.

I haven't bought anything from Jewelmint since July of this year. I haven't really been into many of the pieces this year, but every once in a while they release something that catches my eye. It seems like they saved the best for the holidays, however, because I've like a lot that has come out in November and December.
This particular piece took almost a month to get. They didn't ship it out until 3.5 weeks after I ordered it and this was without warning of shortages. Jewelmint did issue me a $10 credit without my complaint though, so I felt that made up for the time and I did receive the exact item I ordered. - My first impression of the item was disappointment in the packaging. Though this is not the first time I've seen the minimal packaging, but it's always disappointing to see. For those of you who have been Jewelmint customers since before this year then you know the boxes use to be bigger, better made, and they use to actually include a note about the piece of jewelry you received inside the boxes. They do not do that anymore and the boxes are much smaller.
These are the "Audrey Icon Earrings". They released a pair of clear crystal earrings shaped just like these called "Forever Audrey" inspired by Audrey Hepburn and since they have released several other colors after they the original sold so well. I was actually very surprised by these earrings. No picture really does these justice. In order to see the beauty and the gleam they have in the light you really need to seem them in person. They were well worth the wait.
I took advantage of the Black Friday sale Jewelmint had too. They had 50% off. I mostly bought gifts for others with the Black Friday deals that went on, but I did pick up a few things for myself and decided on 1 Jewelmint piece. - The box came wrapped in a red bow instead of the normal black, but I'm assuming that's for the holidays and not permanent. 
This is the "Phoenix Necklace". I felt like I was taking a bit of a chance on this one. It looked beautiful in the pictures online, but sometimes things can look quite different when you see them in person. Well, I have yet to be disappointed by Jewelmint, because I found this necklace to be even more stunning in person. 
It has clear, black, and different shades of blue crystals that all uniquely fade and blend together well. I love the antique look of it and I think it's a wonderful statement piece.

If you have any questions about Jewelmint or anything you'd like to share, please leave a comment below.

Cleo Inspired Make-Up

I would like to share a make-up look I created myself to go with a shirt I recently bought. I found a very pretty shirt of Cleo, which is the fish from the Disney movie "Pinocchio", at Walmart. I think it's suppose to be a "designer line" from Disney, but let's face it! Nothing designer is being sold at Walmart. The shirt was around $9.99 and it is a child's shirt. I bought a Large and it seems to fit fine.
The look was created using shadows from Urban Decay and Sugarpill. The purple liner on the bottom is from Urban Decay, also. The black liner is from Buxom. The lipstick is from Maybelline's vivid collection and the foundation is Tarte.
Here is a close-up look of the make-up. Hope you enjoyed! And yes, winter has caused lots of leaves to fall around here.

Spotted: Almay Shadow Softies

I literally just bought all the items I'm about to share. I had to go to Rite Aid real quick to replace my peeling nail file and while I was there, I of course, checked out the displays of cosmetics. 
I was lucky enough to find an untouched display of the new Shadow Softies from Almay. I was really interested about these from the time I first heard about them, because most of Almay's eye shadows are neutrals. I have never really been a fan of Almay products. Growing up, when I had an emergency and I needed something for a recital or competition/performance, my mom would buy Almay or Max Factor -outside of those situations, I never found myself reaching for this brand.

It was a little tempting to grab about half of these colors, but on the chance that they were bad quality I only bought 2 to try. There are 6 matte shades and 6 metallic shades. From the look of the colors on display, the metallic shades looked more like shimmers. Also, Kate Hudson, is wearing 2 of the shades on the display and both looked very soft in color, which is why I was hesitant to buy more than 2.

Almay boasts that the shadows are "whipped to perfection" and "lightweight, crease-free pure color". If you look closely at the display, on the right, there was a shadow you could sample/try before buying.
The 2 shades I bought from left to right: "#160 Midnight Sky" and "#115 Seafoam". I bought coordinating shades so I could use them together.
Here are swatches of the colors. When you first feel the texture of these shadows you most likely will be surprised. They feel ultra smooth and almost silky. They are not powder, but they're not creme either. It's not a mousse by any means though. It's more like a hybrid of a creme and powder, I suppose. It almost has a bouncy like texture to it, similar to the Bouncy Blushes by Maybelline. - The picture is of a few swipes across my hand without primer. The "metallic" shade (which is the lighter one) is definitely more of a frosty shimmer than metallic, in my opinion.  At first notice, I feel these will not stand well on their own if I want the color payoff that I normally wear. If you're someone who likes sheer and light eye make-up then you'll be fine. I'll let you all know more about these later when I get around to actually using them!
On a side note: I also picked up 2 SinfulColors polishes. Thanks to, Nouveau Cheap, I read about a sale going on right now at Rite Aid- buy any SinfulColors polishes  at $1.99 and get $1.99 back in rewards, limit 2. The color on the left is "#841 Daddy's Girl" and is a purple glitter with pink in it. The other color is "#1379 Silver Belle" and is new for this years holiday collection. #841 rang up as .99 cents, so I'm guessing it's being clearanced, even though I did not see it over by the other polishes that were on clearance. I still received the $1.99 reward with the clearance polish!

If you have a review of the Shadow Softies or a post about the current deals going on then link me your blog in the comment and I'll check it out!

Sunday, December 8, 2013


There's a reason why I have not posted in like a month. I lost the cord to my camera and I have a ton of pictures backed up that are waiting to be put into great posts! So stay tuned! Soon there will be a flood of posts! Not as fast I would like, however, because I work retail and the holidays are our busiest time of the year.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Drugstore Nail Polish Haul #1

I picked up a bunch of nail polish this week and thought I'd share what I bought. Everything is drug store! The top row is the limited edition Crystal Crush collection by Sinful Colors. I thought I had missed this collection all together. I saw it posted on Nouveau Cheap almost a month ago and had seen no sight of it anywhere around here, thus leaving me to believe that somehow I just missed it all together and the whole collection had exited my mind by now. I was so excited when I saw it at Rite Aid this week and even more delighted when I realized the display had been completely untouched! There was no price on the display and I wasn't sure if these polishes were going to be more than the regular $1.99, so I went and asked the sales associate and she told me they were $1.99. I was so excited, I picked up 6 of the 8 shades, which is what you see in the picture above! However, when they rang up $2.99 at the register I was really disappointed. The cashier was so nice that once she confirmed that the sales associate had messed up, she called a manager to make sure I could have them for $1.99 and so I got a lucky break on that collection.

Colors from left to right

  • #1370 Purple Gleam
  • #1367 Treasure Chest
  • #1365 Ruby Mine
  • #1368 Emerald Envy
  • #1366 Face The Facets
  • #1364 Got A Blush On You
There are 2 more colors in the collection; one is an orange shade and the other is a blue shade with purple sparkle in it. I was not interested in either of them and decided to skip them, even though the hoarder in me told me to take them anyway to complete the collection. -I over came the urge! If you're still trying to get your hands on this collection then I say don't give up just yet! Like I said, I just spotted this at my Rite Aid this week and I know they were also available at Walgreens and I have yet to see them at the Walgreens around my home, so there's still hope! The funny thing is that I was so excited to move out to the West Coast, because they always seemed to get things first. It seemed for the most part, the West Coast spotted things first, followed by the East Coast and then it all just sort of trickled inward from the bottom. Now that I'm out here, I'm finding that most collections come out quite late around here.

The second row in the picture is from the the limited edition Wet N Wild Fergie Heavy Metal collection for the holiday season this year. I found this display at CVS, also untouched! How lucky, right?! I scanned my card at the kiosk when I entered and not only did I get a coupon for $4 off a $12 beauty purchase, but I also had a 30% off all regular priced items coupon! There was no sale on Wet N Wild this week, so I basically bought 4 polishes and received 2 free. Pretty good deal.

Colors from left to right:

  • #34269 Titanium Crush
  • #34268 Mountain High
  • #34267 Emerald Rock City
  • #34266 Mazel Toy Madness
There were 2 other colors on the display I was not interested in. One was a bronze color and the other was a clear polish with silver sparkle pieces. I felt neither of those were unique or anything I didn't already have/couldn't buy on a regular basis.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ready For Winter - Mini CVS/Revlon Haul

I know most people get annoyed when winter/holiday/Christmas things start to roll out earlier than November. Personally, I love seeing this stuff come out in October. I've always been an earlier shopper/planner when it comes to holidays, birthdays, and celebrations. I had a coupon for $5 off of $25 at CVS a week ago and picked up a few things.

Items from left to right:

  • Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter - "Provocative" [limited edition]
  • Sally Sugar Coat - "#210 Royal Icing" [limited edition]
  • Revlon Photoready Primer, Shadow + Sparkle - "#540 Muse" 

Of the entire Opulence collection from Revlon (which is a limited edition collection released for this holiday season), the lip butters were the thing I was looking forward to the most. I thought I had completely missed this whole collection, since it came out around the time I moved and I hadn't seen it anywhere around here. I was so happy to spot it at CVS the other week! Unfortunately, I could only get my hands on 1 of the 2. There was so much talk about the blue shade, but when I finally found this collection, only 1 of each shade was left on the display and the blue shade had been opened and a chunk was taken out it. I asked a sales associate if there was anymore, but with most limited edition displays what was out was all they had.
The purple shade, "Provocative", was the only one I could buy and even if it wasn't blue I was still intrigued by it. 
I did my best to photograph it, but whether I used flash or not it was really hard to capture what it really looks like. It's basically a clear gloss or "butter" with purple sheen and sparkle. I feel for a party or a night out it will really set the look.
Let me just say- I'm not afraid to show my naked nails. I have not been putting polish on all the time, because I have been dealing with a peeling nail and have been more focused on treatments and nourishment. Anyway, as you can see (for the most part) this is an ice blue color with purple sparkle in it. For any of you who don't know- the Sugar Coat polishes are textured and limited edition.
Here are swatches of the eye shadow palette. This palette is not believed to be limited edition. I have read from a few other sites/blogs that this is the only part of the collection that is not limited edition, however I have yet to see it on a regular display. All of the shades have a ton of sparkle in them, even though it's not so easy to see it. I feel the shadows are decently pigmented and I have another one of these palettes from the same line and really enjoy it, so I have a good feeling about this one. The lightest color is the primer and it is my favorite. I look forward to the high intense sparkle it'll add to the look. FYI- I have never really found the primer shade in these palettes to really be a primer or replace a primer you would use before applying your shadow.

So, that's it for this little winter haul. I'm hoping to pick up more goodies from other holiday collections. Let me know what you all have or want!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

September 2013 IPSY Bag

I just received my October IPSY bag Tuesday, which tells you how late I am at showing everyone what came in my September bag......heh. Well, I loved my September bag, but I received it late. I wasn't able to change my address in time before moving for IPSY to send it to my new address. So, I had to wait for my family to send the bag to me and I didn't get it until a couple of weeks ago. By then I thought it was too late to do a review or showcase what I received, but I see that I'm not the only one who is late on this so I'm going to share anyway!
I wasn't too crazy about the actual bag. The pattern just isn't my style, but I will say this is probably my favorite bag, in terms of contents, this whole year and this is why I keep this subscription!

  1. Jessie's Girl Waterproof Eyeliner ($6.99 on website) -This is the product that you see all the way to the left in a plastic cover and it's a silver tube. Not much for me to say about this, because I am not going to use it. Instead I will be sending it to Budget Splurge Beauty and she'll probably do a review of it, so check that blog out!
  2. NYX Single Eye Shadow in the color "Cryptonite" ($4.50 on website) -I may be the only person in the whole world who doesn't have much experience with NYX products, but they were never easily available where I lived (until now, since I just moved). I did wear this product one day and it was okay. It's a typical charcoal color that leans towards the black side with some sparkles. I did experience a little bit of fallout at the end of the day, but other than that it was okay. 
  3. Butter London Nail Lacquer in "LA Moss" ($15.00 on website) -I had never used a Butter London polish until now. While the color is not really something I'd normally go for, it's nice for fall & Halloween. It is a deep blood color and with 2 coats I had the opaque look I wanted. It lasts fairly well and is a real nice formula. I believe I will be trying more from this company!
  4. Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in "Big Apple" -I received one of the Cailyn's gel eyeliners earlier this year and loved it! So, I was super happy to receive another one of their products. Most people will feel this balm is more like a lipstick, but if you read what the company says about then you will know that they made this to be "ultra matte", kind of like MAC's Retro Matte lipsticks. This stuff goes on and stays on! Also, the term "tinted" is a huge understatement! The color is very vibrant and pigmented. It is moisturizing, but not a lip saver. If you're having severe dry lips, I'd suggest going with an actual balm or something with more oil. This comes with a great brush that gives you great precision though and I have found that it works great under lipstick to help keep it in place and last longer (almost like a lip liner).
  5. Elizabeth Mott It's So Big Volumizing Mascara (full size is $19.99; the IPSY trial size is a little under half the size of a full one and is equivalent to about $7.96) -Again, not much for me to say about this product. I have no plans to open or use it.
Total value: $53.45 -All products were full size, except the mascara. I paid $10 for everything and no extra for tax or shipping. I saved $43.45 by being an IPSY member, not to mention if I decide to use any of the codes to get discounts on the sites from the products I received, I'll be saving even more.

Let me know what you all received in your bags and if you were as happy with yours as I was with mine! Stay tuned to see my October bag post coming soon!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October 2013 Julep Maven Box

I bring to you the contents and review of my Julep Maven box for the month of October. I know 99% of people know what the Julep Maven program is, but for anyone who doesn't I will give you a quick break down right now! Julep is an independent company who started out producing nail polish and nail & hand products. Recently, the company has ventured into cosmetics, skin care, and hair care. The Julep Maven program is a monthly subscription service that you can opt into at $19.99 per month. There are 4 different profiles and after you take a quiz it will put you under 1 of them. 1 is only cosmetics or beauty products, 1 is only polish, and the other 2 are a mix. You can choose your own profile though if you're not happy with the 1 they classify you under. You also have the option every month to Skip and not pay the fee. They have a new option where you can buy all the products offered under all of the profiles for an extra $35 + the $19.99. Unlike most subscription services that come out on the 1st with their monthly picks and make you choose by the 5th, this service comes out on the 20th of every month and you must choose by the 25th. The boxes are usually sent out on the 27th, unless it falls on a Sunday or holiday.

Feel free to use my code. It'll help me get points towards a free box! You don't have to if you don't want too. Also, Julep always has some sort of sale where you can get a box free and just pay shipping or get a box for $0.99. If you need help finding a code for your first box to try, let me know!
Now, onto my box! As always, Julep puts together a beautiful presentation and is always pleasing to the eye.
I'm normally a Bombshell (which is one of the boxes that mixes polish and beauty products), but I went with the Modern Beauty box so that I could try both the mask and the eyeliner, or "eye glider" as Julep calls it. 

The mask is great! I like that it exfoliates and seems to help clear out the pores without leaving residue or make my face breakout. I have had a lot of problems in the past with excessive breakouts from masks. This is a peel mask, however. Once you let the mask dry on your face for about 10-15 minutes you peel it off and I have also found that peeling masks don't break me out as much as ones you wash off. The mask does make your face completely black and if you do a search on Instagram or Google you can find some funny pictures posted by others while they're using it. - The company claims that the mask:

Features and Benefits of Mask Noir:

  • Black volcanic ash boasts anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial peptides.

  • Kaolin Clay is as gentle as it is deep-cleaning.

  • Incredibly clean, visibly brightened skin upon removal

  • Enriched with Julep’s proprietary Power Cell Complex™, a trio of skin-boosting superstars:

    1. Rosehip seed oil – a nourishing oil (and natural source of vitamins A and C) that helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and post-acne marks. Contains natural fatty acids that bond moisture to skin
    2. Malvaceae Lipid Extract™ – a lipid complex that provides immediate and long-lasting hydration and works to rebuild skin structure from the inside out
    3. Green coffee bean oil – a natural anti-inflammatory that promotes cell turnover
    So far, I find these claims to be accurate. The price tag is $32 or $25.60 if you're part of the Maven program. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep buying it or not, but so far I really like it and I feel that the price tag could be worth it consistently if it keeps proving to improve my skin. 
    The Eye Glider is what turned out to be most disappointing. First off, this is just an eyeliner pencil. Julep is pretty good about taking products that are already on the market and changing their name, like their "DD Creme" which is really just a BB Creme. It is a 2 sided pencil; one side is black and the other side is brown. The company claims:
    Two intensely pigmented colors—carbon black and brown shimmer—that glide on smoothly and blend like a dream.
    Features & Benefits of Kajal Eye Glider:

  • Two colors

  • Ideal for inner rims, tightlining, and smoky eyes

  • Blends like a dream—won’t drag or pull on delicate skin

  • Opthamologist-tested

  • Kajal-friendly, round-tipped
  • The black color is titled "Carbon Black" and in my opinion it is your typical black eyeliner pencil, leaning more towards the higher end side. It's definitely a step up from most drug store brands, but I would not put it up there with my favorites- Urban Decay & Buxom. For the most part, I felt it stayed on decently. I have really oily skin and as the day goes on I have an issue with most of my makeup, especially eyeliners & foundation. A lot of people complained a lot about the wearing off and raccoon look after 2-4 hours, but for me the black wasn't too bad. Just a little bit of smudging after about 4-6 hours. I will say that I wear a primer every time I wear makeup and that may have helped me out.
    I always say if you want to judge an eyeliner don't use black. It seems to me that it's pretty easy to make a good to decent black liner, but when it comes to colors, especially grays or browns, it seems to be a challenge. So, the brown color, "Brown Shimmer", was the one I was most intrigued to try. Unfortunately, it has very bad wear. Less than 2 hours and I ran into problems with it running and it did not let up as the day wore on. The primer didn't seem to help much either. 

    The nice thing about the eyeliner is that it is a very fine point and it does go on very nice. You don't feel a lot of tugging or pulling and it doesn't hurt you to put it on. However, for $22 (or $17.60 if you're a Maven) it doesn't really seem worth it. That's $11 per pencil and that's only half a pencil. Honestly, I feel like Wet 'N Wild's standard pencil has better staying power; while it doesn't go on as smooth or have as natural of an ingredient list, it does stay for the greater part of the work day, for me and I can't say the same for Julep's glider.
    Overall, I was pleased with this box. I even was given a sharpener (which the sharpener comes with the pencil if you were to buy it today, it's standard). The sharpener is pretty nice. If I had wanted to try these products outside of the Maven program it would have cost me $54 and instead I paid $19.99 (including shipping and tax) to try 2 full sized products, so it was worth it. - If I were to give my best advice I'd say definitely try the mask, especially if you have any major skin problems, acne, wear makeup a lot, or have dry skin. However, I'd skip the eyeliner and spend the high price on your favorite high end liner.

    Sunday, October 13, 2013

    Review: Salon Perfect #908 "Fade Out" [LE]

    First, let me start out with why my posts continue to be so far apart and very few at that, lately. -I'm still working on adjusting to the West Coast. Also, we had pretty much a month delay on the moving company bringing our stuff. (If you ever move and decide to use a moving company, I do not recommend Armstrong.) Recently, my fiance went on his first business trip too, so I had to hold down the fort for a week by myself and that was a disaster! Hopefully, next month thing will be smoothed out for the most part.

    I have been taking pictures and gathering things for posts, so hopefully I'll get these all up sooner rather than later. - Today, I'm bringing you pics and my thoughts on my current nail color that I'm about to take off. This is my first experience with a holographic polish. I do have some of the China Glaze ones that came out this year, but I haven't used them yet. I bought them right before I moved and I did not have time to try them out.
    This is #908 "Fade Out" by Salon Perfect. I purchased this from Walmart recently and it said it was limited edition. There are other colors too, but I'm trying to scale back on how much cosmetics I buy and so I only bought one. After packing up to move, I realized I had way too much and even after I gave away items and threw some out, I still felt I had too much. Anyway!

    The color isn't bad. I actually enjoy deep browns and what really compelled me to buy this is that I felt it was going to be a good shade for fall. It is nice to look at, but it's not the color I have a problem with, it's the consistency and formula that I did not like. I will say, I have a few Salon Perfect polishes, but never used them, so this is my first time working with this brand as well. I found this particular polish to be thick and almost on the gooey side. It was not easy to spread out and I could see thin spots even after 2 coats. I needed 3-4 coats on each nail to get an opaque finish. It does dry fast though and that's a nice feature, especially when you have to apply more than 2 coats. 
    I took a picture with the flash so that you could see the holographic-ness of the polish. I feel like the holographic effect was much better as the week wore on and my top coat wore off -in other words: I don't think a top coat really benefited the effect of the polish, it more hindered it. Again, I've never used a holographic polish before, but I've never heard of anyone saying they didn't use a top coat with it. I used OPI's top coat and I don't know if that had anything to do with it either. 

    Overall, I would not recommend this particular polish. I'll hold on saying anything negative about other holographic polishes or other Salon Perfect polishes, because this is my first use for both. I believe this polish was around $5.98 and it's definitely not worth the price. If you have any advice or experience with this brand or type of polish feel free to leave comments. Hopefully it won't be so long until my next post! Hope you all a great weekend and your week is even better!

    Monday, September 23, 2013

    Make-Up Look for September-22, 2013

    I took my Turtle out for a little exercise around our patio, Sunday, after football was over (except for the Sunday night game). She enjoyed it.
    I decided to take pictures of my Detroit Lions inspired make-up. This time of year is football for me on the weekends- Saturday is college and Sunday is the NFL. I'm originally from Michigan, so all my favorites are Detroit teams!

    Products Used:
    • Primer: Too Faced Shadow Insurance 
    • I used Wet 'N Wild Trio #34169 "To Muse and Carouse", the light blue color, all over the lid. (This was from this years limited edition Pop Art Craze collection.)
    • I then used the Wet 'N Wild Fergie "After Hours" palette, the blue in the center, for the crease. I'd just like to say that this color performed better than I thought it would, but there was a lot of fallout. (This palette was from the limited edition collection released this fall.)
    • The highlight color was from the same "To Muse and Carouse" trio by Wet 'N Wild. It is the first first color, looks kind of peachy.
    • I lined my eyes with the Wet 'N Wild Fergie creme liner "Cobalt Vault" on top and bottom. I'm very impressed by this liner. It stays on and looks very nice. Just a little tougher to get off, but nothing that oil can't take care of.
    • Lipstick is Milani #09 "Pink Frost".

    Sunday, September 15, 2013

    Swatched: Wet 'N Wild Fergie Fall 2013 Collection Part 2

    Here is the rest of the limited edition collection from Wet 'N Wild's Fergie line that came out this fall. These are the 2 creme liners and primer that came out. I know these were the products most sought out in this collection. 
    The picture above is of the bright blue liner called "Cobalt Vault". Just by looking at it in the package, I knew I had to have it. Opening it up, it appears even more appealing.
    The purple, which is called "Gunmetal Grape", appears much darker in the picture than it really is. Unfortunately, with the lighting in my place (and it was natural light) this is the best I could do. It is actually a much more vibrant purple, similar to the it's blue mate.
    Here is just a swipe of the colors using the brush that came with them. They are bright and bold in color, but they are not opaque at first.
    Using "Cobalt Vault", you can see the colors are buildable. In other words- you can build up the opacity of these, making them usable and wearable. - You can also see there is sparkle in them, which may or may not make it more appealing to you.
    Using "Gunmetal Grape", I tried my best to demonstrate that these eyeliners don't wipe off very well and have really good staying power. After just one swipe of the color, I tried to wipe it off and there is a little smudging, but after that I could not get these off. Having never bought the core liners from the Fergie line, I had no idea what to expect, but I was really glad to see colored liner that stayed put, especially a purple one. In the past I have experienced a lot of liners that don't stay or aren't as long lasting if they're not the Black or the Brown of the collection. -This is not the case here, which I'm happy to report. I will say, that it does take a bit long for these to dry, longer than I would like and longer than a lot of other brands like Maybelline or Buxom; the longer than average dry time does mean that building the colors up takes time, because if it's too wet when you apply another coat it's not going to smooth over well.
    The other thing I'd like to add is that the brush that comes with it is thick and bushy, which is not ideal for most of us when applying liner. You definitely cannot get a thin line with this brush and I have a good amount of lid space and still would not use this brush to apply liner. They are sturdy and they were both made the same (I've had problems in the past with buying the same brush from a company and they being quite different), which is good, but I would not recommend using them with any liner.

    Overall, I am quite pleased with the liners in this collection though and I would recommend them if you are a fan of Wet 'N Wild and/or the Fergie line. Also, if you're looking for some fun and colored liners and don't want to spend too much, these would do good for you. They're obviously not the same quality as Urban Decay, Makeup Forever, etc, but for the price they are quite good.
    The eyeshadow primer was what I was most interested in. This limited edition one is called "A Little Party...". I had heard great things about the core primer in this line, but I had never used it for I exclusively use Too Faced "Shadow Insurance", but I went ahead and bought this one anyway. The picture shows a good amount when I squeezed it out of the tube. I then took a little amount from the pile and spread it out. It is pretty thick and it definitely is shimmery as it advertises. It has a pink hue to it. I did not intend to squeeze out that much, it just comes easier than I expected -just a little warning. I did actually use this once, but I don't have pictures. The night before I moved I used it with my shadows. It showed up pretty well on my skin with the shimmer, but I don't feel it was anywhere near as good as the Shadow Insurance. I didn't really do anything active. I went out to dinner with friends to say goodbye and then we sat around and talked, but I felt this really only last about 4 hours. After 6 hours it was pretty much useless on my lids. I am not a fan of this and would not recommend it. Again, I have no experience with the primer in the core line, but this is a big disappointment for me. I do have really oily skin, so that did play a part, but I have no problems with Too Faced.