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.