Makeup Monday: Winter Butterfly (Vice 3 Palette)

Hello lovelies πŸ™‚ It’s the first Monday after the New Year, which for many of us, means it’s the first full-week back to work since mid-December. Never fear though, Makeup Monday is here to get us kicked off with an … Continue reading

November Sephora Hauls

I know I’m a little late with this one, but it’s time to get some of these pictures out of my camera’s queue! Sephora was running some pretty amazing promotions through the month of November, and the beauty geek in me couldn’t resist! My NY resolutions definitely involve spending less in the beauty (and clothing!) department, but more on that in a future post.

Also, I feel it goes without saying that I am a huge set junkie (if it’s a decent value, and items I have actually been wanting to try), because it allows me to try so many different products, colors, scents, and brands without having to commit to the price tag of a full-sized item I may not even like!

Order #1

First off? The legendary 20% off everything deal (VIB):

IMG_2239Sephora “Give Me More Lip” set: $47.20 (after 20% off coupon)

This set is broken out into four color quads: reds (Hourglass, Laura Mercier, Kat Von D, and Sephora); nudes (Stila, Laura Mercier Gloss, BareMinerals, TooFaced, Make Up For Ever); berried (OCC, Tarte, Fresh, Buxom); and pinks (Tarte, TooFaced, Benefit, and Bite). I have wanted this set ever since it came out, and the fact that I got it for 20% off is just icing on the cake. Lipsticks are my favorite beauty item to hoard buy.

IMG_2250Fresh “Dare to Bare Lip Ritual” set: $36.00 (after 20% off coupon)

As I have declared multiple times on my blog by this point, I am in love with Fresh. This lip polish is super hydrating (and doesn’t even taste bad if you get any in your mouth!), the serum makes my lips feel softer than ever before (truly), and I’m already a lippie junkie. I like that I have now added rose to my collection πŸ™‚

Order #2

IMG_2228Sephora Favorites “Superstars”: $75.00

Alright, alright. This was a purchase I considered for quite some time, and ultimately couldn’t pass up. Most of the products are full-size. Yep, you read that right! The Chloe Rollerball ($25), Formula X Polish in Ignite ($10.50), Smashbox BB Cream ($39), and NARS Blush in Orgasm ($30) are among my favorites (and more than make up the value of the set!).

IMG_2232Pampered Party Prep set: Free (w/ code)

A variation of deluxe-sized samples (more Fresh, yes!)

Order #3

IMG_2258Sephora Favorites “Skin Wonderland” set: $56.00

Orders #2 & #3 were actually made back to back. I knew I wanted both sets, but since you are only entitled to one code per order (and both items qualified for free shipping), I decided to place them separately to get each of the different bag promos they had going on at the time.

I love the skin care sets that Sephora puts together, because I’m constantly searching for that perfect combo of products that will prevent wrinkles, moisturize, and cleanse! This set fit the bill and came with a bunch of unique items that I may not have picked up on my own. The deodorant (if only it were an anti-antiperspirant!), body oil wash, and rosewater balancing mist have been my favorites so far. I gave the hand-cream away. I’m rather surprised I didn’t like the scent with all its orange-influences, but I couldn’t smell fruit at all–just strange floral notes.

IMG_2262Striped sample bag: Free (w/ code)

Because you can never have too many samples (just kidding…but I am going through them pretty quickly).

Josie Maran “Argan Natural Wonders” set: Free (used 500 points)

IMG_2276Miscellaneous Samples: (3) Free w/ each order

What have your beauty hauls included lately?

XO Loves! Merry Christmas Eve Eve πŸ˜€

Weekending + Holiday Beauty Wantlist

Happy Monday! Let’s start off this week with a positive attitude, mmk? πŸ™‚

I may have an important paper due tomorrow, but it won’t get me down! I have a lot of fun things I’m looking forward to this week: Friendsgiving, dinner at a new restaurant downtown, a 5k, and going out with some of my lovely co-workers on Friday night! In addition, I had the most heart-warming, feel-good weekend just doing things I love πŸ™‚

IMG_0485-Ryan and I went for a short wine-tasting and then picked up our very first Christmas tree together on Saturday! We got a pretty good deal–$99 for a pre-lit 6.5 ft tree. I cried for a couple of seconds because I’m a sappy-face for it being our first Christmas under the same roof πŸ™‚ This is Yoshi’s first Christmas too, and I have plenty more things like stockings and lights to pick up before this girl can call her decorating done!

-Slow-cooking: I went to the grocery on Friday night and got enough ingredients to make three different recipes in my slow cooker for the week. First up: barley-spiked winter casserole. It’s got carroway seeds, carrots, parsnips, and a lot of celery root in it. Add a can of tomatoes, veggie broth, mix in some barley, and top with parsley and you’ve got a bowl of yum perfect for a cold winter’s night! We ate the whole crockpot serving (5.5 qts) in 24 hours!

-Baking: I whipped up some gingersnaps, snickerdoodles (yet to bake), and chocolate chip cookies yesterday. I won’t go into details about how it was my ugliest looking batch of chocolate chip cookies to date, but at least they tasted good!

-SNOW! We woke up to about 6 inches of snow this morning. It was simply beautiful. The sun hadn’t come up yet, but the snow was so bright it let off this brilliant blue hue to our backyard! Fall is my favorite season, snow or no snow. And there’s absolutely no reason to complain about it snowing “already,” its the middle of November! (3 weeks till vacay…)

A Holiday Beauty Wantlist

Holiday Beauty WishlistYves Saint Laurent Touch Γ‰clat in Luminous Radiance or Luminous Ivory ($41) – this is definitely a luxury item I don’t need, but I’ve been eyeballing it for a year. Can I really justify $41 for it? Probably not. I’m not sure which color would look better on me. Luminous Radiance would be better suited for me since its for fair to light complexions with pink undertones (bingo), but both swatches look like variations of my skintone.

Fresh Lotus Eye Gel ($48) – if there was such a thing as a love affair with beauty products, I’d be married to “Fresh” brand. I haven’t tried a single one of their products I haven’t loved. I ordered the Dare to Bare Sugar Lip Ritual set last week, but my Sephora order is currently in their backlog due to an overwhelming response to their 20% off sale. Out of all the flaws and features of my face, I am most self-conscious about my eyes. I am plagued with baggy eyes and fine lines, and as I get closer to 30, I am much more aware of wrinkle-formation. This gel promises to alleviate “puffiness, dark circles, and signs of fatigue.” Sign me up!

Dior Addict Lip Glow ($33) – this is a “nice to have,” not “need to have.” Mostly, I’m just curious about all the hype surrounding this cult-favorite. Some swear by it, others claim its not worth the hype. I’m too much of a germaphobe to test it out in store, especially when…

tester-lipsticksEnough said.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Blonde ($23) – now here is a cult-favorite worth the hype! This company makes the most beautiful brow-products for every hair color and skin tone! I just can’t justify spending $23 on colors I probably have in my eyeshadow collection! Haha

Pixi Ultimate Beauty Kit – 2nd Edition ($34) – after regularly using the Plum Quartz mineral palette I bought on my birthday (it’s a staple in my daily makeup bag!), I have faith that the rest of the eyeshadows are just as good of quality! I like the mix of cool tones and warm tones, and am curious as to the effectiveness of the blushes and highlighters! I also love that Pixi’s brand is so accessible as they carry it in most (all?) Targets!

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Grandest Grape ($17) – a perfect cranberry color to add to my fall lippies collection! My best and I swatch the chubby sticks every time we go into Sephora. Maybe one of these days I’ll pick this up and actually buy it! It’s also a full-size part of this Holiday Gift Set which only retails for $22 more than the lip balm itself!

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask ($26) – this product has been lingering in my Sephora basket since it came out last winter, but it’s just always one I parted with to narrow down my collection. I have terribly dry lips and I will try almost anything to find a good treatment and moisturizer for them in the winter-time! The complaints about the packaging breaking easily has been enough to keep me at bay, but some day this will be in my lip drawer.

Pixi Glow Tonic ($29) – this glow tonic is at the top of my list, and the next time I am in Target, I will probably pick up a bottle (if its in stock). It isn’t cheap, but this keeps popping up on my instagram feed, and maybe it’s the name, but I. need. it. Ginseng and aloe? Nothing like a little extra glow to add to your winter complexion πŸ™‚

NARS Virtual Domination Cheek Palette ($65) – this is second to top on my wish list. I can’t see myself ever shelling out $65 on blushes for myself, but I am seriously mesmerized by this palette. I love NARS because they are so brazen with their product names. A single 0.16 oz NARS blush retails for $30, so this set with 3-0.15 oz blushes (Sex Fantasy, Deep Throat, and Final Cut), a 0.15 oz highlighting blush powder (Miss Liberty), and 0.35 oz bronzer (Laguna) is an amazing deal! Any friends out there reading this? This is what I want, ha πŸ™‚ Their lip pencil collection is a pretty good deal, but I’ve got a million and one lippies I still need to go through!

Sonia Kashuk Holiday Limited Edition All That Jazz 10 Piece Brush Set ($34.99) – is that a mouthful or what? But seriously, these brushes are gorgeous. I have more than enough eye brushes, but what I don’t have are many brushes for the face. My current face brush collection includes: an all-over powder brush & a contouring blush brush. That’s it! This set has plenty of contouring pieces and the gold and black frame with white bristles just scream luxury!

I haven’t forgotten about my 30 day challenge, just haven’t got around to shooting yet. Look for some updates soon! πŸ™‚

What’s on your holiday wishlist?! Comment below and let me know πŸ™‚

XO Ali

Makeup Monday: Glitz and Glam

Having obtained so much new makeup over the holidays, I decided it would be fun to try and do a themed day of the week to do some reviews. Welcome to Makeup Mondays! I’m new onto the makeup scene, as I used to be pretty set in my old drugstore ways. Hopefully I don’t embarrass myself too much here πŸ™‚

Without further ado, I present Sephora’s 2013 Glitz and Glam set (I forgot to snap any pictures of the set, so I did a quick Google search and will credit here for these shots):

IMG_9118 IMG_9115As you can see, the products come in a pretty gold/beige clutch, and include the following pieces:

Urban Decay eyeshadow in Space Cowboy
Nails Inc. Kensington Caviar Gel Effect Plumping Top Coat
Stila HD Illuminating Beauty Balm
Sephora-brand false lashes in Celebrity
Too Faced 3-Way Lash Lining Tool
Lancome Hypnose Star mascara in Noir Midnight
Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Pink Escape
Nars Lip Gloss in Gold Digger

My swatches (sorry, the lighting in my office is really poor):

IMG_5975 IMG_5972 IMG_5959-2IMG_5958Now onto the review*. Here is the order in which I applied my makeup, including a few outside pieces that are complimentary/needed to complete my base:

Stila HD Beauty Balm*: the first time I tried this BB I was in love. It mostly does what any good BB does: it’s a moisturizer, primer, sunscreen, skin treatment, concealer, and foundation. Today was the second time I used it, and I was surprised to find that it went on much tackier than the first go. I’m not sure if I stored it incorrectly, it dried out, or if I had too much residual lotion leftover from washing my face last night. I will need to investigate as it was nearly impossible to rub into my skin. I succeeded, but found I had to use much more than I had the first time.

-Too Faced Eye Primer

-Urban Decay Naked2 Eyeshadow Palette in Suspect with Snakebite blended into the crease and outer corners

Urban Decay eyeshadow in Space Cowboy*: this champagne-silver sparkle is a little much for me. I found it to be a little more sparkly than I feel comfortable wearing, especially in an office setting. It has a very translucent color which is why I used it as more of a topcoat than a base. While I love Urban Decay’s eyeshadows, this one just didn’t do it for me.

Lancome Hypnose Star mascara in Noir Midnight*: I simply cannot understand how this is my roommate’s favorite mascara of all time. Quite honestly, I hate it! It goes on clumpy, it has been flaking off all morning, and I had to run a dry eyelash brush through it about 15 times to break apart the spider lashes. It’s miserable, and I got a second one from another variety kit! I will probably just give it away. I’m just going to leave it at that.

Too Faced 3-way Lash Lining Tool*: this is a VERY cool liner. I love the idea of it. My hand is not steady enough to apply it at its best, but I will keep trying. I usually prefer felt-tip liquid liners, so this wasn’t a far cry. I borrowed this picture from

too-faced-3-way-lash-lining-tool-swatchI used the dotting feature on the bottom of my lashes, and the lining feature on the upper. This is a unique piece that everyone should own πŸ™‚

Sephora false eyelashes in Celebrity*: I didn’t even attempt to put these on. A. I’ve never successfully put on a pair of false eyelashes, though I am not against continually trying, B. I was already running late this morning, C. most eyelashes look too dark on me, D. these are much more natural looking than any others that I have played with, and are very soft.

-Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow in Light/Medium

-Sephora MicroSmooth Baked Luminizer powder

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Pink Escape*: LOVE. This item is the creme de la creme in the set for me. I was probably the most hesitant about this product out of all the pieces in the set, but I absolutely love it. Josie Maran’s Cheek Gelee is the first non-powder blush I’ve tried, and I have learned that a little bit goes a long way! I usually don’t wear much blush if any at all, but this is just subtle enough to leave a pretty pink hue on my cheeks without making me look like a clown πŸ™‚ I LOVE it!

-Tarte lip sugar scrub

Nars Lip Gloss in Gold Digger*: I have to start off by saying, I want to try every Nars product, simply because the names are sexy! I may have said this before, but I am not a big fan of lip glosses, but I think it’s because I hadn’t found the right fit. This gloss (after scrubbing my lips with Tarte’s sugar scrub) actually wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t as sticky as several other glosses that I have given a go at, and the color is a pretty neutral hue that adds just a tinge of color to my normally pale lips. I still haven’t wiped it off after 3 hours of wear πŸ™‚ That’s got to be a record for me.

Nails Inc. Kensington Caviar Gel Effect Plumping Top Coat: Last night I started over on my nails with Marc Jacob’s nail laquer in Le Charm. I must say, I like it much better with the second coat and the plumping top coat. My nails feel a bit more resilient and smooth, and I think this is a combo I’m going to have to keep!

Overall, I am about half and half on the set. I am glad that I got to try all these products in a $54 set that was gifted to me by my sister-in-law, rather than paying around $190 for all the individual pieces! What a value πŸ™‚

Lastly, I have themed my outfit for the day to go with the Glitz and Glam theme:

IMG_5951Gold-chain necklace: Forever 21
Black 3/4 sleeves blazer: Forever 21
Pink chiffon shirt w/ gold polka dots: Forever 21
Eggplant-colored skinnies: H&M
Nude heels: DSW