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

Birthday Lovin’

Wahhh I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the love I received from family, friends, co-workers and complete strangers! My birthday was on Monday, September 1st, but the celebrations started Sunday night!

Rather than throw a party or do some kind of dinner, I thought it would be fun to get a bunch of friends together and go bowling Sunday night, since the majority of us had Monday off for Labor Day. It was also college-night pricing which means cheap lanes, cheap pizza, and cheap booze! πŸ™‚ Sorry the pics are somewhat difficult to see as it was so dark in the alley.

bdayI also celebrated with my family beforehand, and my mom made me a couple types of cupcakes with my favorite color (yellow!) and my favorite flower (sunflower!).

On Tuesday, my coworkers surprised me with balloons and a special cake with more sunflowers and yellow things! Ha I guess everyone knows my weakness.

I got so many fun, great gifts that I wanted to share:

11Birthday Goodies:

-My boyfriend got me a Nook Glowlight, the Molecule 01 perfume from Barneys, and the Topshop purse (not pictured) I wanted. Guess he reads my blog after all πŸ˜‰ I yelled at him for spending that much, but he would hear none of it.

-My best got me the Tarina Tarantino Sparklicity Gold Palette, which I just recently discovered but that she picked up for me months ago (she knew what I wanted before I did!). Her and my friend Dave also got me some cute little Sailor Moon memorabilia and Dave picked up the hard copy of F(x)’s album, Red Light.

-Toni got me the Sephora “Give Me Lip” collection, which has an awesome variety of lip products from Urban Decay, Nars, Buxom, etc. She also blessed my wallet with a $50 gift card to Sephora, which likely won’t survive this upcoming weekend ❀

-The fam picked up a number of items off my wishlist too, including a new game for my 3DS, some baking mats, a pretty coral scarf, and a white and rose gold watch. My mom also got me a bag of 26 yellow things, ranging from candy, cupcake liners, and post-its, to glow sticks, nail polishes, and a loofa.

My heart is full. Thank you all so much for your warm wishes.

Much love XO

July Beauty HAULS

Good morning everyone! Only 2 more days till it’s Friday πŸ˜‰

As the title indicates, I picked up a few new beauty items in July. I’m a bit on beauty-overload right now, which shouldn’t be a bad thing. But if I’m being completely honest, I bought way more than what is pictured below (if you believe “more” is possible), I just took back a lot of things out of guilt. Rightfully so! What’s the point in not buying any new clothes for a year if you’re just going to transfer that spending habit to something equally dangerous?!

I have so many options right now, I have a whole “giveaway” bag I’ve been collecting new, unused items in. I think I’m hitting the pause button on beauty purchases for a while, if this blog doesn’t change it’s title to “No New Beauty Items for a Year” altogether come September (kidding!…maybe).

Ulta Haul #1

IMG_1375Total: $65.93 ($6 off w/ Ulta Points)

IMG_1354Nevo Intense Therapy Leave-In Treatment – $18
L’Oreal Oleo Therapy Deep Recovery Hair Mask – $8.99
John Frieda Luxurious Volume Root Booster Blow Dry Lotion – $7.49

IMG_1348Nevo Beach Bag – Free w/ any Nevo Purchase

IMG_1356Eos Travel Size Everyday Hand Lotion in Original$1.99
Eos Online Only Smooth Stick in Vanilla Bean$3.49
Eos Lemon Drop Smooth Sphere Lip Balm SPF 15 in Lemon (I ❀ LEMON!) – $3.49
Eos Travel Size Everyday Hand Lotion in Berry Blossom $1.99
Eos Water Bottle – Free w/ any $10 Eos purchase

IMG_1358L’Oreal Revitalift Wet Cleansing Towelettes – $3.50 (half off)
Full-size Dr. Brandt BB Matte w/ Signature Shinerase in Light/MediumFree w/ any $40 Ulta.com purchase

IMG_1365Ulta Weightless Lipstick in 256 Lilac Kisses$3 (sale from $8)
NYX Macaron Lippies in Chambord $3 (half off)
NYX Butter Lipstick in Snow Cap$5.99
The Body Shop Strawberry Born Lippy Stick Lip Balm – $6

IMG_1366Ulta Eyeliner in Cobalt, Golden Eyes, Teal Blue, Jade, and Primrose$1 ea (sale from $8) [the lipstick cap was to keep them from rolling away ha]

Ulta Haul #2

IMG_1325Total: $89 (perfume only; everything else was free)

Versace Perfume in Bright Crystal (free gold Versace tote not pictured) – $89
Versace Fragrance Sampler – Free w/ Versace fragrance purchase
Fragrance Sampler Pack – Free w/ any Ulta purchase

IMG_133416 piece Pink Beauty Bag – Free w/ any $60 Ulta.com purchase (these packs are always a fabulous value–Too Faced, Murad, Urban Decay, John Frieda, etc.)

Sephora Haul

IMG_1407 IMG_1409Total: $40

Sephora Favorites Summer Crushes (two-sided) – $40
Free Samples Not Pictured

IMG_1411I am obsessed w/ these Sephora sampler packs. They are such an amazing value, as the “sample” sizes they offered are all deluxe-sized. What can I say? I’m a sample hoarder!

What beauty items are on your hit list this summer?!

XO Ali

Weddings Pt. 1: Summer Wedding Prep!

I thought summer would be a perfect opportunity to do a mini wedding-series. As mentioned in a couple previous posts, my best friend got married on June 21st πŸ™‚ I will post a bunch of pictures of her big day in Part 2!

We all have our fair share of weddings we attend, especially during the summertime. At one point in college, I was in 3/4 weddings I attended in one summer:

Tip #1: Skip the tanning bed. I wish I had that summer in college ^^ Jergen’s Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer (~$9) is all you need. I’ve seen my share of tanning beds and lotions, but it’s taken me until last year to finally accept and love my naturally pale skin: “fair,” as the beauty world describes it. I burn easily and tan rarely.

IMG_1221I am finally comfortable in my own skin (as everyone should be!), but this lotion gives me a “just-back-from-a-weekend-at-the-beach” glow. As with all tanning lotions, proper application is key. I put on 2 applications, 3 days apart, the week of the wedding. The best time to apply is after you have dried off from a fresh shower, taking particular care around the elbows and knees. The skin will be dried out and ready to absorb the moisturizer, so it shouldn’t run or create the dreaded “orange-streak.” Thorough hand-washing is an absolute must once finished. I let the moisturizer set for about 15 minutes before dressing. The scent is also quite lovely (this has been an improvement over the years).

Tip #2: Need to brighten that smile? Crest 3D Whitestrips in Glamorous White($54.99) have you covered. The case comes with 14 upper and 14 lower strips. I have pretty sensitive teeth, but these are the least uncomfortable strips I have tried. I use them every other day about 2-3 weeks leading up to the wedding, usually only utilizing about 7 upper and 7 lower in total. I save the rest for the next occasion. I always notice a difference in the whiteness of my teeth, and they are enamel safe! If you can snag these at Ulta w/ one of their 20% off coupons like I did, you only have to pay $43.99 (a savings of $11!)

IMG_1225Tip #3: Get a mani/pedi! It may be someone else’s big day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pamper yourself. After all, you’re going to be standing/dancing a lot, you deserve it! πŸ™‚

nailsI typically always end up with an acrylic French Manicure when I’m in a wedding. I don’t take good enough care of my nails to get anything that’s not semi-permanently affixed to them. They are timeless, super low-maintenance, and they LAST. You can keep getting them buffed and refilled, but I usually just let them grow out for 2-3 weeks and then remove them with some variation of screaming and acetone πŸ™‚

IMG_8270Three weeks ago was the first pedicure I’ve ever had. I have been terrified of someone messing with my feet, but took the plunge. Damn. It was worth every second. What have I been missing out on? The massage-chair alone was worth it! I got a gel pedicure and it has been 3 weeks, and it is just starting to chip. And I am not nice to my feet. I can’t believe how long it has lasted…

IMG_8271IMG_8274(Pardon the grotesque picture of my feet. This was the only pic I took after my pedi and I had all my weight leaning on my little sausage toes to get the shot…)

Tip #4: Do an at-home facial (and save some $!). I have a lot of different samples from Sephora (it’s never a good idea to switch up your beauty routine the day of a big event…you never know how your skin will react), and I’ve discovered a love for GlamGlow. GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment retails for ~$70, which I just can’t justify spending on one product. However, I have several sample packets of it and I really enjoy using it! You can apply it all over your face, but I have dry skin, so I just use it on my nose to clear up my pores.

IMG_8148When applying, it’s a thick and gunky dark gray paste, which dries into a hardened light gray finish. The oily spots will absorb the mud, so you’ll get dark spots wherever you have enlarged or oily pores. It’s kind of really cool and disgusting at the same time (Google search it!). However, it is a pore-shrinking miracle. My pores are virtually invisible when I rinse off the mask, and that lasts for more than a week before I can even see the smallest pore again.

Tip #5: If you are in the wedding, see what the bride is willing to negotiate with. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum: I’ve had to buy a $193 black dress for the bride’s big day, and I’ve been in a wedding where the bride paid for my dress. I would never ask the bride to pay for the dress (as they are likely already shelling out $1,000’s for the wedding), but often times they will let you wear whatever shoes you want, so long as they fall in a certain color family (silver, black, nude, etc.). Remember to be polite, but if you can’t afford to pay for a $150 dress and a custom spray-painted pair of shoes, speak up. You’re loved enough to be in the wedding, but you shouldn’t have to break the bank as a condition.

Most friends will understand, but if they don’t, don’t be afraid to politely decline their invitation.

Tip #6: Customize your gift! This is the fun part. Most registry items will be purchased by the date of the wedding, so don’t forget to plan in advance. I like to do a little half and half–half something from their registry and half something personalized. When my best friend got married three weeks ago, I wanted to get her something that would associate memories of our time living together. While Cassie was the primary cook of our apartment, I adored baking. I’m much better at making cookies than I am at a home-made meal.

IMG_8472For her and her husband’s gift, I got them a bunch of baking supplies off their registry, and then went out and bought some baking staples: flour, brown sugar, powdered sugar, and granulated sugar. I organized them all in a craft-crate I bought from Michael’s, that can also be used as a storage tool for long-term veggies like potatoes and onions. The gingham print ribbon in their wedding colors was icing on the cake πŸ˜‰ Make it fun!

I hope these tips have helped you gain some ideas on looking your best, feeling your best, and being prepared. What other suggestions would you make? What are some memories you’ve had of being in a wedding?

Comment below! XO

The Empties: April Edition

Welcome to my first ever empties post! I’ve been ruthless in my consolidation of items I actually want to pack up and bring to my new apartment this Friday. In doing so, I found several items are almost-empty or just not worth hanging onto, therefore I have collected them for the purpose of deciding: buy it or boot it?

20140419-132810.jpgDove Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner | Sephora Felt-Tipped Liquid Eyeliner | Suave Dry Shampoo | Tresemme Heat Protectant-Spray | Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle

Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner: this is my fallback S/C combo. In between all my trials of new products and brands, this one always makes a comeback. Why? Habit and consistency. My hair feels stronger and healthier using these than most others I have tried (which haven’t been a lot). It smells nice w/o being overpowering. Maybe it’s also mental. The word repair seems like a better word choice than some other marketing pitches: blonde-enhancing, scent, color-correcting, etc. My hair is naturally a little course, and I haven’t noticed a complete difference in smoothing texture. Regardless, I’d buy it again and again. My hair loves it.

Sephora Felt-Tipped Liquid Eyeliner in Brown: I have to start off by declaring my love for felt-tipped eyeliners. However, I’m somewhat surprised by my repurchase of this one in the past, because it streaks pretty easily. I have purchased it again in the waterproof version, and I’m hoping that that will make the difference to keep it under my buy it list.

Suave Dry Shampoo: this is the first dry shampoo I have tried. In all honesty, I could go three days without washing my hair before it starts to show–my scalp stays that dry. However, I typically wash my hair ever 1-2 days. On days where I’ve straightened or curled it the night before, I’ll spray some of this at the roots to give it a lift and to absorb oil in one or two spots. I have to say though, I am not a fan of the smell anymore. It has such a distinctive, strong smell, I can tell when complete strangers are using it. I don’t want that to be the case with me, so I am going to go with boot it. There are better options out there, and I just got a bottle of Bumble & Bumble’s Pret-a-Powder I’m excited to try!

Tresemme Keratin Smooth Heat Protectant-Spray: I love this spray. I use it almost every time I straighten or curl my hair. It’s been my rock for years. It smells great w/o being overpowering, somewhat like freshly shampooed hair. It also leaves my hair feeling soft and appearing shiny after the heat application. I’d buy it again, but I also love the following…

Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle: this was my first deluxe sample I got in my Birchbox subscription. If you don’t know what Birchbox is, it’s a $10 monthly subscription where you get a box full (usually 4-6 items) of beauty products. It’s fun if you want to try something new, but don’t know where to start. This protectant spray is actually more of a cream-base, like a leave-in conditioner, than a liquid base (like the Tresemme). It leaves my hair feeling smooth and fresh for days after just one use. Buy it. I promise you won’t be disappointed. This is the main product I was sad to see run out. I plan on ordering a full-sized bottle, but I just got a new deluxe sample from”OI/All In One Milk” from that I plan on trying first.

Have a great week! XO

March Obsession: Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Nectar

This Bobbi Brown shimmer brick in “Nectar” has been on my radar since Christmas. I’ve been dipping my toes slowly into the world of high-end designer makeup, but I am not going to pretend that I can afford to buy it all the time. I had to really work up the courage to spend $42 on this, but at least I loved it when I got it πŸ™‚

20140406-223910.jpg 20140406-223901.jpgThe brick is made up of 5 “colors” though I’m hesitant to use the word color because there isn’t a lot of color-transfer, nor is there supposed to be. In one word, it just “glows.”

20140406-223919.jpgThis is an unedited photo of me wearing the shimmer on my cheeks. Even my boyfriend made a comment when we went to dinner afterwards that my face had a healthy glow to it! Ha πŸ™‚ So I guess it does its job. I am in love with it. I used it everyday in March and it is by far my favorite item to reach for in my makeup bag!

I have a HUGE beauty haul coming after I get back from Montreal. I got a 20% off entire purchase coupon at Ulta (which for ONCE you can use on things like Naked Palettes and other goodies that usually are exempt from coupons!) and a 15% off entire purchase at Sephora. Needless to say I used both and they are en route!

Is there a beauty item you can’t live without?

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 theprettyvain.blogspot.com 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 makeupandbeautyblog.com:

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