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˜€


IMG_1646I’ve been wanting to do a beauty giveaway for the last several months, and I’ve finally collected a fair range of products, brands and sizes that I think anyone would want to try πŸ™‚ This is a Rafflecopter giveaway, so you’ll have to follow any of the links on this page, or the image at the bottom of the page, to enter!

One lucky winner will receive ALL of the following products:

IMG_1671-PΓΌr Minerals Mineral Glow ($23.50)
-Murad Oil-Control Mattifier (deluxe size)
-Dr. Brandt BB Matte Cream w/ Signature Shinerase in Light to Medium ($39)
-Ulta Hydra Quench Foaming Oil Cleanser (deluxe size)
-Sample packets for Philosphy Hope in a Jar, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, and GlamGlow Youth-Mud
-Ulta Eyeshadow Quad in Bone, Ice Queen, Truffle, and Gunmetal
-Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (sample size)
-Ardell Natural Lash Starter Kit in 101 Demi Black ($6)
-Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (deluxe size)
-Ulta Eyeshadow Quad in Sahara Sand, Sunkissed, Mosaic, and Glittering Sand
-Ulta Dual Ended Eye Liner in Black and Deep Brown
-Dolce and Gabbana Desire Perfume (sample size)
-Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Perfume (sample size)
-Ulta Beauty Smoothie in Buttercream Cupcake (3 oz. travel size) ($4)
-Pink Beauty Travel Bag
-Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain in Valentine (mini size)
-It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product for Hair (2 oz. travel size) ($12)

Rules for the Giveaway

1. You must submit your entries through Rafflecopter.
2. This giveaway is open worldwide!
3. You must leave a valid email address so that I can contact you if you won to get your mailing address (no P.O. boxes please).
4. I am not paid/endorsing any of these products. Users should read ingredients/instructions carefully to avoid any allergies.
5. One (1) winner will receive (1) beauty bag filled with multiple products by
6. Winner will be contacted following the close of the giveaway. Winner must respond by email within 48 hours, or a new winner will be chosen.

Since I can’t embed Rafflecopter into my blog, you can click here or the image below, and it’ll take you to the entry page. Good luck!

img_1671-3XO Ali

Makeup Monday: Too-Faced “All I Want for Christmas”

Today I want to review a Too-Faced set that came out for the 2013 Holidays. The set includes:


  • La CrΓ¨me Lip Cream in Believe
  • Full Size Shadow Insurance
  • Blush/Eye Shadow Trio Compact
  • Perfect Eyes Eye Liner in Perfect Black
  • Lash Injection Mascara
  • Mint/Gold Chevron Makeup Bag

IMG_6038The order in which I applied my makeup is as follows:

-Ulta Brand BB Cream Beauty Balm SPF 20 in Illluminating

-BareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation in Fairly Light

Too Faced Shadow Insurance* – this is by far my FAVORITE shadow primer I have tried so far of all my samples and other purchases. It has the silkiest, creamiest texture and glides so smoothly across the skin. I’ve never found it to be too thick or difficult to rub in. What is especially nice is that it covers up any residual makeup that may have smeared onto the lids. I use makeup remover on my lids and face before I go to sleep, and I inevitably wake up with smeared mascara on the lids. This shadow insurance wipes it all away onto my finger, and leaves behind a nude primer that eyeshadow clings to so well! I do not know how it does it, but I don’t question, I just love.

Too Faced Blush and Eyeshadow Duo Compact* – the blush is nothing special. A little dark and husky, but goes on light enough that as long as your careful how much you put on your brush, you’ll warm-up your cheekbones. The beige eyeshadow I use more as a brow highlighter and base coat. Again, nothing special. The brown, however, has a nice pop to it. It’s not dark at all, but goes on smoothly and has a slight shimmer to it.

Too Faced Lash Injection Mascara* – unfortunately, nothing special here in my opinion. It definitely lengthened my lashes, but I feel like the thickness wavers: it’s chunky and thin here and there. What I really want to try is the very-hyped “Better Than Sex” mascara Too Faced has…

Too Faced Perfect Eyes Eyeliner in Perfect Black* – I really wanted to brag about what a smooth liner this is. The color comes right off the stick. I really don’t know how Too Faced does it, all of their products are so easy to use and handle. I sort of wish this wasn’t the case with the eyeliner though. It has completely melted and smeared across my eyes in just a few hours. I don’t have anything left to show under my lashes except the faint resemblance of some grayish-black smudging.

-Too Faced Lip Insurance Lip Primer – I know this isn’t included in the kit, but quit what you are doing and go pick up a tube! NOW! It’s THAT good!

Too Faced La CrΓ¨me Lip Cream in Believe* – I love this lipstick so much. The color payoff is out of this world, and it’s so creamy! It only took one stroke on each lip, rubbing my lips together, and KABLAM. A perfect lip. The color is somewhere between a mauve, an orange, and a coral. I really can’t put my finger on it.

The blue/gold chevron bag is just icing on the cake with this set. It’s just as pretty in person, if not prettier. I currently house all of my eye pieces (that aren’t in my “everyday” look) in this bag, so that I can just reach for the bag when I want to try something different. The set normally retailed for $45, but I got it at Ulta for $36 after the holidays.

I’m already a fan of Too Faced’s Lip Insurance Lip Primer, and a few of these products are definitely worth picking up if you have the opportunity.

IMG_6045Necklace: Target
Pastels w/ blue buffalo-plaid shirt: H&M
Black cardi: Maurice’s
Gray skinnies: Delia’s
Black Pumps: Target

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