Saturday, March 8, 2014
Attention, dear readers: It's currently Estee Lauder Gift with Purchase time at Macy's!
They're offering a seven-piece gift set with a $35 Estee Lauder purchase, or that same set plus four extra products with a $70 purchase. The deal is available in-store and online now through March 23.
I went over to Macy's the other day and picked up enough products to get the larger gift, so I thought I'd show you guys what I got!
First off, here are the items I paid for. I had wanted to try Double Wear foundation for AGES, so I figured this was a great opportunity to pick it up! My shade is the lightest cool-toned one, Cool Bone. Along with that I also got one of the brand's gorgeous Pure Color Blushes in Electric Pink and a Double Wear Stay in Place Eye Pencil in Coffee (which is pretty neat because it has a smudge-tip on the opposite end!). I've only tried each of these once so far, so I'm a long way off from being ready to review them, but I'll try to write reviews eventually!
And now onto the freebies! First, the gift includes a Lily Pulitzer floral makeup bag with a pink lining - very cute!
The gift also included a smattering of other products, like a mascara, Take It Away Makeup Remover Lotion, a dual-ended lip gloss and Double Wear Concealer and samples of DayWear lotion with SPF 15 and the brand's famous Advanced Night Repair serum. Also included is a little pocket-sized mirror in the same style as the Lily Pulitzer bag. I'm super happy to have this because the mirror I have in my purse is much larger and bulkier than this one; It will be nice to switch it out for something lighter!
The gift included three lip products in the shades Rose Tea (above left), Pink Parfait (above right) and a clear Lip Conditioner shade. (I seem to always remember my mom having one of those Lip Conditioners in her purse when I was a kid!)
Finally, there was a little eyeshadow quad, also with a Lily Pulitzer design on the front and a large mirror inside. There were two shade options available for the gift, and I chose the cool one, so this is the cool-toned shadow quad. I'm sad to say I tried these this morning and the shadows leave a lot to be desired; I've gotten far better shadows from Clinique as part of their Bonus Time freebies. These ones are dry and not terribly pigmented, so I don't think I'll get much use out of this.
Anyway, that's the whole kit and caboodle! If you've been curious to try some Estee Lauder products, or if you're already a fan of the brand and just want to stock up on your favorites, this would be a great time to do it - so get thee to Macy's, stat! Happy shopping! :)
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
First of all, the bag itself this month is pink with a white zipper and a pink, flowered interior. It's nice enough, but not terribly exciting:
Now, onto the products!
Zoya Nail Polish in Odette
This is a nice purple shade with a bit of grey in it. I tried it and it was actually quite nice! It lasted totally chip-free for about three days, and then with just minor chips for another four days or so.
City Color Be Matte Blush in Fresh Melon
I love blushes, and especially matte ones, so I was thrilled to get this! The color is really unique, too, and unlike anything else I have in my collection. It definitely reminds me of a melon!
Mally Beauty Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliner in Starshine
This is not the color I would've chosen, but I know from experience that Mally Beauty eyeliners are the real deal - very creamy, pigmented and long-wearing. I'm not exactly sure how to wear silver, but I'll give it a shot in my waterline.
POP Beauty Plump Pout Mini in Peony Petal
This is a little lip gloss in a tube. It's a nice color, but I've read some reviews that a lot of people who got this thought it had a funky smell to it. I haven't opened mine, so I guess I'll find out when I do! Hopefully it doesn't smell weird and I can get some use out of it, because I do like the rosy-pink shade.
J. Cat Beauty Eyelashes & Lash Glue
This is the one major disappointment in this month's bag. As some of you may recall, I received this very same product in an Ipsy bag several months back. I tried them at the time and thought they were HORRIBLE, and I don't have any reason to think these will be any better. I think it was because the lash band was too stuff and wouldn't bend properly to adhere to my lashes. I might be throwing these straight in the trash, sadly.
And now for the bonus item: I redeemed my Ipsy points for a free Benefit High Beam! This is a product I'd never tried before, but always wanted to, so it's great to get to try it for free. Many thanks to those of you who have signed up for Ipsy using my referral link; I really appreciate it!
So that's my February Ipsy bag! I'm generally pleased with this month's products and think it was well worth the $10 subscription fee.
I hope this was fun to read and would love to hear what you got in your beauty subscription boxes/bags this month. Let me know in the comments!
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Hi everyone! February was a bit of a rough month for me (work was really demanding, I got a cold, the weather was horrible - and did I mention work was really demanding?), and I'm afraid blogging kind of fell by the wayside. But here I am again! I'm really hopeful that March will be a better month and that things will be on the upswing from here on out. (Of course, I'm trying to ignore that we're supposed to have a big snowstorm here this weekend!)
I wanted to go ahead and share my favorite products from the month of February, so let's get started!
|inside of the Meet Matt(e) palette|
I was on a real kick with products from theBalm this month. First off: I tried to make an effort throughout February to use some of the palettes in my collection that maybe haven't seen a lot of action lately, and I found myself using the Meet Matt(e) palette from theBalm quite a lot! This is an old favorite of mine, and - although it's no longer available on theBalm's site - I believe you can still get it from Amazon (which is where I got mine). The shadows are fantastic in terms of pigment and texture, and the palette has an overall blue-leaning vibe that I was really liking this month.
|theBalm InStain blush in Lace and Mary Lou-Manizer|
Next up: In the category of minor tragedy, I shattered my Mary Lou-Manizer from theBalm at the end of January, but then there was a 50 percent off sale and I had to buy another one! This is probably my all-time favorite highlighter and I just can't live without it, so I've been getting a lot of use out of this new one.
And finally in my list of products from theBalm: I also got another one of the InStain blushes in that same half-off sale; this one's in the shade Lace. I love the formula of these, and this is the third one I've purchased. It's a lovely bright pink shade that I'll get TONS of use out of in the spring and summer--but that didn't stop me from wearing it in February! :)
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had picked up a Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Pinch Pink and was excited to try it out. And OMG you guys: This is perhaps the best new product I've purchased at the drugstore in...six months? Maybe longer? The formula is amazing and glides on so easily, and it blends out like a dream with my Elf Small Stipple Brush. I want to get every color of these blushes! Can't recommend this enough!
Mally Beauty Evercolor Shadow Sticks. This month, I'm happy to report that I have found a dupe: the Avon Extra-Lasting Eyeshadow Pencils! These are every bit as great as the Mally versions for about a third of the price. I have them in three shades: Crystal Taupe (a greyish taupe), Topaz Shimmer (a spot-on dupe for the Mally version in Topaz) and Amethyst (another taupe with a hint of plum). I apply these as a base for my eyeshadow looks, and they last all day without creasing and provide a gorgeous shimmeriness underneath my powder shadows. Love these!
So those are my favorites from the month! Thanks for reading this post and sticking with me through this rough month. I hope to be blogging more consistently going forward, so keep an eye out for new posts! Happy March!
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Hi everyone! I hope you've all been having a great weekend so far. I had a pretty hectic week at work (what's new?), and now I'm afraid I'm nursing a bit of a cold, so it's been a struggle to get new posts up this week. But now I'm here and excited to share something new with you: The contents of my first-ever Glossybox!
Glossybox is a monthly beauty subscription, similar in style to Birchbox or Ipsy, although it costs a bit more ($21 a month instead of $10). Glossybox is known for having more high-end products and generally larger items (many full-size) than other subscription services.
I'm trying out Glossybox for just three months thanks to a Living Social deal that allowed me to get it for just $12/month (because y'all know I wouldn't pay $21, right?!). I'd read a lot of good things about it and was excited to try it!
First of all, I'll go ahead and point out that my first box was the January one...but it didn't arrive until February 7, which was an inauspicious beginning. I kept getting emails throughout the month from Glossybox, assuring me that my box was on the way, but it sure did take a while. I'm hoping February's box will be more punctual.
The box itself is a pretty pink color, and it's made of a sturdier cardboard than Birchboxes are. I'll be keeping this one around to store nail polishes! (I apologize for the crappy lighting in these next few photos; it was nighttime and I was eager to open my box, so I just snapped a few with flash!)
The products were all tied up in tissue paper with a ribbon! And they were laid out very carefully inside the box:
A big part of the reason I wanted this month's box was for the Beauty Blender and the accompanying Blender Cleanser. I've never tried a Beauty Blender sponge and had been curious about them, but knew I'd never pay the $21 they cost. This is a great opportunity to try it! I was a bit surprised that the cleanser was a solid bar instead of a liquid, but I can make it work.
The next thing in the box was a .5-oz. sample of Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich moisturizer. I've never tried this brand, but by coincidence I also have another sample (the same size) of a different moisturizer from the same brand (which came from Ulta), so I'm excited to try them both and compare the two. Maybe I'll write a blog post about it!
The BellaPierre Mineral Blush in Desert Rose is another product/brand I've never tried. It looks kind of brown in this photo, but it's a bit pinker in person. Loose powder blushes aren't my favorite, but I'll give it a shot! I'm pretty sure this is full-size.
The BCBG Max Azria Bon Genre perfume is just a sample vial, but it's HUGE and has a spray top nozzle, which I prefer. And I like the scent pretty well, so this is a win!
And finally, there's the Toni & Guy Casual Sea Salt Texturising Spray. This is another deluxe sample at 2.5 oz. I'm excited to try this product; I tend to like sea salt sprays like this one.
So there you have it! I think this was a great first box with some decently sized products and a good variety of things to try. Not sure I'd ever be willing to pay full price for the subscription, but it's fun to try at a discount!
Have you ever tried Glossybox? What did you think?
Sunday, February 9, 2014
This foundation is available in eight shades. I found it at my local Walgreens, but it can be found at most drugstores or anywhere that carries Rimmel products. It cost $7 at Walgreens, but I suspect it would be less at Target or Walmart. Ulta lists the price as $4.99.
I love that the packaging is a tube, but the fact that said tube is opaque makes it almost impossible to know the exact shade until you get it home and open it up. I bought the lightest shade in the range (Light Porcelain), but I feel like I could've gone up a shade. It was impossible to tell at the store, though!
Here's what the Rimmel site says about this product:
A feather light, oil-free formula with an airy mousse texture that won’t feel heavy or greasy. Delivers all day shine control and blends flawlessly for a natural looking matte finish. Minimizes the appearance of pores. The weight is over – finally, shine has met its matte.
Does it live up to those claims? Well...
Let's start with what I like. I think the coverage with this foundation is pretty nice; it's somewhere on the medium-to-full spectrum, depending on how much you use. And speaking of how much to use: a little goes a very long way! This is definitely one you want to start with a light layer and then build up as necessary.
Here are two photos of me; in the first, I'm wearing no makeup, and the second was taken after applying this foundation:
|No makeup vs. after foundation|
The texture is indeed mousse-like and kind of has a whipped feeling to it, although it's heavier than I thought it would be. I find that this foundation blends easily, and it doesn't set immediately so you can work with it for as long as you need to. Unfortunately, one of the things I don't love is that it kind of feels like it never really sets at all; there's always a feeling that it could be easily wiped away or smudged, and it tends to crease in the usual places: around my eyes and in the corners of my mouth around my smile.
Here's a swatch photo:
|Left: concentrated swatch; Right: blended out swatch|
This stuff also kind of sinks into pores really easily. I definitely have to wear a primer with it, and even when I do, I still feel like it sinks into my pores around the 7- or 8-hour mark. The coverage also seems to break down around my nose and chin at about that same time. I do find that it performs better with some primers like (silicone-based ones, like Smashbox Photo Finish) than others (like Revlon PhotoReady).
It's worth noting that this product does not contain SPF, which could be either a positive or a negative. The lack of sunscreen makes this a good option for when you know you might be in photos (since sunscreen ingredients are reflective and can wash you out in the light of a flash), but no SPF might be an issue for those who rely on their foundation for a little sun protection. (Which you shouldn't do...but that's another story for another blog post!)
I do feel like it does a reasonably good job of keeping my skin matte, although some days are better than others. I have occasionally noticed a few dry patches developing throughout the day on my chin and around my mouth, which are areas where I usually have dryness issues.
Here are two more photos of me; the first is right after I applied all my makeup, and the second was taken eight hours later (my apologies for the different lighting in these photos! It's hard to keep lighting consistent when photos are taken so many hours apart, especially in the winter):
|All made up (left) vs. 8 hours later|
Overall, I'd give this product maybe 3 out of 5 stars. It has decent coverage, but it doesn't wear very well throughout the day and I feel like it can emphasize large pores. It does mattify fairly well, and I think this foundation would probably work well for those with really oily skin. For me, I'll probably be setting it aside until the summertime when my skin is more oily.
Have you tried the Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation? What did you think?
Friday, February 7, 2014
Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you've all been having a great week. Today I want to share with you a few new products I picked up recently. There are a heck of a lot of new drugstore makeup products coming out for spring, and these are just a tiny sampling of what's available. Let's get started!
First up: the NYX Dream Catcher Palette in Stormy Skies. This limited edition palette is available in three shade selections from the NYX Cosmetics website and from Ulta (although Ulta seems to be sold out of one of the shades right now). The price on these is $15, although Ulta often runs sales and offers coupon codes; I only paid about $12 for it. It's a small-ish palettte of 10 baked shadows, including a couple of mattes, some shimmers and a few glitter shades.
Next is the Maybelline Master Glaze Glisten Blush Stick in Pinch Pink. I believe these come in six shades, and they retail for around $8. I was really excited to get this, since stick blushes are pretty few and far between at the drugstore!
And now for the Wet n Wild stuff. This brand has a lot of new offerings for spring, including some new Color Icon eyeshadow palettes (which, sadly, I've read some bad reviews of and don't think I'll be purchasing myself), as well as a ton of new nail and lip products. Oh, and there's also a BB Cream that's part of the Fergie line, although I haven't purchased that yet.
Wet n Wild's new On Edge Long Wearing Eye Pencils looks pretty similar to Jordana's 12 Hour Made to Last Liquid Eyeliner Pencils that came out earlier this year--which, in turn, are pretty similar to other long-wearing pencils out there like the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliners. I love this style of pencil, and these Wet n Wild ones are only about $4, so of course I had to get some to try! I picked up the shades Space Cake, a matte brown, and Ex-Stacey, a hot pink unlike anything else in my collection. Super excited to try these!
And for lip products, I picked up one of the new Fergie Vicious Varnish High Shine Lip Stains in Legendary Face, as well as one of the new Megaslicks Balm Stains in Rico Mauve (love these shade names!). These were both in the $3-4 range and came in several other colors, too. And my Walgreens store had $1-off coupons on the display, which is always nice!
So those are my newest drugstore products that I'm trying out right now. I'll do my best to post reviews and swatches of these products after I've had a chance to test them out a bit more!
What new drugstore products will you be hauling this spring?
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Happy February 1, everyone! Today I wanted to share with you the products I loved and used repeatedly throughout the month of January.
First up: The Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. I resisted buying this...for about 10 minutes, and then I broke down and ordered it from Ulta, which was the only store that had it in stock at the time. And of course it is beautiful and wonderful and high-quality, and I've been using it a heck of a lot all month long. There are a whole slew of detailed reviews out there, so I've decided against writing my own, but suffice it to say that this lives up to the hype and is totally worth the money if you're considering taking the plunge. :)
Sticking with eye products: At the end of December, I wrote a whole post about a set of Mally Evercolor Shadow Sticks I got for Christmas (thanks, Mom!). I've been using them almost every day this month as a long-wearing base for all my eye looks! There's just something about the opacity you can achieve using these as a base that can't be duplicated using powder shadows alone. Plus, these are so long-wearing and absolutely refuse to crease, and they go on as smooth as buttah! I can't recommend these enough. For this favorites post, I chose the two shades I've used most: Topaz and Rosy Taupe. Gorgeous! (And for the record, Rosy Taupe works especially well under shadows from the Naked 3 palette!)
Continuing with the theme of eye products, I also loved Mally Volumizing Mascara all month long! I've read a lot of good reviews of it and finally got around to trying it this month. It has kind of a standard wand, but I find it to be just the right size for my eyes and the formula is great - not too wet or dry, and (true to its name) it adds a good amount of volume to my lashes.
My last eye product this month is actually one I've had for quite a long time, but recently pulled out again: the Tarte emphasEYES inner rim brightener. This really brightens up my eyes, and I love that it's a twist-up pencil that doesn't need to be sharpened!
I picked up the Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation at the drugstore earlier this month, and I've been wearing it quite a bit. I'm still testing it out and kind of forming my opinions about it (and I plan to write a full review of it soon!), but I figured I'd mention it because it did get a lot of use throughout the month of January.
Ipsy bag back in November, and obviously I've used it a lot since then because I've already hit pan! It's more of a satin finish than a matte one, but it still makes a great contour and is just the right shade for my super-fair skin. This will probably be one I re-purchase once I run out of it!
And one last thing: I finally got my hands on some NYX Dewy Finish Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray earlier this month and have been using it just about every time I wear makeup. I'd been wanting to try this for a long time, but it seems like it's always sold out at my local Ulta store! I ended up ordering it online, and I'm glad I did because it's really great! It comes out in a finer mist than the Elf Makeup Mist & Set I mentioned as a favorite last month, and it does just as good of a job of eliminating that overly powdery look makeup can have when it's freshly applied. And it makes everything wear longer throughout the day!
So those are all my favorites from January! What products have you been obsessing over lately? (And is anyone else as happy as I am that February is finally here? No more Polar Vortexes, please!)