Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sample Sunday: Smashbox Primer Try It Kit

This week I tried to get the Smashbox Try It Kit during the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty, but it was sold out when I got there so I picked up this kit instead. Slightly smaller, but still a good deal. This box had the Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Photo Finish Lid Primer, and Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer. The foundation primer worked really well, but initially felt a little greasy. That feeling went away quickly and the look was definitely matte. The lid primer worked well, but no better than any other I've tried. I really liked the under eye primer though. I always have dark circles and so I always use concealer. This really helped my concealer stay put. I would consider getting these in full size in the future, but I highly recommend trying this kit out since it's a great value at only $14. Find it at Ulta or online here.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tarte is on Hautelook

I love Tarte cosmetics and now they're on Hautelook again! I'm excited because some of their larger sized "vintage" cheek stains are on there and they are a much better deal than their equally priced new versions. There are also some really great sets available for great prices. These deals end on Monday so hurry over there!
Image courtesy of HauteLook

Sign up with my referral link and get some amazing deals.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Target Beauty Box

My Target Beauty Box has finally arrived! For only $5 I got all the goodies you see here, that's only $1 per item!

Description from Target:
Beauty Box Includes:

1) TONI&GUY Casual Sea Salt Texturising Spray (2.5 fl oz): Want beachy hair without hitting the surf? Spray from root to tip for salty, sultry texture and subtle, windswept waves.

2) L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara (.22 fl oz): Stretch and lengthen lashes for a fluttery, winged-out look with this unique mascara formula and revolutionary asymmetrical Butterfly Brush.

3) Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo (1.7 oz): Give hair a rejuvenating boost with this paraben and colorant-free formula made with natural tapioca to instantly absorb excess oil with less residue.

4) COVERGIRL Smoochies Sizzle Gloss (.44 fl oz): Pucker up. Sheer color meets sizzling shimmer in a moisturizing formula that’s always stunning, never sticky.

5) Jergens BB Cream Light (2 fl oz): Finally, a multi-tasking beauty cream in a quick-drying formula that goes on sheer and delivers visible results in just 5 days.

My thoughts:

I was very excited to see the Toni & Guy spray because a friend was just telling about how awesome this stuff is. I have never been able to get the beachy wave look. My hair is very curly naturally and so when I try to do waves I either get straight hair or a frizzy mess from playing with it too much. I have mixed feelings about this product. On the one hand I got many compliments on my "sexy, beachy hair", but I felt like I looked more like a mermaid that washed up in a hurricane than a sexy siren and one other person agreed with that. I definitely think that for someone with thicker, curlier hair like myself I would probably need a little bit of a smoothing or shine product just to enhance the look. I do think I would repurchase this and with a little practice get the look I wanted. 

I have been trying so many mascaras lately, but I love doing it and finding new favorites. The brush on this mascara is asymmetrical so as to grab every lash. It takes a little maneuvering, but it does work. This isn't my favorite mascara, but I do like it.

 Not all dry shampoos are created equally so I like to try them out whenever I can before buying a full size. My hair is not usually oily, but on occasion (especially if I have a lot of product in my hair) it does get a little greasy feeling. Dry shampoo is also amazing for adding texture. This is the first I've used from a can and I was a little worried that I would end up with sticky or stiff hair, but was pleasantly surprised. My hair still felt soft, but it helped to absorb the oil without making my hair look dull. I was also still able to easily run a brush through my hair.

Lip gloss can be such a hit or miss and I love the color of this one. I heard a lot of people say they found this gloss sticky, I didn't, but I found it a bit too glittery and a bit gritty in texture because of it. This is one gloss I wouldn't repurchase simply because of the texture. It seems a good fit for much younger girls, but I wouldn't recommend it for grown women, if you love glitter (as I do) there are better options.

I have never heard of a BB Cream for the body so this product really intrigued me. It has a very light smell and texture and felt hydrating, but I didn't really see any coverage. I suppose it's meant to be a light coverage to blur any imperfections on the body, I only tried it on my arms, but I suppose it would work well on legs.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sample Sunday: Dolce & Gabbana Intense, Julep One Step Polish Remover Pad and L'Occitane en Provence Concentre de Lait

For this week's Sample Sunday I chose Dolce & Gabbana Intense for my fragrance choice. It's starts out with warm floral notes and soon turns deep and almost amber and woody. The top notes are listed as Neroli and Green Mandarin and the base notes as Sandalwood and Guimauve (I'll be honest I have no idea what Guimauve is.) The sandalwood makes this such a warm scent that is seductive and great for warming up cooler days and nights.

My nails look awful this week. I've been so crazy busy I haven't taken off the sad remnants of my last manicure. I needed to get them cleaned up quick so they wouldn't look so terrible, so I grabbed my Julep One-Step Polish Remover Pad sample. These work ridiculously well, so much more so than I expected. I had all my polish off in less than a minute, which is better than when I use cotton balls and nail polish remover. I would definitely get these to keep in my purse or for when I travel.

 Since it refuses to be Spring in New England, my skin is a little dry from the weather so I decided to try my sample of L'Occitane en Provence Concentre de Lait (Milk Concentre.) This is the first product I've tried from L'Occitane and I really like it. It has a light almond smell and a really light texture, but it's very hydrating, a little goes a long way.

Have you tried any of these? What did you think?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Beauty Steal at TooFaced

Just got this in my inbox and had to share! The Matte Eye palette is only $20 until tomorrow!
Image courtesy of TooFaced
This a gorgeous palette for day to day that can transition to more dramatic looks. This is almost half price and I highly recommend snapping this one up!

Urban Decay is on Hautelook

I love Urban Decay and I love Hautelook and now Urban Decay is on Hautelook! You can get some seriously amazing deals on shadows, foundations, pencils and more! Sign up for Hautelook for free and snag these amazing deals!

My top picks are Primer Potion and $5 eyeshadows! Also if you've wanted to try some of their foundations this is a great time since they are more than 50% off.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Influenster Prize: Rimmel ScandalEyes Retro Glam Mascara

I received the Influenster Jolly VoxBox back in December (read more about it here) and after completing all the tasks and all the brand challenges I received an email a couple of weeks ago saying I was a runner up for the Rimmel brand challenge and had won a prize. I was delighted to find a full size Rimmel ScandalEyes Retro Glam Mascara.

The brush for this mascara has a very different shape. I found that it was easy to get the lashes on the outer corners of my eyes, but a little bit harder to get the middle lashes. It took a little work to get all my lashes and they did look a little fuller and longer, but not as much as I had hoped for. I'm hoping with more usage and practice it will give me a fuller and longer lash look.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Knickers in my Mailbox

So why are there knickers in my mailbox? Thanks to my FabFitFun Winter Box I was able to try out MeUndies which are super soft undies available for men and women. They believe in the comfiest designer undies sent to your door and they even make a 365 pack if you feel like never doing laundry. The shipping is always free and was super fast.They also have basics like tee shirts. The fabric they use is a super soft modal and although they're a little pricier than I would normally get, they really are super comfortable. Use my referral link for 20% off.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ModCloth Stylish Surprise is Back!

Stylish Surprise is the best thing ModCloth ever came out with and right now it's available early for app users. Simply download the ModCloth app and get your Stylish Surprise for as little as $5! ModCloth always has awesome stuff with this and you can get items valued up to $299.99!

Apartment stuff was already sold out by the time I managed to get on my phone, so that was a bit of a bummer, but shoes and apparel are only $10 and accessories are only $5! Keep in mind they are final sale, but you really can't go wrong.

Let me know in the comments below what you got!

P.s. they have had a little trouble due to such high volume, but just keep trying and you'll get through.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day EOTD

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone. I played around and did two quick eye looks, one more bright and the other a little smokier. I used Lime Crime magic dusts, Lunatick Cosmetics, Victoria's Secret loose shadow in Magic Dust and the Urban Decay Black Palette.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sample Sunday: Escada, Juice Beauty, First Aid Beauty

This Sample Sunday I wanted to avoid trying any new makeup because I just had a chemical peel and so my skin is a little dry and starting to flake. Today's three samples were Especially Escada fragrance, Juice Beauty organic Oil Free Moisturizer and First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream.

The Especially Escada perfume is lightly musky and floral, but subtle and not as long lasting as I would have hoped. The official notes are Pear, Rose, Ambrette Seeds, Ylang Ylang, and Musk. It is a pretty fragrance and as I mentioned, not strong, so it's good if you like a subtle fragrance. It wouldn't be my first pick.

The Juice Beauty Oil Free Moisturizer was lightweight and smells slightly fruity. My face felt moisturized without a heavy thick feeling or any residue. As someone who has combination skin I like to have moisture without feeling greasy. I really like this product and I think it will be great in the warmer (and more humid) weather.

When I first picked up the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Sample I thought it was a moisturizer for the face, but it's for the body. I really needed this one today, my hands and feet were both really dry and this really did the trick. It is a little thick and I liked it on my feet more than my hands. It didn't absorb as much as I wanted and my hands felt a little greasy for a while. I think this would be good to put on right before bed so that it has plenty of time to absorb and work. I also think it would be better for the body than the hands. I really like that it is allergy tested, fragrance free, dermatologist recommended and good for eczema and sensitive skin. My boyfriend has horrible eczema head to toe and I think this would be great for him. I do like this product for me too though and it's something I'd probably use again.

Have you tried any of these?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cookie Butter Swirl Brownies

I bought cookie butter a while ago and it is delicious! After eating it out of the jar on more than one occasion I wanted to try doing something different with it.

I prepared dark chocolate boxed brownie mix with just the one egg to make it extra fudgy.

I then added in a few spoonfulls of creamy cookie butter, but it was to thick to swirl the right way as you can see below.

So I placed a few tablespoons of cookie butter into a mug and microwaved for 10 seconds just to make it easier to work with. I spooned this in and then marbled the mixture.

After this is where it all went wrong. I followed the baking instructions on the box and they were perfectly done and smelled delicious...

... until I managed to somehow flip over the pan and drop most of the contents all over my oven.Some of it was salvaged and delicious, but I was still sad. Hopefully the next time it works out a little better and I'm not such a (cookie)butter fingers. They tasted great and the dark chocolate brownie mix worked well with the sweetness of the cookie butter. Try this out for a fun and easy twist on regular brownies and just follow everything but the last step!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mani Monday Deborah Lippmann Space Oddity Trio

My love affair for Deborah Lippmann nail polishes began last year with the color Candy Shop which may as well be a cupcake in a bottle. It's wonderful. So imagine my delight when I popped into Sephora to find a Deborah Lippmann trio on sale! Originally $29 it was on sale for $13.99. These are just about half size (8mL versus the usual 15mL.) The trio is called Space Oddity and contains the colors When Lightning Strikes (silver polish with gold micro glitter and white glitter),  Planet Rock (a violet grey crème), and Baby I'm A Star (champagne gold with gold micro glitter and pink glitter.)

These colors are all gorgeous, but I chose Planet Rock to try out first. It has great opaque coverage in two coats. It's a moody neutral that is quite chic.  I can't wait to try out the other two.

What's on your nails this week?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sample Sunday: Fresh, Stila and Bite

Here in New England it seems like Spring is desperately fighting to come through. So my first sample today was chosen to try to bring a little bright freshness and ward away winter. I chose the fragrance Sugar Lemon by Fresh since citrus always reminds me of warmer days. I'll be completely honest with you, the initial impression I got was lemon scented cleaner, not quite lemon pledge, but in that neighborhood. But I gave the fragrance a little time to open up and it turned into a lightly sweet lemon scent, reminiscent of a lemon tree on a warm day, not like lemonade. It's a very light fragrance and smells very clean and is great if you just want a hint of fragrance.

Next up I chose Stila CC Cream in the shade Light (since they don't make Casper.) I've had a hard time with some of the double letter products, i.e. BB, CC, and DD creams since often they are too dark for me, even though most people complain they don't come in dark enough shades. It's hard being this white sometimes. Initially I was surprised because it comes out of the tube a slightly grey shade and I thought it was going to be pasty looking and unnatural, but as soon as I swiped it with my finger the color transformed.  It has a really lightweight texture and feels like nothing is on. It did help to even out my skin, but wasn't able to give me as much coverage as I was hoping for on the under eye area and some small blemishes. I did try to apply a little more since it is a buildable coverage and that a helped a little, but I would still use a small amount of concealer on those areas. Overall though a good CC cream that matched my skin very well (shocking really) and would be great for days when I don’t want to be bare faced, but am feeling too lazy for full makeup.

Not a huge difference on camera, but I noticed some improvement in person.

Last but not least on today's lineup is Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick in Musk. The only thing I did to prepare my lips was a lip scrub. This lipstick has a really beautiful texture. It is very creamy and feels hydrating on the lips which is often difficult in a lipstick. The coverage is opaque and even. This color was very close to my natural lip color however, but I actually really like that. It looked in the tube like it might be a little darker as you'll see in the photos. I really like this color for day to day.