Makeup Monday – Haul – Ipsy, Sephora, Drugstore

This was supposed to just be a mini Ipsy haul, but then I got some stuff at the drugstore, then my friend and I went to the mall and of course I had to stop by Sephora because why wouldn’t I, so now it’s a regular sized haul with lots of pictures! Let’s get to it.

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Let’s start with Ipsy!

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Pixi Mesmerizing Mineral Duo in Apricot GlowThis was made specially for Ipsy. The formula on this is very nice – it feels creamy, and it has nice pigmentation. The colors, at least on my skin, are a little fair/neutral – they’re nice for highlighting or accenting, but I like something brighter to be the main show. Also both shades are very sparkly – no mattes here.

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NYX Butter Lipstick in PopsI love these lippies – they’re very moisturizing and comfortable, and have good color payoff. I already own Little Susie, with is a nice bright pink without being too bright – it’s still very wearable. This shade is more like a mauve, raisin sort of shade. Very neutral, nice with bright eye looks, but I already own similar shades. I would have liked to get the other color Ipsy was offering, Hunk – a dark blue violet. You win some, you lose some.

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skyn ICELAND Hydro Cool Firming Eye GelsOh my these are delightful! You take them out of the package, peel off the backing, and place the gel side under your eyes. These immediately felt very cooling and refreshing as soon as I put them on.

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They’re easy to apply and easy to take off – they stick right on with little effort, come off without pulling, and leave no residue. Leave them on for about 10 minutes, and after your eyes will look and feel less puffy and more firm. Loved these.

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Chella Highlighter Pencil in Ivory Lace: This product was fine. It is a light, matte highlighter type product, meant to be used around the eyes or wherever else you’d like to highlight. I like that it’s in pencil form – it’s easy to apply wherever you want – and it’s nice and creamy, but I don’t think it’s revolutionary, nor worth it’s $18 price tag. There are lots of great highlighters out there – and if you want to use this in your water line or around your tear duct, Rimmel makes a great nude pencil.

I also got Acure Day Cream, but I gave it to my friend as it’s for dry skin, which I don’t have. Not sure where she squirreled it away either so no picture, but click on the link if you’re interested – it’s supposed to firm your skin, fight off free radicals, and stimulate new cell growth.

Now on to the drugstore portion of the program:

Bodycology Moisturizing Body Cream in Runaway HeartI just noticed this scent at Target last night. It is a blend of raspberries, lemon sorbet, and musk, and it smells delicious without being overly sweet. I really like these lotions – they feel very nice, don’t make you greasy, and they’re cheap!

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Hard Candy Top Ten Trendsetters Eyeshadow Collection in AphrodisiacHard Candy is found exclusively at Walmart. I’ve never tried any of their products, but had heard good things about some items and thought I’d pick up a couple things. This palette is really not bad, especially not for $6 only. You get, from left to right, a matte royal blue, matte purple, shimmery black, shimmery white, shimmery gold, shimmery yellow, matte orange, matte ivory, matte green, and a matte teal. I love that most of the shades are matte – you never really find that in drugstore palettes. As you can see in the swatch, some of the shades are so-so, although I’ve found a primer or base really helps out.

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This swatch is over Sephora’s Velvet Eyeshadow pot in No.03. You can see the yellow and orange in particular stand out more.

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Hard Candy Poppin Pigments in Lock and KeyThis product was a fail. Can you even see it in that swatch? I was hoping it would be a cheaper version of MAC’s pigments or something like that, but it is basically just glitter in a tube. The website says it provides dense color but … yeah not so much. It also doesn’t really stick to anything you want it to stick to – that swatch is on top of Vaseline and it still barely stuck to that. Also, the packaging is not very intuitive – it has a little shaker top but hardly any product comes out when you shake it. It would be easier if it was just an open pot you could dip a brush into. This is definitely a pass!

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Flower Kiss Stick High Shine Lip Color in Ginger LilyI love this! Flower is Drew Barrymore’s brand of cosmetics, again found exclusively at Walmart, and it is a lovely brand. This lippie is a pretty kind of dark apricot color, which is really flattering, and the formula is really comfortable to wear. It also delivers on the high shine promise! I’m not sure if it was on sale or there was a glitch in their system when I bought it; it’s supposed to be $6.98 but I only paid $1 for it!

NYC Smooth Skin BB Crème in MediumThey also have a matte version, which Target was out of. However, I haven’t had a problem so far with this one breaking down on my skin. The medium is actually a good match for my skin, and I think it does even out my skin tone fairly well, though I do have to use a separate concealer and under eye concealer – so I would put this in the light-to-medium coverage.

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(before NYC BB Crème)

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(after NYC BB Crème, before concealer)

I’ve been enjoying this way more than I thought I would, considering it’s under $5! Like I said, it doesn’t seem to break down on my skin in any weird way, it moisturizes without feeling heavy, and it’s just light and lovely for these coming months when it is (finally) getting warmer out. My only complaint – it only comes in Light and Medium, which doesn’t offer a lot of range for girls with different complexions.

Finally, from Sephora!

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Ultra-Hydrating Body Butter in Sweet CitrusI got the smaller size in the Checkout of Doom where are the sort of deluxe samples are. This stuff smells amazing – like an orange or peach topped with sugar – and feels light, even though it’s super moisturizing. I just tried it on my hands so far but I really like it.

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Formula X Chromes Nail Polish in Need for SpeedI have been searching for a good opaque silver that wasn’t overloaded with glitter, and for some reason I’d been having no luck at the drugstore. This is exactly what I’d pictured in my mind – you probably only need one coat of the stuff, and it’s super shiny.

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I had some Beauty Insider points saved up, so I got a couple deluxe samples also. This is the Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Blacquer and it is totally amazing. Extremely smooth, extremely black, and long wearing. My only complaint is it doesn’t have a fine tip, so it’s hard to get a good cat eye with it. Otherwise, this is a seriously good eyeliner.

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Buxom Full Bodied Lipstick in DollyFinally, I got a sample of Buxom’s plumping lipstick. This is a darker mauve, raisin-y color – it’s actually very similar to the NYX one above.

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As you can see in the side by side comparison, the Buxom one is maybe a little more brown, a little less purple. It’s a fine color, though maybe a little dark for my skin tone. Also, I didn’t really notice any plumping effect – not that I need it!

I also snagged some samples of Marc Jacobs’ Daisy, Daisy Eau So Fresh, and Daisy Dream perfumes, plus an anti-acne treatment from Murad.

Finally today, I put together a look for you guys that combines a lot of these new products:

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NYC BB Crème in Medium / Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 120 / Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach under eyes / Milani Brow Pencil in Natural Taupe / Maybelline Brow Drama in Soft Brown / Jordana Eyeshadow Pencil in White / BH Cosmetics Neutrals Palette / Hard Candy Eye Shadow Collection in Aphrodisiac – I used the shimmery black in the crease, the matte royal blue, matte green, and matte teal on the eyes, and the shimmery gold in the tear duct area / Chella Highlighting Pencil in Ivory Lace blended in tear duct and on cupid’s bow / BH Cosmetics Professional Blush Palette / Buxom Lipstick in Dolly (Later I noticed that I never put on mascara! Boy that eyeliner is good if I don’t even notice that)

Hope you enjoyed this! Happy shopping!

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Makeup Monday – February Favorites

I know it’s a little farther into March for such a thing, but I still have favorites videos popping up in my YouTube feed so at least I’m not the only slacker. These aren’t things I’ve just used this past February, but they are products and items I’ve enjoyed immensely over the past month!

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Bee All Natural Organic Lip BalmI got this item in an Ipsy bag. Like Burt’s Bees, these are made with beeswax, but somehow I love this formula more. It moisturizes without feeling heavy or slick on my lips, and it isn’t shiny at all, which makes it an excellent prep for lipstick. I use it every single morning – I put it on after I brush my teeth and let it sink in while I do the rest of my makeup, and it makes my lips soft and ready for any lip look. The scent I have is grapefruit, which smells fresh without smelling fake or chemical. They also have unscented, peppermint, cinnamon, and chocolate.

Maybelline Brow DramaI feel like this product has upped my brow game. Before, I would use my Milani Easy Brow pencil to fill in my brows, and then I would use a random dark brown pencil to add a little depth. This worked fine (and honestly, using a darker pencil or other product is a good trick), but this product just makes my brows look fuller and sharper. I still use the Milani pencil first, then I go over my brows with the Brow Drama in Soft Brown, which is slightly darker than my natural color. The gel formula also sets my brows in place so they stay looking nice all day! It also comes in Blonde and Deep Brown. It would be nice to see them come out with a couple other colors – an auburn would be nice, and a more taupe shade that’s in between blonde and soft brown.

Maybelline Fit Me! Matte and Poreless FoundationThis foundation is really, really great. The whole Fit Me! line is well formulated and has a nice range of colors. I have it in 130 Buff Beige, and it’s a really nice color for me – even with my pale winter skin. It evens out my complexion, and it does make my skin nice and matte without making it look like dull plastic – I don’t even have to use a powder right now. That might change in the summertime when it’s warmer out, but for right now as it wears my skin just looks like skin, rather than looking patchy or powdery or oily.

BH Cosmetics Professional Blush PaletteI’ve talked about this before, so I won’t go on about it – suffice to say I have been using this palette for blush and bronzer exclusively since I received it. I honestly haven’t even looked at my drawer of blushes and bronzers at all in the last month; the only time I even open it is to get a highlighter. The brown you see in the bottom left hand corner of the picture is a nice contour shade; I love the bright pink right below it as well. But honestly I’ve found a reason and a makeup look to use every single color in the palette at one point or another.

Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes – Pink GrapefruitThese towelettes contain citrus oil, which is a natural astringent and therefore good for oily skin. I like these because the towelette is nice and thick and soft, and the formula doesn’t sting my eyes or rub my skin raw. It gets all my makeup off and doesn’t make my skin feel sticky or greasy either. It does a pretty good job with my eye makeup too, even though I still use my eye makeup remover just to make sure all my mascara comes off. I like the scent, too, very fresh and fruity.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight PerfectorThis is still the sample I got last week! I’d say there’s still about half left – you don’t need to use very much of it at a time so it’s lasting me a while. I really like this product – I put it on at night either on damp hair after a shower or on dry hair, and it makes my hair shiny and bouncy, despite the fact that I desperately need a haircut. It will also help protect your color if you dye your hair. The product is super lightweight – my hair is extremely fine so that’s important – and isn’t greasy or oily at all, so it doesn’t transfer to your pillow or sheets.

Coach Poppy Eau de ParfumI got this in a little set with a roller ball and a hand lotion when it was on clearance after Christmas. I tend to alternate between different perfumes but lately I keep reaching for this one. It’s a little bit fruity, a little floral, but has deeper notes of sandalwood, cedar wood, and vanilla to balance that out. I think it smells really good on me, and I seem to get more compliments when I wear it than any other perfume.

Target Women’s Statement Necklace in Mint/SilverThis necklace kept catching my eye every time I walked past the jewelry display, then the display changed and I didn’t see it again. Later on my friend and I were at a different Target looking for accessories for a dinner out that night, and I spotted it in their jewelry department and snatched it up! It has such a lovely vintage feel, the rhinestone centers of the flowers make it sparkly, and even on my small frame I love these chunky statement necklaces. It’s particularly nice with a lower cut top or strapless.

Cadbury Mini Eggs: In retail parlance, when Valentine’s is over, Easter begins, and when Easter begins – Cadbury Mini Eggs appear. I love this candy above all other candies you could possibly throw at me; Easter is my favorite candy holiday just for these. I buy loads of them every year, and I buy them early because I’m not the only one who loves them. The candy shell is nice and crispy, doesn’t taste fake, and the chocolate inside is divine. So if you want to bribe me now you know what to get me! That or Tagalongs Girl Scout cookies, which coincidentally come out around the same time.

Those are my favorites! What products have you been loving this month?

Makeup Monday – Ipsy/Sephora Mini Haul

So that was a bit of an extended break yes? It all really boils down to me managing my time better, especially the weekends that I have to work. I’ll work on it! But, that means this Ipsy haul will be more of a review than a first impression, since I’ve had some time to play around with the products.

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Five products, as usual, three of them full size! I’ll start with my least favorite and work up to my new (spendy) holy grail product.

City Color Creamy Lip Stain – Flirtini: I hated this product. That swatch up there makes it way prettier than it has any right to be. It is a nice creamy pink color, but other than that, this is the first Ipsy item I’ve gotten that’s gone in the trash. When you first put it on, it feels greasy and patchy and slides all over the lips, it dried out my lips horribly as the night went on, and worse yet – it doesn’t stain! As soon as I ate dinner the color was gone. I also wasn’t a fan of their matte lipstick – I got that in an earlier Ipsy bag. So, so far I would say stay away from this brand, although their products are cheap.

Model Co. Blush Cheek Powder – Cosmopolitan: Wow this blush is $22. It is a nice formula, very smooth and blends nicely, but the color is just too light/cool toned for my skin. If I apply it lightly, you can’t see it at all; if I build it up more I look like a clown. Not a good look! I would have liked to receive the other color, which is a warmer peach, but honestly I have no need for it since I have the BH Cosmetics palette.

Eva NYC Up All Night Volumizing Spray: This product works as intended – spray it on your roots, then blow dry or style as needed – but I didn’t notice it really doing anything for my hair that most drugstore products can’t do. Not a bad product by any means, just didn’t knock my socks off.

Emité Makeup Professional Eyelash Curler: A $25 eyelash curler? Holy high end products this month. I wish I had more use for eyelash curlers! This is a very nice tool, works great, and is beautifully constructed. I have fairly longish lashes, and they already kind of curl up naturally – I’ve never found the need to curl my lashes and the couple times I’ve tried with this product, I didn’t think it added anything to my lash look. However, I do like to use it when I wear false lashes, to gently crimp together the falsies and my natural lashes.

Mitchell and Peach Fine Radiance Face Oil: Oh em GEE. I cannot tell you how much I love this product. It’s been a skin game changer. I was a little skeptical at first – I have combination skin, but the oily bits get VERY oily – but this product moisturizes without making my face oily, smells amazing, and my skin still feels nice in the morning. It hasn’t broken me out in any way; in fact I feel like it’s actually improved any breakout areas, and my skin feels more plump and glowy. It is not cheap, however. It’s a UK product – they do ship worldwide, however, except for their perfumes – and the full size goes for £30 for 20ml, which equals out to around $47. I have never spent that much on a face product ever, but I’m thinking I may have to bite the bullet on this one; this stuff is honestly amazing.

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I popped into Sephora yesterday and picked up a couple little things.

Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick Duo – Fig and Date: I have a previous color combo in Palomino and Violet, and I love the formula and the color payoff. Right now they have this duo plus another one in Tangerine (orange) and Lingonberry (bright pink) – I had to really stop myself from buying that one too, because I already have so many pink colors! This is a neutral duo; the Date side (the bottom swatch) is a more brown neutral, and the Fig (top swatch) is more rosy. Date reads a little dead-girl-lips on me, although it would be nice paired with a darker lip liner, or over the top of a more intense lip color. Fig, however, is pretty much my perfect my-lips-but-better color! Plus these are very moisturizing and comfortable to wear.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara – Black: Still on a quest to find my holy grail mascara. This … might be it. Or very close. One coat of this stuff added serious volume and color to my lashes; two coats was even better. I love volumizing formulas best – like I said my lashes are already kind of long, and I love the look of full, dense lashes!

Plus I got a couple of samples – which let’s be honest, why else shop at Sephora? – a moisturizer, and an “overnight perfecter” from Living Proof. I really like Living Proof’s hair products – I use their anti-frizz serum all the time – so I’m excited to try that out.

And that’s it! What new products have you discovered this month?

Makeup Monday – Eye looks

My Ipsy bag for this month hasn’t come yet (*sob*) so that mini haul will have to be next week! In the meantime I did two kind of exciting eye looks this weekend, one for Valentine’s Day and the other for a contest L’Oréal put on.

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I was really happy with my look for Valentines! I did a bright purple-y pink on both eyes and lips. For face, I’ve been using Maybelline’s Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation – my shade is 130 Buff Beige – and loving it. I feel like it covers and perfects my skin without making it look like a mask. Blush and bronzer are from my BH Cosmetics blush palette – I used the matte bronzer in the upper left hand corner and coral color on the top row, second from right.

For the lips, I used Bite Beauty’s Luminous Crème Lipstick Duo in Violet and Palomino – which apparently isn’t available anymore on Sephora? That is a shame because those colors are beautiful. I lined my lips with the Violet, and filled in the outer corners. Then I applied Palomino – which is a bright fuchsia-ish pink – all over, and topped with NYX Butter Gloss in Cupcake.

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For the eyes, I applied a warm brown shade above my crease as a transition shade, then from my BH Cosmetics Eyes on the 70’s palette, I applied the black with this brush just in the crease and outer eyelid, creating a v shape. I then blended it out with the dark pink color in that palette, using the blending brush. I liked this technique because the dark color didn’t get obliterated by over blending, so the definition was still there, plus it turned almost purple where it mixed with the pink. Then I applied L’Oréal’s Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush all over the lid. This color is so, so good. It’s a metallic rose gold color, and I swear it goes with any other color you could possibly put on your eye and makes it look luxe and pretty. Then I lined the upper lash with NYC High Definition Liquid Eyeliner  – I don’t like this as much as NYC’s other eyeliner; it has a felt tip and doesn’t seem to go on as rich and black, but it’s quick and easy to apply. Then L’Oréal’s Voluminous Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara on the lashes. I’m trying to find a mascara I love as much as Tarte‘s mascaras, but that I can find at the drugstore and doesn’t cost $20 a tube! I don’t think this one is it yet, but it’s not bad.

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For the contest – the theme was Color Clash. I already had the green eyeshadow, gold eyeliner, and red lipstick – all L’Oréal – and then picked up the purple eyeliner and pinky red lip gloss on clearance at Target. All those colors together reminded me of the Joker, so I did this look with the green in the crease, gold all over the lid, purple smudgy liner and bright red lips. Would you like to see the video? It could only be 3 minutes maximum – you have no idea how hard that was – and my lighting sucks but you get the idea:

I’ve never ever uploaded a vid onto YouTube before, and so forgot to change the title like an idiot, but there you go!

Neutrals definitely have their place, but I love bright looks like this. Hope you enjoyed this, and I hope it inspires you to bring a little color into your routine!

Makeup Monday – Five under $5

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Have you ever walked by the displays of the cheaper drugstore makeup – Wet N Wild, NYC, e.l.f., etc. – and thought, “nope, those are going to be extremely poor quality”? I would ask you to double back and take a closer look. Is every single item a gem? No. But there are some products that are definitely worth your time and what little money they cost! Here are five great products that cost under $5.

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Wet N Wild Color Icon Palette – Comfort Zone: If you don’t follow any beauty blogs or YouTube channels, you may not know about this product. If you do, I’m probably beating a dead horse but, this is one of the best eyeshadow palettes out there and it only costs $4.99! The formula is creamy and extremely pigmented, I don’t experience a ton of fallout, and they have great staying power. On the left side of the palette is a sort of neutral color scheme, with a buttery gold highlight, pink and brown mid shades, and a dark brown shade (they are the leftmost 2 swatches and the 3rd set of swatches from left to right – I swatched them a little out of order, sorry!). On the right side you get a green color scheme, with a taupe-y gold highlight, light green and forest green mid shades, and a great reddish-brown shade with a green pearl reflect – this shade is a great cheap dupe for MAC’s Club eyeshadow. This palette can help you make anywhere from a subtle eye to a dramatic smoky eye, and is a great value.

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Wet N Wild Color Icon Palette – Silent Treatment: All of Wet N Wild’s Color Icon eyeshadows are amazing. Their only drawback is they don’t have an amazing range of colors – they sometimes come out with limited editions, but their permanent range only has a handful of options. This is one of their 3 color palettes, and one of the best in my opinion. You get a pink-y highlight, a taupe mid shade, and a dark brown crease shade. Again, you can either go subtle – and if you want a subtle look and you’re using that dark brown shade, be VERY light handed with it, it is shockingly pigmented – or dramatic. For $2.99 this is a very versatile little palette!

e.l.f. Essential Jumbo Eyeshadow Stick – Rock Out: I also have this stick in Like a Boss (navy blue) and Midnight Rendezvous (black with silver sparkle). This one is a brownish-silvery-grey, and it makes the best subtle grey smokey eye! e.l.f. has some amazing diamonds in the rough – their most expensive items are only $6, so they are definitely worth a try! This item is only $2, it is creamy but not greasy, very pigmented, and stays put. You can either put this all over your lid as a base, use it on it’s own, or use an angled eyeliner brush to line your eyes.

NYC Liquid Eyeliner: This is, hands down, one of the best liquid black eyeliners on the market, and it’s only $2.99. I’ve been using this a lot since my Jesse’s Girl bit the dust; the Coastal Scents version I got from Ipsy is okay, but the brush is a little harder to control. This has a nice fine tip brush, which allows for great control. The formula is rich and black and stays put without sliding around, although it doesn’t set SO quick that you can’t correct any mistakes. If you’re in the market for a new eyeliner, give this one a try!

e.l.f. Studio Translucent Matifying Powder: This is just a great matte powder. I use it to set my concealer mostly, but on more humid days I use it to set my t-zone also. It creates a nice matte finish without adding a lot of heft or color onto your face, ruining what’s underneath. It’s only $3, so if you need a new powder in your life check this one out.

It’s easy to turn your nose up at cheap makeup, but the fact is, there are some very good products at every price point, not just high end. Take a chance and try some new products from your local drugstore! Be sure to check your store’s refund policies; some may not accept opened or used makeup. In the end, it’s all about experimenting and having fun – and if it looks good, who cares if it’s Wet N Wild or MAC?

Makeup Monday – BH Cosmetics Haul!

My parents gave me, among other things, a $50 Visa gift card for Christmas. I tucked it away in my purse, mulling over all the possibilities on what I could spend it on. Just so you know, I am NOT one of those people that sits on a gift card for weeks or months or – heavens – years. I do not even understand those people. I hear people say “Oh I’ve had that gift card for six months” and I stare at them like they have six heads and three of them are alien. It’s free money, people! Free Starbucks. Free Target. Free Sephora. Free whatever store or if it’s a Visa or what have you, free whatever you want, that you did not have in the seconds before someone handed you that card. What in the world are you waiting for?

However, I am now in, *ahem*, my thirties, and I thought maybe I should be grown up about this just once in my life. And then I got my daily email from HauteLook that told me BH Cosmetics were being offered that day. Just like that, two days after Christmas, that gift card was spent.

HauteLook is one of many sites that offer certain brands at a discount for a limited amount of time, and there are new deals every day. Ideel is another one, Gilt Groupe is another. This site is nice because it doesn’t just have clothes, but beauty, home and men’s items also. BH Cosmetics was one of those brands I’ve seen on YouTube and had my eye on, and their offerings on HauteLook looked too good to pass up!

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12 Piece Wild Brush Set

I have collected brushes from here and there, but the idea of having a proper set was very appealing. These are synthetic hair brushes, with sturdy ferrules and nice handles. I saw some reviews complaining that they were on the small size – I don’t feel like that’s a huge problem for me, but as I’ve said before I have child sized hands. Also, they come in a very cool little case that allows you to take them on trips without them getting bent out of shape, and doubles as a storage cup (or two) when you’re at home.

In this set, from top to bottom, you get:

  • XL Powder Brush. This is a very nice size for powder or foundation, and blends the product nicely into the skin. The synthetic hairs feel a little soft – on this and other brushes, I wish the hairs were a littler firmer and sturdier to really buff the product in, but it works nicely.
  • Tapered Contour and Powder Brush. The bristles on this are cut in such a way that they almost come to a point. This allows you to apply contour shades just where you want them, and then you can use the whole surface of the brush to blend the product. I still like my angled blush brush for this, but it still works nicely!
  • Blush Brush. Kind of a standard blush brush, nothing too special. I actually like the next brush better, for applying blush.
  • Highlighting Brush. The bristles on this one are shorter and denser than the blush brush – I think it does a better job of applying blush, and I’ll keep my e.l.f. small stipple brush to apply highlighter.
  • Tapered Blending Brush. This is actually a very nice blending brush. It’s nice and fluffy and blends eyeshadow like a dream. Use it to apply a transition shade above your crease, or to blend colors on your eyelids.
  • Medium Shader Brush. The bristles are flat and dense, and the surface area is wider than similar brushes. It allows you to pack on eyeshadow color to a large area.
  • Small Shader Brush. Same as above, just not as big. This allows you to put color in a concentrated area, such as the outer third of your eyelid, just before your crease.
  • Bullet Smudger Brush. I would actually call this a small crease brush. It would work for smudging also, sure, but what this brush is AMAZING for is applying a concentrated amount of a darker color in your crease, to deepen the color there and the contrast with your lid. For instance, the other day I did a sort of blue-green smoky eye, placing a medium-dark blue shade in the crease with a crease brush, then I used this brush to apply a thin line of a dark navy blue over the top of the crease work I already did, then used the blending brush to smooth it out. The gradient of hues made it look professional and polished. I didn’t realize I needed this brush all my life until I used it!
  • Tapered Liner Brush. Liner brush? I would never use this as a liner brush unless I wanted to look like a raccoon! It’s basically like a tiny crease brush – the ferrule is round instead of pinched, so the bristles are in that sort of bullet shape, and it’s I’d say half the size of the smudger brush. What I do like to use it for is to apply a highlighting eyeshadow shade to the innermost corner of the eye around the tear duct.
  • Angled Brow and Liner Brush. Typical angled liner brush. Great for applying cream liner or brow powder/wax.
  • Lip Brush. I had been using a tiny travel concealer brush for this, so I’m excited to try a proper lip brush out. I haven’t used it yet, but it’s a nice size for the purpose. The reason I had used the concealer brush before is, I have rather large lips – doll lips, a classmate once called them – and typical lip brushes just seemed so tiny. I felt like it took forever to get the product on my lips! This one isn’t huge, but it doesn’t seem like a glorified eye liner brush either.
  • Spoolie Brush. I don’t know that I’ll use this really, as I use this brow pencil from Milani, which has a spoolie on one end. But I have one if I need it!

Overall, I like these brushes. My only complaint is, the synthetic bristles sometimes seem too soft and slippery, like the product just slips off or buffs away to nothing. I won’t get rid of all of my old brushes – but these make a very nice addition to the ones I will keep, and I love the travel case it comes with!

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Professional Blush 10 Color Blush Palette

This is such a nice product. You get ten large blushes – each one is about 1 1/2″ in diameter – and a range of mattes, shimmers, warm and cool tones. On the left side of the picture, from top down, you get a matte hot pink, matte mauve, shimmery coral, matte dark pink, and a matte terra cotta. On the right side, you get a matte bronze, a matte cream, a shimmery mid tone pink, a matte bright coral, and a shimmery bronze. Each one is highly pigmented, and you can mix and match colors to really get a unique shade. I love that it’s not overloaded with shimmers – it’s so hard to find blushes that are matte, especially in the drugstore, and no one wants to walk around looking like a disco ball (unless they’re at a 70’s party, I suppose). The bronze shade at top right makes a nice subtle contour, the cream shade can highlight, and so far the hot pink and the matte bright coral are my favorite shades! I have a very neutral undertone to my skin – warm and cool tones both look good on me – so I’m looking forward to trying all of the shades in here!

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Neutral Eyes 28 Color Eyeshadow Palette

I didn’t bother swatching all of these – I figured 28 neutral colors wouldn’t translate all that well – but rest assured these shades are as beautiful on as they look here. Everything you need is here, from shimmery whites to matte creams and browns, to shimmery browns and plums and a matte black. This palette is about half and half – 15 shimmery shades and 13 mattes. They can either provide a neutral anchor to bright eye looks, or you can create a beautiful natural look just using this palette. I only really had one matte brown eyeshadow before this – it was a definite need product for me!

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Eyes on the ’70’s Eyeshadow Palette

So many colors! The swatch is not the best – maybe I’ll reshoot that later, so you can really tell how they come out – but I’m telling you, this palette is gorgeous! There are 30 shades in here. From left to right, top to bottom: silver with silver glitter, aqua with silver glitter, black with purple glitter, purple with silver glitter, gold with gold glitter, matte black, matte aqua, shimmery light green, shimmery lilac, shimmery periwinkle blue, shimmery dark purple, matte royal purple, shimmery dark blue, matte green, shimmery yellow green, matte navy, matte forest green, shimmery sage green, shimmery gold, shimmery frosty pink, a darker shimmery pink, shimmery burnt sienna, shimmery light coral, shimmery white, shimmery plum, matte magenta, shimmery peach, matte brown, shimmery brown, and finally shimmery copper. There’s a heavy emphasis on blues and greens and purples, with some warmer orangey shades at the bottom. Again there’s a nice mix of shimmer and matte shades, plus the high glitter shades for extra drama! I love playing around with so many colors. Also, if you had to, you could just use this palette to create a look, since it includes some matte neutral shades.

Altogether I am super impressed with these sets. They’re well made, pigmented, and you get a lot of product. Take a look at their website – they have tons of palettes and other products I wasn’t able to get! Go forth and have a colorful week!

Makeup Monday – My Five Favorite Reds

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I love a good red lip. So much that I can barely close that drawer in my makeup collection! It works with dramatic smoky eyes, it works with minimal eyes, it works when you don’t have time to do anything else with your face but you want to look like you haven’t just crawled out of your own grave.

So here, working left to right on my hand, are my five favorite red lippies:

Matte: e.l.f. Matte Lip Color in Rich Red – This is a beautiful classic blue red. It’s highly pigmented, and super comfortable for a matte lip color. It’s not very long wearing – you definitely have to touch it up after eating, say – but it also doesn’t disappear right away.

Orange red: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Love That Red – One of my first red lipsticks. In the world of classic reds, there are those that fall on the orange side of the spectrum, and those that fall on the blue side of the spectrum. This is more on the warm orange side. Technically speaking, these type of reds look best on those with warmer, darker skin tones, but the fact is even very fair skinned people can pull off an orange red – it will just pop more against the skin, so balance it out with a darker eye. This lipstick has a rich creamy formula, gives off a little shine, and wears beautifully.

Blue red: Wet n Wild Silk Finish Lipstick in Cinnamon – These lipsticks are an absolute steal at 99 cents. Yes you read that right! While there are definitely some hits and misses in this line – and similar cheap lines like NYC and e.l.f. – these lippies are a hit. This is a beautiful blue red, which looks great on fair skin tones (although again, it will look great on darker skin tones – it will just contrast more so pair it with a rich eye!), and blue reds have the added benefit of making your teeth look whiter! The formula is creamy, the finish is beautiful, and it’s comfortable on the lips.

Dark red: Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Lipstick in Divine Wine – This is a great example of the oxblood trend that was big this last fall. This is a dark, dark blood red, and the matte finish makes it look lush and luxurious. You can either apply it straight from the tube for a bold look, or with your finger or a lip brush for a more subtle look. This is fairly comfortable for a matte lip, but you may want to layer it over a lip balm for added comfort.

Gloss: Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer in Big Bang – Also known as Apocalips in the UK, these lip glosses pack a HUGE color punch. One coat of this rich true red is all you need for incredibly shiny red lips! The applicator is unique also – it’s almost a bit like a ladle, with a divot in the doe foot that holds product, which can make application tricky. I find the best way is to wipe off any excess product on the applicator, leaving the product that’s in the divot, and using that to apply it to my lips. Then I use the part of the applicator I’ve wiped off to clean up the edges. As far as wear – this will transfer onto absolutely everything, so be cautious of that, and it may also help to use a lip liner with this product, as it has a tendency to travel outside your lip line otherwise – I like this one from Jordana in Sedona Red.

Also I’ve changed the theme on the blog – do you like it? Something just seemed off about the old theme, so I played around with different ideas and settled on this one. Let me know what you think!