Sunday, March 31, 2013

March Collective Haul Part 2 & First Impressions

*All of these products were purchased by me, other than the samples (which you can always receive for free from MAC)*
The goods!
Hello everyone! This concludes my product haulage for the month of March. I'm really excited about these items, so let's move forward.

From Nordstrom's:
MAC Powder Blush in Style (Frost)
MAC Powder Blush in Style (Frost)
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: $21
  • Why I purchased: I was browsing the MAC counter looking at the blushes, and one of the SAs tried this on me. I've been wanting a true peach blush, not a pinky peach one. This one is more of a coral peach, with gold shimmer. Now I'm not usually a fan of shimmer in blushes; in fact I usually only wear matte blushes and add my own shimmer with a highlighter, BUT I fell in love with it when the SA tried it on me. It just looks so darn summery and glowy that I just can't helping loving it! 
  • Description: Peachy coral with gold shimmer.
  • Such an amazing blush, especially being my first ever MAC blush!
Samples of MAC Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation in NC 20 and NW 20
The samples
The full size bottle from the MAC counter
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: Free samples from the MAC counter, the full size is $33
  • Why I sampled: This is MAC's brand new foundation, which just came out! The SA was really sweet, and told me that's it's an awesome foundation, especially for dry skin. I don't have dry skin, but I've heard it works wonderful on most people, so I'm happy to try it anyway! I was given two shades, simply because I haven't quite figured out if I'm NW or NC 20 (though I feel like I always get matched up darker than I actually am and could probably go for a NC/NW 15. I'm a neutral tone generally, who leans toward more yellow based foundations, since ones that are too pink look kinda strange on me.)
  • Description: An optical-blurring satin finish foundation
  • I haven't tried a MAC foundation before. I'm kinda nervous to try one simply because my skin doesn't usually like liquid/cream foundations. We'll see how it goes.
From Target:
ELF Studio Blush Brush
My new ELF Studio Blush Brush compared to my old one
ELF Studio Blush Brush 
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: $3
  • Why I purchased: This is actually a repurchase since I LOVE the ELF Studio Blush Brush, and I use it constantly. I wanted another one just to trade off between washing, or specifically, to use with more shimmery blushes.
  • Description: A blush brush from ELF's studio line.
  • This one is strangely smaller than my old one. It still works well, but the shape is different. I'm going to wash it to see if it'll be more like my old one. Either way, I'm still pleased.
ELF Studio Contour Brush
My new ELF Studio Contour Brush compared to my old one
ELF Studio Contour Brush 
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: $3
  • Why I purchased: This is also a repurchase, since I LOVE my old one. This crease brush is the absolute perfect shape for applying color to the crease. It's small enough, and applies color wonderfully. For some reason it can be hard to find a smaller crease brush with this exact shape. 
  • Description: A crease brush from ELF's studio line.
  • The only bad thing about the ELF studio brushes is that the brush ferrule becomes loose over time. My old contour brush is starting to get loose. It's nothing a bit of glue can't handle, so it's no big deal. Plus these brushes are super cheap and do not shed on me whatsoever.
ELF Zit Zapper
ELF Zit Zapper
ELF Zit Zapper
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: $1
  • Why I purchased: This is another repurchase for the third time! This stuff is only a dollar, and it actually works for me. It's no miracle potion, but every time I use it at night (I apply it to all my problem areas) my blemishes look better in the morning. My blemishes start drying out or slightly shrink in size; my blemishes don't always shrink in size every time I use this product, BUT I definitely notice an overall improvement on smaller blemishes. And for one freaking dollar, that is more than awesome. The combination of salicylic acid, tea tree, and witch hazel is a really effective combination on my skin. Plus, this combination of ingredients is in a lot of anti-acne medication, so why not just pay a dollar?
  • Description: A spot treatment for blemishes.
  • The roller ball application isn't the most hygienic packaging in the world, but I only use this on clean skin, so I'm not particularly stressing. Plus I use this product within 2-3 months, so it's not just sitting there building up bacteria for a long time. Also, tea tree is very anti-bacterial, so I'm not even sure the product could grow much bacteria. Are you sold yet? (One dolla, make you holla....jk lol)
ELF Jumbo Lipgloss Stick in Pink Umbrella
ELF Jumbo Lipgloss Stick in Pink Umbrella
ELF Jumbo Lipgloss Stick in Pink Umbrella
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: $2
  • Why I purchased: I really love jumbo lip pencils, so I thought I'd compare it to the lip pencils I already own. Plus, it's only $2! I saw the color Pink Umbrella on a few blogs, and thought it was such a pretty, wearable color!
  • Description: A medium pink with a cream finish
  • ELF can be hit or miss sometimes, but when it's a hit, it is AMAZING! Good job ELF. Way to be cheap and cruelty free!
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters in Wild Watermelon, Sorbet, Juicy Papaya, and Pink Lemonade
The new Revlon lip butters!
Wild Watermelon
Juicy Papaya
Pink Lemonade
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: $6.49 each
  • Not to be a typical raving beauty lunatic, but the Revlon lip butters are basically my favorite lip products of all time. They are moisturizing, wearable, fairly pigmented, come in gorgeous shades, are a decent price, and have cute packaging. What's not to like? I usually buy these at a discount, but I'd been dying to try the new spring shades, which are in fact PERMANENT! Yipee! I found these in the permanent section of my local brand new Target (which is probably why they weren't gone yet).
  • Description: 
    • Wild Watermelon: A warm pink red. The original shade, Candy Apple (which I own) is redder, more pigmented, and warmer in tone. Cherry Tart (which I don't own) is more pigmented, as well as being a cooler toned shade of red; it also has a bit of shimmer if I remember correctly.
    • Sorbet: A neutral yellow based pink. It is quite similar to Sweet Tart (which I own) from the original lip butters, but Sweet Tart is pinker.
    • Juicy Papaya: A pinky peach. This one might be my favorite. It is most similar to Tutti Fruitti (which I don't own), but Tutti Fruitti is way more orange and more pigmented.
    • Pink Lemonade: A warm soft pink. This one is the most sheer. It is most similar to Strawberry Shortcake, but Strawberry Shortcake is more pigmented, more cool-toned, and much pinker.
  • These are a bit more sheer than many of the original lip butters, but I don't mind since they are so wearable. They all add a pop of color that's not too crazy.
I love all my goodies, and am so thankful to have purchased these products. I know I've been hauling a lot, and I hope you all know that I don't mean to brag or show off whatsoever. I just simply want to give you shopping ideas and let you know what products are great. I don't spend a lot of money in general, except on beauty products, so I allow myself some purchases every now and again. I hope you are all having a great day!

Disclosure: These products were purchased by me for review purposes. I was not paid or compensated in any way. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Balm 50% off Sale on April 1st!!

*I have nothing to disclose for this post*
Image from The Balm.
Hello everyone! Head to The Balm's New Website, for 50% off on April 1st! No April Fools here (at least I don't think so! lol. I guess The Balm decided to redesign their website, and is rewarding its customers in the process. Sounds good to me! There's a rumor that some of their brand new products will be there, which is what I'm hoping for (brand new haircare and long-wearing blushes!). I highly recommend picking up Mary Lou-Manizer Highlighter, Down Boy Blush, Frat Boy Blush, and the Nude Tude Palette. And please let me know if you end up getting anything! I love hearing about what people are loving!  Happy shopping! :)

Friday, March 29, 2013

March 2013 Ipsy Bag

*This subscription bag was purchased by me.*

I'm a little late on this one, but here's the March 2013 Ipsy Bag! For a comprehensive overview of what Ipsy is, visit Ipsy's website or one of my previous posts (February Ipsy BagJanuary Ipsy Bag, or December Ipsy Bag).
March 2013 Ipsy Bag
I had high expectations for this bag, especially since I knew a magnetic palette was included! While I enjoyed the bag overall, the contents were more minimal than I expected. 
Card, front.
Card, back.
The theme of March's bag is "The Great Escape." While the theme is very cute, I feel as if the vacation theme is a bit more suited for summer. I suppose they had spring break in mind, but I just thought that this seemed like a bag more appropriate for June or July. The card is absolutely adorable, and I love the travel concept behind March's bag.
The bag 
The inside of the bag
I really love how Ipsy listens to its consumers, and has finally delivered an adorable printed bag! This one is so cute with dark blue and white "sailor" stripes and an anchor print. The inside is white with the Ipsy logo stitched in. The bag is well made, but it definitely is a different texture than prior bags. It reminds me of a rain coat!
Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist
  • Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist- Deluxe Sample
    • Size: 1oz or 30ml
    • Full Size: 6.75oz, $22
    • Value of Sample: $3.26 (After calculating from full-size product. The sample might be available in a gift set, but it's not sold individually). 
    • This is a toner that can either be sprayed directly on the face or put on with a cotton pad. I currently use a toner everyday, so I'm happy to try another one that is alcohol free! The ingredients include rosehip, ylang yang, grapeseed oil, and white grape juice. Juice Beauty uses great ingredients free of parabens and sulfates, just to name a few. This reminds me of the toners at Lush, which I've been wanting to try. The smell might be strong for some, but I personally enjoy the rose blend. This can be sprayed under and over makeup, so when the weather gets warms, I'm planning on putting it in the fridge for a refreshing pick me up!
    • Repurchase? Probably not, even though it's a great product. Though I'm happy to try this product out, I'm happy with the toner I'm currently using.
    • Pleased w/ Ipsy? Yes. I like trying toners out since they don't change your core skincare routine too drastically. Plus this is great deluxe sample size! Everyone received this product in their Ipsy bag.
La Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes
  • La Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes (8 wipes)- Full Size
    • Size: Full size (8 wipes), $1.99
    • I love makeup remover wipes with the Neutrogena ones being my wipe of choice. I haven't tried many other wipes, but when I have, the Neutrogena ones were always my favorite (plus you can buy a mega pack at Costco for super cheap!). These wipes claim to be carry on friendly, to dissolve makeup from eyes/lips/face, have a moisturizing formula, and contain vitamin E. The ingredients in this product aren't quite as friendly, since it does contain mineral oil and parabens. I will still try it out, especially since I'm curious if it will remove waterproof mascara. 
    • Repurchase? Maybe. It's only $1.99, so if I like them, I would repurchase. However, if these aren't available in store, I wouldn't order online just to purchase wipes when the Neutrogena ones are so readily available.
    • Pleased w/ Ipsy? Yes. I use makeup wipes everyday to remove my makeup before cleansing the skin, so I'd love to try out more wipes! This is a useful product, so I'm quite pleased. All Ipsy subscribers received this product. 
Yaby Eyeshadow Refills in Seashell & Azalea Petal
Yaby Eyeshadow Refills compared to a dime.
Swatches of Yaby Eyeshadow Refills in Seashell & Azalea Petal
  • Yaby Eyeshadow Refills in Seashell & Azalea Petal- Full Size
    • Size: 15.5mm refill pans (Yaby states 3g of product, but there's no way! A pan is slightly smaller than a dime!), $3.29 each ($6.58 total value) at Camera Ready Cosmetics or $3.15 each at Yaby. I'm going to go with the price from Camera Ready Cosmetics, since that's the site featuring the Ipsy discount, plus the shipping for Yaby is insane!
    • I've never heard of Yaby before, so I was curious to see what the quality of their shadows was like. Plus, I recently got a palette to depot shadows into (more on that later), so I was completely down for some eyeshadow pans! Seashell is a satin, subtly shimmery creamy shell color, which makes a beautiful inner corner and brow bone highlighter. The pigmentation isn't the strongest when swatched, but when used as a eye highlighter, Seashell worked fantastically! Azalea Petal is a satin, subtly shimmery plummy pink. This one is rather weak on pigmentation, and I really had to swatch it multiple times on my arm to get the color to show up. Like Seashell, it applied much better on the eyes, and made a subtle crease color. I don't think either of these shades are pigmented enough to make great all over lid colors, but used for my intended purpose (highlight or crease color), I rather enjoyed them.
    • Repurchase? Probably not. If these were available in store I would consider picking up a few more, since I really have enjoyed them. But since these are online only, I wouldn't be willing to make an order large enough to render getting more. I do, however, love the concept of mini eyeshadow pans at a discount price. If more brands (especially ones with better pigmentation) started making these, I would buy so many! But let's face it, I do not need more eyeshadows. lol.
    • Pleased w/ Ipsy? Yes. I'm always down more eyeshadow! Ipsy subscribers either received Seashell and Azalea Petal (like I did) or Sand Dune and So Vein (a tan and a teal green). I would have been happy with either combination, so good job Ipsy!
Glam RX Touch Up Palette, outside 
Glam RX Touch Up Palette, inside
Glam RX Touch Up Palette with the Yaby Eyeshadows
  • Glam RX Touch Up palette- Deluxe Sample
    • Size: Roughly the size of a credit card, but wider. 
    • Full Size: The full size has two layers. The first layer contains "touch up" products like translucent powder, black eyeliner, lip tint, and under eye concealer. The bottom layer is an empty magnetic palette, in which magnetic pans of makeup can magnetize to. It also comes with mini brushes. The deluxe sample we received from Ipsy is basically only the bottom layer only. The full size retails for $16.50 on the website.
    • Value of Sample: $8.25 (I figured since this is half of the full size, I should just half the price). 
    • I was super excited to receive my first magnetic palette, though it was smaller than I was expecting. I love the red outer packaging, with black on the inside, along with a mirror. The palette is made out of cardboard, but it didn't seem flimsy. I can't compare it to the quality of a Z palette since I don't own one yet. But, it fit the Yaby eyeshadows perfectly! I also took the Coastal Scents eyeshadow from last month's Ipsy bag, put a magnetic on each one, and put them inside the palette as well! 
    • Repurchase? No, I would not get the full size even though I like this palette. If I wanted another mini palette I would just get one from Z palette, since I don't need someone else's idea of prepackaged "touch up" products. I'd rather just use my own!
    • Pleased w/ Ipsy? Yes. I thought that giving us a palette plus eyeshadows to go inside was a great idea! Everyone received this product.
Price Breakdown:
  1. Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist-Deluxe Sample-$3.26
  2. La Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes (8 wipes)-Full Size-$1.99
  3. Yaby Eyeshadow Refills in Seashell & Azalea Petal-Full Size-$6.58
  4. Glam RX Touch Up palette-Deluxe Sample-$8.25
Total Value$20.08

Previous Months' Box: $40.55 (February), $38.79 (January), $72.67 (December)

Note: I don't add the cost of the bag to the total (since I don't know the value of the bag itself), so I just consider the bag to be a freebie.

Overview: While I really liked the products in March's Ipsy bag, the overall value of the bag is so much lower compared to previous months. Plus this month only had 4 items, unlike the usual 5 items. You could make the argument that each Yaby eyeshadow counts for one item, but this argument goes out the window when you consider last month's Coastal Scents eyeshadows; a quad of 4 eyeshadows roughly the same size as a Yaby pan clearly counted as 1 item! While I wish we received one more item or that the value of the bag was higher, I still enjoyed my Ipsy bag and have no intention of canceling at this time. I think we have all just been so spoiled with past Ipsy bags, we're always wanting more as oppose to realizing how great the bag really is! (Especially when you compare it to other subscription services). Also, all the products were new to me, so another success! I'm loving Ipsy overall; it's like getting a present every month, and I've never been truly disappointed! 

Preview for next month: So far for the month of April, I know we are all receiving a full size blush from Be a Bombshell. One of two shades are possible! (See April 2013 Ipsy Spoiler #1). This is EXCELLENT! :)

Disclosure: These products were purchased by me for review purposes. I was not paid or compensated in any way. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

April 2013 Ipsy Spoiler #1

*I have nothing to disclose in this post*

Hello everyone! If you're an Ipsy subscriber and you're not interested in knowing what's in your bag ahead of time, don't read these "spoiler" posts! If you'd like to see what I've received in previous Ipsy bags as well as an explanation on what Ipsy is click the links: December 2012January 2013February 2013. I am a bit behind at blogging at the moment, so I haven't done a post for March 2013, but I promise to get on that soon!
Spoiler #1. Image from Ipsy's Facebook Page.

  • Sneak Peek #1: It looks like Ipsy has definitely listened to its subscribers! We have a pink & white colored bag for the month of April; it looks white on the outside, with pink trimmings on the zipper and stripes on the inside. Very cute and looks well made! Now for the excitement....finally a BLUSH! It looks like there are two possible colors subscribers could receive. Since Ipsy tends to repeat brands (which I have no problem with, especially since I usually love the brand), I immediately thought of the NYX Cream Blushes. But on further research, I now think that these are the powder blushes from Be a Bombshell Cosmetics. In the past we have received a beautiful red lipgloss from December's bag, as well as a liquid pen eyeliner from before I joined. I really enjoyed the lipgloss, so I look forward to the blush! Both color look lovely, and I'm pretty sure these are:
Be a Bombshell Blush in Beach Please. Image from Be a Bombshell.
"Beach Please" is an intense bright matte pink. I have nothing like this in my collection, so I'd be very happy to receive. Plus I love matte blushes the best!!
Be a Bombshell Blush in Sweet Cheeks. Image from Be a Bombshell.
"Sweet Cheeks" is a medium rosy pink with shimmer. This looks like a different shade than the other pink blushes I own. I'm not a big shimmer blush girl, however, I love to layer a shimmer blush over a matte blush for bit of luminosity! Also, if this is a satin finish, that would be amazing!

Though I think I'd prefer the bold Beach Please, Sweet Cheeks is just so wearable! Plus each blush is $16 a piece, so these are high-end goodies! So either way, I think the first item from the April 2013 Ipsy Bag is a total win! In case you didn't know, I'm pretty blush obsessed at the moment.

*Happy dances*

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March Collective Haul & First Impressions

*All of these products were purchased by me, other than the samples (which you can always receive for free from MAC/Sephora)*

Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a lovely weekend! First of all, I've got to apologize for my lack of posts this week. I have seriously been so incredibly busy! I was debating on whether or not to chat about this on my blog, but I just recently started working for Lush! The reason I haven't had time to blog was because I've been helping to open a brand new store! So in between training and store set-up, I just simply haven't had any time! I decided to let you all know, since I will be featuring a lot more Lush products on my blog. I've always loved Lush, but I've never lived close enough to a location to really check out their full line of products. So far I've loved everything I've tried, but don't worry I promise to judge every product fairly and without any biases. I will not be discussing any internal workings of Lush whatsoever, just the products. I have received some samples, as well as picked up some new Lush goodies, so expect another "look see" of the products! :)
The goods!
Now, onto March's haul! I actually managed to haul new goodies without spending hardly any money! Score! I had a gift card at Nordstorm's and a 100-point Sephora perk to cash in, so the only items I truly bought were he Target products. Yay me! (I always love being bargain friendly when I can!).
Milani Even Touch Powder Foundation in 01 Shell and Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream in Fair.
From Target:

Milani Even-touch Powder Foundation in 01 Shell
Milani Even Touch Powder Foundation in 01 Shell 
Milani Even Touch Powder Foundation in 01 Shell 
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: $7.44
  • Why I purchased: I featured this product in my February Wist List, so it's a product I've been wanting to try out! I'm a huge powder foundation fan, so I'd love to try a drugstore one! Also, it's hard to find powders pale enough for me, so I hope this one is!
  • Description: Matte powder foundation in the company's lightest shade.
  • This is actually the first Milani product I've tried, even though I've heard such good things before. I haven't heard anything about this powder foundation, however, so if you've tried it let me know what you think!
L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream in Fair
L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier  BB Cream in Fair
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: $7.59 (on sale!)
  • Why I purchased: It was on sale, so I thought why not? Plus I've been looking for something light for days when I don't want to wear much makeup, but still want to look put together.
  • Description: An American BB cream, that's definitely a tinted moisturizer with light coverage.
  • I haven't tried a BB Cream/American tinted moisturizer before, so I figured I'd have a go at it! The formula comes out white, and actually changes color onto your skin as you rub it in. Kinda strange, but I'm digging it. Plus it hasn't made me break out!
From Nordstrom: (I had a gift card, so all of this stuff was free!)
MAC Pantina Eyeshadow
MAC Patina Eyeshadow
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: $15, free with gift card
  • Why I purchased: I've been wanting this shade for awhile, since it's got a duo chrome quality to it. I don't normally purchase MAC eyeshadows, but since I had a gift card I decided to get it. I don't normally love Frost finishes by MAC (I prefer Veluxe Pearl), but this one seems okay in terms of pigmentation. This is not as amazing as any Inglot shadows I've tried, but it's such a unique color!
  • Description: taupe brown with golden pearl
  • Great all over lid color or blending color!
MAC Creme Cup Lipstick
MAC Creme Cup Lipstick
MAC Creme Cup Lipstick
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: $15, free with gift card
  • Why I purchased: This product was on my February Wist List. It's a great wearable everyday color plus the first MAC lipstick I've ever wanted to purchase.
  • Description: A light blue pink w/ a cremesheen finish.
  • It's my first MAC lipstick ever, along with Plumful!
MAC Plumful Lipstick
MAC Plumful Lipstick
MAC Plumful Lipstick
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: $15, free with gift card
  • Why I purchased: It was on my February Wist List. I think this is such a pretty everyday plum shade!
  • Description: Rose plum w/ a Lustre finish.
  • I saw a swatch of this on Temptalia, and I just had to have it!
Sample of MAC Prolongwear Concealer in NC 20
My sample
The full size product from the MAC counter
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: free sample, $18 for full size
  • Why I sampled: I'm always down to try a new under eye concealer, so the lady at the counter made me a sample. While this matches my face ok, it's still too dark for my under eyes. 
  • Description: A popular long-wearing concealer.
  • It's not bad, but not something I'd purchase.
Bare Escentuals Ready SPF 15 Touch Up Veil in Translucent
BE Touch Up Veil
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: $22, free with gift card
  • Why I purchased: This was also featured on my February Wist List. I use the original mineral veil to set my under eye concealer, so I figured that the pressed version would be much more convenient. 
  • Description: A translucent powder for setting foundation.
  • I'm hoping it'll last me a long time, like my old loose mineral veil.
From Sephora: (I used 100 points so I didn't spend anything either!)
Nars Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in New Lover (deluxe sample size)-100 point perk!
New Lover
New Lover
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: free 100-point perk from Sephora for 0.08oz, full size is $25 for 0.09oz
  • Why I purchased: I never see point perks I really want at Sephora, except for this one! It's a good size plus the color is lovely!
  • Description: Gold infused strawberry pink
  • I'm curious to see how this compares to the Urban Decay Super Saturated Lip Pencils.
Sample of Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Cream in Fair & Tarte BB Cream 12-Hour Primer in Fair
First Impressions:
  • What I paid: free samples at Sephora, full size BB cream is $36 for 1.7oz, full size BB cream Primer is $34 for 1oz
  • Why I sampled: After trying out the L'Oreal BB cream, I was down to try more!
  • Description: Both are light coverage "Americanized" BB creams with the BB cream being a true tinted moisturizer and the BB Primer being much more like a primer.
  • Hopefully these will be lovely!
I hope you all are having a great day! I'll do my best to post more regularly!

Disclosure: These products were purchased by me for review purposes. I was not paid or compensated in any way. All opinions are my own.