Monthly Archives: September 2014

Glossybox | September 2014

Standard

Vegas is almost happening.  I’m barely paying attention to life.  Probably wise not to ask me any important questions that need a sincere answer until AFTER next week.  You know, just to be safe.

To tide you over, here’s Glossybox:

IMG_4709.JPG

You know how I’ve mentioned I want to own all the things, right?  Wellll, it’s true.  So I didn’t have anything from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, and I simply could not have that.  During the summer I bought my first (and only) OCC Lip Tar Metallic in the shade Black Dahlia.  Fast forward a few months when Glossybox does a spoiler and shows us we will be getting an OCC Lip Tar in our September boxes.  Well, how nice!  Seems like they will be sending out one of two colors – a coppery orange called Authentic or a dark burgundy metallic called … Black Dahlia.  Ummmmm, excuse me, whaaaaa?  Whyyyyeeeee?  Out of all the colors OCC offers, I have a 50/50 chance of getting the same one I already own.  Those are terrible odds.  Do you know how many times I’ve had a 50/50 chance happening and it go awry?  Like, they always choose the guy I don’t like on The Bachelorette even though it is QUITE CLEAR who her true soulmate is.  Sooooooooooo frustrating.

But anyway, I received the coppery orange color so this entire story doesn’t matter.

If you haven’t tried a Lip Tar before, you need to go find one stat.  Nicely pigmented – some insanely so – and a little goes a very long way.  Your $18 investment will last you a lifetime, and that’s probably not much of an exaggeration.  I love how it comes with a little brush.  What feels more glamourous than applying your lipstick with a brush?  Maybe having a necklace put on you by a Prince. But after that?  Not much.

Again, a subscription box decides to send out a conditioner with no matching shampoo.  Is this a new trend I am unaware of?  Are we mismatching shampoos and conditioners now?  I’m sorry, I don’t think my OCD can deal. That’s like reading book 1 and 2 of Hunger Games, but leaving out book 3.  You cannot start Hunger Games and then NOT FINISH Hunger Games.  Everyone knows that.

Regardless, here is the Bvlgari hair conditioner.  It’s has a light au the Vert perfume scent, and it has been suggested to use this conditioner when you don’t feel like applying actual perfume.  I never feel like applying perfume, but I also never feel like applying conditioner without it’s shampoo counterpart.  So pretty much my only option at this point is shaving cream.  I’m open to other ideas, however, if anyone has found alternate uses for rogue bottles of conditioner.

Received the Vichy Liftactiv Night Cream, which makes me happy. I used another Vichy moisturizer several months back, and I absolutely loved it. Scored high on texture marks, which is basically all that matters to me. Well, that and it’s from France. As soon as I get back from my Vegas trip, I will start in on it, then let you know all about it in my October empties post. (Get excited.)

Got another tube of the Benefit They’re Real mascara. I’m not opposed to this, as it’s fantastic mascara. In fact, it’s the #1 best selling prestige brand mascara in the country. Certainly that holds clout with some people? I mean, it does me. If you’re a best seller, award winner or heavily hyped, you could be a jar of slug trail for all I care. I want you anyway. I’m very discerning in that way. (Also shallow.) (Probably.)

Last product in the box is an
Essie nail polish in the shade Madison Ave-Hue. Can’t say I’m overly thrilled about receiving this item, but it is a pretty unique color of pink and therefore I have decided to keep it. Yes, I make up my own conditions to my own rules. I hope you’re jotting this down in a notebook. There may be a quiz later.

I feel it may be important to note that if you’re gonna love a nail polish, Essie is a safe way to go. I’ve used a few of their colors, and have liked the brand very much, aside from the fact it’s nail polish and I don’t enjoy nail polish. That’s pretty much high praise if you ask me. Which you did subconsciously, otherwise, I’d be reading YOUR blog, wearing pajamas and not suffering from the twinges of carpal tunnel that only 132 posts can bring about.

Well that’s it, guys. I’m gonna try to do one more post before my trip then most likely it’ll be dark in here til I get back. A good time if any to reread this blog from start to finish. Toodles!

Birthday Haul: Part 3

Standard

I would tell you my 40th birthday celebration is over, seeing that it was about 30 days ago and all, but it’s not.  Nope, I can stretch a birthday out for dayyyyyys, so it’s Vegas all next week to commemorate this milestone like a proper lady.  May or may not involve male dancers.

Just kidding.  But it will definitely involve shopping.  And my husband’s credit card.  Weeeee!

See below for the last bit of damage with said credit card:

IMG_4314.JPG

I love all of that.  That = happiness to me.  Did I need all of it?  Is the sky blue?  Don’t ask stupid questions.  Let’s begin!

Cashed in 100 Sephora points for the tiny Givenchy Le Rouge lipstick in the shade Rose Dressing.  Even despite it’s miniature stature, it comes housed in a black box to make you feel like a fancy lady.  I’ll be honest when I say I didn’t even care what color the lipstick was; I just needed that box.  You know, so I could apply lipstick in public like a damn professional.

Lucky for me, the lipstick isn’t a horrendous pink.  It’s not fuchsia or magenta or anything loud like that.  It’s nice.  The formula is very creamy, kind of matte but reflects a bit of light.  I’d buy a full-size.  Not because the full-size comes in a leather tube.  But probably.

And of course I can’t sit around listening to every beauty guru on YouTube sing the praises of MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, and then somehow not go buy it.  I bought mine in the same NW20 shade that is my foundation as I felt that makes the most sense.  The coverage on it is really, really good.  I’d say a healthy medium at the least.  I don’t have massive dark circles, but I don’t have the undereye of a 14-year-old either (sadly).  This concealer brightens me up and makes me look awake and fresh.  A little goes a long way, however, so don’t overdo it.  Unless you like cakey.  Cakey, not cake, cuz that’s two different things and cakey is bad while cake is fantastic.  And now I would like a piece of cake, so what was I saying?

Oh yes.  I am happy I got this concealer.

Picked up a tube of the Lust for Lacquer lipgloss by Marc Jacobs.  I chose the shade Shooting Stars because it seemed like a neutral but not a nude, which tends to wash me out.  Also it is a full coverage gloss instead of a sheer, which is what I prefer.  What is the point of sheer gloss I ask you?  Anyone? Anyone?  No, no one knows the point.  Unless you are a 10 year old playing in your mommy’s makeup, no one knows the point.

But, back to the issue.  I really like this lipgloss.  It’s very shiny and the color is beautiful. The only issue is when the gloss starts to wear off, it leaves behind pieces of glitter on your lips.  It’s not the worst thing could happen, but just wanted you to be aware.  It doesn’t go away gracefully.

Another lipgloss found its way into my basket – this time in the form of the Hourglass Extreme Sheen in the color Siren.  I didn’t even know if I wanted another lipgloss, but this vibrant red orange caught my eye.  I swatched it and knew immediately I had to have it.  It’s the color of fire, or a maple tree in the fall, or the sun as it nears the edge of the Earth.  I’m not kidding you; it’s gorgeous.  It goes on super metallic, but it does simmer down pretty quickly.  It’s creamy, opaque and long lasting.  I highly, highly recommend – this color or any color for that matter.  It’s officially one of my favorites.

After talking myself out of purchasing an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush, I managed talk myself in again.  The price isn’t that desirable ($35), and despite your impression of me, I can stall a little bit when it comes to price.  But since it was my birthday and since someone else was paying for it, I went ahead and picked one up.  There are six colors, and I decided on Mood Exposure, which is a soft plum.  Now, you may have heard about these blushes and the magical powers with which they have been infused; however, I didn’t notice anything spectacular happening upon my face that I couldn’t have achieved with my NARS Orgasm blush.  But if you are the type that is influenced by fancy words such as Photoluminescent, then by all means.  I do admit I like fancy words too.

Having said all that, though, I do like the blush.  The color is pretty and it does impart a bit of a sheen, which is most likely the magic I was talking about.  It lasts for a long time on my cheeks, and even looks better as the day goes on.  I like the premise of these blushes, how they are mixed with the Hourglass ambient powders to create something unique.  I see how you can get sucked in by something like that.   Out of 681 Sephora reviews, 481 are 5 star.  So see?  I clearly have no idea what’s fabulous.  I need another one to be sure.

Picked up the new Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser because it’s an orange gel that looked fun to play with.  That’s not a typo.  (I am a child.)  It starts out as a gel that melts into an oil as you massage it into your face.  Then you add water to it and it turns milky.  So of course after all that I had to throw it in the basket.  I was about an inch away from finishing up a cleansing milk and absolutely couldn’t wait to be done with it.  But then the cleansing milk kept replicating itself cuz it took about 2 more weeks to empty it.  Urgh.  Finally though – I started using the melting cleanser and lemme just say the idea of it is better than the reality.  The gel part is fun if you’re big into texture like I am.  It does melt nicely onto the skin, but once it turns to oil it loses that thick consistency and then I’m just over it.  The milky bit is a non-event.  However, most importantly, it breaks up the makeup like a champ so I suppose it you buy products based solely on whether they work or not, you’ll like this one.  I, on the other hand, just like things that look pretty.

Treated myself to a bit of luxury as well.  Passed the Chanel counter on the way out the door when the Les 4 Ombres quadra eyeshadows stopped me in my tracks.  The one in the display was the Tissé Gabrielle, and it was absolutely stunning. Shades of grey and mauve.  They look very sparkly in the pan, but when applied to the eyes they shimmer but not in an overly glittery way.  Like I could wear it to work and not feel flashy.  But that’s coming from the girl who wore a record in her hair in 7th grade, so you can’t always measure wearability by me.

I dunno, guys.  I just really loved this quad.  Out of all my luxury quads, it’s my favorite.  Maybe because it goes well with my brown eyes.  Maybe because the name Chanel makes me feel like a princess.  Maybe because it’s the latest one I bought and therefore the most new and exciting.  Whatever the case, I am happy I picked this up.  They blended well, and the term ombre really suits the shadows as they are all (with the exception of the white gold) variations of taupe/grey.

The Chanel lady also tossed in a set of freebies in the form of a serum, foaming face wash, and eye cream.  I’ve used them all but the serum, even though I’m most excited about the serum.  It’s next, though, as soon as my current serum is empty.  I’ve got about an inch left in the bottle, but we all know how long an inch can last.  What I have tried – and still currently using – is the face wash, or face mousse as Chanel likes to call it, is wonderful.  It’s a pearly white, moussey consistency (aptly) that smooths over the face nicely.  The smell is pure luxury, like perfume but a clean, fresh version.  But the best part is wiping it away.  It comes off so perfectly and completely and leaves behind soft, moisturized skin.  Like, I’ve never had a cleanser do this.  I want to buy a full-size, but it’s $45 and I’m not sure cleansers should cost this much.  I dunno, but I’m really really thinking about it.

The eye cream is okay.  The tiny sample tube has lasted me a month so far because you need so little of it.  I think there would be great value in your money here if you have a thing about eye creams.  Unfortunately, I don’t, but of course I can never love anything that makes economical sense.  So I am going to enjoy this while it lasts as I know I won’t repurchase.  It is a pretty thin eye cream, but I prefer thicker.  Although it does sink in super fast, and that’s important to me.  However, I don’t have a love affair with eye cream, so I’m just gonna move on with my life now.

Here’s what I got with the gift card my sister gave me:

IMG_4576.JPG

It’s the Guerlain Tenue de Perfection foundation and IT. IS. LOVELY.  First of all, the packaging.  Looked not-so appealing on the website, but in person – Ack!  This speaks luxury at top volume.  The bottle is super heavy glass and feels so substantial in your hand.  The cap is black plastic, however, the top of the cap is inlaid with a gold Guerlain logo that’s so so so pretty.  I chose this foundation because for one I didn’t have to pay full price ($61) due to the gift card, and two, there is a color match for me based on the Color IQ scan Sephora did for me last fall.  I am in the shade 13 Rose Naturel, and it fits me perfectly.  The finish is matte, and the coverage is almost full (on me).  I love everything about this foundation.  Everything.  My face looked the most flawless it’s ever looked, and that’s saying something as I don’t ever look flawless.  I prefer this foundation over every single one I own, even the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk, and that hurts me a little to say that.  In fact, if something happened to this foundation due to theft, damage or natural disaster, I wouldn’t blink an eye to repurchase immediately.   So now you know the depths of my love.  It’s a pretty big deal.

Last bit of the birthday haul has arrived.  It’s the free mascara Ulta gives you:

IMG_4616.JPG

Yes, the quality of my photos surprise even me.

So if you’ve ever been curious about the CK One mascara, let me ease your mind.  This is an average one.  I’ve had worse and I’ve had better.  Which is pretty much the definition of average.  (Shhhhh, I know.)  The wand on this one twists up and down to give you two styles of lashes: up for length and down for volume.  I admit it did make a difference when I applied both wand versions.  But how annoying is it to do all that? (Very.)  Just give me a wand that does both, please and thank you.  The result, like I said, was average.  It didn’t make me wanna stare at myself in the mirror very long, let’s just put it that way.  On the bright side, it’s free.  The day I start complaining about free stuff is probably the day the Universe stops giving me free stuff, so we don’t wanna put all that negative energy out there no do we?  No, we do not.

Okay, friends.  You’ve made it through all three parts of my Birthday Haul (assuming you’ve read part one and two).  Give yourself a little pat; you deserve it.  I’m gonna go read a book, eat some Cheez-Its and zone out.  Var var busy, as you can see.

Birchbox | September 2014

Standard

So, if I told you a little Gucci thing happened today, along with a teeny tiny Charlotte Tilbury thing, accompanied by a wee bit of a Dior thing, would you believe me?

Do you even read this blog?  You know the answer to that.

Here’s a Birchbox for you to love and kiss on:

IMG_4602.JPG

Or you may just stare at with dead eyes, kind of like how I did.

Okay, that’s not fair to the Shiseido serum because that stuff I selected specifically as my spoiler item.  But everything else I either don’t want, don’t like, or have already owned.  Ho hum pigs bum.  And that’s all I have to say about that.

Except that would make for a very short and boring blog post.  So let’s discuss.  I got a little Davines OI/Absolute Beautifying shampoo, conditioner and hair oil set.  But the shampoo is a single-use packet then I’m left with this ginormous tub of conditioner. WTF am I supposed to do with conditioner all by itself?  I don’t care about the hair oil being single-use cuz I couldn’t give two spits about hair oil.  But come on with the shampoo.  And the fact that I have long hair, this may be more like a half-use packet.  I’m super not impressed right now.  This may be the most glorious shampoo in all the land, but right now I’d rather pout instead.  I have no idea when I’ll use it because at this point I can’t be bothered.  Boo.

Aside from all that, this particular kind of shampoo and conditioner is for shine, softness and body.  My three favorite hair adjectives.  So it may work out after using it once that I fall in love.  It’s happened before.  Have I mentioned Carol’s Daughter to anyone?  Yes? Welll, it’s true.

Since Birchbox has been letting us choose one of our products ahead of time, as soon as I saw the Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate was being offered, I didn’t even care what the other choices were.  I love serums and all their (sometimes empty) promises.  I want to try them all, own them all, hoard them all.  Using serums makes me feel like I’m pampering myself, doing something special.  I may be applying floral scented Crisco on my face for all I know, but the idea of it, the hope that it’s going to replace my old face with a new one, that’s what keeps me coming back for more.

According to Shiseido, after 1 week skin appears to glow more than ever.  My skin doesn’t glow at all, so this sounds amazing.  After 4 weeks, it’s supposed to improve firmness and resilience all while making wrinkles less visible.  But honestly, they had me at glow.  Anything after that is just a bonus.

Got my second tube of Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream, and let me just say how I didn’t even use the first tube.  I dunno.  What do you use this for?  Cuticles?  Dry elbows?  If you ask the Japanese, it’s a miracle cream.  Maybe I should probably listen cuz I’ve not once seen a wrinkled Japanese, have you?  Ideas for use include application on lips, cracked heels, or anywhere there’s dry patches on the skin.  Recommended use is after bathing.  So most likely I’ll end up putting this cream on my callused pinky toes where I keep my high heel injuries.  Seriously, if you poked me in the pinky toe with a sharp pencil, the only thing I’d wonder about is why you’re in the floor with a pencil.  Get up.  That’s how crazy starts.

Next item is this pinkish gold liquid highlighter by Temptu.  First of all, let me say that this is a really pretty color, especially if you have cool-toned skin.  It’s shimmery and feminine.  Put a drop on your hand, rub it around with your finger, then dab it on the top of your cheekbones, Cupid’s Bow, inner corner of your eye, anywhere you want an extra glow.  The downside is that it’s liquid.  As in a takes-more-effort-than-a-powder kind of liquid.  I don’t have time to be messing with a liquid in the mornings.  In fact, if you measured my time in efforts, you may get trapped in a black hole of nothingness.  I’m not sure what that means, but if you come up with the answer ZERO, then you’d be right.  So this product gets tossed in the weekend-use-only pile, which isn’t a bad pile to be in.  It’s better than the Circular File, if you know what I mean.

Last product in the box is the Laura Mercier Full Blown Lash mascara.  I have owned a sample of this mascara before but I had to toss it due to a pink eye sort of situation.  I can’t say I was beside myself with excitement by the fact I got another one, but it’s not a bad mascara.  It applies nicely.  The brush is full of bristles, and my teeny baby lashes love brushes like that.  I had no clumping or flaking issues of any kind.  Got a decent amount of length and volume.  In other words, nothing to complain about.  I’ll use it and be grateful.  I could’ve gotten a perfume in the box instead.  And that would have been way more tragic.

All done.  Received a new credit card in the mail today, so I have lots of pretending THAT didn’t just happen going on.  So, var var busy.

Ipsy | September 2014

Standard

Payday (aka dangerous territory) is looming.  I’ve already set all my bills up for autopay like a responsible human, and I have money left over that refuses to sit in a savings account (like a non-responsible human; whatever).  That Gucci eyeshadow duo is going in the basket, people.  And also a teeny tiny purchase at Sephora.  Maybe even something from Nordstrom.  Ack!  I’m barely paying attention to my surroundings at this point.

Let’s try to focus.  Here’s my Ipsy:

IMG_4555.JPG

If you’ve been counting, you’d know this is my third sample of the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair hair mask.  It’s hard to love another hair mask after you’ve found THE ONE.  I tried it, it was fine, but then I quickly forgot about it.  Even the second jar I got of this mask was full size and I still didn’t care.  Nothing has beat out my Carol’s Daughter.  In fact, if you haven’t bought the Carol’s Daughter mask after all my blabbering about it, you may wanna get your brain checked for signs of a mental health condition.  To read my original review of the Briogeo, you can click here.

I got this handy little toner/serum/moisturizer 3 in 1 by Leeanni Eco.  I got the light version, but not really sure what that means.  Maybe less rich or less chemicals?  Dunno.  It’ll definitely be a time saver for those who care about saving time. I, on the other hand, find taking off my makeup as a therapeutic ritual so I won’t be using this as a 3 in 1 but just as a single moisturizer after my other toner and serum.  Hope that won’t give my face some kind of product overdose and then revolt in a breaking-out or falling-off sort of way.  I’m starting it tonight since I just finished a moisturizer yesterday.  I’ll report back in a future empties post.

Got this rich berry Hikari lipstick in the shade Cabernet.  It was a nice color, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  I feel like berry shades, fuchsia shades, pink shades in general, just are not my cup of tea.  Right now I’m really into true purples of all varieties, so it’s hard to switch gears sometimes.  I used this lipstick once, appreciated it for about 2 hours, then passed it along to someone else who could love it even more.

When Ipsy was publishing their spoilers for the month, I swore if I didn’t get the Crown Brush Infinity Shadow/Crease duo brush in my bag, there would be a temper-tantrum-type situation on their hands.  Luckily, I don’t have to hurt anyone.  This is a really great brush.  The shadow side is very plush and holds a nice amount of product.  The crease side is precise, but soft.  I’ve been using it for about a week and I’m very happy with it.  The only downfall is storage.  One end gets to rest at the bottom of my dirty pencil cup.  Will probably need to figure out some sort of solution for that.  Also will probably involve Velcro.

Last product in the box is a Pacifica eye pencil in a brown color called Fringe.  This is your basic, run-of-the-mill eyeliner.  The brown color is a medium shade that provided a nice smudge-y, smokey look when layered on top of brown eyeshadow with my brown eyes.  Despite it’s averageness, I’m going to keep it.  However, I couldn’t get it to show up in my waterline for nothing.  I mean nothing in the very, very literal sense.  So beware.  Unless your waterline is very dry, then maybe.

This seems like a very short review.  I guess there wasn’t much to say about the products.  The brush is hands-down the best of the bunch.  Everything else was of the take-it-or-leave-it variety.  I’ll be back again tomorrow with hopefully more interesting things to talk about.  Bye, friends!

Birthday Haul: Part 2

Standard

Someone take this dadgum packet of chipotle Gardetto’s away from me.  The more I eat, the more I want, and the more the bag seems to replicate itself.  It’s like a neverending supply.  Sounds like a dream, but honestly, I’d rather spend my money on new makeup not new clothes.  And at the rate I’m going, mama’s gonna need a different pair of pants.  Of the stretchy variety.

In the meantime, here is more birthday goodies:

IMG_4394.JPG

First of all, can we appreciate the quality and sheer artistry that is my photos?  If you told me it looks like I sat these products on top of a Little Tikes plastic picnic table that’s missing its umbrella, I’d tell you you were WRONG.  Clearly, that’s not what I did.

Anyway.

Cashed in an Ulta gift card and finally got my hot little hands on the Carol’s Daughter shampoo and conditioner.  And then to make it an even better day, I got a 4oz size of the shampoo and conditioner for FREE.  So I’m all set for the next 6 months probably and that makes me var var happy.  The smell of this stuff is exactly like the hair mask that I’ve loved and adored for months, and I’ll be honest and say it’s the smell that sucked me in.  I don’t know what Monoi is, but it’s a magic potion as far as I’m concerned.

Also at Ulta, I picked up the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk.  Not for any eye makeup related reason, mind you, but because I might be the only person in the universe not owning this.  And we CANNOT. HAVE. THAT.  However, my curiosity got the best of me so I tried it on my eyeball anyway.  It’s surprisingly creamy and blendable.  Like it blended out so well it looked less like white eye makeup and more like a matte sheer wash.  I figure I will use it when I want my paler eyeshadows to show up better.  Because anytime I go for a light pink, I might as well not put anything on at all.  Obviously, the struggle is real.

Not to leave Sephora out or anything, so I spread the love a bit and picked up the new YSL Fusion Ink foundation.  I got color matched to B20 Ivory which is also an exact color match to Make Up Forever HD in 130, NARS Sheer Glow in Vallauris, and Estee Lauder Double Wear in Dusk 3C1 – for those curious.  The applicator on this very liquidy foundation is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.  It’s a hard plastic wand that has a tip like a calligraphy pen.  You dip the “pen” in the product and then rub it all over your face.  Well that’s fine and all, but the pen goes back into the product where it lives all day long and hopefully doesn’t contaminate anything with vile face germs.

Now, aside from all that, I liked this foundation.  It provided sheer coverage but was easy to build.  I found it looked best on me when I used my fingers to blend it into my skin.  It dried down to a nice powdery finish in a matter of probably less than a minute.  Maybe even less than 30 seconds.  Either way, it was very quick.  So we have texture (check), setting time (check), and buildability (check).  It’s YSL (check).  Other than that, it’s just an average, decent foundation.  I wasn’t speechless over it.  I didn’t stare in mirrors incessantly.  I didn’t get overly excited about the application process (trust me, I’ve been overly excited before).  But I don’t wanna give it back.  Mostly because it’s YSL and looks fancy on my bathroom counter.  Is that shallow?  Probably.

Got a tiny sample bottle of the Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow foundation for free.  I love free things. Granted you have to buy something in order to get the free something, and if you weren’t planning on buying something then I suppose technically the free something isn’t free.  But I’m always planning to buy something, so this doesn’t apply to me.  So, free then.  Anyway, I chose the shade Honey (I’m So Money), and it was a big fat guess as I’ve never tried to match myself.  Turns out, I’m pretty good at this guessing game cuz I picked out a pretty good match.  Skills.  Also, PROFESSIONAL.

This little bottle is going to last light years.  I’ve used it at least four times already, and still looks almost full.  The coverage is probably about a medium coverage, so that fact alone makes me like it.  You know it’s hard to cover up splotches, freckles and scary bits with a sheer foundation.  It says it’s a brightening formula, and that may be true although I found it hard to tell.  I wasn’t glowing or anything.  But I certainly wasn’t matte.  Just natural looking and nice. I’d buy a full size bottle for sure.

One of my favorite things about Sephora is their rewards program. I cashed in 500 points and got this:

IMG_4363.JPG

Ahhhhh, I’m in love. I’ve never felt the desire to spend my points on a kit until now. So here is the Caudalie Vinosource set that includes the moisurizing sorbet, S.O.S. serum and S.O.S. eye rescue cream plus a little travel size bottle of cleansing water. I’ve used the moisturizing sorbet before and really liked it. Partially cuz it has the word sorbet in it, but also cuz it’s a nice moisturizer. It goes without saying I expect the other items to be just as fab. I’m taking the cleansing water to Vegas next month, and then who knows when I’ll use the others. I have a few other kits stashed under my sink I need to use first. Like maybe six, seven. Possibly eight. You know, a few, like I said.

And then I got these two Korres products:

IMG_4362.JPG

I got a free sample of the Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Face Primer because I was told it was one of the best in this genre.  Always on the search for that perfect matte face that hides my pores and makes me flawless.  May be on the journey for awhile, or at least until my old face gets replaced with a new face (via surgery, magic or any other kind of means).  So the texture of this primer is kind of like a wet lotion.  It’s a nude color, but blends out transparent.  I used this maybe a handful of days and I didn’t notice any difference whatsoever in my face.  No mattifying, no pore hiding.  But what I did get was this horrendous smell that made me feel as if I had buried my face in wet dog fur.  Not sure if this was a spoiled tube (which is why it was free), or if all of them smell that way.  I read reviews on it and no one complained about the smell.  Although no one raved about it either, and certainly no one mentioned pomegranate.  So I don’t know.  I gave this to my mom to try.  Don’t worry, I already told her it stinks and could possibly be poison.  She took it anyway.

Last product in the haul is the Korres Volcanic Mineral mascara.  I got it from the sale page on Sephora’s website for $10.  I was curious about it because volcanic minerals sound exotic, and I love anything that sounds exotic (or French, or Italian, or made out of snow from the Swiss Alps).  However, this mascara didn’t do anything more special that a lot of my other mascaras.  It fanned them out, lengthened somewhat, volumized a little.  Other than that, it was pretty average.  Sneaky trick though, that whole volcano thing.  According to the Paula’s Choice website, it pretty much tells you you’re an idiot if you fall for the whole volcanic minerals spiel.  Apparently, they are no more magical than regular minerals.  Well, poo.

Birthday haul is not done.  I have one more part to do so hopefully I’ll get to it by the end of the month.  I also have like 4 boxes to review as well.  And surprise, surprise – there’s only a week left in the month.  I’m really good at blogging.  I swear I am.

Blush Mystery Beauty Box | September 2014

Standard

I survived yesterdays Ulta sale.  Only 10 more days to go.  If I somehow manage to emerge from this without permanent damage, it will be a miracle.  I mean, I’ve already bought two things a few days ago, but I’m talking about from this point forward.  Anything from the past doesn’t count.

Moving on!  Here’s my Blush Mystery Beauty Box:

IMG_4494.JPG

How unimpressive is this box?  Very.

I dunno, guys.  I opened it and just felt very blah about the whole situation.  Maybe once I try everything I will change my mind, but for now it is an unfavorite.  However, not everything is a poo.  Well, you’ll see.  Just keep reading.

First item is a staple product, a pack of Lumene Sensitive Touch cleansing wipes.  Nothing to get too excited about, although I will use them.  In fact, I just finished the last of my current pack of wipes so this actually comes in handy as I know I’ll never run errands in the evening on a work day.  Who wants to go to Walmart on a Wednesday wearing heels and needing pajamas (and possibly cocktail) in a very bad way?  Not this girl.  There’s only 10 wipes in the pack so I’ll definitely be buying more wipes on my Saturday grocery shopping trip.  Maybe more Lumene ones if they’re fabulous.  We’ll see.

The most gigantic product in the bag is perhaps the most useless to me.  Sounds about right.  It’s the Color Wow One Minute Transformation styling cream.  Is it time for bed yet, cuz I just got sleepy.  Apparently this helps liven up your dry, frizzy hair into liquidy smooth, silky hair (per their own claims).  So I thought I’d work a little into the ends of my hair to see if it will tame them into submission, as that’s the part that always seems to have a mind of its own.  If you were to compare my before and after picture and then accidentally drop them on the floor then pick them up and try to arrange them back again your brain would seize up from trying to decipher which one is which.  No, this product did not work for me.  And yes, that was probably a run-on sentence.

I’m going to give this product one more chance before I toss it.  There is another application method which may work better.  You can apply it on your hair then take a round brush and hair dryer to it for a few seconds.  That sounds like a lot of work for a non hair washing day, but I’m doing it for you guys.  I am a professional, just so you know.

Now for something I love.  If you have roughly $20 and you want to buy a really nice dry shampoo, try the Klorane one.  It’s very very good, which is an expert opinion if I’ve ever heard one.  It does have white powder in it, but I don’t mind that one bit.  To me the white powder means it’s working.  If I don’t see white powder I consider the product defective.  It’s probably a bit of psychological brain trickery thinking the white powder performs better.  But it also could be the truest, most accurate statement ever spoken in the history of the world.  I might as well be President with that kind of power.

Aside from all that, I wouldn’t buy a full size can of this because the cheap Batiste works just as good.

Next item is the most intriguing.  It’s the SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector.  First of all, it won an Allure Breakthrough Award, so that right there is enough to make me pay attention.  You apply it like a serum (p.m.) or after an antioxidant (a.m.) and it’s supposed to lighten your dark spots plus keep them from coming back.  Does that not sound like a miracle?  Bare-faced, I have a splotchy, freckley complexion.  Remnants of old pimples.  Even full coverage foundation has trouble fixing me.  I have sun damage and bad decisions all over my face because when I was young, tanning beds cured skin cancer, not caused it.  So I’m actually kind of excited about giving this a try.  It has hydroquinone in it, which is the gold-standard for pigment lightening.  Also, retinol.  It’s not a very big tube, so hopefully it starts working quick so I can let you know if the $90 price tag is worth it.

Got this stick bronzer from Vapour Organic Beauty.  I’m not a huge fan of cream products, especially ones that draw super scary dark stripes on your face.  I mean, what if I do it wrong and ruin my makeup and have to start all over?  Who has time for that?  Needless to say, I experimented with this on a Saturday when I had nothing more to do than lay around in pajamas watching Breaking Bad on Netflix.  (In other words, var var busy.)  At first application it was like Holy Moly! but then I started blending out the streak with my fingers and it simply melted into my skin.  Left a very natural bronzey sheen right in the hollow of my cheek.  Gained some confidence so finished up with some bronze along my hair line and on my temples.  It looked really nice.  So I figure on days I have more time to spend doing bronzer or contour, I can use this without fear.  On most days when I’m getting ready for work where I spend most of my time getting my eyeliner drawn on straight, I’ll have to stick with my quick and easy powder.

Last product in the box is a lipgloss from Juice Beauty.  I got the color Guava which is a bit of an orange shade.  It’s creamy, glossy and pretty as far as pigment goes. The smell is a little odd – kind of sweet at first, but the longer you think about it the less sweet it becomes.  It’s not enough to make me not use it, but it’s surely not a NYX Butter Gloss which if I hadn’t already known it was lipgloss I’d swear it was cake.  Well, with my eyes closed. I mean I can clearly see it’s not cake.  But it smells just like cake.  If my eyes were closed and someone put the wand underneath my nose … Oh, you know what I mean.  Long story short, I don’t hate the Juicy Beauty lipgloss.

We’ve reached the end.  Carpal tunnel is about to set in so the timing is perfect.  Hope y’all enjoy the rest of your day.  I’ll be back tomorrow with more interesting things to say.  Would you expect otherwise?  No you would not.

Sample Society | September 2014

Standard

I’m trying very hard to ignore the fact that Ulta is having their 21 days of beauty.  I don’t need to know about Tarte’s $10 mascara.  I also don’t need to know about Mally’s Face Defender that is discounted by $15.  But most importantly, I absolutely do NOT need to know these sales are good for one day only.  Don’t they know what kind of massive urgency is happening in my brain right now?  And that my credit card is about to rebel in an overdraft, cutting itself in half sort of way?

I’m itching all over.  I’ve got the hives.

To distract myself, I give you my Sample Society:

IMG_4489.JPG

Got a tube of the Alterna Caviar Repair Re-Texturizing Protein Cream.  I’ve usually had good luck with these Alterna Caviar products, so I’m looking forward to trying this one. I’ve got super fine hair that tends to tangle easily (and therefore break easily), so any product that might fortify my hair, make it stronger, sleeker, better – well, who’s gonna say no to that?  (Crazy people.)  I’m finishing up another product right now, but as soon as I’m done, this one is next in line.  And as long as it doesn’t make my hair feel dirty, sticky, or greasy (like the Alterna Bamboo thickening cream did), we’re gonna get along just fine.

Perhaps the most exciting this in the box is this full-size $85 jar of Restorsea eye cream.  With the inclusion of this product right here, I could throw away everything else and still comes out dollars ahead.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that falls under the category of SAVING MONEY and therefore the Gucci Cosmetics eyeshadow quad that’s about to happen has zero guilt stamped all over it.  My clicking hand is getting var var excited.

So I was reading the little booklet that Allure put out that gives mini reviews on the products, and it was getting me totally excited to start using the eye cream.  Talked about its winning virtues as well as how it smells and feels.  Apparently despite it’s boring white color and non-existant smell, it will make you look like you’ve been sleeping in a field of daisies for the past 15 years.  All good things, right?  Welllllll – I can’t speak for the results or anything (yet), but I will say if this thing is odorless I must be smelling things wrong.  If you enjoy the aroma of a sour washrag topped with a skosh of wet paper pile, then this, THIS, will be your sanctuary.  It smells so wrong, that I’m not even sure I got a fresh jar despite it being wrapped up in cellophane and clearly brand new.  Like, I’m kind of scared to use it.  Did I get a doozy?  Or does everyone elses smell too?  If you subscribe to Sample Society, please go sniff your jar and leave a comment.  Otherwise, my anxiety will run rampant.

For your totally useless product needs, I present the Tarte Brazillance facial tanning wipes.  Granted, I know there are people out there that love these.  I hear they are some of the best, most natural looking wipes of the self-tan genre.  But if you’ve come here for the official word then you’ll be waiting a while.  I haven’t self-tanned since 8th grade except for a very brief experimentation of some Jergen’s spray can back in 2005.  It involved me standing naked in my bathroom and my baby sister disturbed for life.  Well, how else you gonna tan everything if you don’t force someone else to do it for you?

One product I am enjoying is this little tube of the Lorac POREfection mattifying primer.  It makes my face feel very smooth and I’d swear my foundation goes on better.  I’d like to say it mattifies me, but honestly I haven’t noticed anything too drastic in that direction.  I’d also like to say it blurs my pores, but nothing really does that for me.  I don’t believe I am your ideal candidate for pore-filling.  When products claim they will make you flawless, they aren’t referring to a 40-year-old with a splotchy complexion and pores that dig to China.  Pretty sure they just mean normal people.  But if you like the texture of a silicone primer, this one is pretty nice.

Last product in the box is the Givenchy Dahlia Divin perfume.  Y’all know how perfume puts me to sleep, and this one is no exception.  I didn’t even smell it out of curiosity that’s how much I cared about it.  Nope, just stuck it in my re-gifting box for someone else to enjoy.  However, this is the perfume that Alicia Keyes inspired.  The notes are white flower, jasmine, sandalwood, plum, golden fruit, patchouli and vetiver.  And according to my research, it is a “floral woody” scent with a “radiant” feel and the woman who wears this is a sublime, sensual modern goddess.

Mmmmmk.

Hopefully that means something to you perfume lovers out there.  This one just debuted this month, so if anything, it’s NEW and I don’t know about you but I just love being among the first to own something.  Which is why that aforementioned Gucci Cosmetics thing is about 2 seconds away from reality.  I’m a woman on the cusp, what can I say?

That’s all for now, friends.  Enjoy your day and I’ll be back again soon for more fun stuff.  Bye!