December Purchases

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December was quite the action packed month for me – I traveled internationally for the first time, I turned 26, and then there was Christmas. During my international travels to France and England, I picked up a few items that aren’t available to us here in the states. I feel that most the products I picked up were worth the money, but there were a few things that turned out to be duds.

 

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I was really excited to go to Selfridges in London and check out the Zoeva products they had. As far as I know, Selfridges was the only store that was close to our hotel that sold Zoeva products so I made it my mission to swatch the Cocoa Blend palette. I so badly wish these products were easier to get in the US because they are spectacular. The two palettes I snagged were the Cocoa Blend palette and the En Taupe palette. I almost  grabbed the Naturally Yours palette, and now that I realize how much the shipping costs for the US I really wish I did. First, the Cocoa Blend palette is what dreams are made of. The bronze shade in the top row is jaw dropping, and for being so affordable the matte shades are really impressive. Second, the En Taupe palette is everything I could ever want in a cool toned palette. I feel like the shades are interesting and complimentary of each other. In both palettes, the shadows are extraordinarily pigmented and are really easy to blend. These are on par with some of my high-end shadows, and even with the exchange rate they were a bargain. I also picked up one of the brush sets (not pictured) and they’re incredible. The only issue I have is the foundation brush is a bit scratchy, otherwise they are very well made brushes.

 

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I also made a point to stop in Superdrug and Boots while in Windsor while in England. I felt that Boots was somewhat disappointing, but Superdrug was my jam. In terms of lips, I grabbed a Maybelline ColorDrama lip pencil in Berry Much and the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Hot Pepper. The Maybelline lip pencil reminded me a lot of the Nars Velvet Matte Lip pencils, the color is gorgeous and the staying power is really impressive. The Bourjois Rouge Edition was really disappointing since it wasn’t fully opaque and has almost a soft whipped texutre. I know this sounds nice but trust me, it’s a weird feeling. I also ended up grabbing a few more products from Bourjois: Healthy Mix foundation, Healthy Balance powder, and the Bronzing powder. All three are outstanding! The foundation is one of my new favorites, and the Healthy Balance powder has really exceeded my expectations. They were all impulse purchases and I don’t regret them one bit!

 

Once I got home, I noticed that I was breaking out in the areas of my face that I used my Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer on. I’m really bummed about this, because the color is so perfect for my skin tone! I went out in search of a matte bronzer without harsh chemicals that might aggravate my skin. I landed on the Tarte Park Ave Princess in the matte version since it’s formulated without fragrance or other weird ingredients. I’ve really enjoyed it so far, and I find that the color is very realistic and the formula is a breeze to blend.

 

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One of the most exciting cosmetic launches of the year (to me) was the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush palette. I swear the people at Hourglass are wizards, because these blushes are absolute treasures. The colors in this palette are really wearable since there’s a coral, nude, and deeper berry. I was heartbroken when I missed the first blush palette Hourglass came out with, so I made sure to not miss out on this one. It’s pretty expensive, but truth be told I still think it’s a great value. I never hit pan on blushes, even though I’ve been using some regularly all year – so it makes sense to me to spend money on something when I’ll end up getting more variety. The actual colors are marbleized with the Ambient Strobing powders, so the blushes themselves are really glowy. Incandescent Electra is the only shade available outside the palette, however I noticed the single that I have is different from the one in the palette.

New Finds

 

It’s that time of year where I finally feel like I can start wearing my Spring and Summer products! Naturally I needed to find some new products to spice things up a bit, and the Sephora VIB Rouge sale gave me a good reason to go a little wild.

 

 

Two foundations I picked up to try are the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ and the reformulated YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat. I grabbed the It Cosmetics CC cream at Ulta, and it’s going to be perfect when the weather gets warm since it gives great coverage and has a high SPF! The shade medium is a pretty solid color match for when I’m a little tanner so I’m very happy about that. For the YSL foundation I’m not sure I’m completely sold yet – call me crazy, but I feel like it’s not dewy and radiant anymore! The old formula was so creamy and hydrating and I feel like the new version is more satiny. I’m going to play around more, but so far it’s just alright.

I just bought this Milk Makeup cream highlighter today, so I can’t necessarily say how well it performs yet but I still wanted to make mention of it. It’s the typical pearly champagne highlight, reminiscent of the Benefit Watt’s Up – I just wanted to try something different and I haven’t heard much of this brand yet. It does seem to be very promising based off of an in-store swatch though! I also repurchased the St. Tropez Self Tan Dark Bronzing Mousse and trust me, if I repurchase something it means it’s worth it. It gives a nice olive tan that lasts for 5 days, and if I exfoliate and use the mitt it doesn’t get streaky.

 

Way back in February I decided to pick up my first Tom Ford makeup product and it did not disappoint! I grabbed the Nude Dip palette from Neiman Marcus and while it was ridiculously expensive, it is just stunning. All shades are shimmers, but I find them to be very refined and flattering shimmers that don’t lean too young.

While we’re on the subject of eyeshadow, I also grabbed the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette during a lunch break at work. There are 8 shadows, 6 being shimmers and 2 being “mattes”. The mattes seems to have a hint of  glimmer, but honestly it keeps them creamy and not looking flat – so I’m okay with it. The texture and color payoff of these is unreal, they are so smooth and pretty! It’s out of stock on Sephora’s website so hopefully it comes back in stock soon!

I decided to bite the bullet and finally get the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow – does it live up to the hype though? Sort of. I actually like the sculpt side for contouring, but the glow part doesn’t amaze me unfortunately. One of my new favorite things ever – bold statement there – is the limited edition Tom Ford Sheer Cheek Duo. Holy Moley this is the most stunning blush and highlight duo! The raspberry blush and pale pink highlight work beautifully together to give supermodel skin and cheekbones no matter what skin tone you are.I am highly thinking of getting a back up of this product! LOVE THIS STUFF.

Sephora VIB Rouge Beauty Before Brunch Event

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Today I attended my very first VIB Rouge event! I spend an astonishing amount of money on makeup, and apparently this means that I get to attend special events every once in a while. Normally I skip the VIB Rouge events, but I finally decided to go and see what goes on – GREAT decision.

The event was held at every Sephora store in the US, and was from 9 am til 11 am. Basically VIB Rouges got their 15% discount early and there was a cute bag with a ton of samples up for grabs. I was excited to go early and get around the usual crowd – my store is always jam packed on a weekend. Surprisingly though, it was really crowded and even I got there around 9:30! There were all kinds of services you could get too, for example you could get contouring lessons, hair lessons (beach waves to up-dos), or skin care lessons. I was more focused on grabbing products and getting the sample bag so I skipped the free services, but next time I definitely plan on getting my hair or makeup done.

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Stuff I bought

If there’s one thing I love, it’s free stuff; whether it’s a t-shirt, water bottle, or whatever I’m all in. And very conveniently, a Laura Mercier representative was there and told me that a special edition full size Caviar Stick was free with any LM foundation purchase! I was planning on getting a new foundation anyway, and I’ve read some fantastic reviews on the Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide so I grabbed it. The Caviar Sticks I got in a holiday set are so incredible and retail for $28 a pop, so the freebie was very much appreciated! It’s a very nice golden pearl color that is great all over the lid and even as a cheek highlight.

I’m in desperate need of a new cleanser and my favorite beauty bloggers Amelia Liana, Vivianna, and Lily always talk about how wonderful Clarins is as a brand, so I picked up their Gentle Foaming Cleanser. Also, I’ve hit major pan on my Ambient Lighting Palette in the Radiant Light shade so I picked up a full size of that. It’s probably my holy grail bronzer, it gives me the absolute perfect glow and I feel so pretty when I wear it! Definitely give it a swatch if you haven’t yet! I also grabbed the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream and a little Sephora brand eye makeup remover. Finally, my store was out of the Makeup Forever Pro Sculpting Duo in Color 2 so I went online and snagged that afterwards. It’s so gold and I…well, I honestly think I just bought it out of excitement from the event this morning but I’m still excited to try it anyway haha!

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SAMPLES!!

Ohhh the samples we got! I didn’t have a chance to talk to all of the brand representatives at the store, but I have a feeling I would’ve gotten a mountain of free stuff if I did. At least I know what to do next time! I got a lot of foil packets, but surprisingly I got a full sized Formula X nail polish in Ignition – a rich purple.

The one teeny negative about this event was the lack of sales associates to help you out. The reason why it’s only a minor negative to me is because my store was so crazy, that there’s no way I could necessarily fault the associates for being busy since they had to help so many people. I had to wait like 20 minutes for the Laura Mercier associate to help me, but truth be told I would’ve waited a lot longer for that free Caviar Stick! Other than that, bring a friend or family member with if you ever go to an event – it would be a really cool bonding experience to get makeovers and shop with someone!