Product Regrets

 

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We’ve all had them; those products you buy on a whim or even more disappointingly, the ones you actually planned on buying, and sadly they just didn’t work out. In an effort to clean out my collection, I started noticing I had a lot of stuff I used a few times and just cast aside thinking “I can make this work!” Some of the products I have aren’t bad quality, but they might not be something that I use everyday or the colors didn’t work for me the way I thought they would.

First up, the Urban Decay Smoked palette. I picked this up at Ulta a few months ago for only $20 (originally $50). This product is actually pretty great if you’re into smokey eyes since the textures are nice and the color selection is spot on. I like that there are gem tones included with the standard grays and blacks, giving you the option of more color for your look. This is a regret, because the colors are way too dark for me and I don’t wear smokey eyes on a daily basis. So a regret, but one that I’ll probably keep.

Next up, the Urban Decay Anarchy palette. Another palette I grabbed on sale, and truth be told I’ve used this exactly 1 time. The 3 shades on the left are decent quality but the two super sparkle shades are so damn messy, I can’t imagine how you can even get them to stick to your eyelids. I like this palette in theory because it comes with a lip pencil, eyeliner, 2 blushes and a highlighter, but it hasn’t seen the light of day in probably almost a year. The blushes included are a dark dusky pink and an electric Barbie color pink, and honestly I never use those either.

Finally, I grabbed an Urban Decay BYOP and a few shadows on sale (clearly I didn’t learn my lesson) and while I have used this more than twice, it’s still not something I’ve reached for in a long time. This specific palette came with the shade Rock, which is a cool toned glittery taupe. Again with the fallout! The glitter is super chunky, so if you have contacts like me this might be your worst nightmare. I also included a few other individual shades but sadly they don’t really go together, and I’d much rather bring with one of the Naked palettes with me on a trip or even for everyday use.

The Makeup Forever shadows are really incredible quality, but I just grabbed two shades I don’t typically wear. I can imagine my thought process while buying these was something along the lines of “I don’t think I own anything like this, but I’ll surely use it all the time!” To be fair, I’ve used the lighter color a few times but that gorgeous green hasn’t graced my lids yet.

The Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush in There’s Something About Berry is gorgeous but just hasn’t come out to play since I bought it. I actually really love this product; I swatch it all the time and admire how pretty the deep raspberry color is but I just can’t bring myself to wear it. It’s a bold color that would look incredible on darker skin tones, but since it’s rained almost every day this summer I’m lacking my usual tan that would do this product justice. Like the Smoked palette, I might not have used this that much but I plan on keeping it.

The last blush regret is the Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom is another solid product that just wasn’t my cup of tea for one reason or another. Mainly the color is super vibrant, but I’m going to make more of an effort to use this with a lighter hand because the quality is there.

The two biggest disappointments were the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit and the Sephora 10 Hour Fix + Correct concealer duo. These were both awful in terms of quality. Not to say that all Bobbi Brown and Sephora brand products are bad, because there are a ton of products from both brands I love. But not these two. The Bobbi Brown concealer didn’t cover anything, creased and faded within like an hour. The powder inside isn’t too shabby but I bought it for the concealer, and tried so hard to make it work. The Sephora concealer pen thing was a mess from the start. This also doesn’t cover anything and is so dang dry! There is a large end that I think is for under eyes and a more precise skinny end that is for blemishes, and unfortunately both sides are useless. These products will both be going in the garbage since they’re probably past their expiration date and I don’t want anyone having eye issues. I will say though, if you want to try something from the Sephora brand their jumbo eyeliners are incredible and Bobbi Brown makes a kick-ass foundation and BB Cream!

 

 

Brand Spotlight: Hourglass Cosmetics

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Hourglass Cosmetics is hands down my favorite brand when it comes to powder products. It seems like everything they make just perfects my complexion, even if I have 5 news zits popping up and I’m hungover from the night before.

The reason why I’m writing a post specifically on this brand is because when I first read about the Ambient Lighting Palette I kind of brushed it off as a waste of money. I never thought that a powder would make or break your look, and I kind of figured people just gave into the craze. I would swatch it at Sephora and wonder what the big deal was, they were all just shimmery powders and one of them was orange for God’s sake!

One random day I just walked in and bought it, because I was in the mood to buy something and I guess I couldn’t find anything else I was really curious about. And then it happened.

source: theblaze.com

I saw the light, the heavens above opened up to me, or whatever you want to call it; I was hooked. Every single time I used Dim Light to set my foundation I was shocked at how flawless my skin looked! It didn’t look caked up, dull, or fake, just beautiful. I have a Chanel Les Beige powder that I’ve been working through and I love it, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Dim Light. Even the Hourglass packaging has a weight and design that oozes luxury! Their products are expensive, but I never feel like it’s going to waste because it delivers everything I want.

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Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Mood Light, Dim Infusion Blush, Dim Light, Radiant Light, Ambient Lighting Palette, Incandescent Electra Blush

I ran through the Dim Light and Radiant Light shades so quickly in that palette, and it genuinely bummed me out because I had to scrounge around my collection for other powders that just weren’t on the same level. I purchased full sized versions of both shades, and added Mood Light to my collection.

Last week I purchased one of their Ambient Blushes in the shade Dim Infusion, and I am absolutely kicking myself for not buying the Ambient Blushing Palette when I had the chance! Dim Infusion is the most perfect peach color that just melts into your skin without being glittery. I really don’t know how they did it, because there’s no way to over-do it with this blush. It looks so natural and brilliant on my skin, tanned or not (this can be a big factor for me!). Today I marched right into Sephora and picked up another blush in the shade Incandescent Electra. Looking at it in the pan and swatching it made me so excited, so it had to come home with me. Random, but I’ve been careful to make sure I put a “control” swatch of NARS Orgasm on my arm when I’m looking at blushes to make sure I’m not just buying another duplicate; I’ve been noticing that a lot of my blushes look the same, so I’m trying to be smarter about spending money on crap I already have (HAHAHA, if I really followed this rule I wouldn’t have 85 bronze eye shadows…).

All in all, if you’re wavering back and forth on whether you want to give into the Hourglass hype I say at least try it. Have one of the Sephora associates help you out and try on one of the powders or blushes for the day and check yourself out in different lighting throughout the day. Or if you have an obsessive friend like me, ask to borrow one of the powders one day! I’ve had friends ask to try my makeup, and as long as it isn’t mascara or eyeliner (GERMS) I’m happy to share the love!

Favorites and Over-due Spring Haul

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Spring, Spring, Spring! Usually I’m not a fan of Spring but this year I’m all about it. We had a loooong winter and the fact that it’s 80 degrees here in IL helps out too. Obviously I had to get some new makeup gear to get ready for the warm weather!

A few weeks ago I started my first MAC palette. Now I’m not the biggest MAC fan in the world and I usually find their products a bit sub-par, but you can’t ignore the enormous eye shadow selection they have. Are they my favorite in terms of quality? No, but sometimes I want to bring one palette with me that does it all. I wanted to start off with some cool neutrals and a few purpley-pinks, and grab some warmer colors along the way. Left to Right we have: Dazzle Light, Omega, Concrete, Quarry, Satin Taupe, Blackberry, and Sketch. Dazzle Light might be my favorite brow bone highlight – it’s so shimmery but not obnoxious.

At the Sephora VIB Rouge event I picked up the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide in the shade Linen. The shade is way too dark for me but I ADORE this formula! It looks like skin but blends out so perfectly. To make the color a little more true to my skin tone I just mix it with the NARS Sheer Glow in Santa Fe – good stuff right there.

Also a few weeks ago I went to Ulta and apparently they sell BECCA products now?? Was this common knowledge or am I being dumb? Either way there was this super cute kit with some full size and deluxe sample sized products all for $35. You know I bee-lined for it. This cheek tint in Guava is incredible for a light slap of color! Sometimes I don’t feel like putting a lot of effort into getting ready but I still want to look put together, so I rely on this guy. I usually dot a bit on and blend away with a duo fiber brush, and the best part? It doesn’t move your foundation around. Hallelujah!

Another Ulta purchase was the Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush (long name necessary?) in There’s Something About Berry. I LOVE the movie There’s Something About Mary and this was on sale for $15. Done. Deal. Get. In. My Hands. This color was also the most pigmented of the 3 shades offered, and it has golden flecks running through it. It’s definitely a bold color, but I think I can work with it once I get a bit tanner.

Finally I found the Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in Pansy Pop! Purple might seem like an odd choice for a blush but it really doesn’t look as weird as you think it would. I think it gives more of a fairy like glow than typical pink or peachy blushes do. Fun Fact: I got my first smartphone last Saturday (EEEEEEEEEEE!!!). That being said, I’m going to try and post more pictures of myself wearing products that I mention so you can all see stuff in action.

Sephora VIB Rouge Beauty Before Brunch Event

Maury Povich Lie Detector Test meme

Created by yours truly at makeameme.org

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!

Chanel Eye Shadow, Blush, and Powder Review

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First things first: I’m sorry for being so MIA lately! I accepted an offer for a new job and I wanted to really make sure I wrapped up all of my projects at my old job before leaving. The past two weeks have been insane, but luckily I have given myself a teeny little break before I start my new position 🙂

As a little reward to myself, I bought a couple of Chanel goodies! I purchased a blush, powder, and eye shadow quad – clearly my shadow obsession has not died down in the least. Let me tell you, when you order something from Chanel they go all out with the packaging. The box everything came in? Sitting on my desk right now. It’s so pretty!

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Even the tissue paper they use makes me feel fancy! If you’re thinking about buying a thing or two from Chanel I highly suggest doing so on their website, especially since shipping is free when you spend $50 (not that hard when their blushes are $43 a pop) and you get two free samples.

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I picked up the Les 4 Ombres in Tisse Rivoli, and it is absolutely stunning in the pan. It even looks glamorous and chic despite my grubby applicators! However, performance wise this was a bit of a disappointment. The colors are exactly what I would go for and the texture is so dreamy, but they just don’t adhere to my lids very well and fade easily. The only way I can get them to stick around is by using a primer AND a Laura Mercier Caviar Stick – which is like straight cement on my eyelid. I’ve also noticed that using the sponge applicators is the best way to get decent color payoff. If I’m using these incorrectly someone help me, I want to love this!

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Next up is a Joue Contraste blush in Emotion. I was torn between this and Angelique, but I have a few pinky blushes like Angelique so I decided to try something new. I adore this color! It’s like a mix between a mauve, plum, and deep pink. It’s something I’ll wear year-round, but I can see this being perfect for Fall and Winter. Application can be slightly patchy if you’re oily, but it’s nothing a good brush can’t handle.

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Oooh yeah, my favorite product! This is the Les Beige Healthy Glow Sheer Color in No. 30. I kept going back and forth between number 20 and 30, but ultimately grabbed the darker color because I figured if it was too dark I could use it as a bronzer. Luckily it worked out and this is my newest setting powder! The word “sheer” definitely fits this product because it doesn’t leave you with a ton of color, but it does give a little something extra. I can see a teeny bit of sparkle or sheen in the pan, but it definitely doesn’t translate on the skin. It’s just a solid product that brings your whole look together – and it looks uber fancy!

All in all I don’t regret splurging, even if I wasn’t over the moon about everything I got. I’m still going to work with that eye shadow palette because the colors are just so stunning! I’m very appreciative and fortunate to have a new position to look forward to, and I will be better about posting! I currently have a new haul in the works so be on the lookout for that! It’ll include my first personal MAC palette, a new fragrance, and other goodies!

Recent Favorites

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Let’s get it out there: I’m a total sucker for favorites posts.

It’s the inner snoop in me, I can’t help it! I never do monthly favorites, but lately I’ve been using an army of products for my every day look. These are all tried and true products that I consistently use, and seriously vouch for in terms of quality.

First up is the NYX Mosaic Powder Blush in Spice, which is something that I got in an Ipsy bag a looong time ago. I use this all the damn time because it’s such a perfect rosy-peachy neutral that never looks over-done. This is my go to blush when I have smokey eyes, because it adds a little something without looking ridiculous.

For complexion I have been obsessed with the YSL Fluid Ink foundation in Almond and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. The YSL foundation feels so luxurious when it’s applied, it truly feels like it turns to powder the instant it touches your face. The only drawback is this foundation really catches on dry patches, so make sure your skin is well moisturized before applying. I bought the Hourglass palette back in September, and I’m already hitting pan on two shades. I use Dim Light (left) as a setting powder and Radiant Light (right) as a bronzer; Let me tell you, these powders are magic. So magical that I bought Mood Light, which is much more lavender toned and better for winter use in my opinion.

Next we have the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Moonlight, the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, and the Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner for eyes. I got the Laura Mercier stick in a limited edition set that was out around the holidays, but the shade itself is permanent. It’s a gorgeous champagne-pewter shade that I use all over the lid, and layer on shades from the Naked 3. Truth be told, the Naked 3 is my all time favorite eye shadow palette. The pink tones are so flattering, I can’t stop using them! I received the Eyeko liquid liner in my Birchbox last month, and it’s so easy to use! I don’t even use tape as a guide with this eyeliner because it’s so smooth and pigmented.

Two things that I didn’t mention were the concealer and blush that I’m hooked on, MAC Pro Longwear concealer and Lancome Blush Subtil Palette, since I have already reviewed them. Very important products, and if you want to read more about the concealer click here, and for the blush click here.

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

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So this weekend I celebrated St. Patrick’s day and a very dear friend’s birthday in downtown Chicago, meaning I wanted my face to look presentable all day. Nothing kills your mood than going into a bar bathroom a few hours after putting so much effort into your makeup and feeling like a Michael Jackson “Thriller” extra is staring back at you, because your makeup is: a) smudged b) faded or c) literally melting off of your face.

In a last minute panic, I stormed into Ulta and snatched up the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray hoping that this would provide some sort of comfort. In all honesty, I went in with intentions to get the new L’Oreal setting spray, but in all honesty the UD version was only a little more expensive.

So does it actually work, or did I basically spend $30 on water? VERY happily, this stuff lives up to the hype! I’ll admit, I was really skeptical because my face tends to eat makeup (I’ll put foundation on and 20 minutes later I’m barefaced) so I usually just deal with it and hope that the bars we end up in are poorly lit.

The bottle claims that your makeup will last for 16 hours, which is a pretty hefty but realistic claim. I want to look nice when I’m out from 11 am til the wee hours of the morning, and honestly with this stuff my blush didn’t even fade.

Will I use this every day or even every weekend? No. But when I’m out of town or going somewhere for an extended period of time I’m definitely breaking this guy out. I do wish my Ulta had a travel sized version, but I’m still glad I tried this.

Lancome Blush Subtil Palette

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Blush is something I can take or leave. I love it, but I cannot bring myself to pay an arm and a leg for it. However, when something comes in palette form I suddenly feel the urge to throw my money at it without question.

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Enter the Lancome Blush Subtil Palette in Rose Flush: This beauty comes with a contour shade, blush, and highlighter all for $43 USD. Yeah, it’s a hefty price but the quality is definitely there. The contour shade isn’t too dark and has a solid mix of cool and warm tones, which I really appreciate. I like my contours to look realistic, but this specific color also brings a little much needed warmth to my face. The blush is the star of this palette with the perfect balance of sheen and color, so you have a perfect color without looking like a grease-ball. It is my absolute favorite blush by a land-slide! The highlight shade is a naturalistic pinky-pearl color great for everyday use. I don’t think the highlighter is anything to write home about in my opinion, but if you think the sheen in the blush is intense this pairs perfectly.

I’m strongly considering purchasing more of the blushes since I think they’ll be perfect for the warmer weather (if it ever comes). It just gives me that glow I haven’t found from any other product!

What are your blush recommendations?

The Best Wax Melts EVER

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Confession: I’ve been completely sucked into the wax melter hype. I have at least 10 Yankee Candle melts in Fluffy Towels on hand because they decided to discontinue my favorite scent. Every time they have their semi-annual sale I pick up the leftover ones no one else wants. No worries, I’ll definitely put them to work and give them a good home!

However when I don’t want my room to smell like clean towels (which isn’t often), I opt for the much cheaper Better Homes and Gardens wax cubes in Candied Caramel Apple. For $1.50 from Walmart my room smells just like those caramel apple lollipops that feel like they’ll rip your teeth out if you try to bite into them! IT SMELLS SO GOOD! I really like the variety of scents Yankee Candle has, but in terms of scent power and throw the cheap Walmart thrill definitely has them beat. Obviously the Candied Caramel Apple scent is really sweet but there are slight tart and crisp notes thrown in there, assumingly from the apples.

I highly recommend the wax melts from Walmart, they’re really good! Fair warning though: smelling this for longer than 10 minutes will make you super hungry.

Marc Jacobs (P)OUTLINER and New Nudes Lipstick

Hey everyone!

After seeing the swatches and review on The Beauty Look Book, I just knew I had to grab something from the new Marc Jacobs Nude line this weekend. Everything looks so gorgeous but upon seeing things in person, I immediately grabbed the (P)OUTLINER in HONEY(BUN) and one of the New Nude Sheer Lip Gels in Moody Margot.

So beautiful and perfect for spring time, I cannot wait to finally wave good-bye to the snow and below zero weather.

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First, let’s look at the packaging. The lip gel is encased in a beige squoval tube with a little button in the front, but it’s a magnetic closure. I think it’s so sleek and cool; it’s definitely something that I wouldn’t mind whipping out in public (that sounds so wrong). The lip liner is in a silver tube with a color indicator on the end and thankfully it twists up. I always feel like I waste half of the product for lip and eye pencils that need to be sharpened, and if I’m paying $24 for something I don’t want to waste anything!

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Both products are incredibly creamy in texture, with the lip gel feeling very balmy. I usually gravitate to lip products that are more on the sheer side when it comes to nude colors because if they’re too opaque I find they can wash me out. I like to have a little of my natural lip color peeking through so my lips don’t look artificial. The lip liner is probably my favorite because it’s a little more pinky than your typical nude. Layering these two together creates such a lovely splash of color that pulls your look together.

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L to R: (P)OUTLINER and Lip Gel combined, Lip Gel, (P)OUTLINER

As a first impression, I think these products are great and I’m very tempted to pick up another (P)OUTLINER in Primrose!

What do you guys think of the new additions? Have you picked any up/are planning to?