Sunday, April 30, 2017

Ulta Beauty Bag

I recently found this bag of goodies in Ulta. My guess is that it was a previous GWP and the original price was what it was valued at. They had a lot left, both pink and blue bags. I couldn't resist grabbing one for $12.99!

The bag is pretty nice and almost the exact color of my Kate Spade purse! I will likely be keeping it in my purse to contain my otherwise loose lipsticks and powder.

The contents:

Basically everything you need for a "look". The last Ulta bag I got like this I took traveling with me to Malta. It was a fun challenge to use a set of products that I didn't pick out. I'm going to Malta again in a few weeks so I may try that again with this new bag.

The mini eyeshadow pallet and highlighter/blush pallet are gorgeous on-trend colors too!

Makeup Revolution Blushes: what even are they??

I discovered Makeup Revolution when I was in London last year. I brought home a small haul and instantly fell in love with everything. Then I discovered that Ulta sells a lot of their products. Dangerous!

One of the products I picked up in London at a Boots was the Sugar and Spice blush palette. This kicked off my blush addiction. I have since picked up three more of their blush palettes through Ulta, but they seem to just get weirder and weirder. Not that I am complaining, they just beg the question: are they even blushes at this point??

First of all, the only downfall of Makeup Revolution palettes I have found is the packaging. Super, super cheap shitty black plastic. That scratches very easily.

Sometimes with a nice big mirror, sometimes with a clear lid. I prefer the clear lid, since I don't really use palette mirrors and a clear lid makes things easier to find in my sea of generic black plastic palettes.

Here is what lies inside all of these:

Clockwise from top left: Sugar & Spice, Blush Queen, Blush Goddess, and Rose Gold 2.

All swatches are done with my finger, and all pictures were taken with my phone. Most are with natural light on an overcast day.

The palette I originally picked up in the UK is Sugar and Spice:

This palette is a fun mix. The second from the left on the top could be used as a bronzer. The top right is definitely more of a highlighter.

Swatched left to right, top row then bottom row:

Very pretty mix, with the highlighter shade definitely standing out as an outlier. These shades are all very pigmented. The redder shade especially so, which makes it a little tricky to use. You need a very light hand or you may end up looking like a clown!

The next palette is Rose Gold 2. I'm not sure if they still sell the first Rose Gold palette.

Calling some of these shades blushes is definitely a reach. There are some shades that lean more towards a highlighter. There are some that lean more towards a bronzer. Some barely show up on my pale skin.

Swatched left to right, top row then bottom row:

These didn't show up too well in the natural overcast light by my glass sliding doors, so I did another shot in my artificially lit bathroom:

These are all very warm and very much match the rose gold theme. While I would not classify most of these as blushes, they do layer well over true blushes and also work as highlighters and/or shimmery bronzers.

Next up, the Blush Queen palette:

These are all "merged powders" that look a lot different swatched than they do in the pan:

They actually all look like blushes! They all have at least a little shimmer, with the one at the end being the least shimmery. Lots of pretty colors here that look great against my pale skin.

And lastly and most confusingly, the Blush Goddess palette:

I'm not sure why they included the top four shades on a blush palette. The outer two barely show up on my pale skin. The inner two are definitely highlighters.

The bottom four are true blushes, and some very nice shades they are. I think the paler shades from the top row I may try as all-over illuminating face powders since they match my skin so well.

Overall, I love these palettes, be they blush or not. Makeup Revolution puts out some great products for great prices. All of these palettes are $10 each, and Ulta regularly has BOGO deals for this brand. They are a worthy investment if you like to hoard blushes or are trying to experiment with the weirder since of blushes. I am personally happy I own all of these.

Dollar General Haul

I couldn't resist!

Yes, those are $0.37 liquid eyeliners and they actually work! I am also loving the Maybelline BB cream.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

I hit pan on a highlighter!

have been getting more and more into highlighters. This Mally Beauty one is my go-to for work. It provides a gorgeous glow without being too over-the-top for management meetings with a dozen men old enough to be my dad. Not that they would even notice, or that I would care.

Anyway, I love dipping my big fat Crowne kabuki fan brush in this beauty and layering it on the top of my cheekbones. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

February 2017 Empties

More progress in February!

Makeup items:

Ulta Demi-Matte Foundation (Ivory)
Opinion: This is my favorite foundation ever! The shade is a perfect match for me, and it is more matte than demi-matte in my opinion. It is quite thick and a little difficult to apply. I find that a Beauty Blender works best. This stuff sticks to my oily face all day.
Repurchase?: I already have. It's nice that Ulta brand items frequently have BOGO sales too.

NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray
Opinion: I blow through this like crazy.
Repurchase?: Again and again. I have two backups right now. I did just buy the E.L.F. version to try though, since it was only $3.00. So far I am not impressed.

Napoleon Perdis Autopilot Pre Foundation Skin Primer
Opinion: This worked well enough. It wasn't my favorite primer ever or anything.
Purchase?: Pass.

Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer
Opinion: This was a pretty standard "slippery" primer for me. It worked well. I liked it more than the Napoleon Perdis one.
Purchase?: Doubtful.

IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream
Opinion: Loved this. I understand the hype around this brand because everything of theirs I have tried is awesome. My skin looked great wearing this and this only. 
Purchase?: I have been very tempted to more than once. It's a little on the pricey side for me. I have two other sample tubes I have been hoarding for the hot summer months when I don't feel like slapping on a full face.

Vincent Longo double ended eyeliner pencil
Opinion: I used up the side of this that I like. It was getting kind of old and the color on the other side just got dry and unusable. It started cracking a little too, so it was time to go.
Repurchase?: I love eyeliners and I have a ton. I am currently using a Sigma eyeliner in a color very close to the one side I used up, so I don't need a new one of these at the moment.

yourMinerals Sweden setting powder
Opinion: I liked this a lot. It was very fine and very translucent. It gave my skin a nice soft but natural looking finish.
Repurchase?: My next setting powder purchase is definitely going to be Tarte, but this one is pretty close.

Skin care:

Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Intensive Renewal Serum
Opinion: This smelled really nice. I kept it in my gym bag to slather on after I showered and it made my face nice and soft.
Purchase?: Not at the moment, but I would definitely consider it in the future. When/if I ever run out of serums.

Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Eye Cream
Opinion: This was nice enough and the little jar lasted a while. It kept my undereye area hydrated overnight, which is what I expect from a good eye cream.
Purchase?: Not for the price, ouch.

LancĂ´me Energie de Vie the Smoothing and Glow Boosting Liquid Care
Opinion: I'm not even 100% sure what this was. I used it as a serum.
Purchase?: Too confusing.

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask
Opinion: I LOVED this and I see what the Bliss hype is about now. This left my skin so soft and refreshed and it smelled nice too.
Purchase?: This brand is a little spendy for me, but I do see it on Hautelook every now and then. I will pay more attention and look for it now.

Pixi Glow Tonic
Opinion: This is a little sample bottle from the Target advent calendar that I got super cheap after the holidays. I used to go through this like crazy, until I realized that I wasn't actually sure it was doing anything. Also, even though it's not expense, it's not cheap either for the rate that I use toner.
Repurchase?: I'm holding off for now and searching for my HG toner. So far I am really liking The Body Shop's tea tree toner. Next I want to try the Mario Badescu one.


More toothpaste! I keep toothbrushes and toothpaste all over the house. It's a small miracle to me when I finish a tube since I have to use it all by myself. My husband hates the varieties that I use.

Proraso Liquid After Shave Cream
Opinion: I shave my legs very infrequently, and they always burn like crazy afterwards. I got this sample in an Amazon luxury beauty box and I cannot believe how quickly and effectively it makes my legs stop burning!
Purchase?: Already did. This little bottle lasted me forever, so I didn't mind splurging a little on the full size.

Random Perfume Samples
Opinion: I love just about any and all perfumes. I don't have a "signature" scent. I just love wearing perfume and perfume in general. I currently have amassed 60-70 of these little sample vials, so I am making a point to use some up.

That's it for February! March and April will  be a combined post since things were a little slower.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sigma Mystery Haul - Part 1

I went a little crazy with the Sigma mystery hauls lately. There have been two rounds so far. Hopefully there won't be more because I am weak. So very weak.

I had never tried any Sigma products before, so during the first round I splurged on the $50 "Must Have it" haul. I was not disappointed. And my free gift was super cute as well.

On top is the "haul" all packaged up. Below is my free gift, and cute little collection I have not dove into yet.

And here is everything in its glory:

I have read rave reviews of Sigma brushes, and I now see why. They are SO soft! I also got one of the neat little brush cleaning matts. And while it is tiny, it works wonders. I also got a some brush cleaner, a decent brown eyeliner pencil (which strangely I did not yet own a brown one), a huge pretty blush, a lipstick, and an entire eyeshadow palette!! What a crazy deal for $50!

I got the "Smoke Screen" palette, a deep fuschia lipstick, and a lovely pink blush.

This was such a great introduction to this brand. While I have not yet tried everything, I am definitely hooked now.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Travel Empties

I just finished up a massive round of business trips! Here is more of my stash that I burned through in February and March. Not everything was captured. I decided to skip shampoo and conditioner sample reviews. I have super soft water at my home. Nothing like the garbage hotel shower water. I can't really do an accurate comparison to my regular shampoo routine, which involves Derm Organic products.

Packets (hits):

To make this short and sweet, I like everything Vichy and I have totally been falling in love with Bare Minerals skin care lately. The Wella hair balm was lovely as well.

Tubes (misses):

While I typically love Pacifica, and this  face wash was nice and gentle, I HATED the smell! It smelled hardcore like bug spray. The makeup remover was freaking awful as well, but I powered through it. I just can't handle adding more oil to my already oily skin. Yuck.