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Tag Archives: Sephora

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Product Fails – Makeup, Hair Care, And Subscription Boxes – January 2019

Product Fails January 2019

Product Fails January 2019

There have been a lot of things I have loved over the last year, and there so many of them that I want to share with you. But, I thought as I come back from my winter break from the blog, it might be good to get the bad out of the way first. I did after all say last year that I would do one or two of these posts a year about things that didn’t work for me. And that is exactly what these post called product fails are, at least for the most part, they are products that didn’t work for me. That is to say that, I recognize that most of these products may work for someone else. Just because they are a fail for me doesn’t mean they don’t work for other people. We are all different people and can have different favorites.

For the sake of these posts I will not be linking to the products. So lets take a look at the products I have tried over the last few months that didn’t work for me.

Makeup

NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

 

The first product I tried this year that was a fail for me is the NYX Total Control Drop Foundation. I was really excited to try this as I had heard so many great things about both drop foundations in general as well as this one in particular. But it just didn’t work for me.

While it was advertised for all skin types, I don’t think it really works well for anyone with textured skin, especially if it is dry textured skin like mine. This formula dries down to a really matte finish, and it left my skin looking extremely dry and cakey. It dried my skin out even more than normal and it was almost to a painful point. I even gave it a second try, but still had horrible results.

 

NYX PRO Total Control Drop Foundation Brush

 

Along with the foundation I had to try the NYX PRO Total Control Drop Foundation Brush. There are many foundations out there that suggest using a certain brush with the foundation, but it’s not always necessary. However, everything I had read and saw prior to using this foundation made it seem that using NYX own foundation brush with the product was very important for proper application.

I have definitely had foundation brushes that I thought was fantastic, but it has never been my first choice for application of foundation. But this brush was a fail because I felt like it absorbed twice the amount of makeup a sponge does. I never could figure out where it was absorbing to, but the product was definitely not on my face.

 

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in Moody

 

I recently tried the Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in the color Moody. I had gotten this sometime last year, either in a multi pack lip kit or in a subscription box. I honestly can’t remember which. And I do believe that Tarte is clearancing this product out and planning on not carrying it anymore.

Now Tarte claims this is the best of two world. You are supposed to get the pigmentation and staying power of a lipstick with the hydration of a balm. This was definitely not my experience. If anything I found this to be the exact opposite. It was very drying on my lips and it went on patchy and wore off fast. Now I did try mine in a sample size. I will suppose that it is possible that could have effected it somehow, or that I got a bad one. I doubt it though.

 

Clinique High Impact Mascara

 

I also tried a sample size of the Clinique High Impact Mascara. I honestly thought I would love this mascara since one of my top five favorite mascaras is the Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara. However, with this mascara there was a lot of clumping and flaking that I never experienced with the curling version.

I know at least part of my dissatisfaction lies with the wand. It is incredibly different from the one in the Curling mascara.

 

 

 

Hair Care

Macadamia Professional Style Extend Dry Shampoo

 

I had actually been using the Macadamia Professional Style Extend Dry Shampoo for some time. It had been one of my favorite dry shampoos.

But when I received my most recent order I first noticed that the bottle looked different. I was hoping that was all that had changed, but that was not the case. I immediately noticed upon application that the fragrance was different. And it wasn’t too much longer that I had an allergic reaction.

So if you don’t have fragrance issues like I do, this one may be a great one for you. I do believe it is only the fragrance mix that was changed, the way it behaved in my hair was the same. And it is a great dry shampoo for anyone who has dry hair.

 

Aquis Peime Starter Kit

 

Most of you know I often get packaged called VoxBoxes from Influenster. A couple of months ago I got one containing a hair care system from a brand called AQUIS. It is sold on the AQUIS website as well as at Sephora.

When you are sent a box from Influenster there are always requirements you have to meet in order to receive future boxes. For this particular box the only requirement was to review the product on Sephora’s website. However, I had initially intended to review this here on the blog in she shampoo and conditioner review series. I did not end up doing that because after using this product once I had nothing good to say about it at all, so I decided to wait and include it here instead.

This was sent to me claiming it was great for thick heavy hair that breaks easily. It was supposed to limit the amount of water your hair was exposed to, all while thoroughly cleansing your hair. And it was supposed to be easy to use. While I am sure this works wonderfully for some people’s hair, it did not work for mine. My hair never felt clean and at least a couple of the steps didn’t realistically work in my hair at all.

 

 

Subscription Boxes

For the last category, I only have one item at the moment. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of this to share, and I think once I explain what happened you will understand why.

So some of you may remember back in November I was sharing some Scorpio related products. I had mentioned in one post that I would be doing a review of the My Zodiac Box. I have actually paid for two boxes, one of which I sort of received. I say sort of, because they sent me the wrong box (This was after them not sending my box out to begin with). I spoke to the owners and was told I was going to be sent a replacement. I waited a couple of weeks and nothing came. So I messaged them, and no response. I messaged again, and again no response. So obviously I cancelled my subscription, and in no way can I recommend this box to anyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Black Friday And Cyber Monday Sales 2018

Black firday and cyber monday deals

Its that time of year again, turkey and family followed by days of deals. This is always the time to get the best deals on Christmas gifts or just something special for yourself that you wouldn’t normally splurge on.

Black firday and cyber monday deals

 

That’s right it is time for those Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Just like last year I will continue to add to the list over the next few days as I find things, but this is going to be the majority of it.

Yes some of the links are affiliate links, but not all of them. Each year I try to give you only a list of the stores I believe to be giving a great deal that you can not get the rest of the year from that store, or at least not most of the year. And just like previous years, this will consist of mainly plus size clothing sales, but it will also have some beauty and other types of products. And this year I have added a section for subscription boxes as well. I will make it easy and list in categories and then in alphabetical order. So, if you are looking for Torrid, look in the plus size fashion section and then look for the T’s. Store names will be clickable and all their sales will be listed below their names.

 

Plus Size Fashion

 

Adrianna Papell

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 11/24
Discount: 25% Off Sitewide

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/25
Expiration date: 11/27
Discount: 30% Off Sitewide

 

Ashley Stewart

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/26
Expiration date: 11/27
Discount: 50% Off & Free Shipping Sitewide, Free Gift with $75+ purchase while supplies last

 

ASOS

Coupon code: EPIC25
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 11/27
Discount: 25% Off everything including sale

 

Avenue

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/20
Expiration date: 11/23
Discount: 50% Off Sitewide, Doorbuster Specials ($12.99 Knit Tops, $19.99 Sweaters, $19.99 Denim)

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/23
Expiration date: 11/25
Discount: 40% Off Sitewide

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/25
Expiration date: 11/29
Discount: 50% Off Sitewide

Charlotte Russe

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 11/25
Discount: Everything $20 or less

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/25
Expiration date: 11/27
Discount: 40% Off regular price 20% Off sale

 

Cherry Velvet

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/25
Expiration date: 11/27
Discount: 25% off all party dress

 

City Chic

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/20
Expiration date: 12/02
Discount: 50% Off Sitewide

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/25
Expiration date: 11/26
Discount: 60% Off Dresses (50% off discount does not apply on top of this)

 

Curve Girl

Coupon code: 10OFF
Activation date: 11/19
Expiration date: 12/19
Discount: $10 Off $50 or more

Coupon code: 40OFF
Activation date: 11/19
Expiration date: 12/19
Discount: $40 Off $150 or more

Coupon code: CURVEBOGO
Activation date: 11/19
Expiration date: 11/23
Discount: 50% Off sitewide

 

Fashion Nova

Coupon code: CYBER90
Activation date: 11/25
Expiration date: 11/26
Discount: Extra 40% to 90% off entire site & free shipping on orders over $75

 

Fashion To Figure

Coupon code: 114728
Activation date: 11/25
Expiration date: 11/26
Discount: 40% everything including sale, and free economy shipping on all orders

 

Forever 21

Coupon code: SAVE20
Activation date: 11/21
Expiration date: 11/22
Discount: Receive 10% off your purchase of $50.00 or more with code SAVE10, 15% off your purchase of $75.00 or more with code SAVE15, or 20% off your purchase of $100.00 or more with code SAVE20

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/21
Expiration date: 11/22
Discount: 50% Off Web Exclusives, 30% Off all sweaters, $20 and under Holiday dresses

 

Her Room

Coupon code: ?
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 11/26
Discount: 25% Off select sleepwear, Up to 50% Off new deals daily

 

Hot Topic

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/25
Expiration date: 11/26
Discount: Up to 50% off sitewide, and free shipping on any purchase.

 

IGIGI

Coupon code: BFCM70
Activation date: 11/20
Expiration date: 11/27
Discount: 70% Off Sitewide

 

James Jeans

Coupon code: D0J0TX18
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: ?
Discount: 50% extra off sale, 40% off regular price (excludes wonder jeans)

 

Kiyonna

Coupon code: THANKFUL
Activation date: 11/20
Expiration date: 11/28
Discount: 40% Off $150 or more

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 11/25 3:00 P.M. PT
Discount: $40 dresses & $25 separates

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/25 3:00 P.M. PT
Expiration date: 11/27 12:00 P.M. PT
Discount: $50 dresses & $35 separates

 

Lane Bryant

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/20
Expiration date: 11/26
Discount: 40% Off everything except panties, BOGO Free Clearance, Daily Doorbusters

 

Lindy Bop

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/21
Expiration date: ?
Discount: Up to 70% Off Select items, new items will be added. (I have linked to the UK website as that is the one I shop. US customers can shop both the UK and US sites. I like the sizing better on the UK site. But if you prefer there will be a link on their main page to take you to the US site.)

 

Loft

Coupon code: FRIYAY
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 11/24
Discount: 50% off your purchase & daily deals

 

Madewell

Coupon code: DEALWITHIT
Activation date: 11/23
Expiration date: 11/25
Discount: 25% Off your purchase

 

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Simply Be

Coupon code: CYBER50 or BF50
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 11/26
Discount: 50% Off Sitewide and free shipping

 

Society Plus

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/20
Expiration date: ?
Discount: 50% Off New, 50% Off Sweaters & Cardigans, 40% Off Tutus, Tops Under $30, Pants Under $25, Skirts & Accessories starting at $13, and Dresses starting at $25

 

Standards & Practices

Coupon code: NOIRE35
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 12/02
Discount: 35% Off

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 12/02
Discount: $19.99 & $29.99 Black Friday doorbusters

 

SWAK a.k.a. Sealed With A Kiss Designs

Coupon code: THANKS70
Activation date: 11/20
Expiration date: ?
Discount: 70% Off Sitewide

 

Swimsuitsforall

Coupon code: 18EABF
Activation date: 11/20
Expiration date: 11/22
Discount: 45% Off sitewide & $4.98 shipping

 

Torrid

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/25
Expiration date: 11/26
Discount: 50% Off Everything, Shipping Specials based on location free in the US

 

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Unique Vintage

Coupon code: BESTWEEK
Activation date: 11/18
Expiration date: 11/26
Discount: 25% Off Sitewide & Daily Deals (I will update this each day with the daily deal, as I am not allowed to reveal ahead of time.)

Sunday 11/18: Preview Day – All Week 25% Off Sitewide, Including Sale!
Monday 11/19: Free GWP on order of $50 or more
Tuesday 11/20: $20 & Under Bottoms
Wednesday 11/21: Catch of the Day
Thursday 11/22: $25 Dresses
Friday 11/23: $25 Dresses with New Styles Added
Saturday 11/24: $40 Novelty Skirts
Sunday 11/25: $20 & Under Tops

 

White House Black Market

Coupon code: 96005
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 11/26
Discount: 40% Off

 

Beauty

 

e.l.f. Cosmetics

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 11/24
Discount: 50% Off $30 or more

 

Margot Elena

Coupon code: BF18
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 11/25
Discount: 20% Off

 

Milani

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/21
Expiration date: 11/27
Discount: 30% Off $30 or more & Free mini Make It Glow Duo when you spend $45

 

Riley Rose

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/21
Expiration date: 11/25
Discount: 50% Off select items

 

Sally Beauty

Coupon code: 444915
Activation date: 11/18
Expiration date: 11/26
Discount: 40% Off Styling Tools

Coupon code: 444780
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 11/27
Discount: 15% Off Salon Equipment

Coupon code: 888310
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 11/24
Discount: 30% Off $50 or more

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/25
Expiration date: 11/27
Discount: Shop the ASP Gel Nail Polish Starter Kit for $39. (Reg. $72.99)

 

Sephora

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date:11/22
Expiration date:11/22
Discount: $15 and under doorbuster deals
If you want to see what will be available check out my post from earlier this week about the Sephora Black Friday Sale.

 

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YesStyle

Coupon code: 2018BLACKFRI
Activation date: 11/19
Expiration date: 11/24
Discount: Extra 15% OFF on orders over $35

 

 

Subscription Boxes

 

Cat Lady Box

Coupon code: BLACKFRIDAY2018
Activation date: 11/23
Expiration date: 11/23
Discount: 30% Off all past box items

Coupon code: BLACKFRIDAY50
Activation date: 11/23
Expiration date: 11/23
Discount: 50% Off your first box

 

Cratejoy

Coupon code: CJBLACKFRIDAY
Activation date: 11/23
Expiration date: 11/23
Discount: Discounts vary by box (Over 500 boxes on sale sitewide)

Coupon code: SUBBOXSUN 
Activation date: 11/25
Expiration date: 11/25
Discount: 20% Off subscription to a handpicked collection of over 40 boxes

Coupon code: CYBER18 
Activation date: 11/26
Expiration date: 11/27
Discount: 30% Off a curated collection of the top 50+ boxes on Cratejoy

 

Emma & Chloé

Coupon code: EARLYBIRD
Activation date: 11/20
Expiration date: 11/26 11:59 P.M. EST
Discount: 30% Off Sitewide

 

Kitnipbox

Coupon code: BLACKFRIDAY25
Activation date: 11/18
Expiration date: 11/26 at midnight
Discount: 25% off any new subscriber’s first month

Coupon code: CYBERCATURDAY
Activation date: 11/08
Expiration date: 11/10
Discount: 20% off any new subscriber’s first month

 

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Other

 

Dylan’s Candy Bar

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 11/23
Discount: 50% Off Black Friday Doorbuster Deals, 30% Off all Chocolates

Coupon code: BLACK2018
Activation date: 11/24
Expiration date: 11/25
Discount: 25% Off Sitewide & Free Shipping on $25 +

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/26
Expiration date: 11/28
Discount: 50% Off Cyber Monday Doorbuster Deals; 25% Off Tackle Boxes, Cupcakes, and 4 Tier Towers; 30% Off all Chocolates

 

HauteLook

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/21
Expiration date: 11/27
Discount: Free Shipping & Special Daily Deals

 

Ting

Coupon code: n/a
Activation date: 11/23
Expiration date: 11/26
Discount: Get $300 back in Ting credit when you buy iPhone 7 (starting at $449), $200 back when you buy Google Pixel  XL for $300 and $100 back when you buy Moto E4 Plus for $169. There will be deals on other phones as well.

 

Walgreens

Coupon code: THANKFUL2018
Activation date: 11/18
Expiration date: 11/24
Discount: 50% Off everything photo

Coupon code: SAVE30
Activation date: 11/22
Expiration date: 11/24
Discount: 30% Off all regular priced items

Coupon code: CYBER30
Activation date: 11/25
Expiration date: 12/1
Discount: 30% off regular price sitewide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Sephora Black Friday Sale 2018

The Sephora Black Friday preview

If you don’t have the Sephora App, then you may not have seen the list for Sephora’s Black Friday sale. A few days ago an app exclusive preview popped up showing all the things going on the sale. But if you missed it, don’t worry, I got you. I managed to get screen shots of everything.

The Sephora Black Friday preview

Just like previous years everything is going to be under $15. And I suspect also like previous years there will be some items that sell out very quickly while others will not sell at all. I will be making some comments here and there about which items I feel are the best value, or what I think should be skipped and why. Please keep in mind that all opinions expressed here are just that, opinions.

There were no links to these items in the app, so I will not be linking to them here in my post. Sephora usually does a pretty good job of making it easy to find their sale items though, so it shouldn’t be a big deal.

So let’s take a look at what’s actually on sale this year.

IT Cosmetics, First Aide Beauty, Benefit Cosmetics, and Tarte all on sale at Sephora for Black Friday

Obviously in this group the best deal is the Ultra Repair Cream from First Aid Beauty, but I think all of these sets are decent deals too. There isn’t anything more to really say about any of these.

 

Tarte, Too Faced, Philosophy, and Sephora Collection on the Black Friday sale

It’s not a brand I use but I know Philosphy has a pretty strong fan base, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that Purity Cleanser ends up being an item that sells out quickly. The Tarte and Too Faced sets would make great stocking stuffers for the beauty lovers in your life, and I expect they will sell well, even if they don’t sell out fast. I may be wrong about this but I don’t see the Sephora Collection sponge set selling out. No doubt they will get some sales, but I just don’t think its most people’s choice sponge.

Kat Von Dee, Pat MaGrath Labs, Clinique, and Milk Makeup on the Black Friday sale at Sephora

Now we come to the items where I have a little more to say about them. Lets talk about them one at a time.

The Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick at first glance looks like a great deal. I think most of all this is because everything from this brand is super expensive. But the two important things to notice are that this is a mini size and they don’t have a value listed for this product. The full size of these lipsticks sell for $38.00, but minis can mean a lot size wise. I just don’t know if you are really getting a good value here. It does say this is exclusive to Sephora. And it is limited edition. I don’t know if the color is limited edition or if it’s the color in this size. I personally will be passing on this one. But if you just want to be able to say you tried something from Pat McGrath, then maybe its worth it for you.

When it comes to both the Milk Makeup and Kat Von Dee set, I feel like these are both sets that we have already seen or something really similar. Your not really getting much of a savings, probably nothing more than any other value set. So I’m not really sure how this is Black Friday sale worthy either. I just don’t see these selling well honestly, and I won’t be surprised if they are on the weekly wow in a few weeks.

The Clinique Clarifying Lotion is definitely a sweet deal, and if it is something you use on the regular it would be great to stock up on. But I don’t think most people are going to look at this and think its the most exciting product. I guess what I am saying is, I just don’t think it will sell out. Not because it’s not a good product or value. But when people shop black Friday they are usually looking for deals on those things they are either dying to try, but can’t justify paying full price on, or shopping for Christmas presents, or occasionally stocking up on their old faithful products. This might be an old faithful product for some people, but it’s not going to be for the majority.

PLAY! Smarts, BECCA, Versace, Peter Thomas Roth all on the Black Friday Sale

The BECCA set is a fantastic deal, and it is a little different from the usual set that comes out around this time of year. It looks like this set also includes one of the Glow Glosses. This set will definitely be something I am personally considering getting.

I also think the Peter Thomas Roth set is a great deal. This is another set that I won’t be surprised if it sells out rather quickly. The brand and a lot of its products have a rather cult following, but there are still a lot people who haven’t tried this and want to, so I think it will have big appeal.

Now lets talk about the other two sets. The Versace set again isn’t a great value, so unless it’s just someone who collects minis I just don’t see this selling big. And I am little stunned that the PLAY Smarts set is on here. I don’t know what Sephora is pulling, but this was just on their sale rack for the same price? Who are you trying to fool Sephora?

Smashbox, Caudalie, Sephora Play! Smarts, and Stila on this years Black Friday Sale at SephoraI personally can not use Caudalie because of my allergy, but they are another brand that has a bit of a cult following. I think their set is definitely a great deal, and I expect it to sell well.  l

As for the Stila set, I’m just not sure. I am a huge fan of Stila products, even before their liquid eyeshadows came out. But is this what will actually interest people from them? I’m doubtful. The price isn’t bad, but it’s not fantastic either.

And what do I think won’t sell? The Smashbox palette and the Sephora Play box. Here again we have an item that is not given a value, so it most likely isn’t a deal. And the other item has already been on Sephora’s sale page for weeks for this same price. You are killing me Sephora.

Cover FX, Sephora Collectin, Philosphy, and Alterna Haircare will be on the Sephora Black FridaySale.

The Philosphy set and the Alterna Haircare set are both excellent values. I think that what I said previously about Philosphy will hold true here as well. This set may even sell faster since it is a limited edition set. I don’t know about the Alterna Haircare as much. It is a good value, but will people be excited about hair care?

Both the Cover FX and Sephora Collection items are decent deals if they are things you are interested in. I personally am interested in the Cover FX set. And while there are better deals in this Black Friday sale, this is an item that I want to try. I have other colors of the drops and I love them, but a full size takes forever to use. Getting a mini is a superior option for me. And it looks like the other item included is one of the shimmer veils, which I haven’t had the opportunity to try. No for the Sephora palette, I’m not personally excited for this, but it might make a great stocking stuffer for my young niece who is asking for makeup for Christmas.

Sephora Collection, Clinique, Clarisonic, and Jack Black on the Black Friday sale at Sephora

If you are a Clarisonic user, the stocking stuffer set is a phenomenal deal. I know it will be on my list of things I will be trying to get. Since it says it is for radiant skin and by the look of the picture, it will most likely be their radian brush head and radiant gel cleanser in this set.

All of the other products are reasonably decent deals. But the only one I really think will zoom off the shelf will be the Jack Black set. There has been a lot of buzz recently about the brand, and with the hit of extremely cold temperatures in a lot of places, this may be a welcomed item. Its pretty obvious this is a set of their balms, but what varieties? After examining the picture, my best guess would be that this will contain Shea Butter & Vitamin E, the Original Natural Mint, and Lemon & Shea Butter.

Bare Minerals, Bumble & Bumble, Tocca, and Sephora Play! will be on the Sephora Black Friday sale

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room first. If at this point you aren’t wondering if Sephora is playing some massive joke on all of us with these Sephora Play boxes being on the list I don’t know who you are. But seriously, it is yet again another one, and it was on the sale rack just last week.

The Bare Minerals and Bumble & Bumble set are both pretty decent deals. I don’t know how excited people will be about these, but maybe the value will be enough to sell them out. The Tocca set while not as good of a deal as a lot of the others, it is still better than the previous perfume we looked at.

Nest, Sephora Play!, Sephora Collection, and Olehenriksen on the Sephora Black Friday sale

The only thing at this point I have to say about Sephora Play at this point is, Sephora I am giving you serious side eye.

The rest of the sets all look like good values. I am at least considering buying the Olehenrikson set and the one from Sephora Collection. The Nest set looks beautiful if you are into scented products for your home. If anyone knows what the scent is based on the box, let us know down in the comments.

Sephora Collection, Lancer,Buxom, and Origins will all be on the Black Friday sale at Sephora.

I have to be honest, I have never heard of this brand Lancer. I don’t know if this is a brand I have overlooked or if this is one of the many brand Sephora has recently added. But either way the set from Lancer along with the one from Buxom are pretty great deals. I would think the Buxom set will be pretty popular, but I don’t know anything about the other brand so I can’t even speculate.

The products from Sephora Collection and Origins are okay. Origins is another one of those brands that I think of as having a cult following, so maybe that set will potentially sell out. But some of the love for the brand has seemed to die down over the last year, so maybe not.

Clean. Sephora Play, Tarte, and Lancome

Now here we have a perfume set from Clean that is both a good deal and I think has potential to be a popular item. It gives people options, and if you know a perfume lover on your list this would make a great gift.

For the rest of the items, there isn’t much left to say. You know what I think about the Sephora Play. The Tarte set we have seen before and it not that great of deal anyway. And Lancôme, it’s an okay deal but does anyone really want mascara for Christmas?

,Sephora Play on black friday sale

Maybe Sephora is Punking us.

 

Well after looking everything over I know what is going in my cart for the Black Friday sale. What will you be picking up? Tell me in the comments below what you think about all the Sephora Play items showing up on the sale. Is it a good move or bad move?

 

Make sure to check back on Thursday for my regular Black Friday post.

 

 

 

 

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Beauty Advent Calendars You Can Actually Purchase In The US

In my recent post about Whats Happening In November and December I mentioned that I would be opening my NARS Advent Calendar in December and Sharing it on Instagram. I also said if anyone wanted to know where you could actually purchase those coveted beauty advent calendars in the US, to let me know and I would do a post. So a few of you reached out in different places, and here we are.

This is actually the first year I managed to get my hands on a beauty advent calendar, though I had been wanting one for several years. Beauty Advent calendars are a big thing in the UK and other European countries, and it seems like there are lots of brands that put them out there. But it has been a struggle to find ones here in the US, especially of brands that I can actually use. This year has seen an increase in the advent calendars available to purchase in the US, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

If you are not familiar with the concept of an Advent calendar, they are designed usually to count down from the beginning of December to Christmas day. However there are calendars with all different time lengths involved. They are usually designed in a way that the receiver opens a little flap each day they are counting down, and inside there is a treat of some sort. We of course are specifically looking at beauty Advent calendars here, but they do come in all sorts of themes from candy to children’s toys. And you can even purchase empty advent calendars to fill with your own treasures if you are giving it as a gift. I will try to keep the focus of this post on Advent Calendars that you can actually still purchase.

 

YesStyle Beauty Box - "A KRistmas Fairytale" Beauty Advent Calendar 2018

 

YesStyle Beauty Box – “A KRistmas Fairytale” Beauty Advent Calendar 2018

 

This is a 24 day advent calendar that sells for $129.90, but the retail value is over $300. All items are Korean products and full size. It contains a good mix of makeup, skin care, and beauty tools.

If you try to purchase this one and it is showing out of stock, do not worry. It is my understanding is this item is going to restock every Monday until all product is exhausted. So you have a good shot at getting this. But remember this is coming from China, so if you want it to arrive by the beginning of December don’t delay.

NARS Uncensored Advent Calendar

 

NARS Uncensored Advent Calendar

 

This is a 24 day advent calendar that sells for $150.00. It contains 7 full size items, 3 medium-sized items, and 14 mini size items. They don’t give a value for the set. And it includes so many mini items I can’t estimate a value. But I can tell you the full sizes alone retail for $202.00.

Products inside are a mixture of various types of makeup and a couple of beauty tools. It even includes one of the spiked items from the Christmas collection this year. (This is the same one I got. They were about to sell out when I bought mine, but it appears they have restocked this item.)

 

NYX Cosmetics actually has two advent calendars out this year. The best I can tell one of them is exclusively available on NYX’s website, and the other is available on NYX’s website as well as Ulta’s and inside Ulta’s stores.

NYX Lippie Countdown Advent Calendar

 

 

NYX Lippie Countdown Advent Calendar 

 

This is a 24 day advent calendar that sells for $65.00. It currently seems to be selling exclusively on NYX’s website, however it may have previously been offered at ULTA.

As the name indicates, this particular advent calendar focuses on NYX lip products. While other brands give a list of what is included in their advent calendars, the only thing NYX has told us is that it includes a mix of their best-selling lip products in bold colors.

NYX Sugar Trip 24 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar

 

 

NYX Sugar Trip 24 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar

 

This is a 24 day advent calendar that sells for $55.00. If you are interested in a NYX advent calendar, but want more variety than just lip products you may be interested in this one.

It contains 10 of their powder products (A combination of eyeshadow, blush, and highlight.) and 14 lip products. According to NYX’s website, while the formulas are fan favorites all 24 items are supposed to be in all new fun shades. This is available currently on NYX’s website as well as at Ulta in store and online.

Charlotte Tilbury BEAUTY ADVENT CALENDAR

 

Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte’s Beauty Universe Beauty Advent Calendar

 

This is a 12 day Advent calendar that sells for $200.00, but the retail value is $268.00. This was sold at a few beauty retailers that carries Charlotte Tilbury products, but from what I can tell it is currently only available on the Charlotte Tilbury website.

It contains a mix from what Charlotte Tilbury considers to be their must have items. It will have both makeup  and skin care. There are four full size items, two minis, and six travel sizes. If you are looking for a big luxury brand advent calendar, this is it. It is also a great way to dive into trying a bunch of the Charlotte Tilbury products at once.

 

Macy’s has three Advent calendars currently available. Two are exclusives to Macy’s, and one is not. Macy’s does offer free shipping on all of their beauty products.

Clarins Festive Surprises 12-Day Advent Calendar Set

 

Clarins Festive Surprises 12-Day Advent Calendar Set

 

This is a 12 day Advent calendar that sells for $60.00. This is available on Macy’s, Ulta and Clarins’ website. Clarins website calls this the Holiday Rituals Set, and they also offer a similar set but larger on there. They say on Clarins website this set is valued at over $152.00.

This set comes in a reusable keepsake jewelry box. It contains a mixture of makeup, skin care, and body care items. Though the focus is definitely on skin care. There are ten travel items, one full size item, and one item that does not say if it is full size or travel.

Macy's Beauty Collection 12-Day All About Lips Advent Calendar

 

 

Macy’s Beauty Collection 12-Day All About Lips Advent Calendar

 

This is a 12 day Advent Calendar that sells for $30.00. This one is not just exclusive to Macy’s, it is Macy’s in store brand. If you didn’t know, they have had an in store beauty brand for a while now.

As the name suggest, this is all lip products in the collection. The description says it is all glosses, but it is actually 11 glosses and 1 liquid lipstick. These lip products come in a mixture of mattes, metalics, shines, and shimmers.

Macy's Beauty Collection 25-Pc. Advent Calendar Set

 

 

Macy’s Beauty Collection 25-Pc. Advent Calendar Set

 

This is a 25 day Advent calendar that sells for $150.00, but the retail value is $300.00. This was created for Macy’s. It can be bought on Macy’s website, but I am not sure if it is available in store or not.

It is filled with a mixture of skin care and makeup from brands carried at Macy’s. All items are from popular brands, a good amount are from high-end brands. The sizes, as far as ounces are given, but you would have to look each individual item up to find out if it is full size, travel, or mini. Based on what I know of all of the brands and their pricing, I think it’s a safe bet that at least half of these are going to be either travel size or minis.

 

Glossybox 'All I Want' Advent Calendar

 

Glossybox ‘All I Want’ Advent Calendar

 

This is a 25 day Advent calendar that sells for $99.00, and it has a retail value of over $325.00. You can only purchase this from Glossybox, and I believe you must be a Glossybox subscriber to purchase this one. If you want to sign up for a Glossybox subscription, use this link to save 20% off your first box. And you can use the code GBSALE to save $10 on the Advent calendar when you purchase a subscription.

This box contains a mix of makeup, skin care, hair care, and beauty tools. Brands will most likely be indie brands. If you saw the preview of the UK version of the box, the US box may disappoint you if that was what you were expecting. However if you are going in as a total surprise, you should then be pretty happy.

lookfantastic Advent Calendar

 

 

lookfantastic Advent Calendar

 

This is a 25 day Advent calendar that sells for $115.00. There isn’t really any information on the retail price or what brands you will be getting, so I can’t estimate the value without going to look for unboxings. The one thing they do tell you about this box is that it includes a mix of skin care, tanning, hair care, cosmetics, branded tools, and exclusive products.

 

There are quite a few brands selling their Advent calendars on Amazon as well. You have to be careful though, as not all of the Advent calendars being sold on Amazon are being sold by the brand. Many are either from previous years or being sold at a much higher price by individuals trying to make a profit on unsuspecting individuals. I am linking to some of the ones I think everyone may be interested in that I have checked to make sure they are the right price.

 

The Ritual of Advent Exclusive Calendar

 

Rituals The Ritual of Advent Calendar 2D Set

 

This is a 24 day Advent calendar that sells for $89.00, but the retail value is $179.00. On both Amazon and Rituals website. Free shipping is available on both websites for this product.

They don’t really provide a list of what is included in this Advent calendar. There is a picture of the products that are included, but I am not familiar enough with the products to know what all of them are, just which collections they are. I know this set will be heavy on the bath and body care products and there are four candles included. But I suspect that if you are a Rituals fan, you are probably looking for that anyway.

L'Occitane Holiday 2018 Luxury Advent Calendar

 

L’Occitane Holiday 2018 Signature Advent Calendar

 

This is a 24 day Advent calendar that sells for $59.00, but the retail value is $105.00. This is available at Amazon and L’Occitane’s website. As an added bonus the brand’s website says ‘This holiday season, join L’OCCITANE in helping UNICEF improve the lives of 1.7 million children around the world. For each purchase of the Signature Advent Calendar, L’OCCITANE will help UNICEF provide Vitamin A supplement to children in the fight against preventable childhood blindness.

This advent calendar contains a mix of bath and body care, hair care, skin care, and perfumes. Just a word of warning for those of you not familiar with this brand, if you are fragrance or essential oil sensitive, this will not be the right advent calendar for you. This brand is very heavily fragranced.

L'Occitane Holiday 2018 Luxury Advent Calendar

 

L’Occitane Holiday 2018 Luxury Advent Calendar

 

Yes L’Occitane has two Advent calendars, this is their Luxury one. It is a 24 day Advent calendar that sells for $124.00, but the retail value is $139.50. This is also available on both Amazon and the brand’s website.

Like the Signature Advent Calendar, this Luxury Advent Calendar also contains a mixture of  bath and body care, hair care, skin care, and perfumes. Obviously this box is more expensive both in price and retail value, but you get your best deal on the other one.

Ulta 12 Days of Beauty

 

Ulta 12 Days of Beauty

 

This is a 12 day Advent Calendar that sells for $18.00, but it has a retail value of $74.00. This is available exclusively through Ulta.

This contains all makeup. It is a mix of various makeup products from lipstick to highlight. You can almost do a full face of makeup with the contents.

 

 

Sephora Wish Upon a Star Advent Calendar

 

 

 

Sephora Wish Upon a Star Advent Calendar

 

This is a 12 day Advent Calendar that sells for $36.00, but its retail value is $85.00. It is available exclusively at Sephora.

This Advent calendar contains mainly beauty tools, though there are a couple of items that will fit more of the role of cosmetics.

 

There are also several Advent calendars out there that do fit into the beauty category, but are probably not what the majority of you are looking for in a beauty advent calendar. However, some of you may be interested so here is a short list of some Advent calendars that contain things like nail polish and perfume.

 

Ciaté London Mini Mani Month Nail Set

OPI Online Only Nutcracker Advent Calendar Mini 25 Pack

Bomb Cosmetics The Bomb Advent Calendar

Atelier Cologne Discovery Advent Calendar

Atelier Cologne Luxury Advent Calendar

 

Tell me in the comments if you are going to or already have purchased an Advent calendar. Which one? Did I miss your favorite Advent calendar on this list?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beauty Product Review – Farsali Volcanic Elixir

Farsali Valcanic Elixer

I am sure many of you are familiar with the brand Farsáli. Several of their products, like their Unicorn Essence, have become beauty blogger sensations and have blown up on social media. One product in particular I had not heard about was the Volcanic Elixir. At least I hadn’t heard about it till it landed in Sephora earlier this year.

Farsali Valcanic Elixer

Because of my personal experience with volcanic essence products in Korean Skincare I was extremely interested in trying out the Volcanic Elixir from Farsáli. If you have followed me either here on the blog or on my Instagram account for any amount of time then you know one of my all time favorite sheet masks is a Volcanic Ash Essence Mask from Esfolio. And while Farsáli is not a Korean brand, the ingredient concepts should be the same.

What The Product Does

I think when you spend any amount of time learning about Korean cosmetics you start to gain an understanding of what ingredients are used for. The great thing about Volcanic related products, in most cases like this one, they are good for all skin types and a full range of skin conditions.

So what does the brand say it does?

The properties of this oil are known to help regenerate skin tissue. The Volcanic Elixir, for this unique reason, can condition broken skin, and repair sun- and acne-damaged skin. It also has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties — making it ideal for acne sufferers. What sets this oil apart from others, is a certain lipid called calophyllolide; which is not found in any other oil, and is a very strong anti-inflammatory.

The Volcanic Elixir aids in regenerating new, healthy skin. It can be used on acne and acne scars, dry and scaly skin, stretch marks, etc.

So it really seems like the possibilities are endless if you are at either end of the problem skin scale. I’m not sure that you would gain any benefit if you have normal skin, unless you have scarring from the past.

 

My Skin Care Needs

For me, as you know I have very dry skin with scaley patches and keratin build up in creases (the scaley patches and keratin build up are from my allergy and are not constant). Due to my Balsam of Peru allergy I am fragrance sensitive, and that includes essential oils. I am also sensitive to select other possible ingredients in skin care products.

 

What You Get

Your product comes in a dark bottle with a dropper. You get one fluid ounce or thirty milliliters of product. The Volcanic Elixir has one single ingredient, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Oil, so no worries for my fellow contact allergy sufferers, unless of course that is your allergy.

I did notice all of Farsáli’s other products seem to come in a second size option, but this one does not. I am not sure if that is something they are planning on adding or not. There is no mention of it on their website, so if anyone knows please tell us down in the comments.

 

First Impressions

The very first thing I noticed when I got the bottle was how hard it was to open. I don’t know if I got a defective bottle or if they all are like mine, but you have to twist forever and then it suddenly pulls up and it makes it sort of messy. Putting the dropper cap back on seems just as difficult.

Once the lid was open the next thing I notice was the heavy natural, earthy smell coming out. If you are use to using fragrance free products or even some Korean products (depending on which kind) this is a smell you are probably already use to and won’t think twice about. This is noted on Farsáli’s website, so they do tell you before you buy. For those of you who have never tried a fragrance free product before, you may not be prepared. Some people find natural smells offensive. Personally I like them and find it comforting.

The other thing that really stands out about this product when you first start using it is the texture. You can somewhat see it in this picture:

Consistancy of the Volcanic Elixir from Farsali

It is an oil, but what makes it different is that it is very thick and has somewhat of a gritty texture. Now I can feel the texture with my fingers, but once I apply the elixir to my face I no longer feel it.

 

How To Use It

Like most oils and liquids, you want to shake this up really well before using it each time. The website recommends using it as a night treatment, almost like a moisturizer. I agree for the most part, though I prefer putting an actual moisturizer on over top of it.

I have seen a lot of people on the web saying this is a great face oil for makeup. No, that is not the intended use, and I really can not believe anyone would want to do that with the texture this oil has. While I don’t feel the texture once applied, I have to think that would mess with the look and feel of your foundation.

 

Final Thoughts

I have been using the Fersáli Volcanic Elixir for close to a month now. I use it about three to four nights a week, and I am considering using it on a nightly basis for a while just to see what happens. I will explain why.

I find that I really like the product. It does have a lasting effect on the dryness of my skin, however on the days I do not use it I see the symptoms of my contact allergy creep back in. So I want to see if I can get a more lasting effect if I do it every day.

But on the days I did use the elixir the night before, my skin looks wonderfully clear. Here is one I took and posted to Instagram recently that was on a day right after using the Farsáli Volcanic Elixir:

A picture of me after using the Farsali Volcanic Elixir

The bottom line for me is I will be repurchasing this product. I love that I don’t have to worry about what the ingredients are and that it is fragrance free. It works well on my skin. And it shows results.

If you would like to try this product out for yourself you can find it at the Farsáli website and on Sephora.

Let me know in the comments if you have tried any of the products from Farsáli and what you thought of them. Should I try something else from their line?

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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How To Do Travel Skincare And Beauty When Your Allergic To Everything

Travel size skin care products

Okay, so I’m not literally allergic to everything. I’m not even sure that is possible, but I’m not a doctor either. However, if you have read any of my past posts about my allergy to Balsam of Peru, then you know I actually only have one allergy but I react to tons of things. So when I travel, or anyone else that may have a contact allergy, I have to think of lots of little extra things to pack that maybe the average person doesn’t. I can’t just go into a hotel and use the soap, shampoo, etc… that they leave out.

So when you have to pack all these extras they can really start to take up a lot of space or you have to go buy a gazillion travel sized containers to put your stuff in. Over time you start to develop new tricks to make the load lighter, especially when you get into air travel and want to make sure you don’t have to check your baggage.

If you have been following me over on Instagram or Twitter, then you probably know I just recently went on vacation. It was during this time that I thought, why not do a blog post about the kinds of things you pack and why. So I snapped a few pictures of various things I took with me while on my trip. Let’s start from there.

Travel size skin care productsFrom left to right Earth’s Recipe Moisture Bound Cream, Iceland Micro Hydrating Eye Stick from The Saem, Baviphat Urban Dollkiss Secret Recipe Rice Sheet Mask, and Hera Purifying Cleansing Foam.

Products I took with me on vaccation

Going clockwise from bottom left. Neogen Code 9 Gold Black Caviar Essence & Gold Tox Tightening Pack, Goodal Waterest Lotus Water Cleansing Tissue, and the Luseta Coconut Milk Shampoo & Conditioner Set.

 

This particular trip was a road trip so I had slightly more freedom in how much I packed, but I still didn’t want to let it get out of hand. In order to save space I have taken to packing sample and travel sizes as much as possible. And of course sheet masks are always convenient to pack, and so much lighter than a bunch of bottles of essence.

If I can get my usual products in a travel size, I definitely hold on to them. Your probably thinking, but buying travel sizes is more expensive. And they would be if I were buying them purposely, but I have several ways that I have started acquiring these smaller sized products without spending extra money over what I normally would.

So here are some of the ways I started getting convenient sizes to travel with.

  • First anytime you make a purchase online from a beauty store like Sephora or Ulta, they always give you samples. If the samples I am given are my choice, then I try to pick anything I know works for my skin first.
  • If I can’t find a discount code when shopping at those places, then I always scan for codes that give me travel size products or deluxe samples as a bonus. Sephora is especially great for this option.
  • The various subscription boxes I get almost always include some sort of sample size or travel size products in them each month. The ones I recommend the most for this is the Sephora Play Box, Glossybox, and BomiBox. They all usually include at least a couple of either samples or travel sizes and they are all on the more affordable side of beauty subscription services. BombiBox is a Korean beauty subscription and always is a safe bet for me to find something that is safe for my skin.
  • If you shop at Walgreen’s and are a rewards member, try checking out at the beauty counter or shopping online and many times you will find sample sizes in your bag/order. Now if you have sensitive skin like me, this option is probably the least likely to yield usable skin products, but you might get a cosmetic sample that also work well for travel.

You may not always be able to get free samples or have things save up like I talked about. I get that these may not be feasible for everyone. But if you find yourself in a bind and you need to purchase some smaller sized items for an upcoming trip, here are the easiest places to get them.

Tell me in the comments below if you have any tips on how or where to get sample and travel sized items at little to no cost.

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Top Ten – Lip Balms, Oils, and Treatments

Top ten lip balms, oils, and tretments

Top ten lip balms, oils, and tretments

Welcome to the second list in this series. If you missed the first one and want to check it out, it was my Top Ten – Liquid Foundations and BB Creams For Dry and/or Textured Skin. I will always try to link the previous list at the top of the page so there is a way to go back and check them all out.

These are in no specific order. It is just a list of ten favorites.

 

1. Wild Rose Herbs – Catnip Natural Lip Balm

Wild Rose Catnip Natural Lip Balm

I first got to try this Catnip lip balm from Wild Rose Herbs when I was getting the Cat Lady Box subscription. It really is an amazing lip balm, that I just recently finished using. I plan on repurchasing along with some of their other products I want to try. Their lip balms are all natural, GMO free, vegetarian, and cruelty free. And if there is any doubt about this containing real catnip, just put some on while around your cat. Aggressive cat kisses may ensue.

2. Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

This lip mask from Bite beauty is essentially like thick moisturizer made for your lips. You can use it day or night, but my favorite way to use it is to put it on right before I got to sleep and let some moisture sink into my lips.

3. Alba Botanica Hawaiian Pineapple Quench Lip Balm

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Pineapple Quench Lip Balm

This particular scent/flavor can be difficult to find certain times of the year, but it is worth it. Very moisturizing with several oils in it. Every time you apply it feels like a little bit of summer on your lips.

4. Alba Botanica Coconut Cream Lip Balm

Alba Botanica Coconut Cream Lip Balm

The coconut cream scent/flavor from Alba is easier to find at your local pharmacies and stores year round than the previous one mentioned. I don’t find this variety to be quite as moisturizing feeling, but its close. And since I can find it in a pinch its nice to have.

5. Lancome Juicy Shaker

Lancome Juicy Shaker

The Lacome Juicy Shakers look like something from Korea, and work as well too. The all too cute packaging is meant to look like a cocktail shaker, get it – Juicy Shaker. Don’t let the cutesy packaging fool you into thinking this isn’t a serious product. It is by far one of the best lip oils I have ever tried. While many of the other come across like a slightly oily lip gloss, the Juicy Shakers are all oil with a slight tint to them. Super hydrating and very healing feeling. I have several already. Just don’t expect much color out of the lighter tones.

6. e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator elf lip exfoliator original

If you just need a little something to help take the dead skin off your lips and you don’t want to break the bank to do it, this lip exfoliator from elf is what you want. Its smells and feels just like the brown sugar lip scrub you can make home made (There are hundreds of recipes on Pinterest). Only this one is way more convenient and less messy. And because it is elf, it’s totally affordable and easy to find both online and in stores.

7. Fresh Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy

Fresh Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy

This lip serum from Fresh is a great quick fix when you have some mild texture on your lips and you want to smooth them out before applying a lipstick. I wouldn’t use this on extremely chapped lips, at least not for a last minute fix.

8. Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment and Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15

Fresh Sugar Lip Collection

Another great product from Fresh is the Lip Treatments, which are essentially their version of a lip balm. But these aren’t any regular lip balm. No matter whether you are getting the clear advanced treatment or one of the tinted treatments with SPF, they all go on feeling like butter.

9. Kaplan MD Lip 20 Mask

Kaplan MD Lip 20 Mask

If I had to pick a favorite off of the whole list, this Lip Mask from Kaplan MD would be it. Even though it is the priciest item on the list, it by all means is worth the price tag. I have only gotten to try this and the next item on the list a few times from a sample, but that was enough to convince me to order it now. I have struggled with severely chapped lips and a lot texture for many years. That is  really hard to deal with for someone like me who is a lipstick junkie. This is the one and only product that not only help with the texture, it completely smoothed my lips and left them that way for several days after. I feel like calling it a mask is a little odd though. Its nothing like the agave lip mask from Bite Beauty where you leave it on. This you have to time and take it back off, then follow with the next product.

10. Kaplan MD Lip 20 Balm Ultra Hydrating Treatment +SPF

Kaplan MD Lip 20 Balm Ultra Hydrating Treatment +SPF

This is the lip balm and follow up product from Kaplan MD. I have only tried using the two products together since that is how they recommend using it, and I had them perfectly portioned together in a sample. But it certainly did feel amazing on the lips. This is also slightly on the pricey side like the lip mask, but worth it. If you find it hard to invest in these two products without trying first they do offer a smaller travel version sold together at Sephora for significantly less. You can find that here.

 

Please remember to not take these list too seriously. This is just one persons opinion, and its based on my personal experiences. If the products you love don’t make my list it is not a personal attack against those products. I would love to hear in the comments below what your favorite lip product is.

 

 

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My Pick For The Fall 2016 Sephora VIB Sale

Sephora VIB Sale

In case you are for some reason not familiar with Sephora’s VIB Sale, it happens twice a year. Once in the Spring and once in the Fall. It is the only time you can get a discount on any item of your choice, and it’s a hefty 20% discount at that.

If you are VIB Rouge then your time to buy just ended. It was from November 4th to the 7th. Next up are the VIBs, and then followed by the Beauty Insiders. Don’t worry though, you will get notifications when its your turn to shop the sale.

So I wanted to share some recommendations with you. I thought about trying to rush and get these up before my fellow VIB Rouge’s started shopping, but I realized that once you reach VIB Rouge level your pretty solid on knowing what works for you and keeping up with new great products on the market.

Join SKECHERS Elite today and get 20% off your next purchase! Click here!
My pick are a decent mix of both makeup and skincare, as well as splurge pieces and great gifts. You won’t find anything over $75 on my list, and there should be something in everyone’s budget on the list. At the end there will also be a few pieces that I will share a picture and the name of the item, but they are sold out online. I wanted to share anyway because many times they are still available in stores.

Skincare

SUBLIME Optical Illuminating Moisturizer from Algenist

Algenist SUBLIME Optical Illuminating Moisturizer $70.00

This is not only a great moisturizer, but it also has SPF included and it has a subtle blurring effect. It’s great for those days when you want something more than bare skin, but you don’t really want to put on makeup.

Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing BalmJosie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm $36.00

This is another multi-use moisturizer. It can also be used as a primer for your makeup and can be applied on top of your makeup when you need moisture through out the day.

Algenist The Classic KitAlgenist The Classic Kit $75.00

Even without the 20% discount this set is a great deal to be had. As you probably know Algenist is a pricier brand. If you read my review of the Sephora Play Box, then you know that one of my favorite things I have gotten in the box is the eye balm from Algenist. The full size Eye Balm runs $68 by itself, so for just a few dollars more you get two more products with it. This is defitely something splurge worthy, especially if you have started to develop those fine lines around your eyes.

Clinique Dewy YouClinique Dewy You $18.00

I listed this kit in the skin care area, but technically 1/3 of it is makeup. If you have read any of my past skin care routine posts, then you know that both the Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Moisturizer and The Overnight Mask have been long time favorites.

GLAMGLOW Sexy Kissable Lips SetGLAMGLOW Sexy Kissable Lips Set $34.00

I don’t know about anyone else, but I struggle all year round with my lips being dry and peeling. And when the weather starts to turn dry and cold things just get worse. This set from Glam Glow is the perfect thing for the girl, or guy for that matter, that wants to keep their lips sexy and kissable soft.

Makeup

Urban Decay Moondust PaletteUrban Decay Moondust Palette $49.00

This is the only eyeshadow palette I have bought this year. I have considered a couple of others, but for one reason or another never bought them. But this one is perfect for anyone who loves color, glitter, and is tired of a thousand palettes that all seem to look the same. I have no regrets with this palette, and the looks I have been able to create have been endless.

Buxom Buxom Freezes Over 15 Piece Mini Lip CollectionBuxom Buxom Freezes Over 15 Piece Mini Lip Collection $59.00

I must admit I am a little lipstick obsessed and I want all the colors if I love a formula, but I only have one mouth to put it on. That is why I love these mini sets. So much easier to use these up and try a variety of colors. Or if you wanted you could also break them up and use them as stocking stuffers. And just a bit of a warning, if you don’t like peppermint you won’t like these. All of Buxom’s lip products have a somewhat strong peppermint scent and the sensation that goes with it.

Lancôme Juicy Shaker Lip DuoLancôme Juicy Shaker Lip Duo $21.00

If you have been dying to try one of the Juicy Shakers for yourself, this is the perfect way to do it. One of the Juicy Shakers usually runs $21 by themselves, but in this set you also get one of Lancôme’s lip liners for the same price. And the soothing oils in a Juicy Shaker is exactly what your lips need during the oncoming winter.

BECCA Glow on The Go Shimmering Skin Perfector Moonstone SetBECCA Glow on The Go Shimmering Skin Perfector Moonstone Set $20.00

These mini sets of the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfectors have been released in the previous years, but this is the first year to my knowledge that they have had this set in Moonstone. While everyone has been raving about Opal for a while, I personally find Moonstone to be more flattering.

Fragrance

Comptoir Sud Pacifique Travel SprayComptoir Sud Pacifique Coco Figue Travel Spray $22.00

I had recently tried many of the perfumes from this particular brand. I would not hesitate to say you can not go wrong with any of them. I have enjoyed all of them. None of them have bothered me or my fragrance sensitivity. And they are all unique. This one has been my favorite out of the ones I have tried so far. They describe it strictly as a tropical scent, and I suppose it is, but it kind of reminds me of tropical mixed with Christmas. And you are probably thinking that sounds horrible, but it actually works and smells wonderful in an unexpected way.

Sold Out Online Sephora Favorites

Sephora’s website is currently saying the following sets are all sold out. But check your local stores to see if they have them. Also check back to see if maybe they restock these online.

Sephora Favorites - Glow For It

Sephora Favorites – Glow For It

Sephora Favorites - Give Me Some LipSephora Favorites – Give Me Some Lip

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Sephora Favorites – Sun Safety Kit

 

Tell me in the comments below what your top pick for the VIB sale is. Or did you already shop with the VIB Rouge group? I would love to hear what you got.

 

 

 

 

 

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Subscription Service Review – Sephora Play Box

As I told you last time when I review the So Choix Subscription, I want to make sure I reviewed some of my favorite services and products before Christmas. I thought this time and from now on I would structure this slightly different, so you will have to let me know what you think.

Service Name: Sephora Play Box

Price: $10.00

Where Is It Available: In the 48 contiguous US states.

Who To Get It For: Yourself. Because of the way the Sephora Play Box is structured, I don’t think they are allowing you to do gift subscriptions. But everyone should give themselves a gift. So Treat Yo’ Self girl.

What You Get: You get five deluxe samples and a bonus fragrance sample every month. Always products carried at Sephora. These products are somewhat customized to you. You fill out a small survey when signing up pertaining to your skin type, coloring, and hair type.

Drawbacks: Sephora Play Box is new, and Sephora is still working out the kinks. They haven’t been the best about communicating with customers about why things work the way they do or announcing that things are changing. This has created some hard feeling for some people, especially since some people didn’t understand why they were getting a different box than what Sephora was showing being opened on YouTube.

The Details: First let’s take a look at my October box. I will give you my thoughts on each element as we go whether it be positive or negative.

How the Sephora Play Box is shipped.

I actually like the way these are shipped. The outer box is really secure, and its distinctive to the brand.

When you first open your Sephora Play Box

When you first open your box there is a pamphlet laying on top with a play card that you can take into the store for 50 extra points on your account to be used toward a future reward. So every other box you would get another deluxe sample of your choice. Or save them up and get one of the larger rewards of your choice.

Pamplet that comes with the Sephora Play Box

The pamphlet folds out and tells you all about the products and how you use them. I actually don’t like how this folds out. I prefer when the info is printed booklet style, or second choice would be on a small sheet. I do believe the Play Box originally came with a booklet and changed to this format right before I got into it.

Under the pamplet is a bag that holds all your products

Just und the pamphlet lays a cloth drawstring bag that holds all your products. This is also something that was changed. Prior to my getting into the subscription service it came in a box, hence the name Sephora Play Box. I have heard mixed things, including some people say they love that it comes in these bags. I personally do not like the cloth bag. They just get tossed. I would rather have something I could reuse like a box or a makeup bag.

October 2016 Sephora Play Box Bag says "Lipstick and Chil

This months bag says Lipstick & Chill on the front. Again, I heard a lot of people say they thought that was cute. I really just am all the nahs about it. __ & chill is starting to get overplayed, especially by a bunch of people who don’t seem to understand what it means.

What came in my October Sephora Play Box

What came inside my October Sephora Play Box

And here is what came in my Sephora Play Box for October 2016. I will show you a more close up picture and details below of each item. From the best I can tell this is one of four possible boxes you could have received for the month. If anyone know the number is different, please comment below.

Fragrance sample Derek Lam 10 Crosby Silent St.

This month they sent me DEREK LAM 10 CROSBY Silent ST.  as my perfume bonus. I haven’t opened this, and I don’t really plan on it. Most of the scents they send me I don’t like and aggravate my Balsam of Peru allergy. I probably will at some point do some giveaways with the massive amounts of perfume samples and deluxe samples I have collected. Let me know in the comments below if that is something you would be interested in. Of course they say they consider these just a bonus, so I don’t really care.

Now down to the main products.

Madam C.J. Walker Scent & Shine Coconut Oil

From a pretty new brand that Sephora has started carrying I got sent the Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture Coconut Scent and Shine Oil. The size received in the box is .15 fl oz. For a better idea of size, its about the size of one of the mini perfumes you can buy at pharmacies. It is a decent size and should last a while, especially considering what it is.

The Estee Edit Flash Photo Gloss

So this is probably not as self explanatory as the last item, unless you are already familiar with the product. This is the The Estée Edit Flash Photo Gloss. It is essentially a clear gloss you put on either alone or over your other lip product to make your teeth look white even if they aren’t. The size you receive in the box is .1 fl oz. It is about the size of any mini lip gloss.

Farmacy Skin Dew

This was the product I was probably most excited to see in the bag this month. It is the Farmacy Skin Dew Hydrating Essence Mist & Setting Spray. I had been wanting to try products from this brand for a while, but they have a pretty hefty price tag. I just hadn’t been able to bite the bullet without trying the products first. The size received in the box was .68 fl. oz.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

I am also pretty happy to get to try this Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum. But as much as I am excited to try this, I think I am a little apprehensive. I don’t know how Glycolic acid will go over with my super sensitive skin. That is one of the big reasons I never even thought about buying this, but that is the great thing about a subscription like this. The size sent in the bag is 5ml.

Smashbox Always on Matte Liquid Lipstick

The last item is a Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver’s Seat. Driver’s Seat is described as a warm pink. I have not tried it yet, but looking at it in the tube, its not a color I care for. But that is not unusual. When it comes to makeup lipstick is one of my favorite things, but 90% of time the shades sent in subscription boxes are not the colors I like. I can not tell you the size of this product as it doesn’t seem to be marked on it, but the tube itself is about the same size as the one from Estee Edit.

I thought I would also share with you a small list of some of my favorite things I have received the last few months in my Play Box.

Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick

Origins Maskimizer™ Skin-Optimizing Mask Primer

Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm

 

Who Will Like This/Who Won’t: If you are strictly into makeup or strictly into skin care you won’t like this box. But if you like trying a variety of things, and you want to try them before you buy then this may be the box for you. Also if you find you prefer smaller sized items of cosmetics this is definitely a good box for you.

Where To Sign Up:  http://www.sephora.com/play

Overall this has been my favorite month yet. For $10 I feel like even if I don’t like everything or there is something I don’t want to use, there is always someone in my life who will appreciate it, or I can use it in a future give away.

Let me know in the comments below if you have the Sephora Play box and what you think.

 

 

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Product Review – Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color Longwearing Lip Color

Thanks to our friends over at Influenster I got another VoxBox. This time it was a much coveted makeup box. I received the Maybeline Super Stay 24 Color Liquid Lipstick in two colors. I was sent Constant Toast 136 and Keep Up The Flame 025. These lipsticks are available in 30 different shades. You can see a full list of colors available here.

Maybelline Super Stay 24 Liquid Lipstick

Constant Toast looks a little like a light brown nude in the package, but on the lips it looks more like a pinky peach nude. And Keep Up The Flame is a brick red color, though I thought the it looked slightly more like a true red on the lips but not by much.

In my voxbox it came with a card that had instructions for application and a list of product claims. I would like to note that there were no instructions on the actual products on their boxes. I think that without the instructions, this could be a product that could go terribly wrong.

So first lets talk about what the product claims to do. Here is what is says:

Meet the wonder that stretches the limits of longwear lip color, SuperStay 24 Lip color. This longwear lip color won’t cake, dry, flake, or fade thanks to our unique Microflex technology that leaves lips feeling fresh through 24 hours of wear.Sounded great to me, but I was more than a bit dubious. It’s hard to not be doubtful. I have tried so many liquid lipsticks and it seem like you have two option. You can either have the super matte liquid lipsticks that last a long time, but not a full 24 hours. And you still can’t really eat and drink what you want with them on without them wearing off, and usually in a really unflattering way. But with these you have to worry about them being painfully drying, or if your like me and have natural lip creases from birth and dry lips they look horrible on most of the time. Or you can choose the non matte ones, and they will last a little longer than a traditional lipstick and wear away gracefully, but the extra time they last is just not that much. And at least they aren’t painful on the lips. But to find a color that will last through anything and not be drying? Really.

So to give it the best chance of working the way it says it would I also wanted to follow their instruction. Here is what it says to do:

Apply liquid lip color to clean, bare lips. (Helpful tip: if you have dry and/or peeling lips it is best to use a lip scrub and balm prior to application, just make sure to wipe it off prior to use.) Allow two minutes to dry, then apply the ultra conditioning balm to seal in moisture. (Helpful tip: don’t allow your lips to touch during the dry down time.)

Reapply balm as needed. (I found for me personally it was mainly necessary after eating and drinking.)

Remove with an oil-based makeup remover.

The helpful tips parts are my own notes I wanted to share after some trial and error. The rest was what was on the notecard.

I wanted to really test these out fully. It said it would last 24 hours so I decided I was going to wear one of them a full 24 hours even if that meant sleeping in it. So I tested out Constant Toast first because it was the lighter color and I didn’t want to end up with red all over my sheets just in case it did have transfer. I used my cell phone to take these pictures so I would be sure to have a time stamp. So let’s go over how each of these lasted through the day, and then I will give you my thoughts on the product.

Maybelline Super Stay 24 in Constant Toast

Here is a closer look at what Constant Toast looks like. It’s very obviously a nude color. I wasn’t really planning on going anywhere the first couple of days that I tested these lipsticks out, I decided not to bother with any other makeup. I only concentrated on the application of the lipstick and checking in often to see how it was wearing.

Applying Constant Toast

Here I am applying Constant Toast at 5:16 A.M. in the morning. You can see constant toast is pretty close to my own lip color. It’s probably what some people would call a better than my lip color, but I don’t know that I think that.

After applying I had my morning coffee like I do every morning when I first get up.

First check in with constant toast.

And this is my first check in at 5:43 A.M. and everything still looks good.

First time adding lip balm to constant toast

At 8:39 A.M. is the first time I feel compelled to use the lip balm again. I wasn’t to the point where my lips felt painful, but its like it would be on the average day when I would use a regular lip balm.

Seond Check in with Constant Toast

I had to run to my mail box and decided to do a check in while I was in the sunshine. This was at 12:32 P.M. As you can see it still looks fully in tact.

2nd application of balm

When I got back from running my errands I had a light snack and this left me needing to apply the balm again at 1:39 P.M.

Check in after dinner with constant toast

And here is my last check in for the day at 5:37 P.M. after dinner. I did reapply the balm one more time before going to bed.

Last check in for 24 hours of the Maybelline Super Stay 24 Lip Color

And after sleeping in the lipstick all night long here is my last check in after waking up at 5:00 A.M. You can see that it is still there, however some of it has worn off in spots. And of course my lips are a little dry looking. I of course have no way of knowing at what time it started to wear off since I was asleep.


Up next was the color Keep Up The Flame. I felt like I had already tested the formula well, so I didn’t really need to test it to that extent, but I did still do some check ins during the day.

Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color in Keep Up The Flame

It is obviously a brick red color. A little on the dark side, but not super dark.

Wearing Keep Up The Flame

This was not long after I applied the lipstick. It actually looks okay in the picture, but this color was very hard to apply. It kept wanting to slip outside the lip line. Once the dry down happened there were no more problems, it was only while trying to apply it. I wore it a second time and had the same issue, but it was some easier if I wiped a lot of the product off of the applicator.

End of the day wearing Keep Up The Flame

This was more to the end of the day. It was close to twelve hours of wear. I think it help up well considering I had a pretty oily pizza for dinner. There is a little bit of color loss towards the center of my mouth, but that is it. It also looks overly glossy, not really sure what caused that.

My thoughts about this product are this. First let me say, I really would not have ever chosen the colors that I was sent. I did end up liking Constant Toast, but Keep Up The Flame is not a color I would wear again. But I did absolutely love the formula. I think it put every other liquid lipstick I have ever tried to shame. There should be no reason that if this $10 lipstick can make a moisturizing long-wearing lipstick, then the $20 and and $30 ones I have tried can do the same. The one drawback is the selection of colors. They do have 30 different shades to choose from, but most don’t seem to be that different from each other. And there are definitely no fun shades.

I actually loved the formula so much I had to run out and buy some other colors. I haven’t gotten to wear all the colors I purchased, but I wanted to share some of the makeup looks I created both from the two I was sent, and from ones I purchased.

Makeup Look With Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color Liquid Lipstick in Costant Toast

The Look: No Makeup Makeup

Lip Color: Constant Toast 136

Foundation: Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox Bb Beauty Balm Spf25

Eyeshadow: ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in Tang

Mascara: Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara

Blush: Nars Blush in Sex Appeal

 

Makeup look using Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color Liquid Lipstick in Keep Up The Flame

Look: Full Glamour

Lip Color: Keep Up The Flame 025

Primer: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer Oil-Free Broad Spectrum SPF 15

Concealer: Onomie A.C.E. Illuminating Eye Treatment in Lovelace Pink Pearl and Onomie Bright Concealing Elixir in Shikibu Fair Warm

Foundation: Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Fiji

Powder: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light

Eyeshadow Primer: Sephora Collection Beauty Amplifier Perfecting & Smoothing Eye Primer

Eyeshadow: Ulta Matte Eyeshadow in Bone, Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Barcelona Beach, Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Cupcake, and from the Urban Decay Moondust Palette – Lithium

Eyeliner: Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner and Serum in Ultra Black and in my water line Lise Watier Smokey Kohl Velours in Noir Velours

Mascara: Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara

Lashes: Accent Lashes 305 Black by Ardell

Contour: Laguna from the NARS ” Domination ” Limited Edition 4 Shades Cheek Palette

Blush: Orgasm from the NARS ” Domination ” Limited Edition 4 Shades Cheek Palette

Highlight: Devotee from the NARS ” Domination ” Limited Edition 4 Shades Cheek Palette

 

 

Makeup Look using Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color Liquid Lipstick in Committed Coral

Look: Everyday Wear

Lip Color: Committed Coral 041

Concealer: Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer in Medium Light

Foundation: Stila Aqua Glow Serum Foundation in Fair Light

Powder: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light

Eyeliner: Physicians Formula Eye Definer Automatic Eye Pencil, Ultra Black

Mascara: Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara

Blush: Nars Blush in Sex Appeal

 

Makeup Look using Maybelline Super Say 24 Color Liquid Lipstick in Keep It Red

Look: Vintage Kitch

Lip Color: Keep It Red 035

Concealer: Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Crème in L11

Foundation: Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Fiji and Gobi Mixed

Powder: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light

Eyeshadow Primer: Sephora Collection Beauty Amplifier Perfecting & Smoothing Eye Primer

Eyeshadow: Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow in Bella Cobalt and from the Urban Decay Moondust Palette – Vega

Eyeliner: Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner and Serum in Ultra Black and in my water line SEPHORA COLLECTION Contour Inner Rim Gel Eyeliner in Wide Eyed

Mascara: Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara

Blush: MAC Beauty Powder in Pearl Blossom

 

I did receive two of the lipsticks in exchange for a review, but all opinions expressed are my own. Let me know in the comments below if you have tried the Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color Liquid Lipsticks. If you have, what was your favorite color, and did you love these as much as I did?

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