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Tag Archives: ULTA

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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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Product Review: Not Your Mother’s Blue Sea Kale & Pure Coconut Water Sea Minerals Shampoo and Conditioner

Not Your Mother's Blue Sea Kale & Pure Coconut Water Sea Minerals Shampoo and Conditioner

I am on a personal mission this year to find a shampoo and conditioner that both works for my hair type and for my sensitive scalp. To be more specific, I need something to help with my contact dermatitis. I want to go beyond not causing an allergic reaction and find something that will actually help the skin on my scalp.

To keep these reviews relevant to more people than just those with a Balsam of Peru allergy or some other sort of fragrance allergy, in addition to general information about the shampoo each review will be broken down into sections. I will do half of the review just based on how effective it is at cleansing, price, ease of use, etc.. The second part of each review will be based on the effects on my allergy as well as discussion of ingredients used.

I am of mixed heritage, and I don’t have typical white girl hair. My hair is very thick and coarse. It tends to be very dry, and can turn brittle if I wash it too often or don’t condition it enough. But my hair is reasonably healthy outside of that, as I do not use heat on it very often and I try to take care of it to the best of my ability.

My scalp goes back and forth between dry and oily depending on the time of the year and the products I have used. My biggest struggle with my scalp is from the allergic contact dermatitis. This causes a dry, scaley, itchy coverage on the scalp that looks a lot like dandruff. I have never been able to get it fully cleared up on my scalp. At its worst, when I have a reaction to something, it also burns and can blister.

Now that we have covered the basics of what I am looking for in a shampoo and conditioner and what I my particular needs are, lets take a look at the actual shampoo and conditioner we are reviewing today.

The Product

Not Your Mother's Blue Sea Kale & Pure Coconut Water Sea Minerals Shampoo and Conditioner

This is the Not Your Mother’s Blue Sea Kale & Pure Coconut Water Sea Minerals Shampoo and Conditioner. I bought mine online at Ulta.com, but it is also available in most Ulta stores as well as Walgreens. Each 16 oz. bottle sells for $8.99, at least at Ulta.

I decided to give this set a try because of several reasons. I have had previous good experiences with the Not Your Mother’s Brand, I just hadn’t tried any of their shampoos and conditioners. I also have had relatively good experiences with the main ingredients. Coconut is always good for my skin, and seems to do well in my hair as well. And the blue sea kale, well I have not had a direct experience with it, but other ocean plants like kelp have been successful in the past. Plus since this is a drugstore brand the price is right and it would be easy for me to find at a moments notice.

 

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How It Performed

Not Your Mother's Shampoo

This shampoo had a lot going for it, and so I was pretty hopeful that I would have a great shampoo. Unfortunately, it fell flat for me. I really expect anything coconut to be super moisturizing. This was not. If anything I felt it was drying, and by the end of washing my hair with it my hair felt a rough.

Not Your Mother's Conditioner

Now the conditioner fared slightly better, but not by much. Just the nature of what conditioner is means it’s not going to dry my hair out. It did moisturizer, but it just wasn’t the intensity that I needed. And oddly enough, even though the moisture was light, it left my hair feeling weighed down and limp.

Overall, I would say that this shampoo and conditioner is fine for anyone who has thick hair, but it would be best for someone who stays on the oily side. I would not recommend it for coarse hair or dry hair. I also would not recommend the conditioner for anyone with fine, thin hair. I think this set is going to be for a very specific hair type.

The Allergy Affect

When it comes to my Balsam of Peru allergy it can get really complicated as to what will or won’t affect me. You can read the ingredient list and not see anything that looks problematic and it still can be. Then there are also times that you can look at the ingredient list, be really nervous about what’s on the list, and then nothing happen. In this case the ingredient list for both the shampoo and conditioner was rather on the small side compared to a lot of hair care products I have used over the years.

The only ingredient I was the least bit wary of was fragrance. The Balsam of Peru allergy does get classified as a fragrance allergy, but it’s not really. It is used in some fragrances, but not all. So I sometimes react to fragrances, and sometime I don’t. In these cases I know certain scents to stay away from for sure, and for the rest I do a smell test. What I mean is I can usually tell by just smelling the product whether I will react. Upon smelling the product, it seemed like I was in the all clear.

After washing my hair with the Not Your Mother’s Blue Sea Kale & Coconut Water Shampoo and Conditioner everything seemed fine. I thought for a bit I had hit the jackpot on the first shampoo and conditioner I was trying. But unfortunately about three to four hours after washing my hair I started to experience a reaction. Full on itching and burning that led into flaking skin. It fell just short of causing blisters. So this was a fail on the allergy front too.

Final Thoughts

This shampoo and conditioner from Not Your Mother’s was just not a good match for me. Since I had an allergic reaction, there was definitely no point in trying it a second time. If it were not for the allergic reaction, I probably would have given it at least a second shot just to see if my hair reacted different.

I will be reviewing a lot of shampoos and conditioners this year, so if there is one you would like to see me review leave the name or a link to it in the comments, or alternatively you can send me a message on the contact page. I would love to hear your feedback. Also, tell me in the comments if there is anything more you want to know about the shampoos and conditioners I try. Did I leave some needed information out?

 

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The Best Gifts For Beauty Lovers Under $30

Best beauty gifts under $30

Best beauty gifts under $30

Everyone has at least one beauty lover in their life. But picking a gift for a beauty lover can be difficult and overwhelming if you aren’t really familiar with all the brands and items. And many of the most coveted items can be pricey, and maybe not really in your budget for a typical gift. That is why I have come up with a list of the best gifts available this year for the beauty lover in your life.

I have broken this into three categories: Lips, Eye & Face Palettes, and Everything Else. Most of these items, but not all, can be purchased at multiple locations. But for the sake of this post I will be linking to the stores where I purchased from, unless I find it somewhere cheaper for you. The under $30 price tag is based on full regular price, so no chance for you to have to pay more.

LIPS

Best lip products for gifts in 2018 Christmas Season1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick – Holiday Kiss Collection – Sells for $17. I got mine in the color Rebel which is a Sephora-exclusive metallized nude shade of Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick. This is perfect for the lipstick collector that loves limited edition.

2. Urban Decay Little Liquid Vices – Sells for $28. Know someone who loves liquid lipstick or has been wanting to try them. With this set you give them the opportunity to try four mini size shades for just a little more that the price of a full size. In this set you get to try two formulas, comfort matte and metallized. And you get the shades Backtalk, Amulet, Purgatory, and Crimson.

3. Urban Decay Little Vices Lipstick Kit – Sells for $25. You get five deluxe samples of Vice Lipsticks for about the same price of one full size lipstick. You get three finishes (cream, comfort matte, and metallized) in the colors Violate, 1993, Double Crossed, Love Drunk, and Mad. This is perfect for the lipstick lover who wants a variety of shades and/or finishes, also great if you are just unsure of what your beauty lover likes in a lipstick.

4. NYX Professional Makeup Meet The Metallics Lip Vault – Sells for $25. A lipstick vault is for the true lipstick fanatic. And you will be hard pressed to find a vault of any kind, even of a drugstore brand, for under $30. In this particular vault you get 12 lip colors. Despite what the name implies, not all of the lipsticks are metallic. You get 6 metallic shades and 6 soft matte lip creams. You get the colors Monte Carlo, Copenhagen, Paris, Budapest, Rome, and Dubai in each of the formulas.

5. Sleek Makeup Mini Major Matte Metallic Set – Sells for $10. (If metallics aren’t your thing, there is also a regular matte version available for the same price.) In this set you get four minis of what they call metallic matte lip gloss. To me I still consider this more of a lipstick, but you be the judge. But it’s definitely something every beauty lover will want to try. And at just $10 its affordable at even the smallest budget.

6. Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip – Sells for $28. These lip kits, as well as some of their other kits are quite popular at Sephora. I can not link to the exact one I am showing since I purchased it at a JC Penny’s Sephora and they have their own special ones not available online. However I am linking to one of the most similar ones in regular Sephora’s. I have bought them from both places as they offer different items at both locations. And often when the ones are sold out at regular Sephora’s then they still have plenty in JC Pennys. So always check there if you are looking for one of the Sephora favorites kits.

7. Huda Beauty Contour & Strobe Lip Set – Sells for $25. The Contour & Lip Strobe Sets are packaged in a covetable lip-shaped tin, each set features a full-size Lip Contour, a mini Liquid Matte Lipstick in a complementary shade, and a mini Lip Strobe. This set was originally offered in five shade combos at Sephora. Pictured above is Bombshell & Ritzy which has already sold out at Sephora, I am unsure about other sellers. There are still three shade options left that I think are equally lovely. There is Trendsetter & Snobby, Trophy Wife & Shameless, and Silver Fox & Angelic.

 

e.l.f. cosmetics

Eye And Face Palettes

Eye and face makeup palettes under $301. bh Cosmetics Zodiac Palette – Sells for $21.99. In this palette you get 25 eyeshadows (12 baked shimmers, 12 buttery mattes) and 1 luminous baked highlighter. This palette is slightly reminiscent of the Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Palette. I think this would be a great gift for any beauty lover who missed out on that palette or anyone who likes unique or themed palettes.

2. Sleek Makeup Bring On The Night Gift Set – Sells for $30 (it does look like Walgreens is clearancing this set out for half price, but I am not positive). In this set you get the Vintage Romance Eyeshadow Palette, the Solstice Highlight Palette, and the Take A Cheeky Peek Blush Palette which can each be bought separately as well. There are really some great color choices in this set, and you get a lot bang for your buck. This might be a great option for someone who is just getting into makeup and you want to give them a little of everything.

3. Wet N Wild Fantasy Makers Paint Palette – Sells for $13.78. This is a little different from the other palettes. Instead of traditional makeup its is face paint palette, so something for those in your life who love to do costuming and do a lot of makeup with it. The one I am showing is the pastel version, but there are several color options available.

4. Stila Written In the Stars – Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow Set – Sells for $25. (Please note this set has sold out everywhere since I started working on this post. However each of the shades in this set or there is a larger set available if you are looking for sets.) In this set you get three deluxe sizes of the Glitter and Glow Liquid Eye Shadow. Colors included are Diamond Dust, Kitten Karma, and Smokey Storm. These shadows are really fantastic and the perfect gift for the girl who want her eye looks to pop.

5. ColourPop Semi Precious Shadow Palette – Sells for $26.00. This palette contains 8 metallic shades inspired by star stuff and celestial lights. Available online at both Sephora and ColourPop’s websites. Also available in certain Sephora stores. This is a great gift for the Colour Pop fanatic or the beauty lover who always wants to try the latest thing.

6. Femme Couture Naughty Metals Eyeshadow Palette – Sells for $9.99. This palette contains 8 metallic shades perfect for those Holiday looks. If metallics aren’t your thing try the Nice Nudes palette. Really want to elevate your look? Get both and mix shadows from both palettes. The perfect gift for the beauty lover who follows the trends when you are on a tight budget.

7. COL-LAB Pro Eyeshadow Palette Best of the Day – Sells for $14.99. This palette is available in four varieties, I am showing it here in Best Of The Day. Each palette comes with eight colors in three formulas (matte, satins, and metallics). This is from the new exclusive collection at Sally Beauty created by some top YouTube Beauty Gurus. This is the perfect gift for the beauty lover who wants to support her favorite YouTuber.

8. Maybelline The City Mini Palette – Sells for $6.49-$9.99. I purchased mine through Amazon Prime Pantry. That is the cheapest place to purchase it but if you are not a Prime member, then you can also find it at Walgreens. This palette is available in 7 color options, pictured is The Urban Jungle. Each palette contains six shades that are a mix of mattes, shimmers, and metallics. These are the perfect gift for the beauty lover who likes experimenting with bold looks.

9. NYX Cosmetics In Your Element Shadow Palette, Air – Sells for $30. This palette is also available in Wind, Earth, Fire, Metal, and Water versions. The air palette features pastel shades to create ethereal looks. Each palette comes with 12 shade, all except he metal palette offer a mix of textures. The air palette has a mix of mattes, satins and shimmers. This is a perfect gift for the beauty lover who fancies herself a unicorn at heart.

 

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Everything Else

1. Urban Decay Urban Lockdown Travel Duo – Sells for $19.00. This set includes an Optical Illusion Complexion Primer Mini and a Travel Size All Nighter Setting Spray. This is a great gift for the woman who is on the go all day and night, and needs her makeup to stay in place while she is out.

2. Love OPI, XOXO Mini 4 Piece Set – Sells for $14.99. This set comes with four mini colors that are perfect for the holidays. You get Ornament to Be Together, Coalmates, Holidazed Over You, and My Wish List is You. This is the perfect gift for the beauty lover who is obsessed with doing her nails.

3. Nails INC Sparkle Like A Unicorn Set – Sells for $19.00. This set includes one Sparkle Like A Unicorn printed sheet mask, two Mini Nail Polishes in Unicorn Vibes and Unicorn Dot Com, and one Lip Trippin’ Iridescent Strobe Lipstick in Unicorn Tribe. Unicorns are really popular right now with kids and kids at heart. This gift is perfect for the beauty lover who is all unicorns all the time.

4. Clinique Moisture Favorites Set – Sells for $18.50. This set includes three mini size products perfect for travel or just to try the products out. You get a Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate, a Moisture Surge Face Spray Thirsty Skin Relief, and a Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Color Balm. This is a great gift for the friend that is more into skin care than makeup or someone who has dry dehydrated skin. This is a great choice for sensitive skin types, or if you just don’t know what skin type they have.

5. Bitzy Body Shimmer Spray – As you can see there is no link to this product. That is because since I started working on this post a couple of days ago every place that had it seems to have sold out, at least online. I bought mine at Sally Beauty, so you could possibly find some in your local store. If you want something similar you can get the Glitter Powder Spray from HUBEE on Amazon for around the same price I paid. I personally think this would make a great gift for a young beauty lover or someone who likes to sparkle.

6. Models Own Celestial Lip Glitter Kit in Rose Meteor – Sells for $14.99. Also available in the color Moon Dust. This kit comes with everything you need to do a glitter lip. It can be worn alone or over your own lipsticks. These would make great gifts for the beauty love who loves doing lip art or who follows all the Instagram trends.

 

So there you have my top picks for beauty gifts under $30. Tell me in the comments if you think I left something out that people should know about. What beauty item is on your wish list this year?

 

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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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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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What I Used For Stempunk Costume Makeup

So if you caught my recent post Plus Size Steampunk Fashion – Or How I Became A Unicorn Queen you know the pictures unfortunately didn’t turn out the best. (I most likely will at some point be getting a better camera). However I did take a few face close ups, and I did crop one picture for a better view, so that hopefully you guys can see at least some of the makeup I will be describing. I will be doing some more makeup looks using some of these products during this month so this won’t be your only chance to see them. And as a bit of a teaser/something to look forward to, some of the items I talk about in this post will be in the upcoming giveaway at the end of this month.

I think the biggest challenges of capturing this look with my camera was the bright lighting against the very light colors. So I am also going to show you color swatches from the makeup companies as well. I will only be covering the actual makeup and application in this post and not the skin prep, as that will be covered in a different post.

2015-04-25 13.40.59

If you remember this is how I looked at the con. Lets just start with the general face makeup and I will put up a more close up pictures when we are ready to cover the eye makeup.

I already normally stay pretty pale, but since this was for a steampunk look I wanted to go slightly paler. I took my normal foundation Physician’s Formula Super CC Cream in Light

06234-SuperCC

I mixed with it Manic Panic’s Dreamtone® Liquid Flawless Foundation™/Skin Toner.

MP-Dreamtone-VampireWhite

The link I included above takes you directly to Manic Panic’s website, but if you wish to purchase their items and find it easier, they also sell their items on Amazon.

Once I thoroughly mixed the two, I then applied it with my hands. I do sometimes use brushes to apply my foundation, I do that to get a different effect, but I will cover that in a different post.

I then took Doll Cheeks Blush from Geek Chic Cosmetics

doll-cheeks-3

I really love the color of this blush, but in this particular case I did not use it as I typically would blush. Instead I used it more like you would a contour powder on the cheek area, simply by placing it a little lower than where you would normally for a blush. Now I know you are probably thinking this isn’t really the right color for a contour powder. And that’s where things get a little more complicated. First of all, the color in person is a little darker than it reads in the picture. Second, the undertones in my skin makes it really hard for me to use 90% of most contouring products or even bronzers. Instead of having the desired effects with those products I usually end up looking dirty instead. Where the majority of people seem to have red or blue undertones in their skin, I have yellow to olive. And perhaps if I lived in a larger city where they carried more options for me to experiment with I would find the right thing, but until then I find that blushes like these can work for me. (Though there are some new things you may see some posts about soon.) And third, I blended something over the blush.

Once the contour line was applied pretty heavily, I then took another Manic Panic product called Goth White™ Cream/Powder Foundation.

MP-CreamPowder-GothWhiteI just gently dabbed it on all over the face with the sponge applicator that came with it. It is semi sheer, but can be layered on for a thicker full white look if that is what you want. That was not the effect I was going for though, so I just did one light layer.

Then I applied Slice Of The Moon’s Shimmer Pearl Mica Powder High Shimmer Effect

b007f53fca3abe1a1c87ca0ac0194ec1

Just like with Manic Panic, this company also sells through Amazon if its more convenient for you. I applied this with a small blush brush to the center of my forehead, right above my cheek bones, the tip of my nose, and the center of my chin.

I then began working on my eyes. Now if you happen to be a beginner or have an unsteady hand or just in general worry about fallout, you may want to do this in reverse order. Here is a more close up look at my eyes

2015-04-25 13.39.59

Again, unfortunately not the best picture, but you can at least see the color in this one.

First thing I did was use Geek Chic’s Power Up Primer all over my lids.

untitled

If you haven’t had a chance to use their primer its a little different than most eye primers. It is very thick and verges on being solid till your body heat warms it up a bit. It kind of reminds me of a solid perfume in the way that its made, but its not scented.  I will be honest here and say the this is not my favorite type of primer. That being said, it is a good primer and is perfect for using with loose pigments, anything with heavy glitter or sparkles.

Next I used Ulta’s Eye Crayon in Gold Coast.

Ulta-EyeCrayon-GoldCoast

I used this almost like a second primer. It is very close to my skin tone, and I wanted to make sure I had something under the loose pigment shadow I was going to use to help with smoothing and blending.

Next I used Geek Chic’s Bigger On The Inside, from the Timey Wimey Collection.

bigger-on-the-inside-5

This is a loose pigment that comes in a sifter cup. Using a domed eye shadow brush I applied this color to the crease  and corner of my eyes.

Then I used Geek Chic’s Don’t Blink, also from the Timey Wimey Collection.

don-t-blink-5

Using a small angled eye shadow brush I applied this to my lid and a small thin line just above the crease of my eye. I then took a soft blending brush and gently swept it across my eye.

And then I used Manic Panic’s Glam Dust in Nymph.

$_57

This product was applied to the brow bone using a small eye shadow brush and Manic Panic’s Glam Glue. Now if you go to their website, you will see a product that looks a little different. That’s because the one I have is an older version of this product and used the picture of the one I have because I think it shows the product better. If for some reason you want the older version, you can still find them on eBay, but probably not for long.

On my lips I used MAC’s Matte Lipstick in Heroine.

M2LP93

One of the things I love about MAC’s Matte Lipsticks is their staying power. I did not use any sort of lip primer or foundation under it. And I only had to reapply my lipstick one time the whole day, and that was right after lunch.

Since my skin is not especially oily, I did not use a finishing spray. My makeup stayed all day.

Let me know what you think either here or on Facebook. Since I will be doing at a least a few more makeup looks this month for the blog, let me know what you want to see. And I promise better pictures next time. But seriously, do you guys want to see everyday looks, more costume looks, etc…? I am up for anything.

What to look for soon on the blog…

My daily skincare routine.

An outfit post with ModCloth

Lets talk embarrassing health care questions for plus size ladies, I know you got them.

 

 

 

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