Happy Haulidays Part 2

If you tuned in for my first Happy Haulidays post, you saw all my fabulous drugstore finds from December. And now I bring you my high-end Hauliday post.


I was super excited to snag this holiday set from Sephora! Fresh Sugar lip balms are some of the absolute best (but pricey) balms on the market, so these little minis are worth every penny. So far the cherry shade gives a really great red stain and the berry is a toned down purple-pink. Each of these has SPF in it too, which is lovely. So often I forget about needing SPF on my lips but it’s equally important as the rest of your skin!


This is a new to me product that I received at Christmas, but if you couldn’t tell from above, I’m a big fan of lip balms. The Lip Slip by Sara Happ is beautifully packaged but also light on the lips. I need to play with it more to speak properly to how well it hydrates but I’m excited about this new lip balm!


I have been pining away for this palette since its release and finally caved when Ulta was having their 20% off sale in December. It felt like a victory to get this palette for less than its retail price. But I love the smokey grays and purples in this Too Faced palette.


This was an impulse buy in the winding checkout aisle at Sephora (you know that aisle has gotten to you too). I’m a big fan of Dr. Jart + products. I have another of their BB creams in the black bottle. One is a radiance cream and the other is labeled Multi-Action skincare, so we’ll see how these go. But again, hurrah for SPF!


This was a repurchase for me. I already had a mini Benefit They’re Real mascara that I adore but it’s nearing its end. My lashes get such great volume and shape from this mascara. It’s tricky to get off but that doesn’t bother me for the results I get.


I bought a couple of Sephora brand products as well. The eye shadow on the left is the shade Hold Me Tight and the cream eye shadow on the right is called Plum Velour. I’ve always been a little intimidated by the red-toned pinks or deep reddish-purple shades because they can make your eyes look bruised if you’re not careful. But since Marsala is the color of the year, I’m giving these shades a chance.


This is also a Sephora brand lipstick and all I can find on the packaging is Sephora Rouge Shine No 11, so I’m assuming this shade doesn’t have an official name. But it’s a pinky-brown creme lipstick with a hint of glossiness on the lips. A good all year shade.


The final two items of my Haulidays posts are the Bare Minerals BB 5 in 1 eye shadow in Soft Linen. I got a sample of another shade months ago from ipsy and these eye shadows are amazing. They stay all day with no creasing or fading and provide an excellent base for various eye looks. I wanted a softer toned shade than the one I got in my subscription box and this pale beige is the perfect base for everyday, natural makeup.

The other item is a Sephora eye liner in a sparkly black called Galaxy. What made this shimmer stand out is that it’s blue-green micro-glitter, and it glides on smooth without pulling or scratching. I’m a big fan of the Sephora brand and while it’s pricier than the drugstore it also has a wonderful variety of trendy or classic shades throughout their product ranges, so they’re worth trying out.

There you have it my high-end Haulidays are complete. I hope you all had a pleasant New Year and are already finding new products to love. Let me know if you’d like a review on any of these products in the comments below.

Thanks for popping in!

Happy Haulidays Part 1

I’ll admit it. I went a little nutty with the makeup purchasing. But that’s half the fun during this time of year!

And because I somewhat anticipate there being some more purchases made after Christmas, I have decided to bring you a haul before and a haul after the holidays.

This first part of the will be mostly drugstore finds, and the second part will be more on the high-end scale of things. Sound good?


IMG_3227These two beauties have obviously not been cracked open yet, but since some of my mascaras have dried out in the last few months I thought these would be worth trying. I’m really hoping the argan oil formula does nice things for my lashes.


Not sure what made me pick up the Simple eye make-up remover pads, but I’ve heard good things about the brand. These other two eye shadows were pure impulse buys. This Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe seemed like a good base shade, and I picked up NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil in French Fries because of the name. Sometimes a good name is all it takes.


The Tough as Taupe comes off a bit more gray than I expected, but I’ll have to play with it and see how it works out. French Fries turned out to be a beautiful bronze that I’m really excited about.


One of elf’s latest releases is these six shadow palettes, and this particular one is Naked, which I figured would be the easiest to play with. I’ve noticed my makeup tastes leaning more towards nude or natural in the past few months. The other elf product I picked up was the Makeup Lock & Seal. I’ve heard it’s comparable to MAC’s Fix-Plus in terms of getting shadows to shine, so I thought I’d give it a shot.


Look at how beautiful and pigmented these shadows are! They’re also smooth to the touch and feel light on the skin. I’m impressed already.


I’ve always wanted to try one of the Dream Bouncy blushes from Maybelline, so I picked up this pale purple-pink called Orchid Hush. I don’t have anything like it, and as you’ll see in the pictures below it’s very light. Then I added NYX’s soft matte lip creme in Stockholm to my cart as well. It’s a lovely Terra Cotta color. Then I decided to give some CoverGirl products a shot: the new Colorlicious Lipstick in Honeyed Bloom (my CVS was super picked over but I already want to try more shades here) and then the lipperfection jumbo gloss balm in Blush Twist 210.

From left to right: Orchid Hush, Stockholm, Honeyed Bloom, Blush Twist.

From left to right: Orchid Hush, Stockholm, Honeyed Bloom, Blush Twist.


I’ve received quite a few dark-colored lip products from subscription boxes in the last few months, so I wanted to find a good dark lip liner. This Milani lip liner in Sugar Plum works really well for any dark toned lip colors. I also wanted to try this rich Milani shade called Black Cherry (on the right) and got equally sucked in by Teddy Bare (on the left).


On the top here we have Teddy Bare, which is a camel brown color. I was hoping for more of a pinky-brown but this should still look very pretty. Then Black Cherry is in the middle and Sugar Plum is on the bottom.


I’ve always heard amazing things about Rimmel’s lip colors and these will be the first I have ever tried. We have here the Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer in Solstice and the Lasting Finish by Kate in 08.


These would probably look gorgeous layered over one another! The lip lacquer has a beautiful shine to it too.


Last batch here, I promise! I picked up three L’Oreal Color Riche lipsticks in Ballerina Shoes, Fairest Nude, and Silverstone. Ballerina Shoes has a frosty tone to its pale pink shade. Fairest Nude is just a stunning nude lip color that I think I’ll get a lot of mileage out of. And the Silverstone is a color I’ve never seen before–a grey toned brown with a hint of pale purple. The unique color caught me off guard and I had to have it.


The swatches go in the same order as the tubes–Ballerina Shoes, Fairest Nude, and Silverstone.

Phew! Thus ends part one of my Haulidays post! I told you I went a bit nuts at the drugstore! If you’d like to see reviews of any of these products in the future, let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for popping in!

99 Cent Store Haul

It has been a while since I’ve frequented a dollar store. Not because of some uppity disdain, but more out of poor proximity. Now a 99 Cent Store is just a brief walk away. It’s down the dreaded Maltman that I keep mentioning, but, hey, I’ll have great legs in no time living here!

Last Saturday when Marissa and I went to the farmer’s market, we also went to the 99 Cent Store. I can get into a fair bit of trouble at 99 Cent Stores because you can suddenly justify any and all purchases with, “it’s only a $1!” This is also why I don’t allow myself to go often, because it would get ridiculous rather quickly.

But the fun part of 99 Cent Stores is never knowing what will be there since their stock rotates based on brand availability and willingness to provide overstock.

There is a small beauty and personal care aisle, which is where the bulk of the items here came from.  I also bought a bag of Betty Crocker shortbread mix, a Coca-Cola glass, and an air freshener that smells like red velvet cake. See? Too easy to get into trouble!

As mentioned, everything below retails for $1.

Just looking at these dollar deals make me smile.

Just looking at these dollar deals make me smile.

Skinnygirl Face Solutions:

This is one of those products that I picked up because it was there and it was $1. I’m familiar with the Skinnygirl brand but didn’t realize it extended into makeup or skin care. The box says that the key ingredient is beet root extract, but that’s actually the last thing listed in the ingredients, which means there isn’t much beet root extract in this product compared to the first thing listed–water. I’m rather dubious about this product but for $1, I’ll give it a go.

Via Natural Ultra Care Vitamin E Oil:

I’ve realized that I love the way Vitamin E smells. That was enticement enough for me to add this multi-purpose oil to my bag. Supposedly regular use of this will grant longer, stronger hair. I’m in the process of growing out my hair, so let’s hope that’s accurate. But it’s also good for your skin. I’ll likely use it on my tattoos: taking care of your skin keeps the ink looking fresh.

e.l.f. Bronzer Brush:

This one isn’t as much of a steal as e.l.f. brushes are already priced in the $1-3 range. But I was excited to see any kind of e.l.f. product and the size of this brush would be great for contouring, particularly around my nose.

Sally Hansen nail polish in Pat on the Black:

Stunning mulberry wine shade. I haven’t put this one on my nails yet, but it is such a beautiful fall color. Definitely worth the $1.

My dollar store must haves.

My dollar store must haves.

Nature’s Own Paper Plates:

I consider these a beauty must have. I cut each plate into six pie-shaped pieces and store them with my foundation. When it comes time to use my liquid foundations, I pore a dime sized amount onto the plate and use my beauty blender or brushes to apply the product. I know you can use the back of your hand for this, but I’m guilty of forgetting that I’ve put makeup on the back of my hand after application and end up with patchy hands all day. I also use the plate pieces to put various nail polish colors on as a palette for nail art. Clean up is so much easier this way.

Nu-pore Nose and Face Cleansing Strips:

By far my favorite 99 Cent Store purchase. These are actually repurchases for me. I tried them on a whim, since Biore pore strips never really worked for me and these nu-pore strips are comparable to Biore. The nu-pore strips work 100% better for me than the Biore strips. No idea why, but I’m ever so glad that these are $1. At their cheapest, Biore strips are $6 and I can get the same amount of strips (6) for $2. I use these about once a week as needed.

So that’s my 99 Cent Store haul. All of these lovely products came out to $7, but I believe my total bill was $12.50 adding in the other non-beauty items and tax.

What goodies to you love from your local dollar store?

e.l.f. Haul and Review

As you might have noticed I’ve been slowly exploring the realm of beauty blogging. Part of that is trying to bring you more reviews when I come across products I love (or hate). Recently, e.l.f. had a deal where if you spent over $25 they would include a spring showers gift. If you love makeup but don’t like stretching your wallet too far, e.l.f allows you to play around with color and finishes without feeling guilty. Their products retail for anywhere from$1 to around $30, but the higher price items are usually package deals and sets. So for a total of $34 I got all the goodies you see below, which includes the spring showers gift set.

My e.l.f. haul. All this for $34.

My e.l.f. haul. All this for $34.

These beauties all arrived Thursday, and I spent this morning playing around with most of this bounteous haul. Some of the products I have immediate pro or con reactions to and others might need a longer look-see before I can make final judgement, but here are my initial thoughts for you.

Eyeliner and Shadow Stick in Green/Moss. I am madly in love with this product after one use. This green shadow is amazing. It’s more of an olive-y green but it’s also super blendable. The formula is creamy and highly pigmented too, plus it lasted through an afternoon in the California heat. The liner is alright–you’ll have to keep layering it on for definition. Both have a hint of shimmer but it’s not overwhelming, so if glitter isn’t your thing don’t panic! The best part? The stick is $3. For my look below I used the shadow as a base, covering my whole lid, and then lined my eyes with the moss shade.

Little Black Beauty Book Warm Edition. I used three colors from this palette and since there are no labels, I’m just going to describe them. On the inner third of my eyes I used an olive toned gold (looks a bit like fool’s gold on the lid), which added some shimmer. I also bought two brushes from e.l.f. not pictured above. Using one of these blending brushes, I took a matte brown and placed it on the exterior corner of my eye is a v-shape. Then for highlights I used a bone shade along my brow. The colors in the palette are a lot of fun and I’ll definitely play with them more–some of them seem to fade faster than others. The beauty book was part of the spring showers free gift but the palette with 48 shades retails for $6.

Waterproof Lengthening &Volumizing Mascara. At first I was a tad hesitant about the mascara because I’m a loyalist to my Neutrogena Healthy Volume. But this stuff might just win me over (not enough to change over completely but enough to add the e.l.f. to my rotation). The brush is more narrow than the average volumizing mascara. The formula itself doesn’t feel heavy and it didn’t flake off or smudge. I’m pleasantly surprised since I didn’t actually purchase this mascara; it was in the gift set. Normally it retails for $3, so give it a shot.

The full look.

The full look. Check out ‘dem freckles!

Makeup Remover Pen: LOOOOVE. Have you ever gone a bit overboard with your eye shadow or lost control of your liner? It’s tricky to fix your mistakes once you’ve applied foundation, concealer, shadow, etc. This thing completely obliterates errors. I was able to sculpt the exterior shape of my eye shadow for a more pro look. I would highly recommend this pen! And it retails for $3! Get on it, ladies!

Poreless Face Primer. I’m becoming a primer convert. I can be kind of lazy with foundations and such, so the added step of primer always seemed painful. I dig this Poreless Primer though. It takes care of pores and fine lines, giving you a natural, flawless finish. When I first put it on it felt a tad waxy but the feeling disappears once the primer sets up, leaving skin quite silky. I used my Aveeno Clear Complexion BB Cream for a foundation, and frankly it’s never looked better. I credit the primer for the extra oomph. Retail: $6.

Baked Blush in Peachy Cheek. Jury’s still out on this one. Pigmentation is medium strength and the peach color is nice, but I’m not yet ready to commit or quit. This was also part of the gift set so maybe my ambivalence stems from not having chosen it myself. I’ll keep you posted. If you’d like to check it out for yourself, it’s only $3.

Baked Highlighter in Pink Diamonds. Another gift set surprise. It arrived broken but that sort of thing has never stopped me. It gives a subtle shimmer so I brushed it along my cheekbones. Ultimately, I didn’t love or hate this product. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, but it will get used nonetheless. Retail: $3.

An everyday look for spring.

An everyday look for spring.

Mineral Lip Liner in Peachy. I’ve never been a big lip liner person, but I decided to give it a shot. I wear a lot of nude shades, so the peach seemed like a natural fit. Not sure how I feel about this one. I mean…it works. Will it make it into a daily rotation, probably not. And the running e.l.f. theme, $3.

Matte Lip Color in Coral and Rich Red. Matte is such a beauty trend right now! So that’s what got me to purchase the Rich Red color. The coral, luckily enough, came in the spring showers set. I am such a gloss girl, even my lipsticks are on the buttery side, so it felt a bit weird to have “dry” lip. I used the coral shade in today’s look and I’m not mad at it. Good color. Didn’t dry my lips out. But it also didn’t last more than an hour, hour and a half tops. So you’d have to reapply. I haven’t tried the rich red shade yet but I’ll let you know if there are any differences from color to color. Guess what? These are also $3 a pop.

Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick in Movie Star. How sweet is that color name? Even though I’ve been on a nude kick for my lips, I adore a good red shade. Especially if it’s more of a blue-red. I think the product title is a bit of a misnomer, because it feels more like a balm. I wore this color yesterday and it lasts fairly well, but it has more of a sheer coverage. The formula left my lips feeling straight up juicy. You might want to reapply every few hours though. If you’re interested in this Gloss Stick it costs $2 individually or you can get it online in a three-pack for $6.

Lip Exfoliater. Well I’m definitely a fan of the concept. All year long I struggle with chapped lips. I moisturize them. I drink enough water. And still my lips flake up. I put this on before bed last night and then again this morning: you apply using a circular motion and then dab off any grit left behind. It’s not an immediate transformation but I can tell it’s gradually working. Lips are not chapped today! So far soooooo good. I’m going to keep up the routine and see what happens long-term. Grab yours for $3.

Daily Brush Cleaner. Not a happy camper with this one. Where it was most obviously not working was with the highlighter. The brush I used is still tinged pink and I need to wash it properly. This cleaner is supposed to help you go between brush washes, which I would love to be able to do. It’s also scented, and I’m not sure if I like that. I’ll give this another shot, but I think it’s a bust. Luckily, this was only $3 so I can’t be too upset. But I am disappointed.

Some stuff I didn’t really mention: The brushes (blender and smudge) seem nice. They’re not the highest quality and are a little scratchy, but they do the trick for $3. I also received a Hypershine Gloss in Flirt as part of the spring showers promotion. I haven’t tried the gloss yet but I don’t have high hopes for it. I’ve had e.l.f glosses in the past and haven’t been too impressed with their longevity or color. But, hey, it was free.

Holy Moly that was a long post! And a lot of makeup! Overall, I’m quite pleased with my e.l.f. haul and so is my wallet. Everything I purchased came from their online store, so prices might vary if you buy elsewhere. Hope you enjoyed my rambling reviews. More beauty posts to come, but likely not so lengthy.