Wishlist & What to Buy | Sephora VIB Sale, August 2018

Recently, Sephora came out with an announcement that it’d be changing its reward program, and as part of that change, there would be a sale. That sale starts today, and I thought I could share some items on my wishlist (at this point though, I’ve already gone ahead and purchased them) and recommendations for what to buy.

As with usual Sephora sales, Rouge members get first access and the highest discount (20% this time), though unlike usual sales, the code you use to get the discount can only be used once.

Wishlist

As usual when Sephora has a sale, I try really hard to edit down my basket so that I don’t overspend and overstock on items that I won’t get to using for a while. I managed to limit my basket to just 3 items this time around, but to be completely honest, it’s because Dermstore and Biossance both just had sales with 25% off, so I picked up some items there instead. (The Biossance sale is ongoing until Monday! Get your Biossance goods there 🙂 ) Regardless, I thought I could share my Sephora basket items as well as the items I purchased from Dermstore and Biossance that could also be found at Sephora.

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Biossance Squalane + Glycolic Renewal Facial (2.02 oz, $68): I’m excited to use this because it claims to be a scrub, peel, and mask all in one, and glycolic acid does amazing things for my skin.

Biossance Only the Good Clean Beauty Gift Set ($72, $115 value): If it wasn’t evident already, I’m a pretty big fan of Biossance. This set was a no-brainer for me, since it included a full-size Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil (1 oz, $72), a 1 oz Squalane + Micronutrient Fine Mist (full-size 2.53 oz, $32), and a little 0.4 oz Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum (full-size 1 oz, $78). I’ve been ambivalent about the oil, but I wanted to use it more and see if I would change my mind, and I’ve wanted to try the latter two since they were released.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Smashed (0.52 oz, $26): I’m nearing the end with my current lip mask and have been dying to try this one for ages, so I definitely took advantage of the sale this time to pick it up.

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Shampoo (8 oz, $42): I’m not generally one that likes spending too much on hair products, but I’ve heard amazing things about this, and I do get dry scalp when it gets dry in the winter.

Saturday Skin No Bad Days Set ($39, $69 value): This is an amazing value, and I’ve been really wanting to try all of their stuff ever since my friend let me try her Saturday Skin eye cream. These samples will be great for me to bring on my travels later this year as well. The set includes a 0.67 oz Rub-A-Dub Refining Peel Gel (full-size 2.53 oz, $28), a 1.01 oz Daily Dew Hydrating Essence Mist (full-size 4.39 oz, $34), a 0.51 oz Wide Awake Brightening Eye Cream (full-size 1.01 oz, $46), and a 1.01 oz Featherweight Daily Moisturizing Cream (full-size 1.69 oz, $49).

Supergoop! Glow Stick Sunscreen SPF 50 (1 oz, $25): When traveling, I love bringing stick products with me, since it means less liquids. I’ve heard great things about this one, so I hope it’ll be good! I love that it has such a high SPF.

What to Get

Rather than list specific things that are good to get during sales, I thought I’d just say that the best thing to buy during these sales are value sets. As you can see, I’ve picked up two value sets – one from Saturday Skin and one from Biossance. Value sets are great ways for trying new products or for getting travel-friendly sizes of products you like. Sales are the best time to pick up these sets because they’re usually pretty pricey, especially for higher-end brands, because you’re maximizing your savings.

For example, the Biossance set retails for $72, which is the price of just the Squalane Oil. This is already a great deal, but with the discount, you’re saving even more money. If you were to buy the set during this Sephora sale, you could save an additional $14 if you are a VIB Rouge member.

When looking at value sets to pick up, make sure you look at the descriptions for each set! The Sephora site is pretty good in that it tells how much each set is worth. If it doesn’t, that means the value set doesn’t actually save you money, and, in that case, it wouldn’t be worth it to purchase the set. Also look at what’s included in the set. If there are more items that you don’t care for than do, I’d say pass – you’d only be spending money on stuff you didn’t want, which defeats the purpose of using value sets to save money.

What are some items you’re planning to pick up during this sale?

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HAUL | Summer 2018, Beauty

So… I went a little apeshit shopping the last couple of months, and now that all of the stuff has arrived and my shopping urge has calmed down, I figured it was time to share what I got.

Since I really went a little crazy with my shopping, I dreaded posted this up for the longest time, just because listing everything seemed so daunting. I’ve since tried a few of these products though, so I’ll be able to share my thoughts on some of them.

I’ll be splitting this haul into two parts – part one will be the beauty portion, and part two will be fashion.

Glossier

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This haul was motivated by my upcoming business trip. I will be interacting with clients, so I wanted to get a complexion product that did more than a tinted moisturizer, but wasn’t a full coverage foundation like my Hourglass stick foundation. I won’t say much about these products, because I’ll be writing reviews on all of them after I’ve used them a few times.

Skin Tint in Medium (1 oz, $26)

Cloud Paint Duo in Beam and Storm (0.33 oz, $18 each or 2 for $30)

Lash Slick (0.29 oz, $16)

 

Colourpop

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I’ve been really inspired to step outside of my comfort zone recently with eye makeup looks, so when I got a 20% off discount code for Colourpop last month, I figured it’d be a good opportunity to pick up a bunch of goodies to try out.

  • Super Shock Shadows (0.074 oz, $5): Super Shock shadows are some of my favorite eyeshadows, but I had always stayed with the more typical neutral shades. This time, I only purchased colors out of my usual.
  • Pressed Power Shadows (0.053 oz, $5 with compact, $4 without):
    • Glass Bull (duochrome lavender icy-blue)
    • Backstage (matte cobalt)
    • I also got the On the Daily Palette (4 x 0.053 oz, $12), which includes the four shades You Know the Drill (metallic light bronze), B-Side (matte warm nude), Optional (matte mid-tone brown), and Paper Crane (true vibrant bronze). I’m planning on passing on my Tartelette in Bloom palette because I only use maybe three or four shades from that twelve-shade palette, and someone else will probably get more use out of it. This mini palette will be great for travel and means I’ll actually be getting use out of every shade.
  • Supernova Shadow in Lucky Penny (0.17 oz, $6): I’ve only used this twice, but I love it. I’ve been wanting a liquid eyeshadow for a while, and I’m glad this is the first one I decided to try. The site describes Lucky Penny as a silver with a teal flip, but I would say that it’s more of a silvery white sheen with a baby blue.

e.l.f.

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e.l.f. products are already ridiculously cheap, so when there was a sale on the site, I couldn’t resist picking up a whole bunch of items.

Aqua Beauty Molten Liquid Eyeshadow ($1.60, originally $4) in Rose Gold: I’ve only used this twice, but I’ve really enjoyed it. On my skintone, there’s not much pigment to this shadow, but it leaves a beautiful rose-gold sheen on my lids.

Beautifully Bare Highlighting Stick ($4) in Fresh Morning Dew: I just tried this for the first time today, and I LOVE IT. This shade is described as a “clear, shimmer-free balm” that gives a dewy glow, and I think that that is exactly what this is. It’s great for super light makeup days, but I also want to try layering this over cream or powder highlights. I also want to give the other shades a try, because the formula is quite nice as well.

Best Friend Eyeshadow Duo ($1.20, originally $3) in Soul Mate and Peach Squad: I haven’t used either of these yet, but I thought they would be nice to have on hand for simple looks. I’m thinking of taking one or both of these with me when I go on a business trip to the UK in a little over a week. Soul Mate includes a shimmery silver and a matte navy/purple, and Peach Squad includes a shimmery gold and matte peachy nude.

No Budge Shadow Stick ($1.60, originally $4) in Blue Steel: I already have one of these in Perfect Pearl, and I like it a lot for highlighting the inner corners of my eyes. I’ve recently been inspired to do more cool-toned eye looks, so I thought I could pick up this blue/grey color.

Tinted Shape & Stay Wax Pencil ($1.20, originally $3) in Dark Brown: I’ve found that I don’t care too much about using the typical brow pencil on my brows, so I thought I’d give this one a try.

Mineral Infused Mascara ($3): I haven’t found a drugstore mascara I love yet, so I figured I’d give this a try, especially since it’s at such an affordable price point.

Lip Balm Tint ($0.80, originally $2) in Berry: I’m a sucker for lip tints, tinted lip balms, in the like, and this was only 80 cents when I purchased it.

Gotta Glow Lip Tint ($6) in Perfect Berry: I redeemed 150 of my points for this. It got decent reviews, and once again, I’m a sucker for lip tints.

Beautifully Precise Blending Eye Brush ($2, originally $5): I’ve heard good things about this line of brushes from e.l.f., and I always feel like I could do with more eye brushes.

Cream Blush Palette ($2.40, originally $6) in Soft: I love cream blushes, and I’ve heard Amy Serrano on Youtube talk favorably about this palette, so I grabbed it while it was at such a steep discount. This will be a good one to bring around while I’m traveling, since it’s pretty compact and is pretty versatile with its four different shades.

Matte Lip Color ($3) in Natural and Wine: I haven’t worn either of these yet, but I thought they could be dupes for the NARS or Laura Mercier lip crayons. I actually purchased two of the Natural one by accident and got another in the gift with purchase, so I’ll be donating one and giving the other to my sister.

Contour Palette in Dark/Deep ($6): I got this as part of the gift with purchase for spending $25. I have no need for a powdered bronzing/contour palette, so I will be passing this on to someone else.

Bronzing Brush ($2): This was also part of the gift with purchase.

CVS

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Beauty 360 Premium Cotton Rounds (80 ct, $3.79): I think I got these when there was a 2 for $7 deal. I like these, and I think they’re comparable to the Glossier ones, which are slightly pricier at 60 ct for $4. Overall though, I think I still like using the Daiso ones the best, because they’re the most affordable.

Beauty 360 All In One Micellar Cleansing Water (13.5 fl oz, $6.99): I also got this when there was a deal, though I forget the exact discount. Regardless, at $6.99 it’s cheaper than the Garnier one, which is priced at $9.59 for the same size. Also, Beauty 360, which is CVS’s own brand, is cruelty-free. I’ll report back on whether this is good.

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Serum (1.05 oz, $14.99): Glycolic acid works great with my skin, so I wanted to give this a try.

Lumene Arctic Lumenessence Valo Light Glow Boost Essence (1 oz, $25.99): I’ve seen a Youtuber or two talk about this brand, so I wanted to check them out. I’ve been wanting to compare different vitamin C products as well, hence the decision to get this product.

Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer in Deep Bronzer ($16.29): I bought this because everyone and their mom raves about it, and thought my collection was finally at a place where I could get a new bronzer to use.

Also, CVS shopping tip: There are always discounts/coupons/sales at CVS. Unless it’s an emergency product, you can always wait for some type of discount. Although I listed the original prices for these products, I didn’t buy any of them at the original price.

Marshall’s

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You can always score at Marshall’s. I always make it a point to stop by the beauty section if I’m going to Marshall’s. I scored some Alba Botanica and Acure products this time around, which I’ve seen at multiple stores, including Whole Foods and Target.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Detox Warming Clay Cleaner (6 fl oz, $6.99, originally $9.49)

Acure Organics The Essentials Marula Oil (1 oz, 6.99, originally $15.99): I’ve been eyeing this for a while because I’ve been looking for an affordable marula oil that’s not from The Ordinary, and when I saw it at Marshall’s for such a discount I grabbed it without a second thought.

Acure Organics Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub (4 fl oz, $5.99, originally $9.99)

Urban Outfitters

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Urban Outfitters had 20% off your whole purchase a while back, which was the only reason I placed this order.

Gisou Honey-Infused Hair Oil (3.4 fl oz, $90): I got interested in this oil after seeing Amy Serrano review it on Youtube. I was never going to pay full price for this hair oil, so I took advantage of the 20% off to purchase it. I have yet to use it since I still have another hair oil that I want to use up first, but you’ll definitely see a dedicated review on this. A $90 hair oil definitely deserves its own review…

Pixi Glow Mist (2.7 fl oz, $15): I’ve been wanting to try this since I’ve heard it’s a dupe for the Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist (1.35 oz, $48), which I love but is a ridiculously pricey for what it is. I will report back after I’ve tried this.

Frank Body Cherry Bomb Lip + Cheek Tint ($0.51 oz, 12): I’ve wanted to try Frank Body for a while, and the sale was a good opportunity for me to order something to try.

The Detox Market + The Nature of Beauty

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As I am transitioning to cruelty-free beauty, I’ve gotten curious about certain brands that I never really thought to try before. I didn’t want to commit to any full-size purchases either since I still had some to use up first. I then stumbled upon sample programs at The Detox Market and The Nature of Beauty and thus decided to pick up samples from both stores.

The Detox Market allows you to pick samples from pretty much the whole website. Rather than have a list of select samples, it offers sample sizes of most, if not all, of its products throughout the site. You can pick four samples for $7.99 plus shipping, and I picked:

  1. Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Joyful ($56): I’ve tried this once already, and I quite enjoyed it. It had pretty good staying power, but I’ll have to try it again to form a full opinion on it.
  2. Kjaer Weis Highlighter in Ravishing ($56): I tried this at the same time I tried the blush and will also need to try it again to form a full opinion on it.
  3. May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon (1.69 oz, $180): I’ve heard great things about this product, but it’s so ridiculously expensive that I’ve never had much interest in trying it until now.
  4. Vinter’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum (1 oz, $185): Same thoughts as the Blue Cocoon.

The Nature of Beauty had more of the standard sample program, where you can choose from a list of select samples. You can choose 5 samples for $1 each and shipping. I chose all RMS samples, including:

  1. Lip2Cheek in Beloved ($36)
  2. Lip2Cheek in Smile ($36)
  3. Cream Eye Shadow in Solar ($28)
  4. Cream Eye Shadow in Seduce ($28)
  5. UN” Cover-Up in 22 ($36)

 

If you’ve made it all the way through this post, thanks for reading! If you’ve tried any of these products before, let me know whether you liked them or not! 🙂

Shop with me on Glossier for 10% off your first order!

Get $5 off your first order at Colourpop.

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HAUL | Birchbox How to Hygge Box

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A couple weeks ago, I went a little ham with my shopping. I was just coming out of a stressful couple months and was in serious need of some retail therapy. So, of course, when I received a Birchbox promotion email about the How to Hygge Box, I couldn’t resist.

Fun fact: the word hygge is actually pronounced “hoo-ga”.

The items in this box included (in order from left to right, top to bottom based on the second picture in this post):

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Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Peaceful Paranoia ($18): I have been a fan of Smith & Cult polishes for a while, and while this pale mauve shade with a pink sheen isn’t something I usually go for in a nail polish shade, I thought it’d be a nice color for the summer. I’m excited to paint my nails with this shade this weekend 🙂

Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E Micro-Dissolve Cleansing Oil (full-size 3.4 fl oz, $38): I’m always down to try a Sunday Riley product, and this is a cleansing oil that also has vitamin C, AHA, and BHA! A deluxe

Votivo® Aromatic Travel Tin Candle in No. 45 Grey Vetiver™ ($12): I can’t pass up a good candle, and the scent of this one sounds amazing – “a mix of melon and bitter grapefruit grounded by amber”.

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thisworks® deep sleep™ pillow spray (2.5 oz, $29): I love this. I had a little sample of this last year that I used up pretty quickly, so I was excited to see this offered in the box. The product claims to help you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more refreshed, but personally, I don’t find this to be the case. Regardless, I love the smell of lavender, and the scent of this spray is natural and not overwhelming at all. It’s a nice little touch when I want to feel extra pampered as I’m falling asleep. I probably won’t ever purchase this on its own, as it’s not something I really need, but I’ll always indulge if I get a sample or if it comes up in a box like this.

Milk Makeup Hydrating Oil (1 oz, $24): I love a good oil, and an oil in stick form is an intriguing idea. I imagine this would be awesome to travel with, as it’s one less liquid to pack.

Oh K! Sleep Mask (0.6 oz, $6.50): One can never have too many masks. This one is an overnight mask, perfect for the lazy girl that I am. This mask is also supposed to give you 5-6 uses, so it’s a great deal, even at its full price.

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Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches with Soothing Cornflower (7 sets of 2 patches, $24): I love a good eye mask, so I look forward to trying these out, though nothing that I’ve tried thus far has been better than my favorite Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels (8 sets of 2 patches, $30).

Askinosie Chocolate Single Origin Sipping Chocolate (170 g, $16.50): 38g packet pictured here. This sipping chocolate is vegan and gluten-free, so I’m curious to see how it tastes.

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Calm Book by Michael Acton Smith ($14.25 on Amazon): To be honest, this is the one thing I didn’t really care for in the box. This isn’t to say that it’s a bad product – I’m just not really into meditation, and it definitely feels more like a coffee table book than anything. I’ll probably flip through it every once in a while because the pages are beautifully designed, and every page is pretty different, but I don’t really see myself gravitating towards this book often.

Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Body Polish (8 oz, $36): I’m running out of my current body scrub, the Trader Joe’s Coffee Body Scrub ($8 oz, $4.99), and have only ever used more affordable body scrubs, so I want to see whether a higher-end body scrub is worth it.

amika Soulfood Nourishing Mask (2 oz, $12): Amika hair products usually don’t disappoint me, and the size of this product is perfect for traveling. I actually already have the full-size product (8 oz, $28), but I have yet to try it.

Richer Poorer Women’s Textured Crew Socks (similar, originally $14, currently $9.80): I’m not the biggest fan of the pattern, but they seem comfy, and one can never have too many socks.

This box retails for $53, but has a $180 value. If you’ve been meaning to check out any of these items, I’d definitely recommend getting this box – it’s definitely worth it. In general, Birchbox curates some pretty nice boxes, and I think they’re always worth checking out!

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HAUL | e.l.f.

I definitely went a little ham with my shopping during the 2017 holiday shopping season. The two main culprits were Sephora and e.l.f., but I also bought a ton of stuff here and there that you’ll most likely see here on this blog throughout 2018, whether in the form of review posts or otherwise. I’ve already shared my Sephora haul, and now, keep reading to see what I purchased at e.l.f.!

As part of my goals and intentions of 2018, I really wanted to make more thoughtful purchases and be more conscious of where I spend my money. As such, in this new year, I want to try and keep to more affordable brands, unless it’s something that I think is one-of-a-kind from the more expensive brands… like the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial (review here). At least, that’s how I’m justifying this e.l.f. haul…

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First, some skin care. The Hydrating Water Sheet Mask ($3) is a bit of a cheat, as I had purchased it earlier in 2017 with some other stuff. I have yet to use it, but I did enjoy the Hydrogel Under Eye Masks (3 for $8), so hopefully I’ll enjoy this as well. I’m hoping the Moisturizing Sleeping Mask (1.16 fl oz, $12) will be a good dupe for the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask (2.3 oz, $25), something I use and love, though if you’re looking at price per ounce, the two are actually around the same price. I have a feeling the Hydrating Water Essence (5 oz, $10) will be a good dupe for its pricier K-Beauty counterparts, and I’m always down to try a new exfoliant – hopefully the Gentle Peeling Exfoliant (3.4 fl oz, $10) works out for me.

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As for makeup, I really tried to keep it to things that I would be running out of soon or don’t have already. I’ve been a long-time user of the Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray (4 oz, $32), but I wanted to try something more affordable. Hopefully, this Makeup Mist & Set (2.02 oz, $3) will do a decent job. I have to be honest and admit the Tinted Lip Oil in Nude Kiss ($6) doesn’t fit either of the criteria I set for purchasing makeup… I primarily purchased it because Kathleenlights on Youtube talked about the Tinted Lip Oils, and I got curious. I haven’t tried this yet because I’m still working on my other lip products, but I’ll let you all know whenever I try it and my thoughts. For mascara primer, the Lancôme CILS BOOSTER XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base (0.19 oz, $25.50) has been my ride-or-die since I started using mascara primer, though at $25.50 a tube, I thought it was time to look for drugstore alternatives. Enter the Mascara Primer ($3) – if this works well it’ll be time for me to let go of my expensive lash primer. Finally, I wanted something that allowed for easy application of the inner corner highlight on the eyes, and the No Budge Shadow Stick in Perfect Pearl (0.056 oz, $3) was the perfect find for this very use. Perfect Pearl is a great champagne shade that works well as an inner-corner highlight with many different eye shadow looks. This product is also a great dupe for the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick (0.05 oz, $29).

Have you purchased anything from e.l.f. lately? If so, any good finds?

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HAUL + Shopping Tips | Glossier

As I said in my previous post, 2017 really was the year of Glossier. There were so many new releases that I almost couldn’t keep up! Each release was exciting, but I wanted to hold off on getting anything until I used up some of my existing inventory of beauty products. A couple of months ago, I was finally at a point where I wouldn’t feel like I wasn’t hoarding if I purchased new things, so I went ahead and hauled a whole bunch of stuff.

The Haul

    1. Balm Dotcom (1 x 0.5 fl oz for $12, or 3 x 0.5 fl oz for $30): When I first started using this product, I thought it was overpriced Vaseline and didn’t think I’d ever repurchase it. As this is appearing in this haul, evidently, my thoughts have changed since then. Over multiple uses, this balm has definitely proven to be more moisturizing than Vaseline, and includes nice ingredients like castor seed oil that keep the moisture locked in. It’s a multi-purpose balm, but I use it solely on my lips, and I would think that the other balms – Rose, Mint, Cherry, Coconut, and Birthday Cake – would find most use on the lips as well. This time, I purchased the trio – Rose for my sister, Original for my brother, and Mint for myself 🙂 One last note: don’t be deceived by what seems like a measly 0.5 fl oz – a little goes a long way, and it took me a good year of using it every night for me to get through one tube.
    2. Body Hero Daily Oil Wash (8.4 fl oz, $18) and Daily Perfecting Cream (8.4 fl oz, $22): I was first drawn to these products because of the amazing campaign Glossier had for their release – women of all colors and sizes, posing naked on billboards everywhere. It was really empowering to see, and the rave reviews only helped with my decision to purchase these. I haven’t tried them yet because I still have other body wash and moisturizer I’m using, but I’m can’t wait to do so. I purchased these as part of the duo, which, at $35, saves you $5 compared to if you had purchased each separately.
    3. Invisible Shield (1 fl oz, $35): I’m still using a different SPF, but this one is next up for me to try. I’ve heard so many great reviews, so I can’t wait.
    4. Phase 2 Set ($40, saves $12): This is a great option if you’re trying out Glossier makeup for the first time. You can customize this set, and you save money. The set comes with (shades are what I chose):
      1. Stretch Concealer in Medium (0.7 oz, $18): As I move towards lighter makeup looks, I figured a lighter coverage concealer such as this would be great to use.
      2. Generation G in Zip (0.07 oz, $18): I will be writing a review on this, but I’ve already featured this product in my Best of 2017 post. In short, I love this lipstick. Next time, I plan to pick up another shade with the Generation G + Lip Gloss Duo ($26, saves $6).
      3. Boy Brow in Black (0.11 oz, $16): This is basically a universal favorite, so it was a given that I finally pick it up. I already appreciate that this comes in black, as not every brand’s brow products do. I can’t wait to use it, but I’m currently trying to finish up the Urban Decay Brow Tamer (previous review here), which I do not enjoy using at all…
    5. Glossier You (1.7 fl oz, $60): When I made my purchase, Glossier was including a sample size of its newly released fragrance. I fell in love pretty quickly, and purchased a full-size during Glossier’s 20% off Black Friday sale. This is the perfect everyday perfume, because it’s faint, yet lingers all day. The fragrance was formulated so that you are the first ingredient – hence its name – and I find this to be very accurate.

Honestly, I wanted to purchase every item Glossier had to offer, but I limited myself to these this time. I’m already eyeing the Cloud Paints (0.33 oz for $18, or 2 for $30).

 

Some Tips + Notes for Shopping on Glossier

  • To get 10% off your first order, shop with my link(This post is not sponsored, but I do get some store credit for purchases made through my link.)
  • There is free shipping for orders over $30, so wait until you’ve decided on at least $30 that you want before placing your order!
  • If you’re interested in more than one item, always go for the sets. Glossier offers a ton, and you will always save money purchasing those instead of the individual items.
  • As the holidays are coming up, I thought it would be worthwhile to mention that many of Glossier’s sets are great gifts or stocking stuffers – sets like the Balm Dotcom Trio or the Cloud Paint Quad ($55, save $17) are great for taking apart to create your own gift sets.
  • Every purchase comes with at least one of the pink bubble-wrap zip bags, which are great for traveling 🙂

 

Have you tried Glossier before? What were some of your favorite products?

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ANTI-HAUL | Winter 2017

With all the temptation and spending that comes with the holiday season, I thought it’d be nice to balance my Sephora haul (and other upcoming hauls…) with an anti-haul.

Although I’ve gotten a lot better about making more informed, thought-out purchases in the last couple of years, this anti-haul will also be a good reminder to myself that money not spent is better than money spent on a product I wouldn’t otherwise use or want to try.

Before I begin with the anti-haul, I have to admit that I went ahead and purchased the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial (1.69 oz, $80). I was partially motivated by maintaining my Rouge status, but mainly, it seems like a universally loved product, and is unique enough that I probably wouldn’t find a dupe easily, if at all. I’m excited to try it and share my thoughts on it with you 🙂

Although most of the products are carried at Sephora, this list will also include products from other brands (mainly Glossier). I’ll be honest here – my reasons for not purchasing items are all pretty similar… so feel free to skip through my descriptions for each product/brand.

  1. FENTY BEAUTY: I am a huge Rihanna fan, and I love the message behind the brand, but my makeup inventory is just way too full for more makeup products. I was tempted to get both the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer (0.3 oz, $18) and the Starlit Hyper-Glitz Lipstick in Supermoon (0.45 oz, $19), which I swatched in store and was super pretty, but in the end I decided not to because I’m not a lip gloss user, and there are other lip products that I would rather purchase to try. The highlighters look beautiful, so I may purchase them in the future when I actually need a new highlighter.
  2. FRESH Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner (8.4 fl oz, $44): As soon as this was released earlier this year, I had added it to my VIB sale purchase list. It’s gotten rave reviews, and just looks so pretty with the real rose petals in the bottle. However, I passed on this in the end, because I already have much more affordable toners that are already extremely effective.
  3. SON & PARK Beauty Water (11.49 fl oz, $30): Same reason as for the Fresh toner 🙂
  4. MILK MAKEUP: Every time Milk comes out with a new product, I am so tempted to purchase it. I really like the idea of their makeup – easy, for the on-the-go girl – but I find their items on the pricier side for what they are, and with the state of my current makeup inventory, I really don’t find it necessary to own anymore makeup items. That being said, I do own two items from them, one of which I would possibly repurchase.
  5. Pat McGrath Labs: Everything from the brand looks beautiful, but I don’t wear makeup often enough to want to spend that much on any of the products they offer.
  6. NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment (0.18 oz, $26): I’ll be honest – I was tempted. I haven’t really ever been disappointed with NARS products, and this has gotten rave reviews everywhere. But I’m not a fan of matte lip products, and am extremely picky about liquid formulations. That being said, I am planning on purchasing a Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick (0.25 oz, $24) at some point.
  7. Glossier Face Serums Set ($65 for 3 serums): I was planning to get this when I hauled some Glossier, but then I realized that each serum – Super Bounce, Super Pure, and Super Glow – had a dupe or similar product that could be found in The Ordinary line for a fraction of the price. I really enjoy some of Glossier’s products and the brand as a whole, but I personally just did not find that this $65 would be money well spent.

I could go on and on about what I am not buying and why, but I’ll stop here 🙂 What are some things you decided not to purchase or will not be purchasing in these holiday months?

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HAUL + Shopping Tips | Sephora VIB Sale, Winter 2017

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I’ve taken a couple of weeks off posting here, but the Sephora VIB sale, kicking off today, was good motivation for me to end my break and share with you guys what I’d hauled last week when the sale was open only to Rouge members.

I purchased five items and redeemed two point perks this time, though I’m already considering whether I should purchase more before the sale ends…

  1. Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon in Peridot (0.01 oz, $25): I’ve been hearing good things about these eyeliners pretty much since they were released, and I finally decided to give the formula a try. Peridot is my birthstone, so I was immediately drawn to swatch that shade in store and fell in love instantly with the bright, shimmery sage-green. The formula seems pretty pigmented too, and I look forward to playing around with this fun color.
  2. Bumble and bumble The Hairdresser’s Set Sp(oil)ed Silly ($39): This set includes a 2 oz Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo, 2 oz Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Conditioner, and 3.4 oz Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil, for a combined total value of $66. The hair oil is a full-size product, while the shampoo and conditioner are travel-size. This was a no-brainer for me, as the hair oil is one of my favorites, and the full size product retails for $40 on its own.
  3. J.ONE Black Jelly Pack (1.69 oz, $47): I’ve heard a lot of good things about both this and the original Jelly Pack (1.69 oz, $42), but as I’m trying to be pickier about what I spend money on, I decided to go with this one, since it’s an overnight mask, while the original is more for daytime use.
  4. Sephora Favorites Lashtash ($48, $132 value): I have never been disappointed with a Sephora Favorites set, and this mascara set is no different. I purchased a smaller Lashtash in the VIB sale two years ago, and even splitting the set with my sister, I only used up all the mascaras earlier this year. The set this year boasts seven deluxe size mascaras, two full size mascaras, and one pair of false lashes. I’ll definitely be splitting this set with my sister again.
  5. Sephora Favorites Beauty Sleep ($30, $92 value): This is already sold out on the site, so I won’t be able to share a link with you guys. I originally had planned to purchase a slightly larger skincare Sephora Favorites set, since it contained a deluxe sample of the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial (1.69 oz, $80), but it sold out before I could place my order. I’m not mad at this set, though – it contains deluxe samples of: (1) Origins High-Potency Night-A-Min (1.7 oz, $44), a great nighttime moisturizer, (2) Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Transforming Gel (1.7 oz, $48), previously known as the Invigorating Night Treatment, (3) Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum (1 oz, $90), (4) Sunday Riley LUNA Sleeping Night Oil (1 oz, $105), a universal favorite that I’ve been wanting to try, (5) Kate Somerville + Retinol Firming Eye Cream (0.5 oz, $85), (6) GLAMGLOW DREAMDUO Overnight Transforming Treatment (0.68 oz DREAMSERUM and 0.68 oz DREAMSEAL, $59), and (7) Living proof Perfect hair Day night cap overnight perfector (4 oz, $28).
  6. NEST Black Tulip (0.1 oz, 100 points): I’m a fan of NEST fragrances, so I wanted to give this one a try. This is a warm floral scent that features key notes of black amber plum, pink pepper, and Japanese violet. The full size is 1.7 oz and retails for $72.
  7. Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E antiOXIDANT Protect + Repair Moisturizer (0.27 oz, 100 points): This seems similar to the Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer (1.7 oz, $28.50), so I wanted to get it to compare the two. The Sunday Riley full size is 1.7 oz and retails for $65.

A few more final tips for those of you who don’t shop often at Sephora:

  • The VIB sale is a great time for you to purchase more expensive products that you’ve always wanted to try but never wanted to pay full price for.
  • Always watch out for the Sephora Favorites and other gift sets. In order to get a good deal, make sure the product description also tells you what the value of the box is – if it doesn’t, it means the gift set isn’t actually cheaper. The high value sets are also a great opportunity to try more expensive products without committing to a full size purchase. The samples are also great for traveling.
  • If you’re trying to meet a shipping minimum, purchase sheet masks or little mask pods. Sephora has a bunch, including some hand and face masks as well. There’s a lot you can find under $10, and there’s never any harm in stocking up on masks 🙂

What have you purchased or are you planning to purchase during this year’s VIB sale?

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AT A GLANCE | Boots Botanics

I had never heard of this brand until a couple months ago. I had headed into Target to purchase a No.7 foundation (stay tuned for a review!), since I had received a coupon with a different purchase. I was pulled in by the cute, minimal packaging of Botanics, which sat right next to the No.7 display at my local Target. I checked Cartwheel, and there just happened to be a 20% discount on everything Botanics, so I decided to pick up a couple of things to try. Needless to say, I was very impressed with what I had tried, and eventually decided to pick up a bunch of other stuff, so, of course, I had to do another “At a Glance” post.

First, a bit about this skincare brand – it’s originally called Boots Botanics, and, like the No.7 brand, originates from Boots, the UK pharmacy store. In the states, it’s branded as Botanics, and can be found at Target, Ulta, Walgreens, and Amazon. The brand is organic and has different lines, each targeting a specific skin concern.

I purchased items from two different lines: the All Bright line with hibiscus, for radiance, and the line for all skin types, which comes in green packaging. As with the previous “At a Glance” post, I’ve tried some products, but not all of them. I’ll update you with my opinions after I’ve tried the products or if I change my mind about anything.

  1. All Bright Foaming Face Wash (5 oz, $5.99): I like foaming face washes, and this one was very affordable. Needless to say, I picked it up to try.
  2. Organic Toning Spritz (5 oz, $9.99): Before I even tried it, I knew I would like it as long as the spritz was a nice one. And I wasn’t disappointed – the spray was even and fine, and the formula of the toner itself was nice. Two key ingredients in this toner are rosewater and glycerin, which are great for hydration and glow. I’ve used it only as a toner, but I imagine it’d be great as a makeup finishing spray to get rid of the powdery look.
  3. Organic Facial Oil (0.84 fl oz, $14.99): This is great. Rosehip oil is a primary ingredient in this, and it moisturizes the face without being too greasy like some other oils. While I do still like the Julep Boost Your Radiance Reparative Rosehip Seed Facial Oil (0.85 fl oz, $$36), this is much more affordable at less than half the price of the Julep oil.
  4. All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum (1 fl oz, $11.99): All three of the reviews available for this on the Target site were positive, and the product claims to improve skin texture and tone, so I was curious how well it would work. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I’m looking forward to doing so.
  5. Organic Super Balm (0.37 oz, $14.99): I love multi-purpose balms,, so I decided to give this a try after my Glossier Balm Dotcom (0.5 fl oz, $12) runs out.
  6. All Bright Facial Wipes (25 pk, $4.99): These do a decent job of taking off makeup, but I still prefer my two favorite wipes, the Burt’s Bees or Simple Skincare ones.

Have any of you tried products from Botanics before? Let me know in the comments below!

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HAUL | Sephora Birthday Gift + Minis

As I’m sure most of you know, Sephora offers a free birthday gift every year to its Beauty Insiders. It’s a pretty generous gift, given that you don’t have to redeem it with a purchase, and it’s usually a couple of deluxe sample sizes in a little birthday gift set. This year, there is the choice of a Caudalie skincare set, a Tarte makeup set, or a Jack Black moisturizing and cleansing duo.

When I was redeeming my birthday gift, I realized that I hadn’t redeemed any of my points in a good while. Then, I got sucked in by the face masks, and ended up picking up some of those as well. Consequently, I ended up with a little haul… and well, I guess at least I can share with you all what I got!

  1. Caudalie Moisturizer and Serum Set (0.33 oz each): I am currently using the Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum (1 oz, $49) and loving it, so I figured this birthday gift would be a good opportunity to try other products in the line. The set includes the Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet (1.3 oz, $39) and the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum (1 oz, $79).
  2. SEPHORA Collection Sleeping Masks ($4 each): I got three of these, in green tea, pomegranate, and rose. I love these because they’re such easy masks to use – usually, I put this on as the last step of my nighttime skincare routine, in place of my usual moisturizer. A little goes a long way, so you can use each packet a handful of times before it’s gone. They’re good for travel too, since they take up so little space. Honestly though, from the times I’ve used these masks, I haven’t seen much difference between the different masks. Regardless, I would recommend them because they’re affordable, and every time I use one, I wake up with moisturized, dewy skin.
  3. Tatcha’s The Water Cream (0.17 oz, 100 points): I’ve been wanting to try this since my friend recommended it to me, and when I saw this available in the Rewards Boutique, I added it to my cart without a second thought. Also, considering how the full-size of this product (1.7 oz) is a hefty $68, redeeming this reward was such a steal.
  4. SUNDAY RILEY U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil (0.17 oz, 100 points): Another steal, considering the largest size of this product (1.18 oz) is $80. I’ve never tried any Sunday Riley products, and this product is supposed to help smooth skin.
  5. MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua XL Color Paint Shadow in Iridescent Warm Beige: (0.05 oz, 100 points): I’ve been hearing quite a few beauty vloggers rave about this, so I got curious. The full size (0.16 oz) retails at $25.

I’m going to be traveling for ten days next month, so I’ll be trying all of these little minis then. I’ll make sure to update you guys on my thoughts after I try them!

If you’ve already had your birthday this year, which gift did you get, and did you like it? If you haven’t, which gift do you want? Let me know in the comments!

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AT A GLANCE | The Ordinary

The Ordinary has been all over the internet, but for those of you who don’t know, it’s an affordable, cruelty-free skincare line under the Canadian company Deciem, which is “an umbrella of brands focused on advanced functional beauty”.

My brother had been pushing me to try The Ordinary products for a while, but I never really kept his recommendation in mind. Then, a couple months ago I went to visit him for his graduation, I got to see and hear about the products in person. They finally caught my attention, and when I came back from my trip, I took the plunge and bought quite a handful of their products to try.

Despite the minimal, expensive looking packaging, the brand is very affordable – I got everything pictured here for around $60 total, with no products exceeding $15. And not only does the packaging look expensive, it actually feels expensive too – if the products work as they claim to, then I will be a convert for life.

I haven’t tried most of these yet, but I wanted to share with you what I got and my thoughts on the products I’ve tried already. In a few months, I’ll come back with an updated post to share my thoughts on everything else.

The Ordinary’s website is very informative, so I highly recommend doing some research on the site before you make any purchase, since the product names don’t really tell you much about what they do. In the states, The Ordinary can be purchased at its own website (free shipping with $25+ order), Beautylish (free shipping with $30+ order), or ASOS (free shipping with $40+) order. I wouldn’t recommend ordering from ASOS, however, since there’s a bit of a markup on the site. Prices that I have listed below are from The Ordinary site.

  1. High-Spreadability Fluid Primer (30 ml, $7.90): I’m almost running out of primer, so I figured it was a great opportunity for me to stock up and try something new. My brother recommended the other primer they have, the mattifying High-Adherence Silicone Primer (30 ml, $4.90), but since my skin isn’t as oily as it was before, I decided to go with this one instead, which is supposed to help even out makeup application and give your face a natural, dewy finish.
  2. Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG (30 ml, $6.70): This one is an eye serum that claims to help reduce puffiness and dark circles in the eye contour. I’ve been using this on and off for two months now, and I do think that it has helped with depuffing my eyes. It hasn’t done much for my dark circles yet, but I’m not too surprised because I have yet to find anything for my intense dark circles.
  3. Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (240 ml, $8.70): I bought this one to try because I just finished using up my Pixi Glow Tonic (3.4 fl oz/100 ml, $15), which contains 5% glycolic acid.
  4. Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% (30 ml, $9.60): The Ordinary has plenty of Vitamin C products, and I wanted to compare theirs with other brands’ Vitamin C products. Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a stable derivative of Vitamin C, seemed like a good choice to me due to its lower potency and skin brightening benefits.
  5. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (30 ml, $5.90): My brother recommended this one to me. It’s a vitamin (Niacinamide is Vitamin B3) and mineral (Zinc) serum that is supposed to reduce the appearance of blemishes and congestion on the skin. I have yet to try this, but it’s one of my brother’s favorites.
  6. “Buffet” (30 ml, $14.80): Another recommendation from my brother – this one is a multi-technology peptide serum that is supposed to target multiple signs of aging at once.
  7. Serum Foundation in 2.1 Y (30 ml, $6.70): Since all of the skincare products looked so promising, I wondered what their foundation would be like, especially at such an affordable price point. I’ve used this a few times already, and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. It is indeed very serum like as the name suggests and very lightweight on the skin, but for medium coverage, it is extremely pigmented. The high saturation, low viscosity formulation really throws me off. I’ll have to try it more before giving a final verdict.

Have you tried anything from The Ordinary? What were your thoughts on what you tried?

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