Beauty, Cosmetics, Favorites, Hair, Makeup, Skin Care

My September 2017 Favorites

Hello my lovelies! Today’s topic is my favorite products from September 2017. So without further ado…

IMG_1879

Photo from Sephora

1. Natasha Denona – Lila Palette ($129) – This one should come as no surprise. I love the Lila Palette! Purples are very on trend for Fall 2017 and Lila is my favorite palette of the season so far. I previously reviewed this palette here.

I have some very exciting news for Natasha Denona fans! According to Trendmood1, Natasha will be releasing a holiday collection including both limited edition and permanent products. So far, we know that there is a five pan eyeshadow palette in the works.

IMG_2013

Photo from Sally Hansen

2. Sally Hansen – Diamond Flash Top Coat ($7.98 for 0.45 fl oz) – I used to get pricey gel manicures every two weeks, but it started to take a serious toll on my nails. In an effort to prevent further nail damage and save some cash, I started doing my own manicures. This is the best non-gel top coat that I’ve ever used. It makes my polish dry in a flash and lasts at least a week without chipping. I purchased this product on clearance for $4.98 at Walgreens, but it’s still available at Ulta. FYI: You will need a separate base coat. I like Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Smooth and Strong ($8.99 for 0.5 oz.)

IMG_2014

Photo from Not Your Mother’s

3. Not Your Mother’s – In A Heart Beat Blow Dry Accelerator ($5.99 for 6 fl oz) – I was shopping for dry shampoo at Ulta and ended up purchasing this product on sale for BOGO 50% off. The In A Heart Beat Blow Dry Accelerator reduces styling time and provides crucial thermal protection. It also has a nice mist and smells pleasant which is always a plus.

IMG_2016

Photo from Artis Brush

4. Artis Oval 3 – Elite Mirror Collection ($41) – The Artis Oval 3 was designed to shade and blend the outside and inner corners and smaller areas of the eyelid. This multitasking brush is also very efficient at applying foundation or concealer in hard to reach places such as the inside corner of the eye or the side of the nose by the nostril. I like to use it to apply my brownbone highlight.

Artis brushes are made exclusively with CosmoFibre, a revolutionary engineered fibre made for applying cosmetic and makeup products.

Although Artis brushes are pricey, they use less product and blend beautifully. Real Techniques just launched a collection of similar brushes which I’m excited to try. There are also many cheaper alternatives on Amazon, but I can’t speak for their quality. I love this brush so much that I own two of them!

IMG_2017

Photo from Ulta

5. Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss ($24 for 0.19 oz) – I purchased the shades Mermaid, Frosted, Oil Slick and Unicorn for half price during the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Sale. Butter London’s Glazen Eye Glosses are lightweight, buildable, long-wearing and crease-resistant. The pudding-like texture applies like a gel, but dries as a powder.

These glosses are great for an easy look on the go. Simply pop a powder shadow into the crease and then apply the eye gloss to the lids using your finger. My personal favorite shade at the moment is Frosted (warm sparkling rose gold.) Oil Slick (sparkling chameleon) is a stunning dark reddish-brown with a green duochrome shift. These shadows are very sparkly, so be forewarned if glitter isn’t your thing.

IMG_2018

Photo from Benefit Cosmetics

6. Benefit Cosmetics Ka-Brow! Cream-Gel with Brush ($24 for 0.1 oz) –  My next favorite seems appropriate because today is National Brow Day! This product was another bargain buy from the Ulta sale. I wear shade 03 Medium (light to medium brown, redheads – neutral-warm.) For reference, my hair color is medium brown. Unlike many brow pomades that I’ve tried, this one is really easy to apply and looks natural. If you prefer a more dramatic brow look, this cream-gel formula is buildable, but not tacky or thick. Also, it includes a handy built-in brush. I will definitely be trying out more Benefit brow products in the near future.

IMG_2019

Photo from Ulta

7. Ofra Cosmetics Highlighter – Rodeo Drive ($29 for 0.35 oz) – I’ve been curious about Ofra’s highlighters for a while now, and the 21 Days of Beauty Sale was the perfect excuse to try them out at half price. Although the shade Rodeo Drive is highly pigmented, it’s still flattering on my fair skin. I think that it would look gorgeous on many other skin tones as well. I have since picked up Beverly Hills, Blissful, Glazed Donut and Glow Goals from the Nikki Tutorials Collaboration. A word of caution: Ofra’s highlighters are super intense, so a little goes a long way.

IMG_2020

IMG_2022

hotfire_1024x1024@2x

Photos from Dose of Colors

8. Dose of Colors – DESI x KATY Collection – Hot Fire ($18) – Although the entire KATY x DESI Collection is perfection, the liquid lipstick in Hot Fire  is a definite high point. Hot Fire is an extremely vibrant and pigmented matte fiery orange red that would look amazing on anyone. This shade is unlike anything else in my vast lipstick collection.

As is often the case with highly pigmented liquid lipsticks, Hot Fire can be a little drying, so exfoliate before application and keep a lip balm on hand. I’d also recommend using a lip liner with this shade. (I found ColourPop’s Clique to be a good match.)

This limited edition collection is currently sold out, but Dose of Colors has stated that there will be a final restock sometime this month. (The exact date is unknown, but I’ll keep you posted.) I would also recommend picking up The Girls Eyeshadow Palette and either the FUEGO Highlighter (for fair to light skin) or MÍRAME Highlighter (for medium to deep skin.) If you’re highlighter obsessed like I am, then order them both! Dose of Colors is quickly becoming one of my new favorite makeup companies. Desi and Katy really killed it with this collection!

IMG_2030

The Dose of Colors DESI X KATY Collection. Isn’t the packaging everything? Photo from Allure

IMG_2026.PNG

MÍRAME and FUEGO Highlighters

IMG_2027.PNG

The Girls Eyeshadow Palette. Swatch photos from Dose of Colors

Well that’s it for this month. I have some exciting new products to review this week, so stay tuned! I will also be making some changes to the blog layout.

What products are loving right now?

xoxo, Sarah

Advertisements
Beauty, Cosmetics, Hair, Makeup

Unboxing My First Boxycharm! (September 2017)

IMG_3102.JPG

I received my first Boxycharm yesterday. Boxycharm is a monthly beauty subscription service. For $21 a month, members receive four to five full-size and luxury-size beauty items, delivered monthly to your doorstep. Some of the brands associated with Boxycharm are Tarte, Ofra, Makeup Geek, bareMinerals, ColourPop, Smashbox, PUR and MAC to name just a few.

I’ve tried many other beauty subscription services such as Ipsy, Birchbox, GLOSSYBOX, PLAY! by Sephora and Allure. (And don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed many of those boxes.) However, what differentiates Boxycharm from the competition is that members receive full-size products, not just deluxe samples.

Today, I will be doing my first Boxycharm unboxing. This month members will receive a bonus product.

Read on if you want to know what’s in my Boxycharm this month…

IMG_1853

Photo from PUR Cosmetics

1. PUR Cosmetics – The Soirée Diaries Eyeshadow Palette ($34 for 0.04 oz) – I recently discovered the brand PUR when they released their My Little Pony Collection. (Review coming soon!) Currently, I’m testing out their No Filter Photography Primer and Correcting Primer Prep & Perfect which I picked up during the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Sale.

Therefore, I was psyched to receive PUR’s bestselling The Soirée Diaries Eyeshadow Palette. The Soirée Diaries is a stunning neutral eyeshadow palette. It contains a mix of twelve warm and cool toned shades in matte, satin and shimmer finishes. (The palette includes four mattes, four satins and four shimmers.) These shadows are richly pigmented and silky smooth. Boxycharm recommends using the colors in the vertical row from top to bottom to “add highlight, definition and drama.” As a bonus, Boxycharm included a promo code for 25% off your next purchase on purcosmetics.com. I’m really looking forward to playing around with this palette.

See swatches on bare skin below:

IMG_3076.JPG

(From left to right: Cosmo, Dazzle, Twinkle, Glitzy, Epic, Snazzy, Stunner, Splurge, Mogul, Gala, Socialite and Private Party)

IMG_1860

Photo from MAC Cosmetics

2. MAC Cosmetics – Eyebrows ($18 Value for 0.003 oz) – The second item in my Boxycharm was an eyebrow pencil from MAC. I received the shade Spiked (rich brunette.) This self-sharpening pencil has a very fine point to define the brow. Spiked is a slightly darker shade than I would’ve preferred as I generally lean towards taupe or soft brown shades for my brows, but surprisingly it’s a pretty good match. Apparently MAC products are extremely rare in subscription boxes. You may receive a different shade depending on the hair color that you selected in your profile.

IMG_1861.JPG

Photo from Ulta

3. bareMinerals Face Perfecting Brush ($28 Value) – I own many makeup brushes, but this foundation brush is unlike anything in my collection. To use this brush, apply your liquid foundation into the fluid reservoir of the brush. Next, buff the foundation into your skin in a circular motion starting on the outside of your face near your cheekbones, working your way to the forehead, cheeks and nose. The brush’s primary claim is that it allows you to customize your foundation coverage from light to full. I will let you know if it lives up to the hype.

IMG_1862

Photo from ColourPop

4. ColourPop Ultra Satin Lip (Value $6 for 0.11 oz) – ColourPop’s Ultra Satin Lip formula is somewhere in between a lipgloss and a liquid lipstick. I received the shade Mess Around which is described as a mid-toned griege. Shades may vary. I’ve heard of other members receiving Strip and Littlestitious. Although the Ultra Satin Lips do not dry down completely, they’re much more comfortable IMHO than the Ultra Matte Lip formula which can be drying to the lips. Although this is not a color I would’ve picked for myself, I do love ColourPop’s lippies.

IMG_1863

Photo from Sephora

5. Brioego – Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask ($20 Value for 2 oz) – I’m always game to try a new hair mask, and I’ve heard really good things about this one. Technically, this is a deluxe sample as the full-sized product contains 8 oz for $36. This intensive weekly treatment claims to restore hydration and strengthen the hair to prevent future damage.

IMG_1864

Photo from My Subscription Addiction

6. Studio Makeup – Luminous Loose Blush ($35 Value for 0.24 oz) – This loose blush is a warm peachy pink shade with just a hint of sparkle. It’s lightweight for a more natural, subtle wash of color. A little goes a long way as this product is rather pigmented.

The total value of this month’s box is $62 which equates to a savings of $41!

Final Thoughts: I’m really happy with my first Boxycharm and I’d definitely recommend this subscription service. It’s a great way to build your makeup collection and test out new products. SPOILER ALERT! Rumor has it that each member will receive either a Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter or Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter ($38-41 Value)  in the shade Prosecco Pop in the October 2017 box. Becca makes some of my favorite highlighters, so you don’t want to miss out on this! I’d advise signing up right away to avoid being waitlisted.

What’s your favorite beauty subscription service?

xoxo, Sarah

Beauty, Cosmetics, Hair, Makeup, Skin Care

FIRST LOOK! Sephora Holiday 2017 Sets

IMG_1806IMG_1807IMG_1808IMG_1809

Sephora just launched their limited edition Holiday 2017 Kits! VIB Rouge Members have early access online and in store.

Read on for my personal picks…

  • Sephora Favorites – Glow For It ($40/$106 Value) – If you want to try hot, new products before committing to paying full price, then the Sephora Favorite Sets are your best bet. These multibranded sampler sets are always very popular around holiday time. This particular set includes seven deluxe highlighting products for only $40 which is an excellent value. I really love the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone and Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Moonlight. The deluxe sample sizes are ideal for travel.
  • Lancôme Merry Mascara Set ($29/$75/50 Value) – This Lancôme set includes three of the brand’s bestselling mascaras in travel size, a travel sized Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover (1.7 oz) and a full size Cils Booster XL, a conditioning lash primer to maximize lashes. I haven’t tried all of these mascaras, but the new Monsieur Big Mascara is excellent. Basically, you’re getting five products for the price of one full sized Lancôme Mascara. This set is a Sephora Exclusive.
  • Too Faced – Boss Lady Beauty Agenda ($58/Value $336) – I’m really excited about Too Faced’s Holiday Collection this year. This set includes a super cute, pink Leatherette mini zip-around agenda cover with built-in mirror, paper-bound agenda, sticker sheets and a 24 pan eyeshadow palette with a blush, bronzer and highlight, a Deluxe Melted Matte Long Wear Lipstick in Sell Out and a Deluxe Better Than Sex Mascara for less than 60 bucks! I predict that this one will go flying off the shelves.
  • NARS x Man Ray: The Kiss Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Set ($49/$98 Value) – I have been anxiously anticipating the release of the limited edition NARS x Man Ray Collection. NAR’s Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are some of my favorite lipsticks. They’re richly pigmented, non-drying and easy to apply. This set includes two new, limited edition and two existing full sized lip pencils in the shades Endangered Red, Toundra, Wild Ways and Spellbound. The lip pencils are “sealed with a golden kiss of a cosmetic case” inspired by the art of Man Ray. This set is also a Sephora Exclusive.
  • TATCHA – Skincare for Makeup Lovers Obento Box ($59/$112 Value) – I recently fell hard for TATCHA products after trying their Luminous Dewy Skin Mist and The Water Cream.  This set includes both of these products in addition to the popular Violet C-Radiance Mask and Gold Spun Camellia Lip Balm. Considering that the Obento Box features a full sized Luminous Dewy Skin Mist (1.35 oz) which usually retails for $48 on its own, this set is a hell of a deal.
  • Cover FX – Custom Enhancer Drops Set ($42/$50) – If you’re looking for an intense liquid highlight, then the Custom Enhancer Drops by Cover FX will be right up your alley. There is nothing subtle about these highlighters that “produce a high-impact liquid metal finish that can be applied alone to strobe and highlight or added to your favorite foundation or skin care product for an all-over glow.”  This set includes Custom Enhancer Drops in Celestial (glistening pearl), Halo (holographic, multi-dimensional), Rose Gold (warm pearlescent pink bronze) and Moonlight (a soft silver glow.) Each bottle contains 0.15 of product. The Custom Enhancers Drops Set is a fantastic deal because you get to try out four different shades for the price of one full sized bottle (0.5 oz.) This set is a Sephora Exclusive and available online only.
  • Sephora Favorites – Hair Rescue Masks On The Go ($25/$54 Value) – This set includes eight travel sized hair masks for only 25 bucks. Total steal. My hair can be dry and frizzy so a good hair mask is a game changer. I’ve featured the Ouai Treatment Masque in  a previously monthly favorites post. It’s amazing!
  • MILK MAKEUP – Holographic Powder Quad ($49 for 0.55 oz of product) – This limited edition quad is a holographic highlighting palette for cheeks, lips, eyes and body. The palette is “packed with meteorite powder and twilight pearls for intense payoff in a single swipe.” I’m definitely intrigued.  The Holographic Powder Quad is available online only.
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty – The Wild One Eye-Conic Eyeshadow Palette ($99/$140 Value) – I’m already lusting over this stunning eyeshadow palette that’s a Sephora Exclusive. The palette includes “20 plush eyeshadows in luxurious finishes to create endless looks for day or night.” It’s considered an extension of the Eye-Conic Collection with 18 new shades and four fashion finishes such as sequin and lamé. The shadows are arranged into five collections to create different looks. See also: Cat’s Meow Five-Piece Petite Le Marc Lip Crème Collection ($45/$84 Value.)

Final thoughts: If I had to pick one item from the Holiday 2017 Collections, it would probably be the Marc Jacobs eyeshadow palette. I’m not sure when these products will be made available to the general public, but I’ll keep you posted. If you’re interested in purchasing or learning more about these products then simply search for “VIB Rouge Exclusives” on the Sephora Website.

Which of these holiday releases are you most excited about?

xoxo, Sarah

UPDATE: Apparently the holiday sets were only available for one day as a sneak peek to VIB Rouge Members. I will keep you posted on official launch dates.

Beauty, Cosmetics, Hair

BREAKING NEWS! ColourPop is coming to Sephora!

 

BREAKING NEWS! ColourPop is coming to Sephora!

Trendmood1 just announced that ColourPop is coming to Sephora around November! Reportedly, ColourPop’s pricing will not change.

What are your thoughts on this news? Personally, I’m very surprised. It’s certainly an interesting coupling. Most of the brands that Sephora carries are high-end; whereas ColourPop’s prices are more comparable to the drugstore.  However, I love ColourPop’s products and having easy access to them at Sephora will be convenient. (Plus, no more shipping fees if you’re a Rouge!) I’m definitely not mad about this news at all. I think that Sephora is trying to tap into the Millennial/Generation Z markets as ColourPop is especially popular with teenagers and young adults. Is Sephora trying to move in the same direction as Ulta?

I’m eager to read your opinions so please leave a comment below!

xoxo, Sarah

Beauty, Cosmetics, Hair, Makeup, Skin Care

July Favorites

My apologies for running a little late with this post, but better late than never right? See below for my July Favorites.

IMG_1455.JPG

Photo from Ulta

L’Oreal – Blow Dry It Quick Dry Primer Spray ($4.99 for 4.2 oz)

I love this priming spray from L’Oreal because it cuts my hair drying time in half. It contains Xylose 450 which is “a heat-resistant molecule that insulates the hair’s protective structure to withstand maximum hairstyling.” And did I mention that it costs less than $5?!

IMG_1456.JPG

Photo from the brand

Drunk Elephant – La La Retro Whipped Cream ($60 for 1.69 oz)

As mentioned in my previous review of the new Laura Mercier foundation, my skin has been going through a dry spell lately. I’ve been using this moisturizer both in the AM and PM. I like that this product is super creamy without feeling heavy or greasy.

IMG_1458.JPG

Photo from the brand

Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipstick – 1995 ($38 for 0.14 oz)

I won’t go into much detail about this lipstick because I plan to do a full review soon. Let me just say that I’m completely obsessed with this warm light nude. I’ve purchased three lipsticks from this limited edition collection, but 1995 is probably my favorite. Pat McGrath never disappoints.

IMG_1459.PNG

Photo from the brand

Dior – Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation ($62 for 2.3 oz)

I wear shade 100 Ivory, very light: neutral undertones. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Out of the dozens of drugstore and luxury foundations that I’ve tried, Dior products seem to work best for my combination skin. This foundation is lightweight with buildable coverage. You can customize your coverage by choosing to apply straight from the can for a lighter finish, or with a kabuki brush for fuller coverage. I prefer the latter. This magic potion makes my skin look flawless. I even grant it holy grail status.

IMG_1462.JPG

Photo from Ulta

L’Oreal – Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Normal/Dry Skin ($9.99 for 13.5 oz)

As I’ve previously mentioned, I got hooked on Bioderma Micellar Water while traveling abroad last summer. Unfortunately, since Bioderma is a French brand, it’s not always easy to find in the states. This L’Oreal Micellar Water is a great drugstore alternative.

IMG_1463.JPG

Photo from the brand

TATCHA – Luminous Dewy Skin Mist ($20 for 0.4 oz/$48 for 1.35 oz)

This skin mist from TATCHA can be used as a primer right before applying makeup “for flawless application and a dewy, glowing look.” It’s also fantastic for touch ups on the go to refresh skin. I purchased the smaller sized bottle for testing purposes, but I will be splurging on the full-size once I run out. The smaller bottle would be perfect for travel or to throw in your purse.

IMG_1464.JPG

Photo from the brand

The Ordinary – AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution ($7.20 for 30 ml) – This solution containing Alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) and Beta hydroxyl acids (BHA) treatment has done wonders for my skin. I use it once a week for 10 minutes to exfoliate and my skin looks and feels amazing afterwards! This formula also contains Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative to reduce irritation, a crosspolymer form of hyaluronic acid for comfort, Vitamin B5 to assist healing and black carrot as an antioxidant. NOTE: The Ordinary advises against using this product if you have sensitive skin.

IMG_1465

Photo from the brand

Sugarpill Cosmetics – Diamond Eyes Pressed Eyeshadow ($13 for 0.12 oz)

I’m a big fan of Sugarpill’s eyeshadows. I love that they use bold, out of the ordinary hues. They’re always highly pigmented and of the utmost quality. Diamond Eyes is described as a “satin white with crystalline sheen.” This has been my favorite inner corner/brownbone highlight as of lately. It also doubles as a highlighter. Sugarpill’s loose pigments are also awesome. NOTE: I purchased this eyeshadow for half off at Ricky’s recently. It’s listed as sold out on the Sugarpill website, so it might be being discontinued. Pick it up while you still can!

IMG_1466.JPG

Photo from the brand

Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner (4 oz for $10)

I use this professional brush cleaner to spot clean my brushes after daily use. It cleans, conditions and disinfects. Unlike many other brush cleaners that smell strongly of chemicals, this one has a pleasant citrus scent. Also, it’s environmentally friendly and available in a variety of sizes. The spray bottle nozzle comes in really handy.

IMG_1467.JPG

Photo from Ulta

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte 24HR Foundation – ($12.99 for 1.0 oz)

This is my current favorite full coverage foundation from the drugstore. I wear the shade Classic Ivory 101. It has a demi-matte finish. I like that it provides the coverage that I need without feeling cakey or heavy. I don’t suggest wearing foundation for 24 hours straight, but it does last throughout the work day. TIP: Set this foundation with loose powder after application and before applying other products such as bronzer, blush, etc.  for best performance.

What products have you been loving lately?

xoxo, Sarah