I picked up this new shadow palette by Smashbox a couple of months ago and I am (finally!) getting around to reviewing it now. I really have soooo many posts to write up, piles of makeup sitting on my floor and lots of other photos and goodies to blog about — I have lots and lots of free time over the next few days (YAY!), so I’m going to try to catch up on blogging as much as I can!
I’ve been meaning to do the second post in my Sephora Summer Haul series for a few weeks, but I’ve been pretty busy so I’m just getting around to it now. I did the Sephora Summer Haul #1 post a little over a month ago, and then I went back to the store and bought even more stuff.
I pretty much did an OVERhaul of my beauty collection this summer, mostly because my skin is a lot different than it used to be, and I really did need a whole new routine and new products that are better suited for my skin, which has changed over the last year to a more dry and sensitive type.
Of course I can never just buy the items that I need and everytime I go into Sephora or even shop online at Sephora.com I end up with a crapload of stuff. So, besides just the new skincare products, I also bought a bunch of summer-y items, from makeup in bright colors to products that will help me keep my makeup on and looking fresh even in this hot, and often humid, New York weather. I’m not going to go too in-depth with the products because I’ll review most of them in posts of their own.
It seems as though this lip gloss from Josie Maran is no longer available at Sephora.com for some reason. I tried to look online to see if it’s being discontinued or if there’s going to be a new product to take its place but I couldn’t find any information. However, it IS still available on the Josie Maran website.
I have super chapped lips because I bite them way too much (so attractive, I know), so I decided to try this one out since it’s infused with Josie’s signature Argan Oil blend and it got pretty good reviews on the Sephora website (when it was still available). This isn’t exactly for healing lips, but I did notice some good results in the overall appearance of my lips and they were a lot smoother. This one is a little sticky at first, but the stickiness doesn’t really last that long.
Josie Maran Argan High Gloss Lip Quench ($16 for 0.3 oz.; josiemarancosmetics.com) is described as a “deeply penetrating” moisture gloss that “primes lips for a feather-free, even application of lipstick, liner or stain.” You can wear it alone, under or over lip color (I usually just wear it alone) and it is infused with 100% Pure Argan Oil, as well as jojoba oil and oleic-acid-rich buriti oil for “deep skin renewal and conditioning.”
I am definitely going to be reviewing these vitamin packs from HUM in a separate product review post because they really have been doing a lot as far as strengthening my hair and nails goes. My skin has even been clearing up, my nails are definitely stronger and my hair even looks a lot better and healthier (although I am in desperate need of a trim). You have to use these vitamins consistently for at least a couple of weeks before you see real results and I’m just about ready for Month 2 of my Runway Ready regimen (I have a new box sitting in my cabinet). I have no doubt that everything is going to start looking even better once I start the second month.
DISCLAIMER: I don’t really believe in multivitamins and most regular vitamin supplements (except for some circumstances and some formulas). I really think that getting all the right vitamins I need comes from good food and good eating habits, so I don’t necessarily buy into the whole vitamin craze. THESE vitamins, however, contain a 100% vegetarian formula and great ingredients (that are regularly found in foods) to insure that you get a super awesome dose of the vitamins necessary for strong nails, healthy hair and clear, vibrant skin.
HUM Nutrition Runway Ready ($35 for 30 daily packs; sephora.com) is a month-long supply of HUM’s Red Carpet and Killer Nails formulas. The vegetarian Red Carpet formula includes the “perfect balance” of GLA, ALA and Vitamin E. It is made from bio-available nutrients from black currant and sunflower seeds with healthy essential fats that support “fuller, shinier hair and glowing skin.”
The key ingredient in Killer Nails is biotin, a water-soluble B-complex vitamin necessary for cell growth and the production and metabolism of fat into amino acids. Killer Nails is a high potency vegan formula that contains 5000 mcg of Biotin, which is “widely used for strong nails and hair.”
Each Runway Ready pack contains two Red Carpet pills and one Killer Nails pill.
A brand-new moisturizer was one of the most important elements to my new skincare routine and this amazing moisturizer right here immediately made a huge difference in hydrating my dry skin. I had originally sampled the Ultra Repair Cream by First Aid Beauty and I loved it so I meant to pick that one up, but I put the Ultra Repair Lotion in my online shopping cart instead. It is essentially the same formula, just with a lighter consistency. I like the Cream a bit better so I’m going to make sure I pick that one up when I run out of this one.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lotion ($28 for 8 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “refreshingly lightweight moisturizer for silky smooth skin.” It is clinically proven to deliver 24 hours of continuous hydration, eliminate flakiness and condition the skin, leaving it “silky, supple and smooth.” It also treats itching and irritation caused by eczema, bug bites and rashes, so it can be used all over your body — not just the face!
Another super awesome product that I’m surprised I just started using now is this best-selling cleanser from Fresh. My face is soooo CLEAN after I use it — it removes pretty much every last trace of makeup (even mascara) and my skin feels and looks so much better now that I’ve been using it religiously for about a month. I bought this smaller tube first to really try it out and then I ran out of it pretty quickly so I recently bought the larger, 5.1-oz. tube. The larger tube is part of the third Sephora haul in my summer haul series 🙂
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser ($15 for 1.7 oz. [pictured] or $38 for 5.1 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “multitasking gel that gently removes impurities and makeup.” It instantly whisks away everyday impurities and makeup — even mascara — without stripping the skin of essential moisture, and it is rich in amino acids and soy proteins to support moisture retention. It also contains rosewater to balance and tone skin, as well as cucumber extract and nourishing borage seed oil.
I have this blush in a few other colors, but the peach looked so pretty and exactly what I was looking for so I had to pick it up. I want to do a full review on this product because the packaging is so pretty and I got a bunch of great photos; this haul post was already really photo-heavy so I only used one photo of the blush.
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush ($26 for 0.2 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “long-wearing, solar-baked blush” that lasts up to 12 hours. This blush is infused with natural clay “harvested from the banks of the Amazon River and naturally baked by the sun” and it is rich in nutrients that benefit all skin types for a “fade-free flawless finish.” I chose the “Captivating” shade, which is described as a warm peach.
This was another skincare product that I recently added to my daily routine that has helped my skin get back to a more normal state. I put this treatment on every night (usually during the daytime, too) and it has done wonders for my dry skin, making it feel and look so much more hydrated, soft and smooth. Over the last couple of days I started using Josie’s Argan Oil Light over this treatment at night instead of my moisturizer and I’m loving the results. During the day I apply my First Aid Beauty moisturizer over the Argan Milk.
Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment ($56 for 1 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “100 percent natural, emulsifier-free, hydrating treatment serum” that features powerful anti-aging benefits. Microdroplets of 100% Pure Argan Oil are suspended in purified water (which gives it the “milky” look), allowing the “skin-saving benefits of Argan Oil” to deeply nourish the skin.
I have tried out at least 20 different foundation primers over the last couple of months and I think I have finally found the perfect one for me — it’s not this one from Korres, though. Again, my skin has changed so much over the last year that a brand-new primer was just another skincare item that I needed for my new dry/sort of sensitive skin type.
I’m going to do a post on foundation primers soon because I have bought and sampled soooo many recently and I ended up returning about half of the ones I bought. I think I finally settled on a primer from NARS and/or a primer from Laura Mercier (I use Laura Mercier foundation so I think that’s why the primer worked so great). But anyway, this primer from Korres really wasn’t bad. It felt amazing on my skin and I really love that “Greek Yoghurt” scent (I know some people don’t really like it). This one just didn’t make my foundation last for as long as I would have liked.
Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Primer ($30 for 1.01 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “skin-perfecting and silicone-free face primer” that is enriched with ultra-nourishing Greek yogurt for “the smoothest makeup application and long-lasting wear.” This primer has a gel texture that glides onto skin, leaving a dewy finish.
I actually had to return this product after a few uses because it made me break out. I started using so many different products at once but for some reason I just knew this was the culprit for my breakouts. I have sensitive-ish skin, but I’m not sensitive to products, per se. I can usually use any product on my face and not have to worry about breakouts (I honestly think the bulk of my breakouts come from my new puppy because I am always rubbing my face on his cute little face), but I checked online and I found that a few people did break out from this toner. The majority of people seemed to love it, though, and I don’t think that breaking out from this product is very common.
Murad Hydrating Toner ($27 for 6 oz.; sephora.com) is an alcohol-free toner that “replenishes lost moisture to refresh skin and prepare it for treatment.” It is described as a “lightweight mist” that rehydrates and refreshes skin while restoring skin’s natural pH balance and it also neutralizes surface impurities. It contains Sodium PCA to improve hydration, chamomile and cucumber extracts to soothe and minimize irritation, and vitamins C and E to provide “powerful antioxidant protection.”
These next three items were just freebies/point perks that I added to my online order. I received this nail polish as a VIB Rouge renewal gift and I wasn’t too crazy about the color (I’m really not a red girl) so I gave it to my friend Nicole because she looks great in any kind of red makeup or nail polish!
FORMULA X “X ♥ Rouge” Nail Polish (reg. $10.50, VIB Rouge exclusive; sephora.com) is described as a “striking nail lacquer in a classic candy apple red,” available exclusively for VIB Rouge re-qualifying members.
And the very last products in my second Sephora summer haul were these two Beauty Insider 100-point perks. I said in my last post (the VIB Rouge Summer Surge event) that I keep getting the 100-point Dr. Brandt exfoliator samples and I have so many of them that I don’t have to buy the full-sized tube anytime soon. This is my favorite exfoliator and really the only one I have ever used that gives me such noticeable results.
Dr. Brandt Skincare Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant (reg. $78 for 2 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “powerful at-home alternative to in-office skin exfoliation procedures.” It contains pharmaceutical-grade crystals, lactic acid and soothing botanicals to polish away dead skin cells, leaving your skin looking and feeling radiant, healthy and smooth. It also diminishes the appearance of fine lines, acne marks and skin discolorations.
Tarte Cheek Stain (reg. $30 for 0.5 oz.; sephora.com) is a natural-looking and award-winning cheek stain that “imparts a just-pinched look.” It delivers a radiant, natural-looking flush as well as anti-aging and skin-restorative benefits.
Okay so that was a pretty long and photo-heavy post. I think the post for my third haul will be a bit shorter (this one took me awhile). All products are available in Sephora stores and on Sephora.com, as well as directly from the individual brand websites. Other beauty retailers also carry many of these items, including Macy’s and ULTA.
Sephora’s “Summer Surge” kicked off on Sunday with an exclusive shopping event for VIB Rouge members (the top Beauty Insider rewards program tier) and I actually woke up extra early on a Sunday to head to my favorite Sephora store just so I could score the exclusive goodies. This cute shopper (above), plus a “limited edition” cosmetic bag filled with samples were available during the event (from 9-11 AM) with a $35 purchase.
I actually got there after 11 AM, but I called first to make sure I would still be able to get the free stuff if I came late, and the sales associate told me that the shopper and cosmetic bags would still be available until they ran out of them. So, if you missed the event, you might still be able to get the freebies if your Sephora store didn’t run out of them yet!
These were the freebies in the “exclusive” makeup bag. The bag itself was just a plain black case — they made it sound a little nicer, but it’s whatever. I have so many makeup bags at this point that I don’t even know what to do with them, and a solid black one always comes in handy. I think the products in the sample bag differed a bit from person to person, I guess it depended on whatever the store had available. The bag I received included the following eight samples:
- Mini (0.06 oz.) BUXOM Buxom Lash Mascara in “Blackest Black”
- Make Up For Ever HD Blush in 410 (Coral) Sample Card — This was a good-sized sample card, though – I can get multiple uses out of this one.
- Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Mini Perfume Sample
- DR. JART+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25 Mini Sample (0.2 oz.) — Also a good size, especially for trying out the product over a few days (I think I can get at least a week out of this tube, maybe more).
- Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm Mini Sample (0.23 oz.) — Another great size. I had this same exact sample before and you get a LOT of use out of this little jar. I would say almost a month since you use so little of the product around the eyes.
- Deluxe sample-sized (0.12 oz.) Blinc Mascara Amplified in Black — This is a completely new product for me so I’m excited to try it out.
- Benefit Watt’s Up! Highlighter Mini Sample (0.08 oz.) — I have so many of these already that I haven’t even had to buy the full-sized product yet. Love this one and the sample size lasts forever because I use so little of the product, it’s great!
- Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Protect Deluxe Sample (0.5 oz.) — Awesome size, great primer. I have actually been mixing this with my other Laura Mercier primer (the radiance one) and I’m loving the result.
And, of course, I had to buy something. In order to get the freebies you had to spend at least $35, which is never a problem for me when it comes to ANY kind of shopping, not just makeup! I actually placed an online order on Sephora.com a couple days before the “Summer Surge” on Sunday, so I really didn’t NEED anything.
- Alterna Bamboo Smooth Anti-Humidity Hair Spray ($18 for 7.5 oz.; sephora.com): I got this because I so desperately needed a new, GOOD hair spray. My hair gets super frizzy and poofy during the summer, and I have been on the hunt for a good anti-humidity hair spray for … years, really. I love Alterna’s Bamboo Smooth line so I decided to try this one out, and I’m definitely liking it a lot so far! I’ll really put it to the test the next time it rains — which will probably be in a day or two thanks to this super stormy New York summer.
- Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Violet ($20 for 0.01 oz.; sephora.com): I don’t really use Stila’s Smudge Sticks in natural colors for everyday wear, but I do love the ones that come in bright colors and I decided to start a mini collection. It seems like some of the bright colors are only available in stores (like the turquoise shade), but this beautiful violet is definitely available in stores and online. I’m going to do a colorful summer eyeliner post this week and include this one from Stila 🙂
- Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix ($12 for 1.01 oz.; sephora.com): I’ve been using the Urban Decay All Nighter makeup setting spray for a couple of years now, but I have been meaning to try out this one from MUFE since the product description makes it sound so wonderful. I only used this once so far (I’ve been doing lazy, half-assed makeup the last few days), but I think I like it better than the UD spray! I bought the smaller bottle so I could try it out; the full-size bottle costs $29.
And the very last things I got during the Sephora Summer Surge shopping event were these two Beauty Insider 100-point samples. I have so many points and I keep saving them up for an awesome 500-point set, and there are some great 500-point rewards right now but it’s all stuff I either already have, or stuff I don’t really have a use for. So I just pick up the 100-point samples whenever I see something I like. I actually have so many of the 100-point Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Exfoliant (my favorite exfoliator) right now that I don’t even have to buy the full-size tube anytime soon 🙂
The Sephora Summer Surge is going on until August 10 and it’s a chance for Sephora Beauty Insiders on all tiers of the program to earn extra points on all purchases, in-store and online. Beauty Insiders (the first tier) get 2x points, VIBS (the second tier) get 3x points, and VIB Rouge (the third tier) get 4x points.
They say the free goodies are just for VIB Rouge, but if it’s not a busy store and they have extra freebies they might be able to give them to any Beauty Insider member. Always ask for free samples no matter what! You’d be surprised by what they have behind the counter — like how I had no idea they had this freebie from BUXOM on my last trip. Happy summer makeup shopping!
I received these three BUXOM lipgloss and lipstick shades in a Sephora VIB gift a few weeks ago — it was available in stores, but I never saw a code for it online. I’m not sure if this set is still available, but the full-size versions definitely are and they are all new BUXOM colors. I wanted to do a post because each formula is amazing (all three are different), and the colors are beautiful and perfect for the summer. That, and the photos I took actually came out okay (you can actually notice the difference between the three colors), even though I took the pictures at night.
So before I go into each lip product individually, I just wanted to show the swatch photo I took – I just took one swatch photo of all three shades side by side instead of three individual pictures; this way you can see the contrast between the colors a lot better. On the left is the lipstick, which does come out a bit creamier-looking when applied to the lips (you can see that in the photo below); then the full-bodied gloss (my favorite one); and then the sheer lipgloss.
The first product was a mini version of Buxom’s Full-Bodied Lipstick. This shade wasn’t exactly HOT pink, but it was very pink nonetheless. I love Buxom products, especially their lip products (their lip liner is the only liner I use), and this lipstick was no different. I loved the creamy consistency and the color payoff was amazing. I’m really trying to branch out and wear different, brighter colors on my lips, and even though this one is really almost like a nude baby pink, it is still very noticeable and it looks great with a light/natural makeup look for the day.
Buxom Full-Bodied Lipstick ($21 for 0.13 oz.; sephora.com) is a “full-coverage lip color” that has a “gentle plumping effect.” It really made my lips look pretty and full (without the plumping tingle). I’m more of a lipgloss girl than a lipstick girl, but this is one of my favorite lipsticks, especially since it doesn’t come out cakey and it has a satin finish. It is described as a “smooth, creamy, ultra-hydrating lipstick” that contains encapsulated hyaluronic spheres to help promote hydration and fullness, as well as shea butter, coconut oil, chamomile flower wax, and vitamins C and E to help moisturize, soothe and protect.
The next product was a much brighter pink, described as a “shimmering strawberry,” in Buxom’s Full-On Lip Polish formula. This is Buxom’s sheer lipgloss formula and, even though it is considered “sheer,” the color is definitely very, very noticeable. It’s not sticky and it also has a plumping technology to make your lips look full and prettier.
Buxom Full-On Lip Polish ($19 for 0.15 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “sheer, high-shine lip polish” that creates the look of “fuller, more voluptuous lips.” It has a “gentle plumping effect” that comes along WITH the tingle (unlike the lipstick and the other gloss, below), and it contains vitamins A and E, which help to keep lips soft, supple and protected.
The last lip product is my favorite one. This is Buxom’s “Full-Bodied” Lipgloss, and it totally lives up to its name — the color came out beautifully and it was definitely way more “full-bodied” than the sheer Lip Polish (above). This gloss is also very moisturizing and feels super nourishing on my lips (which are usually pretty dry), and it also plumps the lips, but without leaving the tingle effect.
Buxom Full-Bodied Lip Gloss ($19 for 0.15 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “shimmering, hydrating gloss with a no-tingle plumping effect.” It is an “ultra-hydrating” gloss that contains encapsulated hyaluronic spheres that help promote hydration and fullness, as well as jojoba oil and vitamin E to help moisturize and protect lips.
All three of these BUXOM shades are available exclusively in Sephora stores and online at Sephora.com!
OOOOkay … So, I am back from my few-weeks-long hiatus and I have A LOT to blog about. So many reviews to get up, a couple subscription boxes, outfits, and lots more. I’m also working on revamping the layout of my blog, and just really doing a lot more blogging in general.
Summer is finally here! I have really good feelings about the upcoming summer months and I have already done a lot of summer beauty shopping — new bronzers, blushes, lighter makeup and moisturizers … just tons of new stuff. I’m going to do a haul post after this one, but I wanted to get a review up of this awesome little summer beauty kit first.
I love Sephora’s “Favorites” collections so much that I always try to pick them up when a new one comes out. The past few Sephora Favorites kits that I got were a little pricier than this one (this one is only $45), and they came with mostly full-sized items (and lots of them), but this kit in particular includes mostly smaller, sample-sized beauty products. I’m definitely not complaining about this, and the value of the kit surpasses the $45 price tag, so it is worth it.’nn
The Sephora Favorites Summerstash ($45; sephora.com) comes with nine large, deluxe-sized samples, which makes it great for trying out new products and getting travel-sized versions of products that you already use (which is one of the reasons I bought it). Plus, all the items come packed inside a really cute shimmery, beachy-looking makeup case (below), which is the perfect size for carrying makeup on-the-go in your handbag, beach bag, whatever.
I’m trying to get more photos of myself up on my blog, especially in review posts to show how the makeup looks, so for this post I did try but I really feel the need to put up a disclaimer. I’m just a littttttle self conscious about putting such large photos of my face up on the Internet, and the photos really didn’t come out as well as I would have liked because I had to use my iPhone instead of my regular camera. I’m working on it, and the next time I take pictures I promise they will look a lot better (and I also won’t just be using the iPhone camera). Baby steps …
The first product was my favorite setting spray by Urban Decay. I go through this stuff like water, so I love having mini bottles around to carry with me throughout the day, especially in the summer. This bottle is a lot smaller than the regular-sized version, but I think I’m going to save the empty mini bottle this time around and fill it up with the spray from the regular-sized bottle for travel purposes.
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray (reg. $30 for 4 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “a weightless setting spray that keeps makeup looking just-applied for up to 16 hours.” UD has a whole line of setting sprays for different skin types (which I’m sure everyone already knows about), and even though I was using their spray for dry skin a lot throughout the winter, I still like this original one better. I find that it makes makeup look brighter and all-around prettier, and it definitely helps it last throughout the day. Sometimes if I need extra hydration I’ll spray UD’s Chill Setting Spray (for dry skin) or MAC’s Fix+ spray on top of the All-Nighter — I find that they all work very well together.
I am lovingggg blue/green/teal eyeliner shades right now and the Make Up For Ever liners are one of my favorite formulas so this mini pencil in the Sephora Favorites Summerstash was another selling point for me. I tried to take photos of what the eyeliner looks like on my eyes but, like I said before, they didn’t come out so great (it was nighttime so the lighting isn’t very good, and I need to work on the angles better for up-close makeup photos). I’m working on it. There’s a better photo of how the liner looks with my eyes closed below.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in 12L (reg. $19 for 0.04 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “a creamy, long-lasting eyeliner for intense non-stop color.” MUFE’s Aqua Eyes eyeliners come in 26 different vibrant, waterproof shades. This is one of my favorite eyeliner formulas because I find that it has serious staying power and stays put even when my allergies are at their worst and my eyes are super watery.
It’s hard for me to wear non-waterproof eyeliner because my eyes do tear a lot, and I know that a lot of people don’t really like waterproof liners, but I’ve read that even those who aren’t huge fans of waterproof formulas still love the MUFE Aqua Eyes line.
Everyone loves the NARS Laguna bronzer, and this wouldn’t be much of a summer beauty kit without including this top-selling favorite. Currently, I only have the full-sized Casino bronzer, but I like Laguna better because it’s a bit lighter, and this little one is perfect for on-the-go use (although it’s a little hard to get product onto my big bronzer brush because of the small pan).
NARS Laguna Bronzing Powder (reg. $38 for 0.28 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “true brown-based bronzer with a gold shimmer fusion” that’s “excellent for creating or enhancing the look of healthy, glowing, tanned skin.” Everyone loves this formula so much because it’s extremely blendable and pretty long-lasting on its own … and then if you set it with a spray it should last for the whole day (or night) with minimal touch-ups.
The next product is a mini eyeshadow in Stila’s new “Magnificent Metals” formula. I like the fact that the Sephora Favorites Summerstash included this little shadow, but the regular-sized Magnificent Metals shadows come with this liquid primer/base that you either apply directly to the lid or mix with the shadow to make it apply smoother and more evenly (I picked up a couple of these shadows months ago but I haven’t done the full review yet). The liquid primer is so important that it’s also sold separately for $20, but I figured that the kit came without it, so I should be able to still apply the shadow just fine. I was wrong.
I ended up having to mix it with some of Stila’s regular Kitten shimmer shadow (above) because the metal finish shadow just came out like a clumpy mess. I know I could have just used the liquid primer I already have, but I wanted to see how it would apply on its own (I used a regular shadow primer underneath). I really thought it would have been a lot easier to work with. Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt it.
Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in Kitten (reg. $32 for 0.07-oz. shadow and 0.06-oz. primer; sephora.com) is described as a “one-of-a-kind, buildable, high-metallic cream eye shadow with a striking foil finish.” These shadows allow you to create “a variety of effects” and the set, which comes in 16 different colors, includes a mixing tray and a deluxe Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eye Primer, to prep, prime, and create “long-lasting adhesion to lids.”
This is another product in the Sephora Favorites Summerstash that I already own and love. I think I actually have three of these cheek colors now, so I’m definitely set for the summer and straight through the fall. This blush is veryyy natural-looking (don’t be fooled by how it looks in the jar), and it lasts forever because you only have to use a little, tiny bit to get a great color payoff.
Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée (reg. $22 for 0.18 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “an innovative coconut water-infused cheek gelée with up to 14 hours of color and hydration.” It’s an awesomely buildable, blendable “blush hybrid” that “provides the natural look of a cream blush with the long-lasting hydrating color of a gel stain.” This blush is infused with 50%-pure coconut water to instantly hydrate skin, and vitamin E-rich argan oil for extra nourishing benefits.
Another summer beauty must have is a shimmery liquid luminizer, and the Sephora Favorites Summerstash included this highly-rated version from Buxom. This is the first time I’m really using this product — I received a sample of it awhile ago (at least over a year ago), but I never used it; I think I ended up losing it or giving it to one of my friends. Now that I have a shiny new (mini) bottle, I’m definitely going to be getting a lot of use out of it this summer. This luminizer is especially great for drier skin types (like me).
BUXOM Divine Goddess Luminizer in Venus (reg. $28 for 2 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “face and body cream luminizer with a unique, refreshing sensation.” It has this slight minty, cooling effect that a lot of people seem to like, but some others don’t like it at all. I’m 50/50 on this minty feeling; I find it a little strange to have your whole face (or wherever you apply the product) feel tingly for such a long time (the “sensation” lasts for awhile). At first, I thought my face was too sensitive to the product and it was actually burning my skin, and I’ve never really had that happen before so I was a little freaked out. Then I read up on it and saw that it’s supposed to feel that way. Either way, I really like this luminizer a lot and I want to try it out on the rest of my body as well; a lot of people say it looks great on their legs/arms/decollete during the summertime.
The Sephora Summerstash also included a summery nail polish – this glittery formula from Deborah Lippmann. I don’t usually like glitter polishes, but this one went on really well (my nails are in horrible condition in the photo above — the polish itself went on nice, but my nails need a good professional manicure this week) and it looks like it has almost a multi-dimensional effect. It also dried really quick, which I always love since I am such a mess.
Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Mermaid’s Dream (reg. $20 for 0.50 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “seafoam splendor” — a pretty seafoam green/teal with specks of blue and light-gold glitter throughout. Deborah Lippmann nail colors are infused with “treatment benefits” from ingredients like biotin and green tea extract, they are “5-Free,” and are not tested on animals.
The Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics gloss was one of the only products in the Summerstash that I haven’t already tried. I have been meaning to try out these glosses for awhile now, but I’ve been so stocked up on lipgloss lately that there are many that I haven’t even opened yet, so this is like the one product that I really can’t justify buying (and it takes a lot for me to hold myself back from buying new beauty products).
The OCC lipglosses seem to be a bit less popular than the brand’s Lip Tars (which I also haven’t tried yet), but they have gotten okay reviews. A lot of people complain that they come off too quickly, which is something I’m just so used to with lipgloss so I guess that’s not really an issue for me. This gloss looks like it would be super sticky, but it’s not at all, which is a huge plus for me, and I was pretty impressed with the color payoff.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Stained Gloss in New Wave (reg. $18 for 0.33 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “a gloss that combines the pigment potency of Lip Tar with a casual glossy finish.” These glosses can be combined with OCC’s Lip Tars “for added shine and color-transformative options,” or they can be worn alone for a more “translucent” look. There are 13 different Stained Gloss shades to choose from.
I pretty much saved the best for last. This mascara is awesome and amazing and wonderful and I am loving it so much. This was another product in the Summerstash that I haven’t already tried, and I’m sooo happy I got a chance to test it out. The mini size (0.09-oz. tube) is great for travel and you will get tons of uses out of it. My lashes are sparse right now because I had the very awful habit of pulling my mascara out and my lashes went along with it, so I’m currently waiting for them all to grow back (NEVER do this, it is the worst thing ever and I’m kicking myself for it). So this mascara actually made my sparse lashes look so much better — normal, even (normal for me), and I was so surprised. I love this stuff.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Mini Lash Lifter Mascara in Blacquer (reg. $26 for 0.24 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “the blackest, shiniest mascara with the ultimate lift, length, definition, and curl.” The innovative triangular brush is combined with “exclusive E-Lash-Tic Lash™ technology” to create “ultimate glossy lashes.” Micro-crystalline powders coat and stretch your lashes and provides for a rich, smooth application that “never clumps.” I was pretty blown away by this mascara so I’m definitely buying the full-sized version on my next trip to Sephora.
Wow … that turned out to be a pretty long, photo-heavy post. The Sephora Favorites kits are always so awesome, and even though this one didn’t have any full-sized items, all of the deluxe sample sizes are great for travel purposes and you will get plenty of uses out of them (some more than others). This was definitely one of my favorite Sephora Favorites kits and it was great for me because I was able to stock up on travel-sized versions of some of my favorite products and then I was also able to try out a few products that I’ve never used before, and I ended up loving those, too. Plus, the makeup case that comes with the set is also really cute.
The Sephora Favorites Summerstash Kit costs $45 (items are valued at $123) and it is available for a limited time in Sephora stores and online at Sephora.com.
The most beautiful Glossybox (ever) is here just in time for Independence Day AND the USA vs. Belgium World Cup Round of 16 match that is taking place tomorrow (Tuesday). Patriotism is at an all-time high this month, mostly thanks to our soccer (football) team’s astonishing escape from the “Group of Death.” So this Glossybox is all the more special.
I’m going to definitely find a good use for the Stars & Stripes Glossybox in my room. I actually have been collecting almost all of my Glossyboxes for about a year now (since I first subscribed, really) — both the regular pink ones and the special edition ones — and most of them end up in my closets to use as extra organizers. I’m going to use this one as some sort of decoration/organizer that won’t be hidden away in one of my closets.
First up is this patriotically-inspired nail polish duo from StrangeBeautiful that was designed exclusively for the Glossybox Stars & Stripes edition. These two little nail polishes are held under one cover so it’s kind of like the size of one regular nail polish bottle, and it’s really cute. I was impressed at how well these colors went on my nails — just one coat was vibrant enough, even though I still used two coats as always. Since this Colorbloc duo is exclusive to Glossybox, I included a link to buy different Colorblocs from StrangeBeautiful on the Anthropologie website.
StrangeBeautiful Colorbloc Nail Polish ($18 for two 0.15-oz. bottles; anthropologie.com) is a nail polish duo that “enables you to color your nails on the go effortlessly.” These polishes are great for travel and airline-friendly, and they are comprised of two “saturated” colors housed in a convenient, compact design.
I haven’t used this finishing spray yet so I’m not sure how well it works, but I like seeing different and unique hair products in subscription boxes, especially since I’m kind of all stocked up on the regulars (hairspray, serums, creams, etc.).
RUSK Texture Dry Finishing Spray ($18 for 8 oz.; ariva.com) is described as a “talc-free styling spray” that adds texture, shape, and grip “for an instant boost on hot summer nights,” while still maintaining hair’s natural movement. This spray leaves no white, chalky residue and it provides all-day flexible, medium hold.
I have only tried out this body butter once so far, but it’s definitely extremely “luxurious” and hydrating with a pretty scent. I can never have enough body butters and lotions, so these are always great subscription box additions for me.
Ayres Patagonia Body Butter ($28 for 6.75 oz.; ayresbeauty.com) is described as an “all-natural body formula” that is enriched with herbal extracts and vitamins to help moisturize dry patches on the skin. This body butter is formulated with a fragrant fusion of jasmine, rosemary, lavender, bergamot, and fir essential oils to provide long-lasting hydration.
This is a wonderful hand cream for some super intense hydration. My hands get dry pretty easily (all year long) and I go through a lot of tubes of hand cream, so this is another product that I never mind seeing in a subscription box. In fact, I don’t think I have even bought hand cream for myself in almost a year because I always get one every couple of months in a subscription box; no complaints here. The only thing I’m just a little ehhh about is the scent of this lotion — I LOVE a pretty lemongrass scent, but the lemongrass in this hand cream seems to be hidden a bit, and when I first applied it it kind of reminded me of a grandma perfume. Either way, this stuff works very well.
Camille Beckman Platinumé Gold Imperial Repair Hand Therapy ($10 for 1.35 oz.; camillebeckman.com) is described as a “dye-free, gluten-free, citrus-scented cream” that includes botanicals like sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, and Camille Beckman’s signature herbal complex to give your hands an extra dose of hydration, restoration, and softening.
This last product was probably my favorite item in the June Glossybox. It is a beautifully vibrant and creamy eye shadow pencil in a perfect champagne-y, taupe-ish color. I haven’t worn it yet but I swatched it on my hand and I loved it. I kinda messed up the photo (above) and the tip of the pencil came out a little blurry … the color of this pencil is so pretty and it’s perfect for any kind of makeup look no matter where you go, day or night.
Sumita Beauty Champagne Eye Shadow Pencil ($18 for .08 oz.; zibabeauty.com) is described as a “universally-flattering golden shade” that “offers a hint of shimmer to accent any eye color” and is the perfect finishing touch for day or night. This silky eye pencil can be used as a highlight, a liner, or it can be applied to your entire eyelid as a shadow that won’t budge or smear.
This wasn’t the most exciting month for Glossybox, but the box itself is beautiful and the Stars & Stripes theme was cute and fun. The nail polish was great with super vibrant colors (it dried quickly, too); the eyeshadow pencil from Sumita Beauty was definitely my favorite product as the color is so versatile and beautiful; the hair finishing spray looks like a product I’m going to really like (haven’t tried it out yet); and the hand lotion and cream are two products that I will always be able to put to use.
Glossybox is a monthly beauty subscription service that costs $21 per month, with the option to buy 3-, 6-, or 12-month plans at a slightly lower cost. They usually send out five deluxe- and travel-sized beauty samples (always really good sizes, I have no complaints), and sometimes you will find full-sized products, too. The brands that are featured are all higher-end, more “luxurious” beauty brands, and, the best part is, since Glossybox started over in the UK they often feature a lot of British and other European beauty brands, so there’s always something new and exciting (which I love). To subscribe, click here, or visit Glossybox.com for more information.
I ran into some extra money this month so, naturally, I hightailed it over to Sephora to buy a ton of new products. I ended up doing my summer beauty shopping in three trips — two trips to the store and one on Sephora.com — so I’m going to break up these three “hauls” into three individual posts. I’m going to review almost all of these products in their own individual posts, so this is just an overview of the new items I bought.
My skin has been changing a lot ever since I turned 26 (I’m 27 now); they say your skin can start changing in your mid-20s so I’m not too upset about it, but I needed a complete overhaul of my skincare routine because, instead of normal-type skin, I now have normal-dry skin, I’ve been getting a few breakouts and my overall complexion needs some evening out.
So I asked the wonderful staff member at the new Sephora in the Bay Shore Mall on Long Island what kind of products I should be using now and she was SO helpful and friendly. She put a lot of products into small sample jars so I could take them home and try them out for a few days to see how they work.
I usually would rather shop online than in the actual Sephora stores because I often find that the staff members never really help you (I feel like I know more than they do about a lot of these products most of the time) and they’re pretty snooty sometimes, too. That, plus the store is a mess — at least at the big malls here on Long Island they are.
So this is why I am SO happy a new Sephora opened up at the mall in Bay Shore. The staff is amazing, the store is super clean and not too big and crazy, and that mall in general is a LOT quieter and less busy than the other malls on the Island, so shopping is so much less of a headache.
I was planning on going back to the store after trying them out but I didn’t really have the time, so I ordered online at Sephora.com instead. As a Sephora VIB Rouge member I get free 3-day shipping and it’s seriously the quickest-shipping website I have ever ordered from. Sometimes it’s more worth it for me to order online because I know I’ll have the products in a day or two.
The first item on my list was a good foundation brush because I was getting pretty bored of my Beauty Blender. I still like using the Beauty Blender to blend cover-up into and around my under-eye area and around my nose, but, even though I’ve been using this tool for 2+ years now, I just wasn’t getting the right coverage that I wanted from my regular foundation application. Someone suggested this brush from Sephora and I asked the Sephora associate in Bay Shore about it and she said she used it too. I am very, very happy with it.
Sephora Collection Classic Multitasker Brush #45 ($24; sephora.com) is designed for applying both loose and compact powders as well as any liquid makeup, and it’s bristles have undergone a “hypoallergenic, non-toxic, antibacterial treatment” to help keep skin healthy. Like I said earlier, I’m going to do a full review of all the items in my haul in individual posts of their own so I’m not going to go to in-depth here, but my foundation has been looking better than ever after I started using this brush.
These new Sephora Collection masks displayed throughout the store quickly caught my eye — the bright rainbow of colors and cute little circle packaging made it way too hard to not want to pick one up. They’re only six bucks and they come in six different formulas for different skin concerns (each one is a different color package). My only gripe about this mask was that, even though the results were instant and noticeable, it didn’t really last very long.
I think they should have maybe made them a little more expensive and put, like, three or four masks in one package … or even two would have made a difference. With just one you’re really only getting use out of it for that one night or day that you’re using it. I used it at night and then took a shower the next day so the effect kinda wore right off. I would suggest to use these during the day, or at night before you go out.
Sephora Collection Rose Mask – Moisturizing & Brightening ($6 for one 0.84-oz. mask; sephora.com) is described as a “natural fiber mask” that contains natural rose extract to moisturize skin for a more radiant appearance. It “perfectly hugs facial contours,” to allow the active ingredients to penetrate and plump the skin, creating a fresher, brighter, glowing appearance.
These masks come in six different type including: Pearl (light pink) for perfecting & brightening; Green Tea (green) for mattifying & anti-blemish; Ginseng (yellow) for toning & revitalizing; Pomegranate (red) for anti-fatigue & energizing; Honey (orange) for nourishing & balancing; and Rose (pink, the one I bought) for moisturizing & brightening.
I needed new cleansing wipes because I just ran out of them and I decided to pick up this pack from Korres. I love Korres products and all of their natural, good-for-you ingredients, so I knew I wouldn’t have any complaints about these wipes. I can’t really say that I notice any difference between these and any of the other makeup removing wipes I use (I usually pick up whatever I see first, whether it’s at CVS, ULTA, Sephora, or anywhere else), and I always wash my face after using them, so I really can’t say much about them other than the fact that they work well in removing makeup, even mascara.
I actually can’t find these available on Sephora’s website, I only see Korres’ Pomegranate wipes (the ones for oily and combination skin), so if you want to pick up these Milk Protein wipes (for normal to dry skin) your local Sephora should definitely have them. If you would prefer to order them online I did find them on HSN, so I included that link below.
Korres Milk Protein Cleansing & Make-Up Removing Wipes ($12 for 25 wipes; hsn.com) are formulated for normal to dry skin to remove face and eye makeup and dirt while nourishing the skin with the “moisturizing powers of milk proteins.” They also contain aloe and proVitamin B5 to soothe skin.
I cannotttttt get over how much I LOVE this stuff. I just can’t even describe how it has completely transformed the look of my hair. I have been having serious issues with dry, damaged strands, and the summer is especially bad for me because my hair can easily turn into a poofy mess. This AMAZING stuff makes my hair look beautiful. It looks healthy and shiny, voluminous — everything you could possibly want for your hair. I’ll go into more detail when I post a review on this product but OMG I am so happy I picked this bottle up.
Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer ($26 for 8.5 oz.; sephora.com) is a sulfate-free “pre-styler” that “protects, conditions, and eases styling for dry, brittle, or coarse hair.” It is described as a multitasking primer that’s infused with six different “feather-light” oils “for complete hair transformation” (and transforming it is!!). Hair appears softer, smoother, silkier, less tangled, and it also protects against breakage, heat, and UV radiation.
I picked up the original Naked Flushed blush/bronzer by Urban Decay when it first came out (less than a year ago I think?), and I really liked the formula but I wasn’t so crazy about the colors. Well now UD has four different Naked Flushed palette colors (three new ones plus the original), and I was loving this one, “Streak,” which has a super pretty peachy blush that’s perfect for summer.
Urban Decay Naked Flushed ($30 for 0.49 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “a silky bronzer, highlighter, and blush in a sleek, travel-ready compact.” Each pressed powder can be used individually or blended together and they contain light-diffusing particles to enhance skin for a “fresh, glowy look.”
I finally caved and bought this much raved-about BB cream from Dior and I am so glad I did. I actually meant to pick up the more moisturizing, Dior Hydra Life BB Cream, but this one has been working great. My skin has been looking soooo much more even and prettier. I’m probably going to try out the Hydra Life formula when this one runs out, but I might just go back to this one because it’s been making my complexion look near-flawless.
Dior Diorskin Nude BB Creme ($44 for 1 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a Broad Spectrum SPF 10 BB cream that “moisturizes, smooths, protects, and corrects,” creating a “lustrous, flawless finish.”
I also needed a new foundation and the Sephora staff member suggested this one — this is yet another product that I instantly fell in love with and I’m so happy I bought it. This, combined with just a litttttle bit of the Dior BB cream on top, has been making my skin look amazing and super even and all that good stuff. Love love love.
Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation ($45 for 1.18 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “rich, long-wear foundation that gives skin a professional, full-coverage finish.” It’s a creamy formula that contains a “special collection” of silk proteins, tea extracts, and treated mica, which all blend together to create a “luxuriously hydrating foundation” that leaves skin “softer, smoother, and flawless.” I can totally attest to all of these claims … I can’t wait to review this product in its own post!
Andddd … I saved the best for last! The awesome sales assistant at Sephora in the Great South Bay Bay Shore Mall (I feel so bad that I forgot her name!) also gave me this mini three-piece BUXOM lip collection of brand-new beautiful hot pink lip shades. I love BUXOM products, especially their lip products, and I don’t really have too many hot pink shades, and this set is SUCH a good mix of vibrant pink shades (strawberry, coral, and a hot baby pink).
When the Sephora associate was showing me the set at check-out I thought that it was a VIB point gift (where I’d have to spend points for it), and I didn’t realize she was actually GIVING it to me. So, if you’re a member of the Sephora VIB program, ask about this set next time you’re in the store! I was there exactly one week ago, so they should still have it! This set contained:
- One Mini (0.07 oz.) Full-On Lip Polish in Nicole (reg. $19 for 0.15 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “sheer, shimmering strawberry” lip gloss with a tingling, plumping effect. Formulated with Vitamins A and E to help keep lips “soft, supple, and protected.” As of this spring, BUXOM’s lip polishes come in 100 (!!) different shades, making it impossible to not find one that you love!
- One Mini (0.06 oz.) Full-Bodied Lip Gloss in Sweet Thing (reg. $19 for 0.15 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “sheer, shimmering, hydrating gloss” that plumps lips without the tingle. This brand-new shade is a sheer, yet full-bodied, hot pink, with a slightly creamier consistency than the lip polish (above). It is encapsulated with hyaluronic spheres that promote hydration and fullness, plus jojoba oil and vitamin E to help moisturize and protect lips.
- One Mini (0.04 oz.) Full-Bodied Lipstick in Mistress (reg. $21 for 0.13 oz.; sephora.com) is a pretty hot pink shade that I can only really describe as like a baby pink-hot pink with a slight shimmer. This smooth, creamy, ultra-hydrating, full-coverage lipstick plumps lips without the tingle, and it contains encapsulated hyaluronic spheres to promote hydration and fullness. It is formulated with shea butter, coconut oil, chamomile flower wax, and vitamins C and E that all help to moisturize, soothe, and protect lips.
All products are, of course, available in Sephora stores and on Sephora.com. I don’t see the Korres Milk Protein Cleansing Wipes on the Sephora website, but they are definitely available in Sephora stores and on HSN.com.