2014 Makeup Haul

I’m back! With a haul 🙂

With Christmas money burning a little hole in my pocket, I placed an order from ELF (eyeslipsface.com) and made a quick stop by my local Ulta store. None of these products are new, but they are all new to me!

I love ELF products and have been buying their stuff for years, maybe since 2005/2006, way back when they only had the Essentials line and everything was $1. I’ve never had a problem with ordering from them – until now. My order was missing 5 items out of 13, and I was charged for all of them. I was not happy, so I immediately emailed their customer service with my order number and a list of all of the missing items. Two days later, I received an email saying they were sending me the items immediately. So I’m still waiting on those, but for now I’ll show you what I’ve got!

Maybelline Baby Skin, $5.99+tax at ULTA

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This stuff is AMAZING. I don’t have enormous pores, but my boyfriend’s are on the bigger side (sorry!) so I tried it on him. They really really reduced the size. It has a slippery/silicon-y feel to it that reminds me of Smashbox’s primer. I haven’t tried it with foundation over top yet, so I don’t know about pilling or peeling, but I have high hopes for this bad boy.

ULTA Extreme Wear matte finish mousse blush, nude glow $8.00+tax at ULTA

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okay, as you can see this isn’t a matte finish – it clearly has shimmers in it. It isn’t bad, but I was expecting matte, so I’m a little disappointed. I was expecting more along the lines of a Josie Maran Coconut Water Cheek Gelee. Instead these remind me of a Maybelline Dream Whipped Mousse blush. Not a bad thing – just not what I expected from the description.

NYX Butter Gloss, Tiramisu, $4.99+Tax at ULTA

 

 

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I’m sure everyone is sick of hearing about these, but I totally bought into the hype. I bought the shade Tiramisu, which is a gorgeous nude-pink shade. The consistency of this is beautiful – totally a lip product I can see myself wearing everyday due to the color and texture. LOVE. 

NYX Glossy Black Liner $5.99+Tax at ULTA

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This liner has a beautiful consistency – it’s smooth and shiny like a liquid liner, but sets like a pencil liner. It is perfect for tightlining and getting in close to the lash line with its small tip and silky formula. 

NYX Round Case Lipstick, Strawberry Milk, $3.99+tax at ULTA

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I think this shade is going to be pretty hit-or-miss, and it will depend a lot on whether I wear a gloss over the top or not. However, in the tube it really attracted me. The formula seems really creamy and nice, so I think it will be ok for occasions that I choose to wear lipstick for. 

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Now for ELF products… I haven’t totally reviewed these yet because I have been waiting patiently for the rest of my package to arrive. Any day now.

ELF Studio Fluffy Concealer Brush, $3

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Blends really well, hasn’t shed yet, quite soft which is ideal for use around the eyes.

 

ELF Studio HD Lifting Concealer, $3 each, in Balancing and Brightening.

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Balancing appeared to be a lavender color, but it is actually white with a slight lavender undertone. Regardless, it is quite flattering as a highlight color for under my eyes and down the bridge of my nose. I love it. The brightening shade shade is similar in that it is quite pale with a yellow undertone. I like it for covering these little red spots I’ve been getting, or scars on my face which are red. The formula is very creamy and I enjoy this product a lot.

ELF Studio Contouring and Blush and Bronzer Powder, Turks and Caicos, $3

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I really like these colors – but they are SO shimmery. You really need a light touch and fluffy brush to not end up looking like a disco ball. The bronzer is darker than the shade in the original colors (St. Lucia?? I think) and comes off as very dark, so a light touch is best. The blush is a nice warm golden-taupe color. I like using it on my cheekbones as it is so shimmery. The bronzer works well on the high points of the face, like the cheekbones, temples, and forehead, as it is so shimmery. I wouldn’t recommend this product for contouring, but it is nice when used sparingly. I really like that ELF is expanding on this product, I just wish they would make these colors in the cream formula, as those are matte, which I prefer.

ELF pigment eyeshadow, naturally nude, $3

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Okkkkkkkay, HUGE difference between the color of the product and the color online. I was expecting this to be a light champagne color, which it isn’t. It is a golden bronze color. Ah well, I will adapt. But I haven’t had an occasion to wear it yet.

ELF Studio Single Eyeshadow, Raspberry Truffle and Pebble, $3

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So far, so good on these. I like the colors, they are a little powdery (meaning lots of fallout) but for the price, it’s not bad. They are a good size and nice texture.

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Dear Retailers

Dear retailers,

It is the end of June, and I am forced to face the task of buying a new bathing suit. Why must you make it so hard?

Seriously, why must you include “push-up” padding in size XL bathing suit tops? Do you really think that if I am buying a size XL top, that I really want to enhance my already-big chest? Because news flash: I am not. I wear a size medium in shirts, and I buy XL bathing suit tops to look decently modest: I really do not want to look like I am running around the pool in a brightly-colored, bedazzled push up bra.

Sincerely,

Stephanie

NYC Applelicious Big Apple Red – Review

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Disclaimer: I received this product complimentary from Influenster in a VoxBox for review purposes.

 

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I was really excited when I saw this lip product in my VoxBox. I tend to like NYC products because they are cheap, and more accessible to me than brands such as ELF. They are good for a nice little “pick me up” or as a way to experiment with colors you might not normally try without a big financial risk. I’m glad to see that they have upgraded their products somewhat.

First Impressions: This product looked to me like all of those lipsticks that were in a few years ago with the “hydrating inner core”. It is labeled as a “glossy lip balm”.

Be forewarned: this thing smells. Maybe I got a bad product, but it smells like melted plastic with a hint of artificial fruit- not very pleasant.

It is also more pigmented than I was expecting. It is definitely a sheer red. I wouldn’t say it is a lipstick but it is definitely more than a balm – more a tinted balm or a stain. This was a little bit shocking for me because I wasn’t expecting it to turn out so bright – but it is definitely red. I am not really a fan of bright colors on my own lips, so it was a little startling, although the color itself is nice.

Overall: Retailing for just $2.79 a pop, I think they’re a worthwhile treat for yourself or a way to get comfortable wearing light color, granted that you don’t have an overly sensitive nose (or hopefully that I just got a particularly smelly product). I wish I had been sent a different color that is a little bit more to my taste, something more neutral, but perhaps I will have to go pick one up the next time I am at the drugstore!

Review: Sephora by OPI TrendTips in Feathers

Hey guys!

So this weekend I picked up these nail stickers at Sephora for some birthday nail excitement! I have used the Sally Hanson ones before, but I thought these ones were slightly less tacky looking, so I decided to give them a shot.

I love this print. I think it’s so cute  but not over-the-top. These were easy enough to apply! I didn’t have a problem with them wrinkling. I do have two gripes, though: there is not a file included to remove the excess, and they are not very sticky so it’s hard to get them to stick to the nail without a lot of pressure, which I found annoying. I found using my normal-size file to be awkward and not abrasive enough to cleanly remove the excess.

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This photo is my left hand. Not too bad! There’s a little bit of chipping on the pinky, but I think it’s because the strips were not cleanly filed off.

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This is the right hand. As you can see, it’s much, much worse. Look at that chunk that fell off on my middle finger! And all of the chipping on the tips of the nails! Seriously, for $12 plus tax, I expected much, much better. I’m going to stick to Sally Hanson’s.  I put these on Saturday night, and there’s already this much chipping on Monday… that’s not okay with me. These need some improvement.

Making the Switch

Hi everyone!!! 

Although it’s not completely beauty-related, I want to talk to you all about one of the best things I’ve done for myself in the last month – going off of dairy. I know this may not work for everyone, but so far, so good for me! 

I feel that I should note that I did not cut dairy products out of my life to be “trendy”. When I was about 12 years old, I was diagnosed with a bunch of food “sensitivities”, including dairy. As a result, I really didn’t eat a whole lot of it, because it made my stomach hurt. I always kept milk in my fridge for my coffee, though, and ate cheese and cheese snacks, and pizza. Finally, I decided “what’s the point? I know this isn’t good for me anyway” and decided to see if I could survive with next-to-no dairy in my life. I picked up a small container of coconut milk to put in my coffee, and stopped eating cheese, pizza, and other things with dairy. 

And guess what? Aside from a non-related medical problem I’ve been having recently, I feel great. I had a stubborn patch of pimples on my forehead, between my eyes, for over a month that would not respond to ANYTHING, and guess what? They’re gone. Poof. I don’t feel bloated, either. 

Mind you, I still eat butter, and occasional cheese, but no more milk in my coffee or tea (which i would have up to 4 or 5 times a day). I honestly don’t notice a difference with the coconut milk – it doesn’t impart a coconut taste to my coffee. (Although that is what I get when I’m home at Dunkin Donuts! Yumzo), so if you don’t like coconut, don’t let that scare you. It honestly doesn’t taste different to me.

Overall, I’m SO happy I made the switch, especially when I see the benefit it has had on my skin. I plan to keep this up! 

Just thought I’d share the latest I’d found in beauty news in my life! Have you made a diet switch that’s made a big difference, whether outwardly physical or not?

XOXO

Best Face Masques

Hiya partners 🙂 Hope everyone had a great weekend!

I want to talk about face masques today. I love those things. I’ve been using Queen Helen’s Mint Julep Masque for years now (10? yikes). I find there’s nothing better to deep clean my pores and draw breakouts up to the surface. (Gross I know.. sorry!)

Since I’ve moved to college, I haven’t used one yet, and it’s LONG overdue. I can’t wait to get home and use it, especially since my face has not been looking so hot in the last few days thanks to stress over finals. My skin is by no means “problem” skin, but since I’ve changed my location from a humid climate to an extremely dry one, I’ve noticed a huge difference. At home, I’d get the occasional whitehead and blackheads on my nose. Here, I get those big, painful, under-the-skin cysts that make putting makeup on a challenge. It doesn’t really make sense, considering I drink, I don’t know, five 24oz water bottles per day to stay hydrated here, but I think it has something to do with the lotion I put on my face to keep it from feeling tight.

I have yet to find a good hydrating masque that will also clean the gunk out of my pores. Any suggestions? I’m desperate.

Also – has anyone tried the whole gelatin-milk pore-strip thing? I’ve been reading a lot about it on various blogs and it sounds like something I should do when I get home, but I also have fairly sensitive skin and don’t want to completely freak it out.