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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Shopping My Stash Week #2 Makeup Edition

Since I've started a low-buy, it will be important for me to use the products I have in my current makeup collection.  I love the idea of going through my makeup and rediscovering some new loves. This week I will be using the following products for makeup.

1. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Deauville: This is a perfect match for me. I'm not sure why I don't wear it more often. It's such a great foundation with awesome coverage. But, don't let the name fool you... It's not sheer at all. This foundation applies well with fingers and then blended out with the BeautyBlender.

2. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush 12 hour in Achiote: I adore this blush. This reminds me of NARS Orgasm but without the sparkle. It wears so well and is perfect for all seasons. If you like NARS but without sparkle, get this one. I know it looks summery, but it's so beautiful I wear it year round.

3. Urban Decay Primer Potion in Greed: I purchased this full size tube for $10 a while back and forgot about it. I do love the way it looks with shimmery shadows. It holds color and does not crease.

4. SmashBox Layer Lash Primer: Since I have the world's worst lashes, I need a little help. This is my favorite primer for lashes. It works well with non waterproof mascara the best. So, it's been forgotten for a while since these stick-straight lashes need waterproof. But, I'll try it and see.

5. NARS Tzarine Shadow Duo: One of the most beautiful NARS duos in my opinion.

6. Benefit They're Real Mascara (deluxe sample): This does nothing for my lashes! But, I have a sample from the VIB gift and will try it with the Smashbox primer.

7. Benefit Watts Up Highlighter(deluxe sample): Another VIB gift--- I don't normally wear highlighter, but I do like this one occasionally.

8. Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pencils: Black Cocoa/Black Blue: The best drugstore(Target) eyeliners available in my experience. These glide on like liquid and wear forever.

9. Clinique Lid Smoothie Antioxidant 8 hour Eye Color in Bit o' Honey: I don't hear much about these in the blog world, but these cream shadows are a favorite. They are perfect as bases and amp shadow-color up a notch. These dry down so nicely as well.

10. Revlon Nail Enamel in Bewitching: Perfect fall shade from the drugstore in a nice formula that stays on the nails.

What are you wearing this week?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Let's Talk Spending Bans and Low Buys:

There comes a point in time in life that it's time to admit that a low-buy is in order at my house. September is my birthday month.  So, I spent a fortune great deal on makeup and skincare. And with blog sale earnings, it was like Christmas. However, I had a serious soul-searching session and realized that I went overboard with spending. Thus, I made the decision to do a low- buy for the next 3-6 months. I will admit that I am horrible with complete spending bans. I am never successful and end up feeling guilty because I buy a new beauty treat. However, low-buys with set spending amounts work well for me when I need to curtail spending and enjoy my makeup collection.

This is the plan that I've set for my low- buy:

1. Skin care can be purchased if needed. I'm currently in the market for a new toner, and that is really all I will need as far as skin care. If I run out of items, I may repurchase if I do not have a suitable backup. This will come out of the monthly set amount.

2. I have set a monthly amount of $100/per month. Trust me, this is a low amount and includes blog sale earnings as well. In the past, I've not counted blog sale money, but the extra amount(if I have a sale) can go toward savings, household or Christmas presents for the children.

3.I can spend the allotted amount in any way or form that I would like, But, after it's spent, it's gone.  If I spend it all at the beginning of the month, then I'm done for the month. I can save the previous monthly amount but cannot spend from future months.

4. Gift cards may or may not count. I've not decided how I will approach this aspect. If I'm planning to enjoy what I have more in my collection, then constantly adding huge hauls to it will defeat the purpose of the low-buy. I'll update this one as soon as I make a decision.

5. I will not do a major haul before or after the low- buy. Items that I need will come out of the monthly set amount. For instance, I'm almost out of my holy grail NARS concealer, but I will not pre-buy.

6. I will try to blog weekly to make myself more accountable and to share how the low buy is going.

7. Beauty Subscription Boxes are included and will be deducted from the monthly spending amount.

What do you think? Interested in joining me? Have you done a successful low-buy or spending ban? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Weekly Faves and Fails #3

It's that time again where I post my favorites from the past week. I'm on a low-buy at the moment, so the purchase part of these posts may slow down. I'm working on my low-buy post now, and it should be up on Monday. Now on to my faves/fails:

1. Favorite Purchase: October 2013 GlossyBox Byrdie Edition. I signed up (again)just for this special edition box, and I'm so glad. The products were well worth it, and I found a new face cream and mask I love. I find the special boxes tend to be better in terms of items received. I'm not sure if I'll subscribe for any more boxes ,as I tend to get the worst boxes. The box included: Sesha Face Mask, Bvlgari au the vert Cologne, Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes Mascara(F/S), Balance Me Lip Balm, and Fresh Lotus Preserve Face Cream. And, I'm impressed with the deluxe sample sizes as well. I've tried everything but the mascara, and so far I'm pleased. The box was well worth $21, as the mascara is full size and retails for $23.

2. Favorite Skincare Item: Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream. This was in my Glossybox, and I simply adore this cream. It makes my skin so soft and no breakouts so far. The sample size is generous enough(0.5 oz) that I can try it out for a good period of time before deciding to buy the full size.

3. Favorite Makeup Item: MAC Veluxe PearlFusion Eyeshadow Quad in SmokeLux. I really love this quad for a complete eye look. The formula is so silky and pigmented.  I actually swapped this out with another beauty blogger(still NIB), so it was a great price too(lol)!

4. Favorite Non Beauty Item:  I discovered this site last week while shopping for a book I wanted to purchase. Not only do they offer great new/used books and free worldwide shipping, they donate a book for every book purchased. I love that idea! I look forward to buying more books from the site. The also have ebooks, but they are not compatible with Kindle or Nook. However, you can download an app for your phone or computer.

Shiseido Refining Makeup Primer: Since I've started using a more natural skincare routine, I've found I have to be more careful with products I'm putting on my face. I purchased this because I'd heard great things. This does make my makeup last longer and apply smoothly.and it has an added bonus of SPF 21. Unfortunately, this breaks my skin out with red bumps. I've tried on several occasions, and I always have the same result.  But, I do recommend this one if you are not sensitive or oily. It performs well and does not have the thick feel of primers. But for me, it's a fail.

Any new faves or fails for you recently?

Friday, October 25, 2013

October Sampler: Follow Up Post

At the beginning of October I joined Gummy Vision and bronzer bunny  for October Sampler. You can read all about this challenge here . At the beginning , I had no idea how I would do in the challenge with my hoarding collecting tendencies. As you can see from the before picture, I had a great deal to use or share . I am happy to say that I was able to scale down my samples to a very manageable amount. How did I work through this lot?



1. I used quite a few personally. After a few weeks of using the skincare items, I had to pass those along as the changing of products wrecked havoc on my skin. My skin is fickle and likes a certain regime. But, the makeup and body products were a treat to use up as some new items. I even found a few products that I'll be purchasing for my collection.

2. I included extras in blog sale purchases. I knew there were some products I would not be able to use due to skin sensitivity and preference, so those were given as thank you items for buying from my sale.

3. I gifted a few of the unused deluxe samples to my family members. I also put aside a few of body care items (lotion, etc) for my children to give as teacher gifts.  

4. I did throw out some of the multi-use samples that I did not like/did not work for me. I discovered I still hate Purity skin cleanser(ha ha!).

5. And finally, I have placed a few of the deluxe samples unused to be part of a giveaway I will be having as a thank-you to my readers. Yes, all 7 of you. The odds are good in that aspect of the giveaway. P.S I love you all for taking the time to read my ramblings as I embark on a new journey with the blog.

As well, I feel so much better not having these lying around in my makeup closet. And, it's inspired me to do a low-buy for the next few months, so that I will enjoy some of the beautiful makeup that I already own and love.

Finally, thank you to Gummy and Joyce for inspiring me to take part and for being so gracious with my incessant tweeting.

Did you participate in the challenge? I would love to hear your thoughts. Anyone care to join in a low-buy?


My Top Eyeshadow Picks

Not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I am an eyeshadow junkie. I love eyeshadows so much that I obsessively buy them.  I recently purged quite a few of my palettes, so I'm trying to enjoy the ones I've kept in my collection.  These are my top  picks for shadow. I planned to keep this at 10 picks, but I couldn't leave out any one of these.

1. NARS Duo in Dogon: I think this was a LE duo, but I purchased mine a few months ago on the NARS website. I love the slight warmth of this shadow,and it applies like a dream. I prefer the duos from NARS more so than the palettes. I find the performance and quality better for some reason.

2. MAC Veluxe PearlFusion Shadow Quad in Smokelux : I swapped for this one with another beauty blogger (NIB), and I am so glad I did. I love the formula and wear time. I reach for this one quite a bit as the shades are wearable, and I can easily create a complete eye look with just the quad.  If I had one complaint, it would be the shape of the shadow. But, I still love it!

3. Urban Decay Single Shadows: Virgin, Sin, Naked, Mushroom, and Buck: I owned both of the Naked palettes at one point but didn't use but a few shadows. I sold those and bought my favorite singles instead. You cannot go wrong with UD shadows. They are so pigmented and wear well, plus application is a breeze.

4. MAC Eyeshadow Quad in Show Stopper: Another MAC quad... I love MAC eyeshadows. They are quite affordable, and the performance cannot be beat. This one has everything a neutral lover's heart could desire.

5. Sephora Collection Outrageous Prisma Chrome Metallic Eyeshadow in Metallic Beige, Purple and Taupe: These little $7 shadows are great for adding drama and shimmer. They are so pigmented and apply very nicely that I find it hard to believe how cheap they are to purchase.

6. Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Quad in Lavender Smokes: For a drugstore eyeshadow quad, this is surprisingly good. The colors are so pretty and not chalky at all. I love this one for a purple smokey eye.

7. MAC Temperature Rising Quad in Bare My Soul: Are you sensing a pattern here? This is a beautiful quad in LE packaging. I love all of the shades, but the green copper shade(When in Rio) is TDF. It looks stunning on all eye colors especially blue.

8. Chanel Ombre Contraste Duo in Misty Soft: I'm not a huge fan of Chanel eyeshadows as I find the quality is hit/miss, and there are much more affordable ranges with better performance available. That's just my opinion... However, this duo is beautiful and very high in quality.

9: Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Amethyst: I purchased this one on a whim while in Sephora recently. I'm so glad that I did! I use this as a base or by itself for a fast smokey one shade look.

10: Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes in Bountiful Beige/Massive Midnight: I love the formula of these eyeshadow sticks. Some can be oily and patchy, but these goes on smoothly and wears beautifully. The beige shade is my go-to eyeshadow highlighting shade at the moment.

11. Dior 3 Couleurs Smoky Eye Palette in  Smoky Brown: This is the unsung hero of Dior eyeshadows in my opinion. I really do not hear a great deal about these, and that surprises me. Yes, $48 is expensive for 3 shades, but the color range, durability, and performance are much better than any of the 5 Couleurs Palettes I've tried. And, the lid shade in this quad is the one of the most beautiful neutral tones for eyes.

What are your favorites?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Products I Regret Buying #1

These posts can be so informative and helpful when purchasing products. Of course, everyone is different,so these products may work well for others.  I plan to make this into a series and keep the list around 5 per post. I do have tons of regrets, though!

I'll start with my most recent regret.

Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil $42/ 6.7 oz: Wasn't it just last week I was signing the praises of this oil? Fast forward to a week later, and my skin is a mess. Believe it or not, this stuff has dried out my skin and cause some redness and bumps. I was so dumb that I ordered the full size without checking the full list of ingredients. I've been on a free free as natural/organic as possible skincare routine for the past 9 months. I do not make a habit of using skincare products with PEGs,parabens, etc because I find these are irritants to my already sensitive skin. This is chock full of PEG's, and my skin is reacting to this oil. I haven't opened the full size yet, so I'll return this one ASAP.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Compact in Nude $45: Do y'all remember those drugstore compact foundations from the 80/90's? If you are old enough that is? LOL This reminds me of those products. A greasy mess-- patchy and horrible. I like LM eye products and powders, but I've not had good luck with base products. And, this was $45 down the drain. Unless someone loves it... leave a comment if you do. I'll send it to you.

MAC Prep/Prime Pressed Powder $25: I picked this up because it was raved about on YouTube. I do like the formula, but it breaks me out. Darn!

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palettes$59-$61: I have purchased several of these over time, and I always regret buying them. I guess I just don't like the formula and wear. The last one I bought Bonne Etoile broke my makeup heart forever. I hope I won't be drawn in again to spend over $60 because it looks good in the pan.

Birchbox Monthly Subscription $10/monthly: I get the craptastic boxes every month. I finally decided to sever my relationship with Birchbox forever. That is until I see these fantastic boxes others are getting in the mail. And, the idea of earning points to save money just calls my name. Note to self: You always get the worst boxes!

What are your recent regrets? 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How Much is My Face Worth Edition #1

I've read this tag around the blog world for a while now, and I wanted to see how much my products are costing me on a random day. I put on makeup yesterday randomly and thought this was a good one to post since I hadn't thought about cost/etc.

Here we go: Some of the items I used yesterday were one-use or deluxe samples. A few are from kits, so I didn't pay full price. But in fairness, I listed the full-price since I thought that would be best for blogging purposes.


Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream $42
Shisiedo Refining Makeup Primer $30
Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Invisible Skin Fusion Foundation $59
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer $28
Laura Mercier Smooth Foundation Powder $45
NARS Duo Orgasm/Laguna Mini $24
Beauty Blender $14.50 (from a set of two costing $29)
RT Stippling Brush $9
RT deluxe crease brush $5(est)
Total: $256.50


MAC Paint Pot in Painterly $20
Clinique Chubby Stick in Bountiful Beige $17
UD Sin/Mushroom Duo $18
Trish McEvoy Intense Eyeliner Pencil in Arabian Nights $29
Too Faced Better than False Lashes System $35
Essence Brow Kit $3
Anastasia Clear Brow Gel $10
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler $20
MAC 217 $24
MAC 239 $25 (please go buy this )
Total: $201


Fresh Sugar Treatment $22.50
YSL Glossy Stain #11 $34
Total: $56.50

Total: $514(oh wow!)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top 5 Makeup Picks

I saw this tag on Paris' blog and thought it was a fun idea. If you haven't, check out My Women stuff. It's a great and very informative blog. It was one of my very first makeup blogs I followed, so I blame Paris for some of my makeup addiction.  Plus, Paris is so friendly! 

The idea of the tag is to name your top 5 makeup products. I thought this would be so easy, but I really had to think about the products. So, here goes:

1.Concealer:  NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer: This is the only concealer I own. It's that good! I wear shade Vanilla, and it's perfect. 

2.Brow Product: I have the lightest most sparse brows ever, so I need a good product to give them some color. I'm liking my Chanel Crayon Sourcils Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil in shade 40 Brun Cendre. 

3.Natural Lip: I'm not one for bright lips, but I like a shade that gives some color and looks natural. My pick for lipstick is NARS Sheer Lipstick in Dolce Vita. 

4.Mascara: I've mentioned before I have the world's worst lashes, and it's relatively hard to find a mascara that meets my criteria: lengthens, volumizes, holds a curl and separates lashes. I've found the perfect formula in Mary Kay Lash Love Waterproof Mascara. I hope they never discontinue this one, and it's only $15.  

5.Powder Foundation: I had a hard time deciding between foundation and powder. I don't wear one without the other. I'm not a fan of dewy skin on my face, but I do like a natural look. Not too matte or dewy is just right for me. Even though my skin can be dryish, I like Laura Mercier's Smooth Finish Foundation Powder(shade 03) as long as my skin is moisturized properly. This one does not look cakey or patchy, and it does not dry out my skin. 

I would love to see your top 5 products! Let me know in the comments or consider yourself tagged. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Wish List: My Top 5 Makeup and Skin Care Items

I have some new items on my wish list. I've purchased items from my previous lists already, and this helps me keep track of wanted items. I've started a low-buy, and it's very strict in the amount of money I'm allowing myself to spend. I think the wish list posts will make me more aware and accountable. To be honest, I have failed miserably at every complete spending ban that I've attempted in my makeup life. However, I do very well with a low-buys and a set monthly amount. I'll post my low-buy and the plan I follow next week on the blog. Until then, here are the items I'm lusting after this week.

Laura Mercier Shimmer Effects Mini Caviar Eye Color Collection: I love these caviar sticks, and this seems like a nice way to try some different shades without the hefty price tag of $26 each.

Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil: I received a small sample bottle of this in a recent order and have used nothing else. It is so light and refreshing unlike most cleansing oils. I have none of the oily residue either. I'm checking the ingredients with Bobbi Brown to make sure it doesn't contain mineral oil or parabens. I can't seem to find the full ingredient list on the website. However, I'm pleased with my sample. My dry/sensitive skin loves this!

Nars Blush in Day Dream from Guy Bourdin Holiday Collection: I need a new peachy shade and this does not look riddled with glitter.

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate Eye Cream: Another sample from an order. But, I really like this product. It does exactly what is says. I love the reduction in dark circles and puffiness. Also, it's free from mineral oil, parabens, fragrance and silicones. This will probably be my first purchase from this wish list.

 Snowberry Nourishing Exfoliator: I seem to be all about the skin care this time. I purchased a small size of this to try because I was intrigued by the idea of an organic/natural and good for the environment product. I don't use mechanical exfoliators often,but when I do this one is so gentle and does not cause burning or reactions. The full price is high at $43 for 2.5oz but compared to Kate Sommerville Exfolikate at $85 2.oz ,it's worth every penny and a budget buy.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Review: L'oreal Voluminous Lash Out Butterfly Mascara

A first for my blog... A review. I purchased this a few weeks ago and thought it was time to review for you. Mascara to me is very personal and subjective. Each person requires different attributes and performance,but this will give an idea of my impressions of this product. To give you an idea of my lashes, I have the world's worst lashes: blond, short, thin, and hard to hold. Don't be jealous(ha ha!). So, finding a mascara that works is nothing short of a miracle in my book.

The original Voluminous was my mascara of choice for years, so I was anxious to try this one. As you can see from the picture, this one has a comb-like brush on one side which really lifts the lashes.It's a fairly wet formula and applies easily to the lashes.  In my opinion, it gives some volume and length, does not clump and does not hold a curl. However, I do like the flutter effect it gives my lashes. Unfortunately , it has a scent reminiscent of Lancome mascaras that is overpowering in my opinion.  If you have good lashes already, I think this will be a nice mascara. But, if you need curl or you are sensitive to smells, I would pass on this one. I won't repurchase because it really did not wow my lashes, and the curl fell once applied. It's $7.96 at your local Wal-Mart.

 Have you tried this one? Do you love or not?