Author: Lara

 
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Influenster Vox Box – Romance Parfum by Ralph Lauren

I was THRILLED to receive a bottle of Ralph Lauren Romance Parfum (1oz – $64) from Influenster, complimentary for review purposes.

Ralph Lauren fragrances have always held a special place in my heart. My mother’s signature scent was Lauren by Ralph Lauren – I still have the last bottle she bought before she died – 16 years ago. I cannot smell it without thinking of her. That being said, Romance smells nothing like my mother’s Lauren to me – it smells like MY Lauren. Instead of the carnations in Lauren, Romance is heavy with Damascena Rose. Rose has always been my signature scent, ever since discovering Tea Rose in middle school. Romance is not a straight up rose scent – it’s more like a rose for people who say they don’t like rose (like my husband). He actually liked the scent of Romance!

This is a very wearable scent, day or night. I’ve moved it into my permanent fragrance rotation.

Thank you Ralph Lauren and thank you Influenster!

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Ruby Tutu

Sinful Colors “Ruby Tutu” has a song stuck in my head…Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby Soho!

“Ruby Tutu” is a sheer red polish with a bit of sparkle. It reminds me of the inside of a tomato, of all things. I started with Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat. There is one coat of “Ruby Tutu” on my index finger, two coats on my middle finger and three coats on the rest of my fingers. I finished with Sinful Colors Demi Matte Top Coat on all my fingers, except the pinky – I went for a glossy finish with Glisten & Glow Top Coat.

Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby Soho! (I can’t remember the rest of the song – just that part.)

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High Brow Haul

During this past year of working from home bliss, makeup is minimal during the week…except for my brows. I MUST put on my brows before turning on the camera.

I decided to branch out from my usual Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” ($10) and also order an Ulta Sculpting Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” ($10). It’s got a thicker, angled tip and seems maybe a tick darker than the Ultra Slim. It was more difficult to use and the first time I used it, I looked like an angry Brooke Shields. I did get a nice 6 piece gift with purchase though – a spiffy blue bag with Makeup Remover Facial Towelettes, Poreless Face Primer, Clear Brow Gel, Automatic Eye Liner in “Matte Black”, and Jelly Gloss Lip Gel.

I spent $2.49 on this really bizarre lip balm in a pouch – Freeman Feeling Beautiful Lip Dip Tinted Balm in “Raspberry”. I love doe foot applicators, but I feel like there is not enough of this super moisturizing lip balm in the little pouch…

My $60 purchase also qualified for a It Cosmetics Beauty Break, with Confidence in a Cleanser (I wish it wasn’t so expensive!); Superhero Elastic Stretch Mascara, Hello Results Wrinkle Reducing Daily Retinol Serum-in-a-Cream (this is going straight onto my counter); Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil in “Universal Taupe” (I am guessing this will be a bit light for me); Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep (another great cream); and Confidence in a Gel Lotion.

Wondering where the rest of my $60 purchase is? Shhhh…it’s on it’s way across the ocean.

Just $859 til Diamond.

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Picturing Sicily

Picture it…Sicily, 1922….

Sophia’s stories about Sicily sure do hit different in 2021, vs. 1986. Of course, I’m just assuming that the name of this polish is a nod to Golden Girls. It’s Belle en Argent “Picturing Sicily”. I suppose the polish could just be about remembering a vacation on the Mediterranean island…no way! This polish is from my March ipsy bag.

This polish is streaky as HELL. There was little I could do to get a completely smooth finish. I started with Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat. This is two coats of “Picturing Sicily”, topped with Glisten & Glow Top Coat, except for my matte pinky – I used Glisten & Glow Matte Top Coat.

Fun fact…this polish is the exact same color as my phone!

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Decades Haul

I have been STALKING and WAITING for the Urban Decay Decades Mini Eyeshadow Palettes to go on sale ($12.50, down from $25). I’ve seen it on sale a few times, but the windows were so short, I missed the sale…but not this time!

I was most excited about the 90s palette – “1993” – a palette full of grungy, 90s shades. There is literally a metallic gold shade called “Grunge”. I’ve used it a few times and it is fairly versatile. The other palette I got was the 00s palette – “Soundtrack” – a palette full of shimmery shades, even one called “Y2K”. “Y2K” is my favorite – a color-shifting duochrome. This palette is not as versatile, but reminds me of my first few Urban Decay palettes, and “Throwback” is a dead ringer for “Polyester Bride”. If you know, you know.

Ulta just came out with a whole line of WandaVision makeup, but the only product that piqued my interest was the Ulta Beauty Collection x Marvel Studios WandaVision Wing Tip Liner Duo ($12). The felt tip eyeliner is nothing new, but the cat eye stamp is really cool! It took a few tries to get it right – on the first try, I put it on upside down, but I was able to fix it. I could’ve used this a few decades ago…my cat eye days are mostly behind me.

My poor son inherited my bacne, so I jumped at a new product designed to fight it – Pacifica Bacne Warrior Acne Fighting Spray ($16). He’s been using it, but the jury is still out on how effective it will end up being. It’s really hard to spray, so it’s not as easy to apply as you’d think. Pacifica products were BOGO 40%, so I got Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash ($6, down from $10) for myself. It smells SO good – like a coconut popsicle!

I picked up a pack of Kitsch Face Masks ($12.99) – my kids’ favorite masks for school. I qualified for a Tarte Beauty Break 4 Piece Gift with my $50 purchase. The set includes Shape Tape Foundation in “228 light beige”; Stay Spray Setting Spray; Maneater Voluptuous Mascara; and Base Tape Hydrating Primer. I haven’t tried any of them yet, but free is free. I didn’t forget to use that $3.50 off $15 coupon, either.

$919 to Diamond…

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March 2021 – Stronger Together

I held off on posting about this month’s ipsy bag, because I wanted to try some of the products…

My product choice this month was Benefit They’re Real Magnet Mascara…First off, it’s not literally magnetic. I guess that would be bad if it was really magnetic? I tried it out and it was thick and flaky. My eyes got a bit irritated wearing it, so I’m not a fan. I didn’t really see a difference between They’re Real Magnet Mascara and the regular They’re Real Mascara.

Also in this month’s bag: Belle en Argent Nail Polish in “Picturing Sicily”; Ciate London Fruit Burst Lip Oil in “Lychee & Acai” (I have this on my bedside table – perfect for before bedtime lip moisturizing); Hanalei Company Aloe E Face Cleanser (it smells really nice); and Purlisse Beauty Matcha Green Tea Antioxidant Priming Moisturizer (this really makes your makeup stick…and smells nice).

For once, I actually tried all of my products this month – great bag, ipsy!

I subscribe to the basic ipsy bag for $12/month. If you’d like to try Ipsy – click here. I’ll earn 250 points if you sign up through my referral link.

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Low-Key Lavender

Why yes, I did paint my nails to match my kitchen.

After deciding on a shade of pinkish purple for my kitchen – “Lover’s Knot” – I picked a similar shade of purple for my nails. This is Sinful Colors “Low-Key Lavender” from the Essenchills Collections. It’s a light lavender polish with a striking ultraviolet shimmer. The lavender scent is very light and faded quickly, which I was thankful for – lavender gives me a major headache.

This is two coats of “Low-Key Lavender” over Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat. I was surprised at how well this polish lasted without a top coat – I wore it for 8 days, with just a bit of edge wear on my right hand.

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March 2021 Allure Beauty Box – Full Refresh

March’s Allure Beauty Box is…interesting.

So, this month, Allure sent me another pricey serum – 111Skin Vitamin C Brightening Booster ($155) – but I haven’t used it, because I’m still using the pricey serum from February’s box. So is that what this box is gonna be now?

Also in this month’s box: Eyeko Double Act Shadow Stick (it’s hard for me to get excited about black and brown eyeliner pencils, but it DID come with a super cute sharpener); b.glen Clay Wash Mild Facial Cleanser (it works well, but smells weird – kind of vinegary); pixi by petra LipGlow Tinted Lip Balm in “Ruby” (I’m all about balms right now); Ahava Deadsea Water Mineral Hand Cream; and Mudmasky Serum-infused eye mask (nope, have not tried yet).

Not a bad box, but a very odd mix of products.

The Allure Beauty Box recently increased their price from $15 to $23/month. They also offer an option for $250/year – a savings of $26. Sign up via my referral link.

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Chance of Rainbows

I know I am supposed to be sampling all of my new Sinful Colors polishes, but this little Color Club beauty was SCREAMING at me from the clearance aisle at Walmart. For just $3.75, she came home with me.

This is Color Club “Chance of Rainbows” is gold glitter floating in a clear base with hidden blue shimmer – there’s a lot going on! The polish is PACKED with glitter – I got 75% coverage in two coats. This is two coats of “Chance of Rainbows” over Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat. I used Glisten & Glow Matte Top Coat on my thumb and ringer finger and regular Glisten & Glow Top Coat on the rest. I think I like the way the matte nails look better.

I was disappointed at how quickly this polish chipped, but I don’t think it was the polish’s fault. I feel like the Mani Me decals really damaged my nails. I cleaned my nails with rubbing alcohol, but I still felt like the top layer of my nails was pitted and stripped from the adhesive. I also got the majority of the chips while unpacking some boxes from my garage. The newspapers the junk was wrapped in was from July 2006 – that stuff made it through fifteen years and three moves! My poor nails…they need some TLC.

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Mani Me

January’s Allure Beauty Box included a $30 code to try out Mani Me – a site that sells custom-printed nail gels. No joke – you submit pictures of your fingernails and they 3D print a set of nail gels just for you.

I was skeptical, but these really are the best fitting nail decals I’ve tried. The thumbs were a bit on the small side, but other than that, each nail fit great. To be fair, the only other brands I’ve tried are Jamberry and Color Street – Mani Me Gels are like a cross between the two. They are thicker than Color Street, but not as thick as Jamberry and they don’t require a heater.

The one mistake I made was using a file to remove the excess from the tips instead of cutting with nail scissors. The file made the edges rip unevenly, which made them peel up more than they normally would have.

There were some really cute designs, but I was limited to picking out a specific Mani Me x Allure Set. Each set runs from $15 – $25, which is inline with Color Street on the low end. Even so, I cannot imagine spending $25 on a single set…unless they were AMAZING.

Oh! I forgot to mention that my order came with a free bottle of Mani Me Shimmer Top Coat, which is meant to add a shimmer to the matte designs. I used it on my pinkies, and to be honest – I couldn’t even see it. I also didn’t notice a difference in how long the decals lasted on my nails. After a full week, the edges were peeling up enough that I had to rip them off. I cannot imagine them lasting two full weeks like the website claims.