April Birchbox – Magic Inside

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Just one item led me to pick this month’s curated box. It was that new lipstick – Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Double the Lip in “Lusty Rose”. Mostly because I was skeptical – it’s just a two tone lipstick. It took some maneuvering to get it on my lips, while keeping the dark portion to the lip line. I repeatedly kept asking my husband if my lips looked bigger, fuller, plumper. Apparently, they looked the same. The lipstick is just plain old lipstick and didn’t make them look any different – just pink. I was correct to be skeptical. Boo.

Also in this month’s “Magic Inside” curated box: TOCCA Emelia Eau de Parfum (strong geranium scent, but not geriatric); Vasanti BrightenUp! New Skin Amplifying Moisturizer; Bumble and bumble. Don’t Blow It (gives volume to air dried hair – genius!); and derma e Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask (I love me some charcoal masks).

Great box this month, even if the lipstick doesn’t live up to the hype.

If you would like to try Birchbox, click on my referral link – https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5453f – I’ll get 50 points if you join.

Sephora Play! March 2017 – The Gleam Team

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Strangely enough, I received my Sephora Play before my ipsy and Birchbox this month…so I won’t be lagging a month behind for once.

We’re back to a white cotton bag this month. I still haven’t figured out what to do with all these pouches. Maybe use them for panties and socks when I travel?

I was drawn to try Chloe Fleur de Parfum immediately – I love Rose de Chloe so much. It’s not bad – there are rose notes, but they’re buried under the lemon verbena. Unfortunately, it gave me a headache within 90 seconds of a light spray on my arm. Boo!

Also in this month’s “The Gleam Team” box: GlamGlow GLOWSTARTER Mega Illuminating Moisturizer (I can’t get enough GlamGlow); Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in “Golden Pink” (weird product); Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter (another weird one); Living proof Full Dry Volume Blast (I think I’ve gotten every single Living Proof product available over the past several months); and Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm (another confusing product – instructions say it can be used as a primer or a finishing balm – wot?).

Very weird products this month – and NO lip products. Boo!

If you haven’t signed up yet, JUST DO IT. This is by far the best subscription box I get every month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

Influenster Vox Box – Rosy Vox Box

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Ooooooh! I finally qualified for a good vox box from Influenster. (I received one with coupons for gluten free stuff a few months ago. No. Thank. You.)

I was most excited to try the two Vera Wang Embrace fragrances in the box. Rose Buds and Vanilla is my jam. It’s a very mature rose scent, reminiscent of Cartier Goutte de Rose. I likely will buy it when I can find it in a store (not at Ulta or Sephora yet – I checked. The other scent is Marigold and Gardenia, also very mature…but not in a good way. I wore it all day yesterday –  that powdery gardenia scent is not for me.

Also in the box: Fancy Feet Ball of Foot Cushions (I’ve pretty much given up on heels, but these might make them more comfortable for me…and an excuse to go shopping); Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant (I’ve never felt like I am particularly stinky or sweaty, but a good deodorant nonetheless); Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Soft Waves Sea Salt Spray (I have sooooo many sea salt sprays, but they work so well to add a wave with a simple hair twist); and Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Naturals (I admit, I don’t use hand sanitizer if I can help it – it makes my knuckles bleed…but I’ll be keeping it in the car for the kids).

Good job Influenster – I’ll likely be buying a full size of at least one product in the box…

As always, products were received complimentary for review purposes. Want some free stuff? Check out Influenster for yourself…

Ciao Renaissance

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I may have made a grave mistake. Ulta sent me a 20% off coupon and I used it to try out the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette ($42)…and it’s one of the most beautiful palettes I own. The quality is outstanding – I’ve never had shadows that blend so well, and WITHOUT primer. The colors meld together seamlessly and they complement each other perfectly. I don’t want to use any other eye shadow ever again.

Okay, I may have exaggerated on that last bit…but it seriously might be one of the very best formulas out there. Luckily, none of the previous ABH palettes are available to buy retail – or I’d be buying them all right now. That was my mistake – another brand to be in love with. I should’ve known there’s a reason all the Social Media Influencers (Manny, Jeffree, Skelotim, NikkieTutorials) keep coming back to this palette.

I’m done gushing…about eye shadow. I’m also in love with the new scent I discovered in the Ulta flyer this month. I also smell the scented flaps, gag, and then forget about the scents…but not with Vince Camuto Ciao. It smells so good, that I kept the scent card in my purse, so I could re-smell it. I don’t usually like sickkly sweet scents, but there is something about Ciao. As soon as I got the coupon, I went ahead and ordered the rollerball ($22) . My only complaint is that the scent doesn’t seem to last on me past a few hours. Sigh.

In my sample pack, I got Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer in “White” and “Smoke” (Ooooh, I’ve never tried dark primer), and ogx Bamboo Fiber-full Shampoo & Conditioner. I also got a few extra free samples – Urban Decay Perversion Mascara and Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer.

This order made me so, so happy!

Sephora Play! February 2017 – The Soft Side

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The first thing I noticed about February’s Sephora Play…that blush pink bag. It’s so soft and silky, I just wanted to rub it all over my face. I guess that’s why this month’s theme is “The Soft Side”?

Right off the bat, I am NOT excited about Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in “Milkshake”. If I wanted to have my lips burnt off my face, I’d use Taco Bell Hot Sauce – it’s free. I won’t let that ruin my excitement about the rest of the box: Tom Ford Neroli Portofino (not a fan of Neroli – it gives me a headache); Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer; Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream; Sephora Lashcraft Length + Volume Mascara; and Bite Beauty Multistick in “Cashew” (I’m supposed to use this on my eyes, cheeks AND lips – won’t I end up monotone?).

Although I am not happy with everything in this month’s box, there’s still lots to love!

If you haven’t signed up yet, I suggest you sign up TODAY? This is by far the best subscription box I get every month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

Get Naked

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A sale I couldn’t resist – half off Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation ($18 instead of $36). I’d been wanting to try it, since I’ve had a hard time finding the perfect shade in other brands. I picked “Medium Light Neutral”, which the website listed as the closest match to 3.5, my perfect match in the liquid. Yup, another great match. I tried it with my usual kabuki, the enclosed sponge and my Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush (I hated it for liquid, hoping to find a use for it). All worked well, but I preferred the light coverage of my kabuki. The Good Karma Brush was too thick on my nose, but was nice on my cheeks, which have more color variation.

I ordered from Sephora, but the price drop was also at Ulta and other stores. I didn’t order anything else, so I needed that free Flash shipping. I wasn’t able to use a freebie code, so I just got the regular three: Sephora Express Eye Makeup Remover Wipes, Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer, and Dior Sauvage (Ooooooh, I can make my husband smell like Johnny Depp).

I just hope this price drop doesn’t mean that a discontinue is imminent – the color match is so good!

Everlasting Flash – February 2017

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Sephora and Kat Von D launched a new monthly promotion for 2017 called “Everlasting Flash” – a different deal on Kat Von D Everlasting Lip Liquids on the first Wednesday of every month. I couldn’t resist this month’s deal – 6 FULL-SIZE Everlasting Lip Liquids in all new nude shades for $99 – normally $20 each, that’s a savings of $21!

I’ve been drooling over the colors since they were revealed weeks and weeks ago. Mostly the darker shades, but I’ll take them all. I even swatched them for you! From top to bottom: “Muneca” (the only one I’ve worn so far, it’s too light for me on it’s own, but looked amazing with gold eyeshadow pressed into it), “Ophelia”, “Ludwig”, “Hawkwind”, “Sanctuary” (I am predicting that this one will be my favorite – it’s closest to my current fave, “Lolita”) and “Crucifix”.

I totally blew my monthly makeup budget on the 2nd of the month.

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I don’t know why I keep getting perfume samples on purpose…I have so much, but I just can’t resist them. I used a code to get a sample bag that includes Aerin Lilac Path, Wildfox (I can already tell I like this one), Tory Burch Love Relentlessly (even more!), Prada Candy Florale, Stella McCartney Stella, Chloe Roses de Chloe (I was excited until I found my rollerball in my travel makeup bag – I had lost it over a year ago), Marc Jacobs Daisy Dot, and a mini Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in “Legendary”.

For my usual three samples, again, I did not receive what I picked…but I can’t remember what I picked, so I guess not a big deal. I got yet another sample of  Skin Inc Pure Revival Peel (they must have SO much of this – I keep getting it), Derek Lam 10 Crosby Drunk on Youth (wore it yesterday – nice and clean scent), and Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation (high hopes for this one – I think I might have picked it).

Looking forward to being tempted by next month’s Everlasting Flash!

Sephora Play! January 2017 – Beauty, Set, Go

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Saving the best for last…my January Sephora Play!

I love how they’re missing up the pouches that come every month – this month has nylon and mesh bag and says, “Sweat is just another way to glow” – I’ll have to take their word on it.

The first thing I noticed was the sample of Tory Burch Love Relentlessly – DOH! I just used 100 points to get a sample the order before last. Oh well.

Also is this month’s box: AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact; OUAI Treatment Masque (for hair, not my face); Clinique Almost Lipstick in “Black Honey” (I’ve been wanting to try the Black Honey); tarte FRXXXTION Stick (ooooh another stick cleanser – I just used up my Julep Love Your Bare Face Stick); and Youth to the People Kale + Spinach + Hyaluronic Acid Age Prevention Cream.

This month’s box is great – yay!

If you haven’t signed up yet – why? This is by far the best subscription box I get every month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

Friday was a Good Day…

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…I didn’t have to use my AK. Oh, and I received boxes from Sephora AND Ulta.

I broke down and decided to order the Milk Makeup Blur Stick ($36) – I had to see what all the fuss was about. The fuss is warranted. I’ve been using it almost every day since I got it. It’s like a giant chapstick for your face. It’s really weird rubbing a giant chapstick on your face, but you get over it when you see what it does for your skin. It makes all of your pores absolutely disappear. I don’t know where they go – and I do not care. For reference, it’s very similar to Benefit The POREfessional, with the added bonus of not having to get it on your hands. This is a must have product.

My excuse for ordering was to get my Sephora Birthday gift – I chose the Tarte Set with Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in “paaarty” and Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in “Birthday Suit”.

I used a code to get a fancy Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Set with Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex, Advanced Night Repair Eye and Revitalizing Supreme Light Global Anti-Aging Creme. (Why do all these products have such long names?) For my three samples, I got one thing I chose – Clinique Foaming Sonic Facial Soap – and two I didn’t – Calvin Klein Deep Euphoria and Skin Inc. Pure Revival Peel.

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Wednesday is the best day to order from Ulta, because of the special Beauty Breaks. I’d been shuffling things in and out of my basket for three weeks, waiting for a good Beauty Break. Imagine surprise when my order arrived on Friday – just two days later.

The Beauty Break that got me was the e.l.f. Beauty Break, with Illuminating Primer, Poreless Face Primer, Moisturizing Lipstick in “Ravishing Rose”, Lip Exfoliator in “Sweet Cherry” (I’ve been using the last one I got to exfoliate after liquid lippies) and a Complexion Brush. I also got a free Deluxe Sample of Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (the best one I’ve used) and drybar Hot Toddy Heat and UV Protectant. My sample pack included Olay Regenerist Moisturizer and H2O+ Beauty Elements Keep It Fresh Face Cleanser.

OH! I bought some stuff, too! I had to get my hand on the new Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipsticks – I got “Conspiracy” and “Amulet”. Although the lipsticks are thinner than Jeffree or Kat’s, they go on smoothly and the colors are unique. I must have MORE…I also grabbed a backup Zoya Remove+ and a Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser (replacing the one from my ipsy bag that I used up).

Such a good day!

Alchemy

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I thought I did not want the new Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette ($32)…I was wrong. I did want that palette – so very much.

I am also so very proud that I made it 6 days into the year before placing my first Sephora order. So, so proud.

I am still playing with the palette and it has been fun so far. Today at work, a co-worker stopped me mid-sentence, “Wait. Are you wearing green lipstick?” I corrected him – it wasn’t green lipstick, it was red with green on top. (Kat Von D “Plath” with “Green Emerald” layered on top.) It was very…witchy, so I can understand his concern. I need to figure out how to use them as highlighters, but I LOVE them over lipsticks.

I used 100 points to get a mini rollerball of the new Tory Burch fragrance – “Love Relentlessly” – which honestly smells a lot like the other two Tory Burch fragrances I have, but muskier. Oh well. I also used a code to get a deluxe sample of Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm.

I THOUGHT I was getting samples of the new Urban Decay Primers, but it turned out to be samples of the Primer and Ultra HD Foundation, of which I already have full sizes of…oh well. I also got samples of Too Faced Glitter Glue and Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser (why do they spell “yogurt” like that?).