Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Beautylish Inglot Eyeshadow Palette

I have so many eyeshadows that I never wear! I've only been wearing about 5 colors lately: Gold, Pink, Purple, Green, and some other sparkle/base like White. I finally looked into making my own palette of just the colors I use. I know you can do this with Mary Kay shadows and I think Urban Decay has something like that. After just googling "custom eyeshadow palette" I found Beautylish! The link took me right to a page that lets you choose how big you want your palette: 2, 4, 5, 10, or 20 spots and what colors you want. There's also an option to view what the colors look like on light or dark skin. After a lot of debating, because the price was a little more than I'd hoped, I finally decided what I wanted. I made an account and immediately got an email saying they were giving me $10 off $50 or more just for signing up! That meant if I chose one more color (a sixth) then I would be paying LESS with taxes, and shipping was free (I forget why). Plus, if I placed my order before 7pm Pacific time, they would be able to ship the order the same day! I got my box 2 days later.

The box came stamped with a personal signature.

All packed in there nicely.

AND it came with a personalized note! How cool is that? It definitely makes me feel comfortable ordering from them again, knowing they put such care into their shipments.

My palette and all the little shadow boxes.

Here's what I chose! All sparkly: White, Beige, Gold, Pink, Purple and Green.

They are all magnetic and came in this plastic packaging.

I thought I could just pull on the corner to peel it off, but the green was being stubborn. The plastic was thicker than I anticipated.

The rest of them had nice corners to peel up.

All four corners of the lid are magnetized so you can slide it up like this, or just slide it up from one side as I sometimes do in the mornings if I knew I want one of the end colors. The lid is also a very durable plexiglass type material.

This picture makes them all look very light but they are buildable and I don't like my eyeshadow to bright anyway. They are perfect for me!

As soon as I knew I loved every color, and cleaned out my makeup bag of all the individual shadows I had in there. I have so much room now! I couldn't believe it. Now I just have this palette, a matchbook-style eyeshadow brush holder, and 2 tiny sets of 4 colors I got from Birchbox: one more oranges and golds, and one more browns. This palette was a little expensive, but being able to clean out my bag and make all that room was totally worth it!

More from Sephora

I used to work at Target and it's always a big joke about how you can go in with a list of 3 things and come out with a cartfull... every time. And it still happens to me. I even told boyfriend that I'm not allowed to shop at Target alone anymore. Well, that's how it's becoming with me and Sephora. Ever since I joined Birchbox, I have started to get to know all of these other beauty brands: Stila, Smashbox, Benefit, Urban Decay, Tarte, etc... and there are so many new things I want to try! This weekend I had some time and I knew I wanted to buy the solid blendercleanser for all my brushes and sponges so I could have a good cleanser (I've just been using shampoo like my costume/makeup designer in college told me) and I would be able to take it with on my vacation back home this summer. Well of course I found other things I had to buy! I was actually pretty good this time. If boyfriend hadn't been waiting outside the store for me, I probably would've been in there over an hour!

Well, of course I did buy my solid blendercleanser, but it happened to be located with all the trial/travel sized stuff near the registers and look what happened to be right above it! A beautyblender!

I originally wanted one a couple months ago and remembered I had seen one at Urban Outfitters. The closest store to me was next to a Barnes and Noble so when I wanted to go buy a book, I had to pop over to get the beautyblender! To my disappointment, they didn't have it anymore. But they did have a dupe set: for only $10!
Photo taken from

I had read reviews about dupes and most said they were fine but you should really get the real beautyblender. Spend the extra money because it really is better. And I agree. The "Dynamic Duo" was fine... I was mostly only using it for primer and concealer since I don't use much liquid foundation or anything... but when I used the real beautyblender for the first time this weekend, I couldn't believe the difference! It's so much softer! I should've saved my $10 on the dupes and just kept looking for the real thing. Seriously, buy the real beautyblender if you're considering using something like that. You'll thank me and all the other reviewers later.

The blendercleanser is awesome. I love the solid. I feel like it will last much longer than the liquid too, probably less product waste. It comes in a plastic container and is just a solid round soap. Just wet your brushes or sponge and swipe across the surface of the cleanser, then lather and rinse. So easy! I really do feel like it gets everything a lot cleaner too. And I'm more likely to clean everything more often (right now it's about once a week) if it's just: open container, wet sponge, wipe across cleanser, lather, rinse, dry. Rather than: get the shampoo, get hands wet, get brush wet, pour shampoo, later, rinse, keep rinsing, repeat a couple times, then it's probably clean enough - ok so it's not that complicated, but I love my blendercleanser.

I also walked by the Tarte section: bad idea. I just started getting into their products. I've been eyeing the Lipsurgence collection for a while but didn't want to spend $24 on a lip product, but I've read it's supposed to be hydrating and stains a little bit. So I took the leap:

I bought the color "Enchanted" which is a sort of 'safe' red. It's a little more on the purple side, and I love it! It does stain a bit, and is VERY moisturizing. 

Tarte's Lipsurgence Lip Tints are made without:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Synthetic Dyes
- Petro-Chemicals
- Phthalates
- GMOs
- Triclosan

so I can feel pretty good about the money I spent. And I've been wearing this every day since I bought it. It's a little crayon shaped stick that twists up at the bottom for more product. You can layer it on for more color too. And now I want more colors!

The last thing I bought was a glass nail file with a holder for myself. It is the travel-size found next to the registers. They're supposed to be more sanitary and I've been trying to buy things that are better for my body.

Monday, April 28, 2014

My (small) Haul

I've been bored at work. I'm working more hours, but lots of sitting around. So, less time after work to go shopping, but more down time to do some online shopping (probably not a good idea.) I've started to get really into Benefit's products ever since I went to the BenefitXBirchbox event and got to try a lot of their products in the boutique.

While browsing around, I found a great deal. The Primping With The Stars box. It's full of sample-size Benefit products for $32. Benefit sells some of their sample sizes on their website, but they are usually about $8 a piece. So, the 6 products in this box equal about $48. I love their sets and this one had the most stuff I wanted to try. Benefit also seems to have really good sample sizes (except Fakeup, which I got in a Birchbox and it had barely a fourth of an inch of product to use. Yes, a little went a long way, but it was awkward trying to put it on. I always felt like I was going to scratch my eye with the plastic holding the product at the bottom.)

The box includes a mirror and tips for using each product.

Products include:
Stay Don't Stray Eye Primer
"This dual-action power primer works 360 degrees around the eyes to make concealers AND eyeshadows STAY PUT. Concealers don't crease, eyeshadows stay vibrant & true. Contains sodium hyaluronate known to hydrate and Vitamins C & E known to help fight signs of aging."

I got this in my special Benefit Birchbox and I really like it. I've never used an eye primer before, and I like that this has a tint. As far as keeping my concealer and/or eyeshadow in place... I think it works. It hasn't been helping with the creasing under my eyes though, which is what I was really hoping.

Some Kind-A-Gorgeous Foundation in Medium

"Our oil-free, cream-to-powder formula is silky, even perfection for your complexion! This foundation faker will even out your skintone with lightweight, sheer coverage, making it look chart-topping gorgeous!"

I tried this quickly to cover up a couple spots that had uncovered during the day and I really like the cream to powder formula. The color it came with was Medium, which scared me because I am definitely not a medium. But according to Benefit, I guess I am. It actually matched almost perfectly. It will be great after all the tanning I'm planning on doing this summer!

Benetint Rose-Tinted Lip and Cheek Stain
"Our original rose-tinted stain is kiss-proof, see-through color for lips & cheeks that lasts for hours. Naturally sheer & sexy on all’s innocent yet provocative."

Scary product, amazing results! What? A liquid blush? I was excited and curious to try this product. It's one of the reasons I chose this kit over others. Benetint is one of Benefit's most popular items. I used it for the first time a couple days ago. I was planning on using it that day but forgot and put my powder on. I figured I'd try it and it really isn't for on top of powders :p Of course, it just took away all the powder in that area, but it left a great, natural looking tint. So I did it the right way the next day and it looks great. I'm definitely using this when I was just a little color (at the beach or something.) Warning: it does stain the finger you use to blend it. I tried blending with a brush and the brush soaked up some of the color... which could be a good thing. I also tried it on my lips, but very quickly and not using a lot of product and it just stained the inside of my lip to look like I'd been drinking cherry Kool-aid. Not the look I was going for. I will try again when I exfoliate and actually want to use the product fully.

The Porefessional Pro Balm
"Quickly minimize the appearance of pores & fine lines for smoother-than-smooth skin! Apply this silky, lightweight balm alone, under or over makeup. Translucent, oil-free formula complements all skintones and helps makeup stay put. Contains a Vitamin E derivative, known to protect skin from free radicals."

Also very excited to try this product since I've been seeing it everywhere. It has a nice soft feel and you don't need much product to spread around your face. It seemed to work really well with my Hello Flawless powder foundation. I was still shiny halfway through the day, but I've pretty much come to accept that. My powder didn't seem cakey or that it melted away though.

Girl Meets Pearl Liquid Pearl for Face

"This soft, golden-pink liquid pearl luminizer features light-reflecting pigments to give your complexion an exquisite, dewy glow. It includes raspberry & chamomile, known for their soothing properties…and sweet almond seed extract  known to help improve skin firmness & smoothness. Pat it on over blush to highlight cheekbones with a pop of pearly pleasure!"

I haven't used this yet, because I don't need much help in the 'shine' department. But I'll figure out a time to try it. I love how these tubes have foil covers to prevent leaking.

They're Real! Beyond Mascara in Black
"They're real! lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts & separates. Our jet black, long-wearing formula won’t smudge or dry out. A specially designed brush reveals lashes you never knew you had!"

I got this as a sample for my birthday last year from Sephora (see below). While I did think it gave my lashes amazing length (though, for the record, my lashes are already really long), the formula almost felt clumpy after only a couple days of using it. We'll see if that happens with this sample.

I also found a sample size of Dr. Feelgood Velvety Complexion Balm. It was $9, but I figured that was ok seeing as how the full size is $31 and most reviews (the good ones anyway) have said that you don't need to use a lot.

Description from website:
"Mattify shine with our invisible, weightless balm that leaves skin feeling silky-soft. Fabulous for mid-day touch-ups... this makeup artist fave can be worn alone, under or on top of makeup. Contains Vitamins A, C & E to help smooth away the appearance of fine lines."

Wait. A balm to eliminate shine? That sounds a bit contradictory... but I'll try it. The people who like it LOVE it, and the people who hate it seem to either not have very oily skin, or don't understand how to use it. Smells lemony but kind of medicinal. The sponge is nice. I've read to PAT ON the product, don't rub if you're putting it on top of your makeup to soak up oil.

This stuff is magic! I have no idea how it works but it really does eliminate shine! I also put it on under my makeup as a primer one day so I swiped it a little bit. It doesn't seem to erase pores but it does make your skin smooth and it really does seem to help with the shine. I used my Hello Flawless on top (using only the brush that day) and my face really does seem less oily than usual. I really do like it as a primer. My face felt a little greasy, but it didn't LOOK too shiny, which is mostly the point. And if I want, I can just use the sponge and pat on my oily spots and bam! no more shine. For me, the sponge is essential for patting on top of makeup and soaking up the oil. The sponge it comes with can be cleaned easily, but I've also cut up some cheap sponges I bought at Target as replacements. I carry this with me everywhere.

Seriously, if you have super oily skin, give this a try. A lot of people complained that it was drying, but that's kind of the point. They must not have had as much oil as I do because it's perfect. If you're not sure, do like I did and buy the 'travel-size' from It's still $9 but it comes with a lot of product, and much cheaper than the full-size for $31.

I also got my free birthday present from Sephora for being a "Beauty Insider". It's free to sign up on the website and every year during your birthday month you can stop in and get whatever sample they are giving out that year, or add it to your online order. Last year I got Benefit's "They're Real" mascara and "Watt's Up" highlighter. I still use the highlighter. This year it was Make Up For Ever's Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N9 and Smokey Extravagant Mascara.

The lipstick is a very natural MLBB (my lips but better) color. For me, it's a little darker than my normal lip color but that's what I love about it. It's not very shiny, which is different for me. I feel like it stains a little bit too - a plus for me. It's very smooth and pretty moisturizing overall.

The mascara is ok. Nothing magical. The formula is smooth and didn't seem to flake or anything. The brush scares me a little bit. Personally, I think the fat end of the brush is too fat. It's uncomfortable. It's not particularly volumizing or anything, but it's a great travel size.

You ALSO get 3 free samples every time you order from They have about 9 or 12 samples to choose from, usually a lot of fragrances, to add to your order. I chose:

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector SPF 25+

Sephora Collection Super Supreme Body Butter

I have not used any of the samples yet but I will add reviews once I do.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag

Each month, subscribers will receive a beautiful Glam Bag with deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products. Members can watch and play along with the stylists with the same products that they are using. All for only $10 a month. 

When you sign up, you take a "beauty quiz" to let them know what you like. I guess Ipsy is kind of a social network-type beauty website, but I don't do all of that. There's also some sort of points system that I haven't quite figured out. You get 10 points for each review, but you usually need 1000 points to get some kind of bonus product, of which they only have 3 to choose from at a time. There are points for referrals too, but I don't badger my friends into signing up. If you would like to sign up, please consider using my referral link:

This month's theme: Beauty Rocks

I forgot to get a picture of just the bag by itself. That will be coming soon. The picture on Ipsy's Facebook page made it look really purple, but now that I have it, I've been going back and forth between dark purple/indigo and dark blue/almost black. Either way, it's very soft (unlike some of the past bags I've gotten) and it's slightly taller than the last couple, which I love. This will definitely be coming with me when I go visit my family!

Here's what I got:

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil (Travel Size): Love this eyeliner. I drew that line, then rubbed it with my finger and it didn't move. Eventually it got a little lighter, but no smudging. I didn't realize I would love waterproof eyeliner so much. (I hate waterproof mascara because it always seems to mess up my contacts.) This "travel size" is the perfect size. It takes me a while to use up eyeliner so this will last a long time. It also has the plastic around the color, instead of wood. I like this new trend. It's so much fun to sharpen! (Yes, you can sharpen it. A lot of people complain that it's just a little nub but really! You CAN sharpen the plastic stuff!)

Sexy Hair Root Pump Volumizing Spray Mousse: I think I used to have a full size of this product. I stopped using it a long time ago, when my hair was longer. I'll try this travel size with my shorter hair now and see how it goes. I used it yesterday and didn't see much of a difference, but I'll keep trying.

dr. brandt Microdermabrasion: This has very tiny beads in it for exfoliating. I actually liked the feeling of it, however others have described it as sandpaper. It's nice for a weekly cleaning. Don't think I need to buy it though.

City Color White Gold Shadow & Highlight Mousse: I was just saying that I needed a basic white shimmery color for everyday wear! The mousse part scares me a little bit, but I'm getting used to it. The swatch on my hand stayed for hours after I forgot about it, but it creases right away on my lids! :( I even used a primer both days I've tried it. Maybe I'll try it without the primer tomorrow. It could be that I've been putting it on and not letting it sit long enough with my lids closed to "set". It is a great color though! And a little goes a long way.

Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Apple Pink: The color is a little more orangy than I'm used to. It's also pretty matte and slightly drying. I love the container though! I've been wanting to try one of these Cailyn products for a while just because of the unique packaging. 
**After using this a few times, I've decided I really don't like the formula. If you have dry lips at all, it will show every crack and make it more drying. I still love the container so I'm disappointed that I won't be using this very often, if at all.

April 2014 Birchbox

Birchbox is a monthly subscription box service. For $10 a month, they will send you 4-5 'Beauty and Lifestyle' samples. 
They also have a points system, which is the best I've seen. 100 points = $10 to spend in the Birchbox shop. Earn 1 point for every dollar you spend (monthly boxes don't count, except for the first one) and they offer a lot of promo codes to get extra points. You can also earn 10 points for each review of your monthly samples. That's like getting $4-5 back each month! You also get 50 points for each person who signs up through your referral. If you would like to try Birchbox, please consider using my link:

This month's theme: Rainy Days

Each box contained a card of things to do on a rainy day. Mine was a little pointless. I don't have plants, especially fake ones.

Here's what I got this month:

Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle: ($21.95 for 8oz) I actually got this in my first March Birchbox. They say they never give you the same sample twice, but there was some confusion with that month's box that you can read about here. Likewise, you can read my original review here. But here's my new thoughts: This stuff is awesome. It smells really good and makes your hair feel super soft. I generally blow dry my hair every day because when I air dry, it gets a little frizzy and just lays funny. This past weekend I put this in my hair after showering, and just pinned back my bangs. We were going to a late movie and I didn't need to look great. After my hair dried, it looked great! Even when I took out the bobby pins, I didn't have those dumb creases. I'm so glad I got another sample of this. Maybe when I'm done with both, I will finally be convinced to buy a full size.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel: ($22 for 0.28 oz) As far as I can tell, this is a full-size product. Or very close to. I have started to pay attention to my brows a bit more, but that's because I'm using Benefit's Gimme Brow because it's color and gel in one. I don't take a pencil to my brows, so I don't really need a clear gel like this. But I guess it's good for taming my brows very quickly.

Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream: ($32 for 1.6 oz I think) I have a friend who got this sample a few months ago and had to buy the full size. She loves it. I'm so excited to try it! The sample is teeny-tiny (quarter for scale) but it feels full, unlike last month's products. I really like the coverage of this. It's very natural and not heavy. Not sure how well it helped with the oil. I am a little disappointed though: when I first used this, I thought "Wow, my face looks great. I'm probably going to buy this" but by the end of the day I noticed a some tiny zits popping up on a generally clear face. It was too many just to be a bad face day. I went a few days without it, trying other primers and sunblocks I had instead and nothing else happened. Then I tried this CC cream again and the same thing happened, but a little less this time. And I really liked it too :( Glad I didn't just take my friend's word and buy the full-size. 

Color Club Gala's Gems Collection in "Breakfast At...": ($13 for the 4-color pack) Beautiful color. Super smooth. Needs 2 coats (only one coat shown here). Definitely an Easter color. I've been really into the mint greens lately so I love this. I have an Essie color that's close but is a solid flat color and I put them on together after I took that picture.

Kind Healthy Grain Bars: ($11.88 for a box of 15) This was a "Find" this month (it comes in addition to your 4-5 samples.) It made me nervous to see pictures of people's boxes and all of them had a Kind bar in it. We have Kind bars at work, but they're the ones with the fruit in them and I just don't like that sort of thing. I was really excited to see this flavor though! I really like pumpkin seeds. It also has sunflower seeds, oats, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, maple syrup, and sea salt. It was a great sweet and salty treat this morning on my way to work. I will definitely be buying a box of these. It's perfect to throw in my purse for a quick snack. 

Coola Tinted Matte SPF 30 Review

I got a sample of the Coola Tinted Matte SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen for Face in my March Birchbox. I wore it to the beach one weekend and loved it! My face seemed less greasy sitting out in the sun for 4 hours than it does in the office during the week. I had to buy the full size!

What it says on
"This is no ordinary SPF. COOLA suspended two skin-safe mineral sunblocks—titanium and zinc dioxide—in a moisturizing base to ensure a smooth, even application. Shea butter naturally softens skin. Age-reversing antioxidants like evening primrose extract and borage seed oil deflect free radicals, while naturally water-resistant plankton makes the formula extra-durable."

I was expecting this to come on Monday, but I actually got it on Saturday - right as I was leaving to go to my friends' pool. I had used some of my sample but as soon as I saw this box on my doorstep I had to open it and put more on. It held up once again. We were sitting outside in the San Fernando Valley heat, legs in the hot tub for over 3 hours and my face was not greasy or burnt. I'm so excited to use this at the lake when I go home! 

It does say that it's 'tinted' and that is a little misleading. I thought it would be more of a BB Cream (it actually says that on the label) but the tint is there more so it doesn't look white on your face. 

I have used this as a primer, because it's so smooth and it definitely helps with the shine throughout the day. It's not a miracle worker, but it does help. 

It does smooth pores too. I didn't notice it that much on my face, but I convinced boyfriend to let me put it on his nose (or more like I just did it and he didn't really argue.) He has larger pores on his nose and wow, did it make a difference. He asked me what it did and I explained that it basically filled in his pores to make them appear smoother. 

I don't know how I feel about the "Farm to Face" label on the box. I realize it's saying it's good for you and blah blah blah... it just sounds funny.

If you couldn't already tell, I love this product. I would've never known about it if it hadn't been for my Birchbox subscription.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Benefit's Hello Flawless Review

I don't like wearing any sort of heavy foundation, it just looks fake on my and sits on my face. I do use a powder every day though, since my face gets so oily. I've started to notice that my powder doesn't really do anything for an uneven skin tone. I started to look into Hello Flawless by Benefit. A lot of reviews on raved about it for helping oily skin. I needed to return my Tarte Colored Clay CC Primer to Ulta and I figured, why not get this to try?

Description from
Now in an improved magnetic-close compact, this famous powder cover-up glides on naturally sheer and layers beautifully for customized coverage. Perfect for any skin type, the silky formula comes with a newly designed brush AND a sponge for any degree of coverage you desire.

Packaging: A box. Thicker than most other compacts, but that's because it comes with a brush and a sponge for application. The pan of color isn't very deep, but you don't need to use much.

Price: Pretty steep. As is the case with most Benefit products. $34. 

How well does it work?
Day 1: No primer or anything. Used the sponge for application, except under eyes where I used the brush-about 8:30am. Check after lunch (maybe 1:30-2pm) and was a little shiny so I used blotting paper. Leaving work at 6:30pm, my face seemed pretty oily. We did have temperatures in the 80s so that's probably part of it. I dusted my Benefit Porefessional Agent Zero Shine over and good as new. 

Day 2: Used Coola's Tinted Matte SPF 30 sunscreen as a kind of primer, since it's matte and feels powdery. Same application as yesterday-about 7am. No blotting or dusting, but it wasn't as warm and I didn't work as late. Noticed the powder gathers between my eyebrows in those creases a little bit and in the low spot between my chin and my lips. Not too bad though.

Day 3: Used Benefit's Porefessional primer that I got a sample of. Review of that later. Used the sponge all over except under eyes and forehead. My bangs cover most of my forehead and that part seems to get the cakiest (not a word, I know...) so I used the brush for that today-about 7am. It's 2:30, so far so good. My face feels a little greasy, but not much. 

For now, I really like this product. That could change. It seems like wearing it with some sort of primer works better, which I think is the point of primer :) I wasn't sure about my color, which is why I didn't order it online. I went to Ulta thinking someone would be able to help me but I went on a Monday night around 8pm and there was all of 3 people working - one of them was a guy, who ended up ringing me up and was no help with the color. But at least I got to test the colors. I thought I was Champagne, but I ended up buying Honey. I think that will be a good choice once I start spending more time outside in the sun.