Friday, November 6, 2015

Sephora 20% VIB/VIB Rouge Sale Recommendations & Wishlist

Sephora's Annual Fall VIB Sale is here!  Exciting, but at the same time, the sale is a little different than it was last year, and the changes aren't for the better.  This year, the sale is from November 6 - November 9 for VIB Rouges, and the sale is from November 13 - November 16 for VIBs.  In the past, VIB Rouges were able to shop during the entire sale period, yet this time, each tier is limited to a specific weekend.  Also, there is not longer an exclusive shopping event in stores for VIB Rouges, and there isn't a gift bag with purchase.  As someone who just recently made VIB Rouge for the first time (admittedly through the help of friends/family), those were perks I was looking forward to.  20% is still a good deal, but it would be nice to get a few more perks, especially when Rouge members have already spent so much at Sephora.  However, I'm makeup obsessed, and I can't resist a sale, so I will probably be picking up a couple items.  If you're a makeup addict like me, I've listed below some recommendations of products I've tried and love, and I've also listed my current wishlist for the sale.


Sephora favorite kits are always a great value.  I don't have these two sets in particular, but I recently picked up two of the JcPenney exclusive sets (I have a previous blog post here detailing those).  These kits usually have full-size and deluxe samples of bestselling products.  If you're able to find the JcPenney exclusive sets, I recommend those more. The sets online are still a good deal, but I find that the JcPenney ones are usually a little bit less expensive but still include a lot of products.

For eyeshadow palettes, my two favorites are the Too Faced Chocolate Bar and the original Naked palette. Despite having these palettes for over a year now, I still use them frequently.  I do prefer the Chocolate Bar palette more - I find there is more variety in color, and the shadows aren't quite as metallic as the Naked palette, but I think both options are a great choice.

For lip products, I love the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting lipstick formula and the YSL Glossy Stain.   I have one of each - the lipstick in Rebellious Rose and the glossy stain in Rouge Vintage.  Although they are pricey, I don't have anything from the drugstore that exactly compares.  The Estee Lauder lipstick is creamy, pigmented, and long lasting.  I reviewed the YSL here, and I still am enjoying wearing it.   If you're looking for a luxury product to treat yourself with, I don't think you would be disappointed with either of them.

For face products, I recommend the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer, the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush, Clinique Cheek pops, the Becca Shimmering Skin perfector set in Opal, and the Beauty Blender.  I have deluxe samples of the bronzer and the 12-hour blushes from various Sephora favorite kits, and they are the products that I always take when I'm traveling.  I find that both blend well on the skin and are long-lasting.  I have the Clinique Cheek pop in Peach Pop, and I love the formula of this blush - it has a slight sheen, and it looks beautiful on the skin.  Becca highlighters have been talked about so much, and after using them, I find that they do live up to the hype.  I don't personally use highlighter everyday, so I find that the deluxe sizes are a good size for me.  The color Opal is stunning- I find that it blends wonderfully on the skin; it isn't a subtle highlight, but it provides a beautiful glow.

Finally, for skincare, I love using Origins products.  I picked up the Origins bestsellers kit during last year's VIB sale, and it's a great value. I love the GinZing moisturizer, and the Origins masks. Currently, I'm using the skin-tone correcting moisturizer and serum.  I have quite a stash of skincare, so I won't be purchasing any more skincare during this sale, but if you're looking for some great skincare, I highly recommend trying out this kit. 


I love holiday sets and palettes! And with the 20% off, they're much harder to resist...

At the top of my wishlist are the lip product sets - the Marc Jacobs set, the Bite Beauty set, the Kat Von D Lolita duo, and the Buxom set.  I've been looking at several face palettes, like the Becca trio, the Kevin Aucoin contour book, and the Sephora Ombre Obsession palette.  I also have quite a few eyeshadow palettes on my wishlist, like the Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca palette and the Make Up For Ever 15 Artist Shadow Palette, but I'm not sure how much I would use them.  The Tarte Showstopper and Rainforest After Dark palettes have been on my wishlist for quite a while now, but I don't know if I will actually go through and purchase them this time around.  

I've purchased a lot of makeup over the past year, so I'm trying to purchase only a couple products at most. I've been going back and forth over the products I want to order, so I haven't made my order yet.  I'm trying to pick items that are something from what I already have but would still be something I would use enough to justify the purchase.  Right now, I'm leaning toward the Lolita duo and the Bite Beauty set, but I know that those sets are popular and there is always the risk they will sell out before I make up my mind!

If you've tried out any of these products, let me know your thoughts!  Also, I'm always looking for other great deals and products - please share your recommendations or what's on your wishlist!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

New Sephora Favorites Sets at Sephoras Inside JCPenneys

Yesterday, while browsing at Sephora inside JCPenney, I found two new Sephora Favorites sets.  I love finding these sets, since they are a great deal and always include popular makeup items.  I wanted to only pick up one set, but when I saw what was in both and compared their values to the actual price, I couldn't resist buying both!  For those of you interested, I've listed what each set includes below.

Sephora Favorites - Perfect Ten $49

Description: "Beauty Sampler - Bold lips, countoured cheeks, full fringe, and more.  Earn a perfect score with ten of our top-selling beauty essentials (including 5 full size favorites)."

Items Included:
- BeautyBlender 
-Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara (0.1 oz)
-Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black Rollerball (0.34 fl oz)
-Formula X Nail Color in Astronomical (0.4 fl oz)
-Kat Von D Ink Liner (0.02 fl oz)
-Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer (0.15 fl oz)
- Nars Cosmetics Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia (0.05 oz)
-Smashbox Cosmetics Be Legendary Lipstick in Magenta Matte (0.1 oz)
-Tarte The Sculptor Contouring Face Slendarizer in Park Avenue Princess (0.06 oz)
-Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray (0.5 fl oz)

Sephora Favorites - Makeup Must-Haves $39

Description: "Beauty Essentials - Some of Sephora's top-selling beauty essentials: From mascara to bronzer, this exclusive seven-piece kit contains our makeup must-haves (including two full-size products)."

Items Included:
-Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara (0.1 oz)
-Kat Von D Studded Kiss in Underage Red (0.04 oz)
-Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primer Water - Travel Size (1 fl oz)
-Stila Cosmetics Stay All DayWaterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Intense Black (0.016 fl oz)
-Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Pampered (0.05 oz)
- Too Faced Cosmetics Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (0.08 oz)
-Urban Decay Iconic Eyeshadow in Midnight Cowboy Rides Again (0.05 oz)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

August & September Haul

Over the past two months, I've purchased quite a few beauty products, so I wanted to give my first impressions and thoughts on my purchases.  Let me know your thoughts if you've happened to try any of them out or if any of them are on your list of products to try out!

BareMinerals The Magic Act Palette
This palette came out for the holidays last year, and after seeing so many great reviews on it, I really wanted to purchase it, but I convinced myself that I didn't need yet another neutral palette.  The colors weren't unique, and I had several palettes with similar colors.  However, Nouveau Cheap recently posted a blog post sharing a great deal on the BareMinerals site - two 20% off codes could be stacked.  While browsing the site, I saw this palette was still available in the sale section, and I couldn't resist purchasing it.  I haven't received it yet, but I'm hoping that it meets all of my expectations after hearing so many rave reviews for it last year!

Lorac Unzipped Palette & Ben Nye Banana Powder
While Frends Beauty was having their 75th anniversary sale, I picked up two items.  I've been wanting the Lorac Unzipped palette for quite some time, but I never followed through and purchased it.  I am so sad I waited so long to purchase it - I have been using this palette nonstop since I've received it.  The colors are beautiful - they are very pigmented and the blend well.  I love every look I create with this palette, and I'm so thrilled to have it in my collection now.

The Ben Nye Banana powder is also something that's been on my makeup wishlist for a while, but I never made the plunge to purchase it.  However, with the recent "baking" trend, I decided now was a great time to try it for myself, to see if it would mask make my skin appear more flawless.  Right now, I don't think it was the miracle product I was looking for, but I do need to try it out more and see how I can make it work better for me.

MAC 239
While visiting New York, I went to a CCO, where I found the MAC 239 on sale.  This is a brush that I've always wanted, but never wanted to pay full price for.  The CCO price was still more than I would like to pay for a brush, but with all the rave it gets in the makeup community, I decided to splurge and picked it up.  I've used it a lot since purchasing it in August, and I think it is a great brush, and I'm glad I purchased it.  Compared to my other shadow brushes, it is a lot smaller and more pinched at the ferrule, which I find helps to pick up the shadow and place it more precisely on the lid.  I love using it with my MAC 217, and I find that I am able to lay down color and blend shadow so much more easily with these two brushes.

YSL Blush (Bohemian) & Glossy Stain (Rouge Vintage)
In August, I purchased my first YSL products!  I love the packaging of YSL products - the gold just seems so luxurious to me.  I love the glossy stain, but I'm not too impressed by the blush.  I've only used it twice, but my first impressions are that the blush isn't as pigmented as I would expect a $46 product to be.  I'm glad I tried out a blush from the line, but I don't think I would purchase more colors.  The glossy stain is an interesting formula - I don't think I have any product similar to it in my collection.  It's a thin, lightweight formula, that feels slippery but not sticky.  It's pigmented, and despite being so glossy, it has great staying power and leaves behind a stain as it fades.

Milani Amore Matte Lip Cremes - Beloved and Desire
Milani recently released their Amore Matte Lip Cremes, and these products have received A LOT of attention.  I started hearing about them a little over a month ago, and I wanted to find the entire collection.  A friend was able to pick up four colors for me -  Lust, Beloved, Desire, and Flirt.  The display he found also had Adore available, but I knew that the color would look terrible on me, so I skipped that one.  After trying them out, I decided to return Lust, which didn't flatter me, and Flirt, which was patchy and flaky.

After trying these myself, I am happy with them, but I'm not as in love with them as I thought.  The formula feels very thin, almost watery.  They emphasize lip lines quite significantly, so I make sure to exfoliate my lips (using ELF's lip exfoliator - love that stuff!) before using it.  They take a while to set, but once they are dry, they do last for a long time. As liquid lipsticks, they dry out my lips a little, but they aren't uncomfortable to wear. Overall, I like the two I have, and if I ever come across a display that has more shades, I am interested in checking out Embrace, Romance, and Crush.

Milani Lipsticks - Teddy Bare, Rose Femme, Blushing Beauty, Matte Beauty, Matte Flirty, Caberet Blend
When Milani lipsticks were on sale for $2.99 at CVS, I picked up six of them.  Milani lipsticks are one of my favorite lipstick lines, from both high end and drugstore.  I already had quite a few of these lipsticks, but there are always more colors I want! Since the original release, Milani has come out with several collections of new shades in their regular line and also came out with a Moisture Matte line.  All of the colors I've tried have been pigmented, long-lasting, and comfortable to wear.  I don't ever feel like my lips are drying out when I wear any of these colors, and I've never experienced them feathering outside of my lip line. I love how Milani has a wide color range - I think everyone can find a color (or colors if you're like me ;) ) they like!

Target Haul - L'oreal Infallible Laquer Liner, NYX Butter Gloss - Tiramisu, Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous - Golden Tan, Sonia Kashuk Pointed Blending Brush
I haven't had a gel eyeliner in my collection for over a year now, so I wanted to pick one up.  I read reviews comparing several drugstore gel eyeliners, and this one was rated as one of the best.  I haven't had a chance to try it out, but I'm hoping it's long-lasting.

I already had 5 NYX butter glosses, but I wanted one in a more neutral shade, so I picked up Tiramisu.  I love the formula of these glosses - they aren't sticky, but are comfortable to wear and pigmented - and they also smell great, which is a plus!

I wanted another crease brush to add to my collection, and I have several Sonia Kashuk brushes that I like, so I picked up the pointed crease brush from her line.

Since Covergirl released the Ready Set Gorgeous foundation, I've seen a lot of reviews saying it's amazing.  I've used their 3in1 foundation in the colors Golden Tan and Classic Tan for the past year now, and I was looking to try a new foundation out, so I picked up this one as well.  I'm trying to use up the last of my 3in1 foundations before using this one, but I'm hoping that I like this just as much or better than those!