Tag Archives: urban decay

Beauty Grab-Bag: Random Pretties

First of all, hooray, it’s finally spring!! I’m not freezing at the moment and I even have a window open, it’s a miracle! I haven’t done a grab-bag in a while so I thought I’d share some fun products I’m liking right now.

I haven’t bought a nail polish for more than $8 in years, but when I was at Ulta over the weekend they were having a promotion where if you bought a butter London nail-polish you would receive a free mini bottle of their powder polish remover, so I decided to indulge and purchase the color “Macbeth”. The powder polish remover is nice, it leaves behind a sort of baby-powder smell on your skin rather than a strong nail polish remover smell.

Butter London polish is $14 at Ulta, and despite the name it’s actually an American company. I really like the bright reddish-orange shade I bought and even on the third day there is minimal chippage, but when it comes down to it I’m still cheap and I’ll have to be impressed by an unusual color for me to purchase this brand again.

I fell and skinned my knees in front of Penn station last week both hurting and embarrassing myself while also ripping a new pair of $15 tights to shreds—so what did I do after that? I dusted myself off and went to Sephora where I bought this Hello Kitty eyeliner for $16 to cheer myself up. When you fall down, pick yourself up and buy some makeup—trust me.

It’s an olive-green color called “picnic basket” and it’s a nice alternative to my usual black winged liner. I’m a little worried it might dry out fast, but I’ll just have to wait and see. I’m very happy with this liner and thinking I might buy the purple the next time I find myself in Sephora (or the next time I take a spill).

This Pangea Organics lip balm came in my March Birchbox and at first I was like “whatever, sure, another lip balm”, but then it slowly won me over. It has a relaxing jasmine-y smell and goes on very smooth and moisturizes well. I haven’t decided if I can bring myself to buy another for $12 but I’m thinking about it.

This is the biggest problem with birchbox, they make you fall in love with expensive products and then you feel compelled to by them—I guess that’s kind of the point though right?

Last but not least, I’ve written before about my disappointment in the totally wasteful and annoying packaging of Urban Decay’s primer potion, they’ve finally listened to their fans and Sephora has changed the packaging for more efficient use. It’s always nice when a brand actually listens to their customers, isn’t it?

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Beauty Grab-Bag: Makeup Fun-time

I haven’t done a beauty grab-bag in a while so I thought I’d do a quick one today and feature some random things.

Before my wedding when I was desperate for blogging help I put a call out to anyone who could do a guest post or had something to share. Sara over at makeshift vanity sent me these makeup collages she put together for fun—and they’re pretty fun to look at too! Things got so crazy before the wedding that I never got a chance to publish these, but I’m happy to feature them now, thanks for submitting these Sara! I love a good makeup collage, and these backgrounds are awesome.

In other news—If you haven’t heard of it yet, there is this site called Birchbox,  you pay $10 a month (or a flat $110 a year) and they send you a box of 4-5 cosmetic samples, shipping is free and apparently most of the samples are deluxe. Since I was good and forced myself out of Sephora without buying the $30 YSL lipstick last week, I figured I could splurge and spend $10 to try this out for January. Birchbox combines two of my favorite things—sampling new products and getting stuff in the mail! I often find myself wishing stores sold products in sample sizes for just a few dollars so I could try them out before buying the full size. Dealing with scuzzy, over-used testers and crowds at retail stores has gotten really tiring, so I hope this works out. If you don’t like the service you can cancel, it seems too good to be true doesn’t it? I’ll let you know how it goes and share pics in January when the box arrives!

Speaking of getting things in the mail, I participated in my first nail polish swap last week with the above mentioned Sara. I’ve been behind on my nail polish purchases and missed most of the Fall launches, so I was very happy when Sara sent me 4 mini shades from Essie’s fall line—Sew Psyched, Little Brown Dress, Limited Addiction, and In Stitches. I wouldn’t wear these in summer, but they’re great neutrals (except Limited Addiction). Amanda from mandabear did a guest post in October and featured Sew Psyched as one of her favorite picks for fall, and I have to agree with her, it’s a khaki gray-green and a nice alternative to griege. Swaps are fun! I apologize that you have to look at my incredibly dry winter skin, yikes—I really need to start moisturizing.

(from left to right, Little Brown Dress, In Stitches, Sew Psyched, Limited Addiction)

For the requisite cute animal part of the grab-bag, I present you with this cute video of baby otters.

I would like a baby otter for Christmas please, he would fit in with my cats just fine:

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Beauty Bullseye: Sephora gift-sets

I know I complained about Christmas coming too early last week, but I guess the holiday madness has gotten to me. This seems to happen every year actually, because I just can’t resist gift-sets, all those little samples wrapped up in some sort of cute and usually portable package, they’re just irresistible to me. Sephora is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for cute gifts-sets for friends, family, or maybe even yourself this holiday season.

Let’s take a look at some highlights currently available at Sephora.com, shall we?

Tarte The Jewelry Box  $52

Tarte comes out with a set like this every year, and while I’ve never had one myself (I already own more eyeshadow than any person ever should), I’ve bought them for friends who have loved them. Tarte is a pretty awesome brand, and this is a great value for the price, especially since you get a substantial amount of product (they’re basically full-sized). This year the set comes with a chain necklace that’s a nice bonus even if it’s not the most expensive looking piece of jewelry, but it’s still pretty cute (what can you expect for a throw in gift?).

Sephora by OPI Eighteen Piece Mini Nail Colour Set $48

I pretty much get excited just looking at little bottles of anything, but especially nail polish so I had to put this set on the list. The set contains 18 .12 oz bottles of polish from the Sephora by OPI collection, each one works out to under $3 which isn’t bad. The only downside is that you can’t choose which colors you get, so while there are some nice ones in there, there might also be a few that you hate and will never use. It’s the risk you run with any gift-set, but if you have a friend who is a big nail polish fan this is a wonderful gift—and any colors they don’t like, they can always swap with you!

Glitz & Glam Shimmer and Shine Makeup Deluxe Sampler $39

Sephora has a few of these deluxe samplers, they all feature a nice selection of best-selling products in small, but generous sample sizes. These are great if you want to try out some new products before you buy anything full-sized. This sampler makes an excellent holiday gift as it contains Sephora’s most glowy products, including a .17 oz Tarte cheekstain and Josie Maran Bronzing Argan Oil, perfect if you want to sparkle this season!

Too Faced Enchanted Glamourland $49


A friend of mine was recently raving about Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer, so naturally I have to feature this set which includes both eyeshadow and primer. If you don’t currently wear a primer under your shadow, it’s highly recommended, it will totally change not only the way your shadow looks, but how long it lasts on your lids. This set is cute for any girly-girl and features a bunch of the most popular Too-faced products including their Glamour Gloss in Pillow Talk which is one of the only lip glosses I wear (it smells nice and isn’t too sticky).

Sephora Makeup Palette To Go – BCA Edition $15

Isn’t this little pink palette just too cute? At $15 you should buy one for all the women in your life this Christmas, especially since Sephora is giving $1 to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation for each palette sold. Great for travel, and perfect as a stocking stuffer—you can’t beat the price, 8 eyeshadows, 4 lip glosses, and a blush all for just 15 bucks!

Sephora Endless Color Blockbuster $48

If you know someone who has only recently entered the world of makeup, whether it be a teenage niece or a cosmetic curious friend, this is the perfect gift. I personally wouldn’t buy it if you already have a large makeup collection because there is a lot of stuff in there, but if you want to experiment and are looking for a variety—look no further.  Don’t expect high-caliber products, this set is definitely quantity over quality, but half the fun of makeup is playing with it anyway. With almost 100 shadows and 70 lip-glosses, you’re sure to have fun and find what colors suit you, that way you can invest in some higher quality products next year!

Deluxe Fragrance Sampler For Her $50

Last but not least, if you or someone you know is a fragrance fanatic, this is both a fun and practical gift. Sephora sells this kit for $50 which includes 12 perfume samples, the idea is that you try out each of them and then bring in the voucher included in the kit for a full size bottle of your favorite. As any perfume connoisseur knows, you can’t tell how a scent will interact with your body chemistry by spraying it on one of those paper strips in the store, you need to be able to wear it around for a couple of days before you decide if you really love it. I can’t be alone in having purchased a scent which I thought I loved and was later repulsed by, so I think this is a brilliant idea! The only downside is that last year they had a few different samplers to choose from and this year there is only one.

Anyone have other Sephora (or any cosmetic) gift-set recommendations? I’d love to hear them, got to get started on that Holiday shopping STAT!

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Beauty Peeves: Products That Disappoint

I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog talking about products I love, but even when you love a product you can have issues with it, and sometimes when you buy a new product, you kick yourself for wasting money on it. This post is devoted to my current beauty peeves, I’m sure I’ll accumulate many more along the way, but here are a few that have been bothering me recently.

First off is this OPI nail polish, Here Today…Aragon Tomorrow, it’s from last year’s Spain Collection. Since it’s a richer color I was waiting until the Fall weather blew in to try it out. I was hoping for a lovely deep emerald-green, maybe with a touch of shimmer. Well, let me tell you, I was pissed because this is about the 3rd color from OPI that is sold as being “a deep shade of ___” and is really just black with a slight tint of color. Maybe it’s my incredibly pale skin-tone, but I think not. Look at the color in this spread from Allure Magazine as compared with the color on my nails. Yes, it has a subtle green undertone, but nobody would look at it and think “green”, they would more likely look at it and think “black”. I’m still on the lookout for a shade that is more like the color in the picture. If you like black nails (or nearly black) then this color is perfect for you, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

A product I use pretty much every day is Urban Decay’s Potion Primer, it’s an awesome product and the best eyeshadow primer I’ve found, the major drawback of this product is the packaging. It’s a lovely bottle, reminiscent of genies and magic, but the problem is you can’t get half the primer out of the darn bottle. Due to the shape of the bottle and the long straight wand that comes with it, you loose all the primer on the sides and bottom of the package. Some might simply think they have used everything up and throw out the bottle, but that would be foolish, because as you can see by the tub next to it, there is a LOT more primer in there. The process of extracting the remainder of your potion primer involves a large knife, a cutting board, steady hands, and a make-up spatula. When there are YouTube videos with over 80,ooo views devoted to the stupidity of your packaging—perhaps it’s time for a change. There’s a chance Urban Decay has gotten wise to this problem, because they’re offering the product in a “professional size” which comes in a far more convenient vessel, unfortunately it only comes in the original nude shade at the moment.

(The cats don’t take kindly to me photographing in their window, they always have to be in the spotlight)

Next up is this Chanel eyeliner which I still regret spending $34 on. You see, I have a liquid liner obsession, I’ve been wearing it nearly everyday since high school so I always feel compelled to try new brands and formulas. This is the most expensive one I’ve ever purchased, and the most disappointing. It’s also a perfect example of why it’s so NOT worth it to spend extra cash on cosmetics from major fashion houses. While Chanel might make the most gorgeous, classic, beautiful garments on the planet, their make-up kinda sucks in my opinion, at least for the overblown price they charge for it. The problem is this; when you turn the bottom of the pen it releases liner onto the brush tip, seems simple enough, except that it distributes it in one big spurt of liquid which bubbles up on the brush, making equal distribution nearly impossible and application to your eyes very messy.

This is the best photo I could get of the liquid blob, it’s not pretty, and definitely not worth spending $34 of your hard-earned dollars on.

Last on my beauty peeves list are these bobby pins from Scunci. They look so cute in the package, you think “they’re just like regular bobby pins but with a little pizzazz” but what you really should be thinking is “dear god how could something so small be so painful?” I keep giving these pins another chance, but frankly—they suck. Each time I use them I have to very carefully extract them so as to avoid ripping all my hair out—and I still usually end up painfully losing a few strands. So, if you see these in the drugstore don’t be fooled by the fetching black and white palette, you will regret it.

Now that I’ve gotten myself all annoyed and regretful at having spent money on some of these products, I ask you to share your own beauty peeves. Have you ever bought something that looked great at the beauty counter or the drug store only to get it home and realize what a mistake it was? If so, do share it with us, warnings are just as valuable as recommendations!

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