Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Palette - Review

Today I will be discussing the beauty that is the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette.  

I love Too Faced products in general and their packaging is always so pretty and girly.  The packaging of the Chocolate Bar palette is one of the best from the brand.  Even the outer paper package is super cute!  I also feel like the plastic casing almost feels like old school lunch boxes. :)

I'm sure you heard one of the coolest things about this palette...since the shadows are made from cocoa extract, they smell like chocolate! 

One annoying thing is that the the names of the shadows are not printed on the palette itself but on a plastic sheet that comes with the palette.

No onto the shadows themselves.  This is a neutral palette with a great mix of shimmers and mattes.  The best part is that the 2 highlight colors in the palette, which are the ones that you'd use the most of, are twice as large as the other colors.

L-R: Haute Chocolate, Semi-Sweet, Creme Brulee, Marzipan, Hazelnut, Salted Caramel, Gilded Ganache

L-R Milk Chocolate, Strawberry Bon Bon, Cherry Cordial, Black Forest Truffle, Candied Violet, Triple Fudge, Amaretto, White Chocolate, Champagne Truffle

Most of these shades are super pigmented and smooth.  However, a few of the more shimmery shades are a bit chalky and have some fallout.  The one chalky matte shade, Strawberry Bon Bon, is a bit odd in my opinion.  It's kind of a Pepto-Bismol pink that I'm not too sure what to do with.  I did try wearing it and just doesn't wear well at all.  Nothing too crazy though and definitely doesn't take any love away from the palette.  My favorite color is Marzipan which is a shimmery peachy bronze.

Here is a look I created with the palette.  I put Marzipan on the lid, Candied Violet on the outer V, Milk Chocolate in the crease, and Champagne Truffle on the brow bone.

 I absolutely love the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette!

Do you have this palette or are you planning to get it??

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask - My Experience

I'd like to first state that this is in NO way a product review.  This is just my experience with the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask.

From Sephora:
This innovative, natural formula smooths, nourishes, and moisturizes lips with a bio-active blend of organic agave nectar, jojoba oil, vanilla CO2 extract, and triple the amount of antioxidant trans-resveratrol found in red wine. 

I purchased this lip mask because of the excellent reviews.  Seriously, it's nearly impossible to find anything negative about this product.  And like I said, this isn't a negative review.  I'm writing this post to warn that if you have any sort of sensitivity to lanolin, stay away from this product!  

This lip mask kind of feels like Vaseline on steroids.  It's very goopy and sticky but still felt very nice and soft on the lips.  I applied it at night and most of it was still there in the morning.

Now onto my experience.  The morning after I used this I noticed some dryness but didn't think much of it.  After two nights in a row of using this my lips cracked but I still didn't believe that a glorified lip balm could be the culprit.  I took a week off from it and then tried it again 2 nights in a row.  The morning after the second night I woke up to split, cracked lips.  They were swollen (and not in a cute way!) and lumpy...kind of like I'd gotten bad lip injections.  My lips felt like they were on fire!

It's been a week now and I've just been slathering on Vaseline to try to heal (pharmacist's recommendation).  They don't burn as much but I still have a few cracked and split areas.

It seems that the medical grade lanolin in this product is the culprit.  I guess there's a few of us out there who are allergic.  This was a very new and weird experience for me because I'm seriously not sensitive or allergic to anything!

I wanted to write this post because there isn't much info out there except how wonderful the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask works for everyone.  I wanted to contribute my experience in case anyone has a reaction and does an internet search, they can see that it HAS happened to others!

Have you tried this product?  What was your experience?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Karora Express Bronzing Mousse* - Review

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Today I'll be discussing some products I was recently sent from Karora.

Karora is an Irish company and they recently started selling their products at Ulta.  I was sent their Express Bronzing Mousse, and the Self Tan Applicator Mitt as well as a few samples.

I will admit, I'm not a self-tanning expert.  I have dabbled a bit a few times over the years but I always hated self-tanners because of the sticky feeling and oh dear lord, the scent.  That stench is intolerable (I'm looking at you Jergens)! 

From Karora:
Exotic colour in just 1 hour with moisture boosting botanicals for the longest lasting tan
Get bronzed brilliance in a flash with this effortless velvety mousse which dries in seconds and develops in just 1 hour. A rapid release of rich exotic colour is infused with skin caring botanicals to deliver a faux tan with true staying power that fades incredibly evenly.
This is a new breed of mousse that makes the art of self-tanning quicker than ever before while you decide your shade of bronze. The easy apply, 1 hour express turnaround time will see you red-carpet ready with a golden hue post-rinse. Take the 3 hour option for a natural looking and glamorous dark bronze, easily credited to a week of pool side lounging.

You can leave this on for just 1 hour for a slightly darker look or longer for a nice bronze tan.  The instructions say that you can shower after just 3 hours to get the full color benefits.

The mousse itself doesn't have much of a scent which is good.  The slight scent it does have is tolerable and disappears in a few minutes.  

I'd never applied self-tanner with a mitt before and to be honest I thought I'd be annoyed at not using 2 hands to get the job done quicker.  The mitt was great, though!  It really helped to spread the tanning mouse evenly on my body and I didn't feel that it took too long at all. 

I love the bronze look I got from this self-tanner.  Even for a novice like me, my tan came out even and the look wasn't orange or fake looking.  I just look like I have laid out in the sun for a few days.

Of the samples I received, I tried the Gradual Tan on my face and I really love the look it gave me.  I apply it at night and I wake up with a healthy color to my face.  Though this color doesn't last at all, mostly because I wash the heck out of my face so any color is washed or scrubbed off the next night.

Overall, I really love the Karora Express Bronzing Mousse.  If you're looking for a quick, easy to apply, NON-stinky self-tanner definitely check out this product!

Disclaimer: I was sent this product for review, however, all statements are 100% honest and my own.

Have a great day everyone!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Frugal Friday - Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation - Review

Happy Friday beauties!

Today I will be discussing the Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation.  This product formulation includes a primer, foundation, and concealer and will provide all day coverage. 

After being a high end makeup snob for many many years, this product was my first attempt at a drugstore foundation and wait for it...I love it!  Who knew! :)

I will only use long-lasting and medium-full coverage foundations and this foundation is just that.  Although, I don't really know about the 3 in 1 claims that it also contains a primer and concealer since I still use both when I wear this foundation.  This is a wonderful all over foundation with great coverage and it's buildable.
This foundation has a bit of a runny consistency and doesn't feel too thick.  I have dry skin and have not had a problem with this making my condition worse or clinging to any patches.  It does have a weird old lady perfume scent when it's first applied.  However, the smell completely disappears after a few minutes.

Overall I'm very happy with the Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation.  I alternate it with my other current favorite foundations (Estee Lauder Double Wear and Makeup Forever HD Foundation).  This retails for around $12 but as always, I recommend waiting for a sale and using coupons on this or any drugstore products.  Also, did you know you can use manufacturer coupons at Ulta as well?? 

Have you tried this foundation?  What drugstore foundation should I try next?  I have Revlon Colorstay but haven't had a chance to try it yet.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tarte Power Pigments - Review

Today I will be discussing the Tarte Power Pigments lip crayons.

From Tarte:
A burst of moisture hydrates lips while imparting rich, highly-pigmented color in new, skin brightening, vibrant shades, and the antioxidant formula with just a hint of refreshing peppermint nourishes and invigorates lips for a more plumed up appearance. The sleek, “skinny” packaging allows for the most precise application of your favorite color while minimizing waste and your carbon footprint.

The packaging on these lip crayons is so pretty!  These have a definite peppermint flavor and scent so if that is not your cup of tea then you won't like these.  I personally love when my lippies have a minty flavor.  Because of the peppermint, you can feel a VERY slight tingling sensation which fades quickly.  I have not noticed any lip plumping effects however. 

The shades I got are Flush, Blushing Bride, and True Love.  Flush is a bright pink, Blushing Bride is a rose/mauve, and True Love is a watermelon color.

Tarte Power Pigment - Flush
Tarte Power Pigment -Blushing Bride
Tarte Power Pigment -True Love

I absolutely love the Tarte Power Pigment lip crayons!  They are super pigmented and leave a nice stain.  They retail for $24 and while I do love them, I wouldn't pay that for them.  I got these during a one day 50% off sale Tarte was having on these and their corresponding cheek stains.  My recommendation would be to wait for some sort of a sale if you want to try these.

Have you tried these?  Do you love them too??

Monday, April 21, 2014

April Ipsy Bag

It's Ipsy Bag time!

If you haven't heard, Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription service.  For just $10 per month you get 4-6 deluxe sized beauty samples and even sometimes full sized products.  Everything comes in a cute little makeup bag which is different each month.

The theme for this month's bag is "Beauty Rocks".  The bag this month is one of the worst I've received, to be honest.  It has a picture of a record and it just overall blah.

Demeter Jasmine Roll on Perfume Oil - $10
This perfume oil smells nice and is a good size.  I really don't like receiving perfume but still continue to receive them even though I review all my items each month.  I'm giving this to a friend.

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant - full size $78
I've heard great things about this skincare line so I'm really excited to try this scrub.

Mary Kay Ay Play Jelly Lip Gloss - Berry Me - $10
This looks like a really pretty lipgloss and I read that it's going to be really shiny.  Right now I have so many almost brand new lip glosses so I won't be opening or using this.  This will be going in my gift/giveaway box.

Rainbow Honey Nail Polish - Midnight Fountain - full size $10
I've never heard of this brand of nail polish before.  This looks like it's a mini size bottle and the color is gorgeous so I can't wait to try it.

Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil - Black Velvet - full size $20
I've saved the best for last.  These Urban Decay pencils truly stay in my waterline so I was thrilled to receive this in my Ipsy Bag!  This is the perfect size to put in my on the go makeup bag.

I love this month's Ipsy Bag!  I'm excited about every item except the perfume oil.  How can you not love a $10 Ipsy Bag that comes with the famous Urban Decay 24/7 eye liner!  If you'd like to try out Ipsy, you can use my referral link anywhere that you see Ipsy on this post.

What did you get in your Ipsy Bag?  What was your favorite item?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Frugal Friday - Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara

Happy Friday!

Today's Frugal Friday will be featuring the Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara which retails for about $8 depending on the store.  I will be discussing the waterproof version.

Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara

This is a hugely loved mascara and a favorite of many due to the fact that it lives up to it's name and doesn't allow clumps.  The brush is plastic with tons of spiky bristles which is what keeps the clumps at bay.

Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara

I am not including a photo of my lashes with only 1 coat of this mascara because to be honest, it doesn't look like I'm wearing anything on my lashes at all.  Below are photos of my lashes with 2, 3, and 4 coats.

Cover Girl Clump Crush Mascara - 2 coats
Cover Girl Clump Crush Mascara - 3 coats
Cover Girl Clump Crush Mascara - 4 coats

The Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara is my favorite drugstore mascara so far!  This mascara has pushed my previous #1, the Physicians Formula Organic Wear Mascara to second place.  I would even say that with 4 coats, this mascara would work for a night out if I were to run out of one of my high end mascaras.

Have you tried this mascara?  What do you think of it??

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sephora VIB Sale Haul

Hi beauties!

Here is everything I picked up from Sephora's recent VIB 15% off sale.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask - $26
This product is currently all over Youtube and seeing it so much piqued my curiosity so I decided to try it.  So far I love it, it's an amazing balm.  You'll be seeing a full review soon.

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo - Vivid - $12
This is an adorable lipstick duo that comes in 2 shades, a neutral duo and a vivid duo.  Honestly, I bought both but I've decided to return the neutral duo and just keep this gorgeous vivid version.  I'd like to thank Liz over at My Pretty Obsessions for bringing these lippies to my attention!  I'll be reviewing this in the near future.

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara - $10
I've been wanting to try this mascara for a while.  It has an adorably tiny wand that's perfect to apply mascara to the lower lashes.

YSL Glossy Stain - 108 - 16 - $35
I saw these lippies in a radiant orchid theme display at Sephora.  I already own one of these in a coral color which I absolutely love and reviewed HERE.  This time I bought 2 shades, one truly orchid one and one a more fuschia one.  I need to decide which one to keep because keeping 2 is out of the question as this price! 

Caudalie Favorites Kit - $32
I'd never tried anything from Caudalie before and I know that they are super popular so I thought this would be a great intro into the brand. 

Josie Maran Spread the Argan Love Set - $38
Again, I've been wanting to try something from Josie Maran for a while and thought this would be a great way for me to try out several products at a reasonable price.

First Aid Beauty Fab Faves To Go Kit - $28
Once again, YouTube has made me very curious to try this brand.  Even though I know many of the mentions are sponsored, that's ok with me because I still trust the opinions of my fave beauty Youtubers!  I look forward to trying this brand, hopefully it will help my dry skin.

I also bought the Sephora + Pantone Universe Luster Cheek Sweep but I have a similar shade of the blush and the highlighters so I'll be returning that.

I just wanted to give a quick reminder/tip about shopping at Sephora, Ulta, or any online retailer.  I ALWAYS check Ebates before making any and all online purchases.  But to be honest, my Discover credit card often has bigger cash back deals than Ebates.  So my tip is to always check Ebates first and then your credit cards and purchase through the one that offers the biggest cash back deals.  For this particular haul, Ebates offered 4% cash back while my Discover card offered 5%.  So I purchased everything through my Discover account and with the Sephora 15% off, I got a grand total of 20% off.  Doesn't get much better than that for Sephora! :)

I hope you enjoyed this haul post!  I'm excited to try all the skincare products, though getting to each one will take time.  Keep a look out for reviews!

Did you take advantage of this Sephora sale?  What did you get?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Resolute Beauty Blogger - April Updates

Welcome to the April updates of the beauty blogger resolution series called the Resolute Beauty Blogger.  

Today I will be giving updates on the goals I set for myself back in January.

1. Increase my Twitter and Bloglovin followers by 20 per month. 
April Update: I surpassed this goal.  I increased Twitter followers by 136 and Bloglovin followers by 46 between March and April.

2. Keep track of my blog's monthly stats.
April Update: I kept track of my monthly blog stats using the table that I discussed in my January post.

3.  Participate in 1 tag per month.  
April Update: I participated in the "Would You Rather Beauty Tag" and also a "Spring Lip Trends" collaboration.

4. Do not do more than 3 hours of blogging relating "stuff" per weeknight. 
April Update: To be honest, there were many nights that I was up till around 1am watching YouTube vidoes.  Ugh. 

5. Come up with a weekly or monthly series for my blog. 
April Update: I've been continuing my "Frugal Fridays" series.

6. Do a tutorial, Face of the Day post, or a "tips" type post once a month.  
April Update: I had to do a full face makeup shot and a sort-of tutorial in the "Spring Lip Trends" tag. 

7. Don't be so self-conscious of posting full face pictures of myself.
April Update: I'm becoming more comfortable posting full face photos.  Especially since I've discovered the wonder of "filtering".  That's right I admit it, I filter my face photos!  Who doesn't want to get rid of some pesky shadows that foundation and concealer just won't cover. :)

8. Make my blog look more personal.  Add a pretty background, a cool header,  etc.  
April Update: Sadly, I've made no progress on this.  I will try to do something about this in the next few weeks.  I actually really need to make some business cards so that will be the first thing I will be working on.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant*

Hi beauties, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  My best friend from childhood was visiting me so I had a super fun weekend.  And we really lucked out because the weather here in Boston was absolutely gorgeous!

Today I will be discussing the Paula's Choice 2% Liquid Exfoliant which I received from BzzAgent.  This product retails for about $23.

From the Paula's Choice website:
Shrink enlarged pores with this leave-on exfoliant that removes old skin cells both on the skin's surface and inside the pore.

  • Acne Breakouts, Anti-Aging, Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Keratosis Pilaris, Redness, Rosacea, Wrinkles
  • For All Skin Types
  • Creates radiant, even-toned skin
  • Reduces redness & builds collagen
  • Unclogs & diminishes enlarged pores

I will say that I don't suffer from acne, blackheads, large pores, or face wrinkles (my wrinkles reside under my eyes) so I can't comment on this product's effectiveness on those problems.  I do however suffer from age and sun spots.

I've been using this product a few nights a week for the past month.  I wash my face as usual, then I use toner to remove any leftover makeup, then I apply this liquid with a cotton round.  I let it dry and then add a moisturizer. 

This product definitely helped to lighten my hyperpigmentation and dark spots.  I actually noticed right away that my dark spots began to lighten and I just felt an all over freshness whenever I applied this product.  I will warn though that it is very drying on me, though I already suffer from dry skin and because of this I am only able to use this product a few times a week.

I look forward to continued use of this product.  I can only imagine that my skin will continue to become more even and who doesn't want that!  Overall I'd highly recommend the Paula's Choise 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Lip Trends Collaboration

Happy Friday beauties!

It's just now starting to get milder out here in Boston so I'm finally feeling more in the spring mood.  To welcome spring Tanya over at Leopard Lace and Cheesecake invited me to to join in this fun collaboration she came up with.  Also joining us is Lily from Beauty with Lily, Liz from My Pretty Obsessions, and Jackie from Five Two Certified. The theme of our collab is Spring Lip Trends. We based our makeup looks around the following lip colors: Hot Pink, Fuchsia, Rose Pink, Radiant Orchid, and Orange-Red.

Here are our lipstick choices:
Tanya-Hot Pink
Liz-Radian Orchid

The lip color I chose was a rosey pink/mauve shade.

Products Used:

Bare Minerals Prime Time Primer
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation
Estee Lauder Double Wear Powder
Bobbi Brown Corrector & Concealer
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer
Nars Blush - Sin
Becca Highlighter - Opal

Urban Decay Primer Potion
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil - Milk
Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette - Habit (all over lid to browbone)
Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette - Rewind (crease)
Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette - Toxic (all over lid)
Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette - Voodoo (outer V)
Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette - Shellshock (inner corners, middle of lid)
Starlooks Gem Pencil - Topaz (lower lashline, inner corners)
Jessie's Girl Liquid Eyeliner - Black (upper & lower lashline)
Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil - Lust (waterline)
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
YSL Faux Cils Mascara

MAC - Capricious (another mauve shade is the Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie lipstick in the shade Get Read that a lot of us received in our Ipsy bags last month)
Lorac Rockin' Gloss - Electric
Lorac Rockin' Gloss - Tour

Here's the final look:

Mauves are my go to lip look because I feel like they are a good "my lips but better" shade.  It's not necessary a spring trend, but I think it's a pretty light spring color without going towards more nude shades.  Also, I've never done a pink and purple eye look before so that was fun to create too.  Again, for some reason my camera washes out the vibrancy of my makeup colors, especially the shadows.  The lid color was super shimmery and pink in person. 

I'd like to thank Tanya for inviting me to join this fun collab!  Please make sure that you go check out the looks that the other ladies have created!

What spring beauty trends are you looking forward to?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Balm & Hautelook Haul

Hi beauties!

Recently Hautelook had a flash sale featuring The Balm Cosmetics.  Most things I got were 50% off the retail price. 

Time Balm Concealer
I've been on a huge concealer buying spree so I look forward to trying this one.

Instain Blush in Pinstripe
This is a gorgeous plum colored blush.  The Balm claims that it stains.  I'm not sure what this means since I'll be wearing it over foundation.  I'm guessing what they really mean is that it's long-lasting.

Betty-Lou Manizer Bronzer
This bronzer has a golden sheen to it.  It can be used as a bronzer or eye shadow. 

Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter
This is a gorgeous champagne highlighter that can also be used as an eye shadow.  I'm most excited about this item.

This was my first time ordering from Hautelook and it was frustrating to say the least.  Although they removed my money from my account the day I put in the order, they didn't send out my items for 3 weeks.  It took almost a month for me to receive all of my items.  I did contact Hautelook customer service a few times and only one person was actually helpful.  I'd like to say that I won't order from them again but the sales they have are often too good to pass up!

These are my first pieces from The Balm and I'm really excited!  Have you tried this brand?  What are your faves?

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