Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Influenster Frosty VoxBox - What I Received & Initial Impressions!

Hi!
**all items received free from Influenster for review/testing purposes

I've got an Influenster VoxBox to share today!  I haven't had one for a while so I was super excited to see this show up Monday - of course while I was out with the puppy for training.  Yesterday I got sent to bed early since I just can't seem to get enough rest, which means that today is the day that I'm sharing what was included in the Frosty VoxBox.  This box was a nicely sized box with a variety of beauty and food products.  Let's get started with seeing what all I got!
 First up, the beauty products:

  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in 001 Black - super excited to try this since most of my black pencil liners are dried out. It would be nice to not have to resort to a gel liner that needs a brush to apply all the time.
  • NYC Expert Last Lip Color in 418 Sugar Plum - this looks like it could be a MYBB (my lips but better) shade; it'll be interesting to see how this wears on my super dried out lips.
  • Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover - it'll be interesting to see how this remover, which claims to remover waterproof mascara, works out...any scent issues, how well it removes, if it leaves a film on the eyes, etc.

  • Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum sachet - I've never tried anything from the Boots line.  It claims results in 2 weeks, but this is a small sample.  Hopefully my skin doesn't have any issues with it since it's been temperamental lately. Coupon included.
  • EcoTools Sleek + Shine Finisher Hair Brush - it's always fun to try out a new hair brush; this one claims to help your hair dry faster and has a "frizz and static-fighting design." Since the furnace has been running for nearly 2 months already (with several more to go), I've definitely got frizz and static in spots.

And now for the food items:
  • McCormick Gourmet Thyme - this is pretty good timing as I think I'm almost out of my current bottle of thyme. This is a perfect spice for the holiday season.  I wonder what all I'll add this to.
  • Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea (2 tea bags) - peppermint tea is one of my favorite flavors of tea, especially when I'm feeling congested - cough, right now, cough.  Coupon included.
  • Fruit Vines Bites Soft Chewy Fruity Candy, cherry flavor - admittedly not my favorite flavor, but I'll give them a try. The bag contains 3.5 servings.  I've never heard of the brand; it says it's available at Walmart in the West, Kroger, Walgreens, Target, Safeway & Rite Aid.

I'm excited to try nearly everything in the box.  If I'd received the strawberry flavor of the candy I'd have been happier, but oh well.  The flavor might surprise me.  I do wish that the Boots product had been a larger size to be able to do a more thorough testing.  Time to get testing!

**I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.
**my opinions are my own

Monday, December 15, 2014

Black Friday Haul!

Hi!
**purchased

Time is just flying by, isn't it?!  It seems like everything falls all at the same time of the year, and for me (us) that time is now.  Puppy training is going...alright... Kozmo's currently going through a "chicken" phase of being scared of getting in the car so I've been trying to get time back in the car easily since he is way too big to pick up now.  Any tips?

Today's post is all about what I got on Black Friday (and Thanksgiving night).  I didn't do any online sales for Cyber Monday; all of my shopping was done in person.  So let's get started!

My only stop on Thanksgiving night, beauty-related, was at Ulta.  As I mentioned in my Black Friday Shopping Plans post, I wanted to get my hands on the 2 Lorac door-buster palettes but by the time I got there, they were both gone.  Instead, I decided to try some new stuff by way of a couple of kits.  I picked up the Tarte Petite Treats Sweet Dreams Advent Calendar set.  I didn't open it all at once - I plan on opening it one day at a time and posting on Instagram (I just need to get started on that).
My other purchase from that night was the Dermalogica Double Cleanse set with the precleanse and special cleansing gel.  I figured getting to try 2 products for $10 was a pretty good deal.
I ended up going back to Ulta on Friday and stumbled across this Too Faced Melted Kisses kit of minis for $25.  This product was something that I had been wanting to try, but knew I would never go through a full-sized tube.  I thought this was an excellent deal.
While I had my parking spot behind Ulta, I ran over to DSW to see if I could pick up another pair of Sketchers Go-Walk tennis shoes on clearance.  This type of shoe is actually what I've replaced my slippers with since I was having some pain in my heel.
Of course, I was at the mall on Friday.  I went to Express hoping to find the Mister a new winter coat for a good deal (epic fail), but I did end up picking him up a couple of new dress shirts as well as a couple pairs of earrings for me.  The earrings were, I believe, 50% off.
I did something different and ended up going in to Hallmark (I had read a comment on another's blog that there was a nail polish ornament) and found a couple of cute Minnie ornaments/decorations as well as the polish ornament.  I'll be leaving the Minnie Spa La La! and the polish ornaments out all year.
Then I went to the local supply store and picked up a few polishes. 2 of them were ones I knew I wanted, 1 was one that I liked but wasn't positive, and 2 others are limited edition that I didn't think I'd be able to get a hold of since I thought they were only available via email ordering.  The bottom picture is how the 2 Northern Lights look after laying on their sides for a day or 2.

Out the Door Silver and Gold - limited edition holiday versions with red & green glitters
Essie Summit of Style, China Glaze Chillin With My Snow-mies (I'll probably use a sponge for application due to potential formula issues I've read about), Zoya Willa

Finally I popped into TJ Maxx for a little bit and stumbled across this Laura Geller duo for about $15.
 Blush/Highlighter and Moisturizing Lip Crayon

By this point of the day - actually, morning - I had gone everywhere I wanted and was ready to go home.  Plus it was time for a puppy break.  While I was in the mall earlier in the day, I went in to several other stores but didn't end up purchasing anything.  I had mentioned in my Shopping Plans post that I wanted to go to Macy's for a pot that I've been wanting - which I got after much hunting and waiting forever in line Thanksgiving night.  I also went into Walmart that night to see what there was and found the deal on the metal mixing bowl set with lids, which I also got.  I definitely didn't get as much as previous years, which is perfectly fine.

I'm planning on posting my birthday haul from the weekend (probably 2 posts since once is an online order) in the next few days, as well as getting caught up on product finishes.

Did you get anything good for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday madness "weekend"?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Thursday, December 4, 2014

OPI Gwen Stefani Holiday 2014 - My Picks, Swatches + Review

Hi!
**purchased

I can't believe how quickly another week has come and gone!  My last post was about my Black Friday plans - I'll have a haul up hopefully soon.  I've been busy taking Kozmo to puppy training, which is going fairly well so far.  I'm not sure how well the leash training section will go since I get instant headaches as soon as I walk outside into the cold.  Maybe I can work with him all around the house...  December is shaping up to be a rather busy month already so I'll try to post as often as I can but no guarantees on how often that'll be.  Plus there's this pesky cold-type-thing that I can't seem to shake which has really been wiping my energy out.

Now that it's "officially" holiday season, I thought it'd be a good idea to share my little "haul" of my picks from the OPI Gwen Stefani Holiday 2014 collection.  I actually purchased these before Halloween and have worn a couple of them as manis already...I just didn't get around to photographing those looks.  So let's get started!  Out of the huge 18 piece collection (19 counting the expensive shade), I only raided this particular display that housed all the glitters:
Who's surprised that I reached for only the glitters?
 I'll Tinsel You In, Snow Globetrotters, Comet In the Sky, So Elegant
(same order below)
Wheel swatches; approximately one coat of each plus a little dabbing for evenness:
I'll Tinsel You In, Snow Globetrotter, Comet In the Sky, So Elegant

 Nail swatches:
Snow Globetrotters, I'll Tinsel You In, So Elegant, Comet In the Sky
~1 coat each, plus a little dabbing, over Wet 'n Wild So Berry On Trend~
~top picture is in the light box; bottom picture taken with indirect natural light~

In my opinion, these are all unique - I don't follow indie polish brands so I can't say whether there's similar polishes in that world.  For having some rather large and chunky glitters, I didn't really struggle with the formula of any to get the large hex glitters out.  I did put the bottles upside down for a minute or 2 then roll/shook them around and stirred the brush before removing it before applying to each nail.  These all have a clear base that, to me, was just the right viscosity.  Dry time was good - a quick dry would make it better, but I would suggest adding a thick top coat (Gelous) as one time when I wore I'll Tinsel You In at least one of the squares popped off after a day or so.

Snow Globetrotters:  large, small, tiny matte white hex glitters with large, small and micro iridescent hex glitters.
I'll Tinsel You In: matte white square, short bar, tiny and micro hex glitters, matte black tiny and micro glitters.
So Elegant: shiny gunmetal large and medium hex glitters, matte black tiny and micro glitters.
Comet In the Sky: matte black large, small, tiny and micro hex glitters, iridescent large, small, tiny and micro hex glitters.

I've worn Snow Globetrotters over a royal purple as well as an emerald green base polish.  Love!!  I actually did the purple version 2 manis in a row!  I've also put I'll Tinsel You In over the emerald green, as well as the berry pictured above.  Other than the above swatches, I haven't worn the other 2 polishes yet.  The white elements kept drawing my eye more than the darker glitters...could have been the snow on the ground around the times I wore them.

I've seen some swatches of the green from the collection and I'm contemplating getting it, but I won't be rushing out to find it.  I've been working on organizing/cataloging my stash this week again and I have a lot of polish so I really need to refrain from buying polishes for a while (hahahaha).

Have you purchased any of the Gwen Stefani Holiday shades?  If you haven't yet, are you going to?  Which one(s)?  Do you feel like you need to slow down in purchasing polishes from time to time?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Black Friday Shopping Plans

Hi!
**nothing purchased

Does anybody else feel like you have absolutely no time for yourself lately?  I still have a bunch more stuff I need to do tonight yet, but I wanted to hop on here.  As usual, I've been crazy busy with the puppy; he's now officially in training, which means that besides practicing the "games" I'm cleaning/wiping out the back seat of my car once a week now since he gets car sick.  I've also been trying to spend a bit more time with my parents and help them out, as well as my grandmother who recently broke her wrist.  Plus we've had some home repair issues come up in the last week or so that have taken a lot of my time.  I know I've said this a lot but I really am hoping I can get back to regularly posting soon.
As far as Black Friday shopping goes, we don't have kids and the entire extended family no longer exchanges gifts so it's more about finding deals on something that's more pricey and have just put off purchasing for whatever reason.  I might end up back at Petsmart, yet again, since I have a couple of coupons that expire on the first.  Kozmo still needs a name tag for his collar and I saw a tag that flashes at night which I think would be good since he's more dark than light and it's nearly dark at 5:30 in the evening.

I've spent part of today checking out the Black Friday ads, and so far I haven't seen a whole lot that's catching my eye.  The Mister and I are both in the habit of purchasing what we want basically whenever we want it, which means that I rarely have a "list" and something really has to be a good deal to incentivize me to go out to some of the stores.  BUT there are a couple of kitchen items that have caught my eye - either a hard-anodized dutch oven or chili pot (which I've been wanting a dutch oven for quite a while but don't want the weight of cast iron) and a set of lidded metal mixing bowls.  I'll probably end up looking at some sweaters as well as seeing if I can find the Mister a new winter coat at a decent price.

As far as beauty products for Black Friday, I can see myself at Ulta (Ulta Black Friday ad here) and picking up the 2 Lorac mini palettes - Sultry Starlet Shimmer and Vintage Vixen Matte.  I was thinking about getting the Lorac The Royal Pro Eye Collection, but I saw earlier today that one shade is in the original Pro palette and a second shade is from the Pro 2, leaving only 1 "original" shade (which I'm guessing is similar to something in the Mega Pro) so I'll be passing on that set.  I'm not sure about anything else yet.  I also can see myself at the mall checking out what sets Macy's and Dillards have from various beauty counter brands (Elizabeth Arden, Lancome, Clinique, etc...).  Last year I was disappointed with the Macy's Beauty Doorbusters since I was hoping to get at least one and the location I shop didn't get a lot of the options in...I'm assuming it's because of the shopping market rank this one has.  I'll probably also end up at the local beauty supply store to see if they've any specials or not.

Drugstores:  I might stop at Rite Aid and see if I spot the matte Maybelline lipsticks and pick up a shade or 2 while the brand is 40% off.  I did get quite a few Rite Aid coupons when I filled a prescription today.  Last year I bought the huge Fergie makeup set from Walgreens but this year I'll be skipping it since there's so many creme shadows, and it's very bulky looking.  I haven't seen anything at CVS that caught my eye.

Michael's has the Recollections "melmer" storage cube drawers on 60% off sale.  I think I'm going to pass on them this time since my makeup area has no more room for storage units.  As far as polish storage, the section of wall I delegated for drawers is full.  Any more and they'd be in the way of the window a.c. unit when it goes in for the summer.

Online:  I've got a couple of items in my shopping cart at Macy's website, I just need to pull the trigger and order before they go out of stock.  Since Sephora is in another city, it would also be an online order unless I would go later in the day since we can't leave the puppy alone all day yet (4 hours is about his limit).  On the other hand, I usually reserve Sephora shopping for around my birthday and Valentine's Day so...we'll see.  If I do order anything, I'm contemplating trying out some Make Up For Ever shadows.

Do you have anything fun on your shopping list?  Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving holiday and/or weekend!!

**nothing purchased
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Thursday, November 13, 2014

NYC Crystal Couture Collection - My Picks, Reviews & How I Wore Them

Hi!
**purchased

I lost track of time again today..surprised?  That tends to happen a lot.  I feel like I've hardly gotten anything done today other than cleaning the inside of the car, again.  Kozmo, the puppy, gets major car sick even on short trips to the vet which is less than 10 minutes away.  His vet trips are done until it's time to get him fixed, but it is time to enroll him in puppy training so my days of cleaning the car out are far from over.  I hope he grows out of this stage...

Anyway, I though I'd share a few NYC polishes I picked up rather recently.  I do still see displays at Rite Aid and KMart, and I've read that CVS might have them too.  I'm talking about the Crystal Couture Collection.  It came out in the Fall, but the colors and finishes feel like they'll work right on through the New Year.  I thought I had a display picture but as of right now, I can't find it.  My pictures on the computer are a complete disaster that will take me a good chunk of time to sort through and organize again.  So since I can't find that picture, let's jump right to bottle shots!
 Crystal Couture polishes in NY Princess, Rule the City, Ruby Queen
My swatches are a little different as in, these are actual manis that I've worn in the last week as I was playing around with these and the Zoya Matte Velvet polishes.  Nearly everything is 2 coats; just Ruby Queen is 3.
NY Princess on my ring finger (Zoya Savita on index & middle, Dovima on pinkie)
Rule the City on my ring finger (Zoya Posh on my pinkie & over Loredana, Loredana on index)
Ruby Queen - 3 coats - on ring & middle fingers (Zoya Harlow on pinkie, Dovima on index - I've no idea why neither Zoya photographed correctly?)
  • NY Princess is a purple jelly base with bright medium purple, a lighter purple and some fine blue glitters.
  • Rule the City is leans more towards a dull metallic charcoal/graphite finish and has red fine glitters.
  • Ruby Queen is a jelly base that's a bit more sheer than NY Princess.  It's a red jelly with super metallic red fine glitter with some red-purple glitters thrown in.

Rule the City was the fastest drying of the three, followed by NY Princess and Ruby Queen.  Ruby Queen was the slowest, but it also ended up with an extra coat.  Removal wasn't too bad for being a glitter, but it wasn't super quick like a creme, either.

2 of these manis I really like, one I'm not crazy about.  It's not that I don't like the polishes, I just don't think I like them together.  If you're wondering which one I'm not loving the final combo of, it's the last one.  I need to either wear Ruby Queen by itself or find a better combo.

I believe there are 3 other glitter polishes, as well as several creme polishes in the collection.  I purchased these when they were on sale - 40% off to be specific - and I'm pretty happy with all 3.  I felt out of the entire display these were the most interesting/unique and what I would be most likely to wear.  I'm trying to not buy entire collections as much unless I think I'll use all the colors.

Do any of the Crystal Couture polishes call to you?  Do they remind you of anything from other brands?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette - Swatches & First Impressions

Hi!
**purchased

I thought today I'd share a recent palette that I bought in October while I had a 20% off Ulta coupon that included prestige items.  I had swatched this in store around the end of September but hadn't purchased it yet; I'm glad that I waited as I was able to get a bit of a discount.  So what am I talking about?  The Urban Decay Vice 3 palette.  In prior years I snapped the Vice palettes up from U.D.'s website but for some reason this year I never got around to ordering it.  Maybe it was because I was reading/hearing that the quality was different (according to the pros) so I wanted to play with it in store first.

I know that there's a bunch of swatches and reviews already out there, but since this one's still pretty easily available, I figured I would add my input.  This palette retails for $60, which makes it one of the most expensive holiday palettes currently available.  Like I mentioned up above, I utilized a 20% off coupon.  I really appreciate the fact that when Urban Decay does limited edition, they make a very large supply so that hopefully everyone that wants one and has the money for one can get it rather easily.
First things first, when I took the palette out of the cloth case, I noticed that it has a couple deep scratches in the mirror-ish finish.  The worst one is not super clear in my picture, but it's straight up from the "c" of Vice.  Bummer.  It does have a magnetic closure, but I think that I prefer the closure from previous years...I like pushing the "button" to open it.  Fortunately, the hinge does keep the lid positioned to where ever you put it.  The mirror is huge, as are the previous Vice palette mirrors.  Also like the previous Vice palettes, the name is a raised "jewel" but this year it's lime green.  The included dual-ended brush...ehh, it feels stiff, very stiff.  I'm not sure if I'll like the brush, I don't really use the previous brushes either.
 Inside:
Swatch time!  No primer, I just moisturized first...and then between each set of swatches I used makeup remover.  Each one is just one swipe, yes one!
left: Truth, Undone, Downfall, DTF
right: Dragon, Freeze, Heroine, Brokedown
left: Vanity, Lucky, Reign, Bobby Dazzle
right: Alien, Alchemy, Bondage, Sonic 
Last Sin, Angel, Defy, Revolver

The bag?  Cute!  There's a tiny bit of extra room in the bag compared to the size of the palette so if I take this for traveling I could throw in my eye shadow brushes and mascara.
I haven't played with the palette yet for any eye looks, but just based on the swatches I think it'll be good.  I like that there's a nice mix of neutrals as well as jewel tones.  The neutral shades do lean slightly more to the cool side, I feel, which is fine with me since my skin leans neutral-pink.  There's 4 matte shades: Truth, Downfall, Heroine, Defy.  Undone, DTF and Revolver are matte with a tiny hint of shimmer, but I don't anticipate seeing the shimmers as really being noticeable on the eye.  Sonic and Lucky are metallic.  Bobby Dazzle looks a bit frosty.  The rest are more of a satin finish.  None have any chunky glitter like some past palettes, yay!  You might think some of the shades are dupes to a few of the shades in Smashbox's Cherry Smoke palette that I reviewed the other day.  A few of the colors are in the same family but there are no dupes.

I'm off to go find something nice and moisturizing for my face since all of a sudden I can see dry flaky patches flaring up in various spots on my face.  No, it's too soon for that!!  Bring on the extra serums and argon oil!!

Did you pick up the Vice 3 palette?  Do you have either of the previous Vice palettes?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Zoya Matte Velvets - Dovima & Savita Revisited

Hi!
**purchased

It's been a mad rush around here trying to wrap up outside projects before the weather takes it's final turn into late-fall/early winter weather.  Yeah...this afternoon it was somewhere between 65-70 degrees and tonight it'll be around 35...and not much warmer than the low for tomorrow's "high."  That's Ohio for you - you can literally go from wearing a normal t-shirt one day to needing your winter coat the next (or even later the same day...).  I'm still in denial that snow is on the forecast for the weekend.

Anyway...  On to today's post.  I'm still playing around with the Zoya Matte Velvet collection so I've got a mani post.  By the way, I took my pictures this afternoon (before finishing outside projects) so I do have some tip wear since I put it on late Saturday.

This is 2 coats of Dovima on my pinkie and thumb nails while 2 coats of Savita is on my middle and index fingers.  (2 coats of NYC Crystal Couture in NY Princess is my ring finger accent - post upcoming.)  I did have down a layer of Seche Recondition under my polishes, my poor dry nails.
As you can see by my labels, I've had these 2 for a while, but they are available again - YAY!  They both apply easily, with little to no clean up needed.  I love the Zoya brushes!  Dry time wasn't too bad, but I made sure not to rush getting ready for and into bed after doing my nails.  I think I waited a half-hour or so then was good to go.

Both have a pretty almost hidden shimmer that I spied when I was out in some fleeting sun today but I didn't have my phone with me to get a quick picture.  Savita's shimmer is on the magenta side.  Dovima has silver/blue shimmer if my mind is remembering correctly.
I put this on Saturday night and just took it off an hour ago.  While it didn't look like the above pictures before removal, I did have a couple nails that weren't chipped but most were.  That's pretty good wear time for a matte polish with no top coat.  I think it was the quick last-minute planting of Spring bulbs that did it in (maybe they'll grow? It's kinda late in the season...).

Is it hot chocolate weather where you live yet?  I've been craving one but keep putting it off.  Are you planning on getting any of the Matte Velvets?  If so, get yourself to Ulta, or order them from Zoya's site.  What's your favorite cuticle oil or cream?  My nails & cuticles are desperate!

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Zoya Matte Velvet Collection - Swatches + Review

Hi!
**purchased

I managed to distract myself this evening rearranging part of my makeup stash and then the Smurf movie almost sucked me in when I was done organizing.  Oops.  The organizing needed done...not the movie watching (at least I left the room before too long had elapsed).  Anyway...I thought today I'd share my swatches of the Zoya Matte Velvet collection, which is actually not a new release.  It's been out apparently 2 times before, once before I was into polish, and last year.  Last year's re-release was a partial release, and that was when I purchased 4 of these.  I got the remaining 2 this year from Ulta and decided to redeem some of my points so I ended up spending less than $1.
Everybody reunited at home (lol...don't mind, I've been in an odd mood today):
Dovima, Veruschka, Posh, Savita, Loredana, Harlow

Swatch time! Same order as above.  All but Loredana are 2 coats; Loredana is 3.
 Loredana and Harlow are the 2 "new" polishes for this re-release.
On my nails, it's 2 coats of each.  On the bottom middle finger, I did a free-hand chevron tip using a top coat for half.  The bottom picture was what I wore out running around today.
Dovima, Veruschka, Savita, Harlow
Posh, (NYC Rule the City), Loredana with Posh over, Loredana

Since I've had most of these for about a year, I can review them a bit as I've used a couple in the past. Application is nice and easy.  I love the Zoya brush since I normally have little to no clean-up needed, unless I'm just being rushed/messy.  Dry time was pretty good, essentially fully set up after less than 10 minutes, although I haven't tried to do anything other than type since I put a set of swatches on.  Based on the last time I wore one as a full manicure, I did not have the best wear-time which is unfortunate.  But since I'm normally changing polish every day or 2, it's no big deal to me.  I didn't have on today's nail combo, which was the bottom picture, long enough for any kind of comparison wear test - I literally took it off when I got home to swatch the rest of the collection.  Side note for packaging - love the look of the frosted bottles and rubbery lids BUT I noticed that the bottom labels that have the name are printed much finer than they used to be, and also not as dark.

Do you have any of the Zoya Matte Velvet polishes in your stash?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Friday, November 7, 2014

Too Faced Country and Rock N Roll Palettes - Haul, Swatches, 1st Impressions

Hi!
**purchased

Today it's back to more of the eye shadows I've picked up over the last couple of months.  Side note right now - my computer has a glitch in my editing program right now so I'm currently not happy.  I've tried restarting the program, the entire computer, disconnecting and reconnecting my mouse, etc. and nothing has worked so far.  Computer issues aside, I'm happy to finally get my "haul" and swatches of my last Too Faced product purchases.  I bought these back at the end of July (yes, again, really late with the post) and got an excellent deal.  I had a 20% off coupon that worked on prestige items, plus I made a $20 return in the same transaction.  Score!  Both are still listed on Ulta's site (claims they are exclusive) but they are also on the Too Faced site, so I'm not sure if these are actually limited edition or permanent.  I do know that they are not on Sephora's site.

So let's get to some quick swatches!  I believe I moisturized my hands prior to swatching, but no actual primer was used in the making of these swatches.
Cowboy Take Me Away, Y'all, Dolly
Famous in a Small Town, Paper Roses, Rhinestone
All American Girl, Nashville, Bluebird

Rockabilly, Rap, Ska
New Wave, Pop, Heavy Metal
New Romantic, Glam Rock
Originally I was going to pass on the Rock N Roll palette as some of the shades are similar to the Urban Decay Smoked palette.  But when I was in the store that day, I swatched them both next to each other and decided that the Rock N Roll was different enough to go ahead and purchase, especially since I had that coupon in hand and a $20 return. 

Both palettes swatches next to each, followed by my first impressions based on swatches.
Country palette on top and Rock n Roll on bottom

Overall, both palettes swatched well.  As usual, the lightest shades try to hide out on my skin since I'm so fair.  As normal, when I go to use these on the eye, I will use primer.  Nothing lasts on my eyes without proper prep work...hello oily lids!  I'm happy to say that both of these feel better formulated to the touch than the Pardon My French set.  They are more on par with the Chocolate Bar (current, core) and Pretty Rebel (past l.e.) palettes in my stash.  By the way, if you have these stacked on top of each other, the magnetic spot is strong enough to stick them together a little bit.

UPDATE (11/9/14):  I used a combination of both of these palettes for my makeup yesterday.  Even over a regular primer, I thought that they took a while to get to as pigmented as I was going for, plus they seemed to blend away easily.  Unfortunately, I think I'll have to use a colored base (Milani, Jordana, Rimmel, etc...shadow sticks or Maybelline's color tattoos between the primer and the shadows).  

For the Country palette, I was trying so hard to get the almost duo-chrome look of Famous in a Small Town, Paper Roses and Nashville to show up as best they could that the right row of colors don't show well.  Dolly has a pretty copper fine shimmer and Bluebird has a bright blue fine shimmer.  Rhinestone has a bit of a silver super fine shimmer.  Y'all looks like it might have a bit of glitter fall-out as the sparkles are bigger and the shadow itself is a touch flaky. Cowboy Take Me Away is the only matte in the palette.

I was so focused on trying to get the silver sparkles/glitters of New Wave (Rock N Roll) to show up in photographs that the shimmers in the other shades got lost.  In real life, Pop and Heavy Metal both have a pinkish-magenta fine sparkle, while Glam Rock and Punk have a gold fine sparkle.  Rockabilly is the only matte in this palette.

Now that things are slowly starting to get normal around here, maybe...hopefully, I'm doing my best to carve out time for me to put on makeup when I'm leaving the house.  That means I'll be able to play with these as much as I want, as well as all the other makeup I've purchased then sadly accidentally neglected due to time constraints.

Did you pick up either the Country or the Rock N Roll palettes?  How about the Cat Eyes palette (that one's a Sephora "exclusive")?  Any of the holiday palettes/kits?

EDIT**:  The Country palette is available on Too Faced's site here, while the Rock N Roll palette is here.  

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated - Too Faced emailed me and asked me to add the links after my review was posted

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Project "Finish This Stuff," part 33 - June & July 2014

Hi!
**purchased / Influenster sample /
requested sample / g.w.p.

I bet you thought I forgot about my Project "Finish This Stuff," didn't you?  Well, I didn't.  I just kept neglecting to get pictures taken and edited for way too long.  Plus, during the summer months I felt like I didn't really finish a whole lot each month.  So I thought today I would combine my June and July finishes, of course including mini reviews of each product and whether or not I'll purchase/repurchase.

Let's travel way back in time to June, shall we?
Ulta Smooth & Protect with Keratin Conditioner - travel size, g.w.p.  This was actually a pretty decent conditioner.  My hair felt nice and soft without feeling weighed down.  Might or might not purchase - I have other conditioners that leave my hair feeling similar.
Institute Swiss Brand Ginseng Body Lotion - hotel sample.  Nothing notable that I would try to search out a full bottle of.  Won't purchase.
Rimmel ScandalEyes Retro Glam Mascara - received from Influenster for review.  For my full review, click here.  Very likely to purchase (once I get through my back-stock of mascaras).
EOS Medicated Lip Balm, Tangerine flavor - purchased from Rite Aid.  This was a nice lip balm; I mostly kept this on my bedside table for using before falling asleep.  Eventually I got tired of using it since I didn't feel it was as moisturizing as what I thought it was when I first opened it.  Then Tomo started playing with it and that was that.  Won't repurchase.
Origins Out of Trouble Mask - sample from Origins store.  I didn't notice much of anything with this mask.  Won't purchase.
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial, Step 1 - requested sample from counter.  This seemed to be a nice facial step...although I did find it odd that you were supposed to put it on over your makeup.  Since it was just a little sample, I wasn't able to see much, if any, changes in my skin.  I can say that I left it on a little longer than I should have and didn't notice any irritation.  Might purchase (or get another sample/have it done in store before making a final decision).
Lancome Bi-Facil eye makeup remover - sample size g.w.p.  Definitely not a fan of this eye makeup remover.  I find it struggles to take off some of my mascaras (Urban Decay, especially).  But my biggest issue is the rose scent!!  I find it irritating to my eyes.  Won't purchase; these g.w.p. bottles have been delegated to taking swatches off my hand when doing pictures.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream - deluxe sample from Sephora kit.  This was nice, but I wasn't using it when my hands were at their driest/most irritated to see how well it could really "repair"...like now or in the next few months.  Probably won't purchase.
Secret invisible solid Antiperspirant/Deodorant - purchased.  Only brand I can use (as far as I know) due to past allergies to other brands.  Always in stock, lasts a long time (especially when you have more than one open at a time...oops).  Will repurchase.
Pantene Color Preserve Shine Conditioner - purchased from Walmart.  My favorite! - just not for my hair.  I use Pantene hair conditioners as a "shaving cream."  I get absolutely no irritation when shaving my legs like I do with other true shaving creams/gels (even when for sensitive skin).  Will repurchase, eventually - I have another bottle that isn't the color preserve line already.  Also, these bottles last forever(!) for a great price!

These last 2 items are products that I "Trashed, But Not Finished."
Revlon New Complexion One Step Compact Makeup (Ivory Beige 01) - purchased from Rite Aid.  This used to be my favorite foundation, but then I got away from it in the way of using liquids and eventually BB creams.  Due to the age of this and especially how long it had been opened, I elected to throw this out without finishing it.  I do have at least one unopened in my backup drawer, but once I'm through my stock I won't repurchase.
Revlon ColorStay Smoky Shadow Stick (Volcanic) - purchased from Rite Aid.  This is the only Smoky Shadow Stick I purchased and I never did like it.  I thought it didn't blend well, even blending completely away, and it would crease.  I only used it a few times; in hindsight, I should have returned it right away but I kept it thinking I would use the whitish side as a browbone/inner corner highlight.  Won't repurchase - these might even be discontinued by now.

Now let's jump ahead to July, which was mostly skincare.
St. Ives Scrub-Free Exfoliating Pads - purchased from Walgreens.  I loved these pads!  This is the second container I went through.  I thought they had a bit of a maple scent to them, but it was light.  Loved it!  I have repurchased (had a heck of a time finding a new one); these seem to be nearly impossible to find in store.  I did just find them on drugstore.com site (link only for convenience).
Mario Badescu Whitening Mask - purchased from Ulta.  I did like this mask.  While it's geared towards "whitening" dark spots/scars, I felt like it also helped with breakouts some since it does contain a good amount of clay.  I went through this pretty quickly, using it once a week.  I just wish I had seen more of a whitening results since I'm really trying to fade post-acne marks as much as possible.  I might repurchase in the future, but I'm not rushing out to get a new one.
Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner - purchased from Walmart.  I liked using this toner, I just wish my bottle hadn't come with a tiny hole in the bottom.  I had to keep it upside down between uses.  I'm not sure how much it actually refines pores, but I enjoyed it enough to repurchase (being careful to get a good bottle).  I didn't feel that it dried me out, but as the weather is cooling down I can see having to take a break from it if my skin goes crazy dry like it did last winter.  It contains Alpha and Beta Hydroxy so using a good sunscreen during the day is a must.
Acure Argan Oil - purchased from Raisin Rack.  Love this Argan Oil!  I believe this was the second bottle I've gone through.  I find it really soothing and nourishing.  I really like to use it after removing masks to really add in antioxidants and improve results of other serums.  I also used this after the occasional accidental sunburn during the summer.  Already repurchased; I love that this is an inexpensive alternative to other brands.
Straight Sexy Hair Smooth & Protect - purchased from Ulta.  I love this heat-protectant!  It's not a pump-style bottle so I end up with just the right amount of product and it's well dispersed.  I have already repurchased, but I did notice that I couldn't find it at Ulta any more (I found it from the local supply store).  If I could not find this, I would get the Paul Mitchell Hot Off the Press, which is similarly priced and also smells really good.
Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub - purchased from Walmart.  I've gone through several of these body scrubs; I really do find that it helps with any body acne issues, as well as an overall skin softening due to including the salicylic acid (chemical exfoliant) as well as the little scrubbing particles.  Already repurchased, as well as the regular body clear body wash.
Benefit Fake Up Concealer - requested foil sample packet.  This was all right, but nothing special.  Won't purchase.
DermaDoctor DD Cream - requested sample.  I did like this; as long as I blended well enough it worked with my skintone, even though at first it looked too dark.  Might purchase (the real name is a lot longer).
Purity cleanser - sample.  Nothing special.  In fact, there was a scent to this that I thought was too strong and could be irritating with continued use.  Won't purchase.
Elizabeth Arden Eye Primer -  requested sample.  This is a decent eye primer that did blank out any skin discolorations.  As long as I got the amount applied just right, it did help to increase the staying power of my shadows.  It worked, but wasn't super outstanding.  Won't purchase.

Wow, 2 months in 1 post makes for a lot of products.  If you made it this far, yay!  I made a good dent in finishing products, both regular sizes and various sample size, out of my extensive stash.  I'm also happy I decided to just kick out a couple pieces that I knew I wouldn't be using for various reasons.  Be on the lookout soon (hopefully) for the next update.  I haven't looked in the bags for August, September and October yet to see how much was finished each month so I'm not sure if there will be another multiple-month update or if each will be it's own.

See anything you've tried?  Do you agree with my thoughts?

**all items purchased by me / gift with purchase / Influenster sample / requested sample
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated