Monday, December 30, 2013

Too Faced A Few of My Favorite Things Giveaway Winner!

First of all, I just want to thank everyone who entered the Too Faced A Few of My Favorite Things Giveaway. You guys are awesome -- I loved reading about all of your favorite makeup must-haves.

Congratulations to the winner, Courtney B!

If you didn't win this time around, please keep an eye out in February when I'm be doing a giveaway for the blog's 2-year anniversary. 

Yep, two years already.

I can hardly believe it.

That's why we have to do a big, fabulous giveaway, right?

And as always, thank you all so much for reading, commenting, and sending e-mails. I appreciate it all more than I can say.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Product Alert -- IT Cosmetics "New Year, Your Most Beautiful You!" 5-Piece TSV

Starting tonight at midnight (technically 12/28), QVC will be offering a new Today's Special Value (TSV) from IT Cosmetics that's pretty fabulous for the dry-skinned folks out there.

Over the past year, I've become a big fan of IT Cosmetics -- I actually have quite a few products that I've been meaning to review for a while now and just haven't gotten around to yet.  That's one of my New Year's resolutions, I swear. -- so this kit was calling my name right from the start, particularly since most of the products are a good fit if you have dry or mature skin.

It's winter so my skin is kind of like the Sahara at the moment, which means I need all the extra moisture that I can get.

The kit contains 5 items:
  • Heavenly Luxe Sensory Sweeping Fan Brush
  • Feel the Moment Anti-Aging Primer Serum
  • Bye Bye Under Eye/Hello Light Liquid Brightener Dual Concealer
  • Heavenly Luxe Double Airbrush Foundation Brush
  • Celebration Foundation Ilumination

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Giveaway Time -- Too Faced a Few of My Favorite Things Colection!

I know that I've practically disappeared for the entire month of December, but I'm sure you can understand why -- the holidays are just a ridiculously busy and crazy time. I will be back very soon with reviews of a bunch of products that I'm super excited about -- oh, and a couple of upcoming TSVs on QVC that are pretty awesome.

Because I've been MIA, though, I'm really excited to do a holiday giveaway to show my appreciation for all of you who read the blog.

And the prize is pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

It's the Too Faced A Few of My Favorite Things Collection, which seems to be sold out everywhere now (so I'm totally kicking myself for not picking one up when I purchased the giveaway prize). 

The collections contains:
  • 20 Eyeshadows
  • 2 Blushes
  • 2 Bronzers
  • Better Than Sex Mascara
  • Lip Injection Color Bomb! in Bee Sting
  • Makeup Bag

The shadow shades range from lovely neutrals to gorgeous jewel tones, so it's really the ideal palette for fall and winter.

To enter, just leave a comment below sharing what would make your list of favorite makeup items.

Here are the rest of the rules:

No anonymous comments are eligible since I have to be able to identify each entry and I’ll need a way to get in touch with you if you win - and you must follow the blog (through Google, Bloglovin or the email list) to enter.

I'm using Rafflecopter to make the giveaway a little easier on myself, so while the blog comment is mandatory for entry, you can get additional entries by following me on Twitter, tweeting about the giveaway, and liking the Facebook page.

The giveaway is open to both U.S. and international readers. If you’re under 18, please get your parents’ permission to enter since you’ll have to give me your mailing address if you win. The giveaway will be open until 11:59 PM EST on Monday, December 29, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sale Alert -- Tarte's 30% Off Friends & Family Sale

My apologies for the lack of posts lately -- holiday craziness has definitely seized control of my life lately. Over the next week or so, the posts may still be a little sproadic, but I'm expecting to have a little more free time as we get closer to Christmas so hopefully I get a bunch of posts done ... because I'm so backed up with reviews and have a ton of great stuff to share. 

Oh, and there will be a holiday giveaway sometime in the next week or so.  Keep an eye out for that.

Whether you still have some holiday shopping to do or you want to treat yourself for getting everyone on your list checked off earlier, Tarte's Friends and Family Sale is an ideal opportunity to score some fabulous products at a serious discount.

Between now and December 12th, you can get 30% off products on the Tarte website with the code DECFF.

I love pretty much everything I have from Tarte, but my personal favorites are the Amazonian Clay Blushes, the Tinted BB Primer, the Maracuja Miracle Foundation, the LipSurgence Pencils, Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation, Maracuja Creaseless Concealer and the Lights, Camera, Flashes Mascara.

I won't be partaking this time around, so please share your purchases below so I can live vicariously.

Happy shopping!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday Deals and Sales

While you can still take advantage of some of the Black Friday specials listed below, we've got a few new deals going on now that it's Cyber Monday.  

I really wish that there were more people on my list that I could buy beauty products for because some of these sales are amazing.

As always, if you know of a sale or deal that I haven't included, please feel free to share it in the comments below. 

Happy shopping!

  • LORAC has several holiday gift sets, loaded with full-size products, for under $30 -- and they're on HauteLook today too, so you may want to pick up a few stocking stuffers.
  • Urban Decay has a couple of Cyber Monday Specials, including the Book of Shadows Vol IV Redux and a deluxe sample of the Revolution Lipstick in Anarchy for just $25.
  • Too Faced is offering a $25 Mystery Grab Bag as part of their Cyber Monday specials -- I picked one of these up last year and was pleased with the five full size products I received. You can also score an extra 50 percent off sale items with the code BF2013 at checkout.
  • Eve Pearl is offering between 40 and 65 percent off select items for Cyber Monday. You can find all the information, including the eligible products, here. Use code TGBP1113 at checkout.
  • Sigma is offering 20 percent off select products with the code CM2013 at checkout. You can find a list of eligible products here.
  • Em Cosmetics is offering a buy one, get one free offer on all of their products. If you've been curious about the brand, now's probably the best time to check it out. I'm considering trying out a couple of the palettes myself.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Black Friday Deals and Sales

Now, this list will in no way be exhaustive but I'm on a ton of mailing lists so I have plenty of Black Friday sales to share. 

If you know of a sale that I haven't included in the list, please feel free to leave the details in the comments below.

I'll update the list if I get any new info.

Happy shopping!

  • Smashbox -- 25% off orders of $50+ plus free shipping. Use code HOLIDAY25 at checkout. Valid through 12/2 at 11:59 PM PST.
  • Tarte -- 25% off all orders.  Use code TURKEY at checkout. Valid through 12/1 at 11:59 PM EST.
  • NARS -- 20% off all orders plus free shipping on all U.S. orders. Use code NARSFRIENDS at checkout. Valid 11/29 at 12 AM EST through 12/2 at 11:59 PM EST.
  • BECCA Cosmetics -- 20% off orders of $50+ plus free shipping. Use code FAMILY13 at checkout. Valid through 12/2 at 12 AM PST.
  • em Cosmetics -- $10 off $30, $20 off $50, and $50 off $100.  Valid 11/29 at 12 am EST  through 11/30 at 11:59 PM PST.
  • Senna Cosmetics -- 20% off all orders. Price reflected on website.  Valid through 12/2 at 11:59 PM PST.
  • Missha -- 40% off all items (excluding items in VIP Shop). Prices reflected on website. Valid through 12/25. (Seems crazy, right? But that's what it says!)

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish everyone in the States a very happy Thanksgiving full of lots of good food, family and friends. If you're not in the U.S., then I hope you have a lovely Thursday all the same.

I'm thankful for so many things, but especially everyone who takes the time to read and follow this blog.  You guys are awesome.

Later today, when I take a break from all the festivities, I'm going to start compiling a post of all the beauty-related sales that are going on in the next couple of days so keep an eye out if you're looking for some good deals to start your holiday shopping off right.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sale Alert -- The Balm is Back on HauteLook Tomorrow!


Note: I apologize for being MIA the past week or so. Between Thanksgiving coming up here in the States and some other family stuff that I had to deal with unexpectedly, I've been totally off schedule.  

I'm hoping things calm down after this weekend, but who am I kidding?  Then I'll be all stressed out with holiday shopping, baking, and decorating -- I will still find time to blog, though.  I promise.

 So here's some exciting news -- starting tomorrow, November 27th, at 11:00 EST, The Balm will be back on HauteLook.

If you've been reading the blog for a while, you know that I'm absolutely crazy about this brand -- I would pretty much recommend every product that I've tried from the line.

I'm not sure which products will be available, but The Nude'Tude, Meet Matt(e) Nude, and Balm Jovi Palettes are all fabulous, as are The Shady Lady Palettes. Their classic blushes Frat Boy, Down Boy, and Cabana Boy are all fantastic, and the Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter is one of my favorite all time highlighting products.

You seriously can't go wrong with any of those products.

If you're not a HauteLook member, you can sign up here. (That's my invite link.) Membership is free, but you must be a member to purchase from the event.

For those who decide to pick up anything from the sale, feel free to share you haul below. I likely won't be buying anything for myself since I have virtually everything from the line that I would use, but I may do a little holiday shopping for friends and family.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Product Alert -- bareMinerals Crystallized Full Face Collection

I was a really good girl during Sephora's recent VIB sale.

Well, by my standards anyway.

I only purchased two items -- one that shall remain a secret for the time being as it's intended for the holiday giveaway I'll be doing in a couple of weeks and one treat for me, the bareMinerals Crystallized Full Face Collection.

I hadn't known about this kit until I happened to stumble upon it while I was browsing the Sephora website.  It looked promising so I bought it on a complete whim.

While I haven't played with it enough to do a full review, I think it's safe to say that it's a real winner so you might want to check it out for the makeup lovers on your holiday shopping list ... or for yourself if you've been extra good this year.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tarte Journey to Natural Beauty AD #3

Last week, the UPS man showed up the third (and final) AD installment of the Tarte Journey to Natural Beauty TSV from QVC.

I first ordered this kit back in January, I believe, and while it's probably not the most exciting Tarte TSV that I've ever ordered, it's one that I will remember fondly since it introduced me to two products that have quickly become staples in my makeup bag. You can read my reviews of the first and second installments, if you're curious.

The third installment included:
  • Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation 
  • The Brow Architect Brow Shaper, Liner & Definer
  • Lights, Camera, Flashes! Mascara
  • Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Inspired
  • Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Roseberry
  • Foundation Brush

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review -- Tarte Tight & Bright Eye Perfector

I'm not a fan of gimmicky products.

I much prefer simple, no frills products that don't promise the moon and the stars and the sun.

But I'm also pretty curious by nature, so sometimes when a new product comes out that makes some lofty claims, I can't resist the urge to try it.

That's what happened with the Tarte Tight & Brighten Eye Perfector Double-Ended Priming Serum & Brightener.

Tarte does promise quite a bit with this product -- they claim the double-ended priming serum and brightener can help you fake a good night's sleep by reducing dark circles and softening the appearance of fine lines. It is also meant to enhance the wear your under eye concealer, which is something I'm always looking to do.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Review -- Tarte Beyond BB Perfecting Liquid Foundation

I have plenty of foundations in my makeup collection at this point, but I can't seem to stop myself from trying a new one.

There's no reason for it, really -- I have a few that I already love and can rely on for a flawless face whenever I need it -- and yet, when I saw the Tarte Beyond BB Perfecting Liquid Foundation show up on the QVC website a few months back, I ordered it without hesitation.

That's probably because I have tried quite a few of Tarte's other foundations and like them quite a bit.  The description of the product as a medium- to full-coverage moisturizing foundation with a semi-matte finish is what really drew me.

That pretty much hits all the major points on my foundation wish list.

The one thing that annoys me about the foundation -- and I've mentioned this before about other products -- is that Tarte felt the need to include the much hyped "BB" designation in its title.  What's particularly silly about that is the fact that Tarte isn't even trying to pretend its a BB cream. The title says it plain as day: *Beyond* BB.

But why is that necessary?

Isn't the step beyond BB cream just a regular old foundation?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review -- The Balm Balm Voyage! Makeup Palette

 If you've been following the blog for a while, you know that I am a complete and utter fanatic when it comes to The Balm.

In fact, it's probably the one brand that I would actually call myself a "collector" of -- it's pretty much a given that I'm going to buy any and everything that they put out.

That's why I didn't hesitate for a second to order The Balm's new holiday palette, Balm Voyage!

And as usual, I'm certainly not sorry that I did.

The Balm Shady Lady Special Edition Palette Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered The Balm Shady Lady Special Edition Palette Giveaway!

I'm happy to announce that Kate Dotson is the lucky winner.

If you didn't win this time around, don't get too down -- I'm planning a holiday giveaway in the next month or so that you should keep an eye out for.

And as always, another big thank you for reading the blog. I appreciate more than I can say.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review -- e.l.f. Matte Lip Colors in Nearly Nude, Tea Rose & Natural

I used to hate matte lip products.

It probably goes back to my teenage years in the mid-to-late '90s when matte lipstick was super trendy and so damn dry that wearing it felt like torture.

Since then, I've pretty much stayed away from matte lip products. Between the dry feel and dry look, they just weren't for me.

Still, for some reason when I was strolling through Target recently and came across the e.l.f. Matte Lip Colors in the makeup aisle, something made me stop and reconsider.

The $3 price tag probably had something to do it.

Well, that and Nearly Nude looked like just the kind of nude shade that I was in the market for.

So I decided to give it a try ... and I liked it so much that when I placed an order from the e.l.f. website a few weeks later, I picked up two more shades, Tea Rose and Natural.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Review -- The Balm Shady Lady Special Editon Palette (& Giveaway!) (CLOSED)

Anyone who reads this blog regularly is probably sick and tired of reading about how much I love The Balm.

I'm sorry, but I can't help it.

They're right up there with Tarte and Bare Escentuals when it comes to my favorite makeup brands.

That's why whenever The Balm shows up on HauteLook, I always check out the offerings even though I have 99% of the line at this point.

When they showed up on the site most recently, though, I was surprised to see a new palette in the Shady Lady line that I'd never heard of before -- in fact, it's not even available on The Balm's website.

Perhaps it's a HauteLook exclusive.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Product Alert -- Upcoming bareMinerals Glamour Now Holiday TSV from QVC

As I mentioned yesterday, QVC always has the best beauty TSVs right around the holidays.

It makes sense, of course -- they make ideal gifts for all those makeup lovers on your list... or yourself.

There's nothing wrong with treating yourself, I always say.

The upcoming bareMinerals Glamour Now TSV that will air on November 25th is definitely a treat in my book.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Product Alert -- Upcoming Tarte Bow & Go 3-in-1 Gift Collection TSV

My name is Jennifer and I'm a QVC beauty TSV addict.

Seriously, they get me every.single.time.

The values are just too good to pass up.

Particularly at the holidays.

Like last year, Tarte has an excellent holiday TSV coming up on November 18th that is perfect for gift giving.

The Bow & Go 3-in-1 Gift Collection contains 3 different gift boxes of products that you can give as a single gift to one very special person on your list or split up for three different people this holiday season.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Few Recent Favorites

 In my last Favorites post, I explained that I was going to share my favorites whenever the mood struck.

Or whenever I had enough products to do one, really.

I've been trying out a bunch of new stuff recently, but whenever I'm experimenting with brand new products, I like to incorporate some old classics so I know that at least some of my makeup won't wind up looking like a total mess. So that's why some of my recent favorites are -- old goodies.

But there are a couple of new (to me) products thrown in for good measure.

Monday, October 21, 2013

New QVC TSV Installment -- Mally Easy on the Eyes #2

It seems like just yesterday that I received the Mally Easy on the Eyes TSV from QVC, but the second installment already showed up last week -- and I think I might actually like it better than the first kit.

The AD collection contains six items:
  • Mally Citychick Celebration Shadow Palette
  • Mally Perfect Prep Under Eye Brightner
  • Mally Volumizing Mascara in Black
  • (3) Mally Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Liners in Steele, Enchanted Violet & Sailor 
It also comes with a small pencil sharpener for the eyeliners. 

New QVC TSV AD Installment -- BE Beautifully Brilliant Holiday #4

It's really starting to feel like Christmas around here these days -- I had two AD installments of QVC beauty TSVs show up on my doorstep this past week.

And having new makeup to play always feels like a holiday to me.

The fourth (and final) installment of the bareMinerals Beautifully Brilliant TSV, Chic Mystique, is an interesting collection of shades that I'm definitely excited to experiment with.

The kit contains:
  • Perfect Light Mineral Veil Finishing Powder
  • Ready Eyeshadow 4.0 in The Fantasy
  • Ready Liner Shadow The Night Is Young
  • Spellbound Blush
  • Marvelous Moxie Lipsgloss in Rule Breaker
  • Contour Blush Brush
  • Double-Ended Shaping Eye Brush
  • Gunmetal Clutch

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Product Alert -- LORAC Dazzling Dozen Limited Edition Eye Shadow Collection

 If you haven't popped into your local Ulta or browsed the website lately, you may be missing out on a serious eye shadow steal.

The LORAC Dazzling Dozen Limited Edition Eye Shadow Collection contains 12 full-size single LORAC shadows for a ridiculous $35.

My math skills are pretty rusty, but I believe that comes out to less than $3 a shadow.

Isn't that nuts?

I'm not doing a full out review on the collection simply because I haven't had time to play with all of the shadows yet and I wanted to spread the news about it before it disappeared into the limited edition beauty products graveyard.

However, the shadows that I have tried are all excellent -- nicely pigmented, smooth, blendable, and easy to apply.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Review -- Tarte Kiss and Makeup 5-Piece Amazonian Butter Lipstick Set

 When I said I was a sucker for Tarte's holiday kits, I wasn't kidding.

I'll admit that the pretty packaging is what first caught my eye about the Kiss and Makeup 5-Piece Amazonian Butter Lipstick Set, but the lipsticks aren't too shabby either.

I first tried the Amazonian Butter Lipsticks as part of a Tarte TSV from QVC a few months back. The formula is smooth, creamy and really comfortable on the lips. Because they're moisturizing, they aren't super long lasting but I don't find that they disappear all that quickly either. Like most of Tarte's lip products, they also have a cool minty taste/scent, which I really enjoy.

The lipsticks in this kit all have that same exact formula, so I really like them.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sale Alert -- 20% Off for Urban Decay's Friends and Family Event

If you're the kind of person who likes to get a head start on holiday shopping, now is the perfect time.

Urban Decay is having their annual Friends & Family Sale where you can score 20% off everything on their website.

Forget holiday shopping even -- if you've been eying the Vice 2 Palette, the Shattered Face Case, or any of the Naked Palettes, grab 'em while you can get them at a discount.

Just use the code FFHOLIDAY13. The code is good through 11:59 PDT on October 12th. (FYI -- I think there's a limit of 5 items per order.)

Happy shopping!

Review -- Tarte Pure Delights 8-Piece LipSurgence Lip Set

These days, nearly every brand puts out special collection for the holidays that offer some pretty fabulous deals whether you're shopping for friends and family or yourself.

But in my mind, Tarte always seems to be ahead of the pack when it comes to holiday bargains. They put out a variety of holiday sets that really allow you to get the ultimate bang for your buck and are particularly ideal for anyone who's been curious about the brand but didn't want to spend $25 for a single blush or $24 for a single lip product.

I am always a sucker for Tarte's holiday kits (as you can probably tell from my most recent post and another one I'll post later this week.) and since I am a big fan of their LipSurgence Lip Tint products, picking up the Tarte Pure Delights 8-Piece LipSurgence Lip Set was kind of a no brainer.

Unlike last years' Lipsurgence kit that features 5 full size products, the Pure Delights sets feature 8 mini lip products (1.75 grams per product).  Personally, I like that change -- the larger lip pencils are difficult to get through, particularly when you've got a large lip product collection, so I'd rather go for a variety of shades with smaller pencils.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Review -- Tarte Leave Her Blushing Set of 3 Amazonian Clay Blushes and Brush

 The Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes are my favorite blushes in the world.

I know that probably sounds rather dramatic, but of all the blushes I've tried -- and I've tried quite a few -- I can't think of any others that are as pigmented, smooth, blendable, and long-lasting as the Tarte blushes.

I probably wear them at least 3 days out of the week, which, if you consider how many different blushes I own, definitely means something.

So I am totally thrilled that Tarte has started including these fabulous blushes in their holiday sets.

Last year, they put out a set of four mini Amazonian Clay Blushes.

This year, the Leaving Her Blushing Set contains 3 mini blushes (1.5 g each) and a full size blush brush.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Review -- Urban Decay Vice Palette 2

 I've been pretty sad lately, so I've been employing a few different strategies for boosting my mood.

There have been quite a few "Charlie's Angels" marathons with my big sister -- the original series, of course. I wasn't around to watch it when it was actually on back in the day, but my sister has always been a big fan and '70s TV is so charmingly bad that it's bound to make you laugh.

I've also tried working out more and getting back into a running routine -- though shin splits and blisters have kind of put a crimp in that. 

So I finally found myself turning to a tried and true coping mechanism -- retail therapy.

I've done quite a bit of makeup shopping in the past two weeks.

I'm still sad, but at least I have pretty new makeup to play with. 

That's how the Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette found its way into my makeup drawer.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My Favorites (But Not Monthly or Weekly) and Some Other Ramblings

I've been a bad beauty blogger lately.

I keep skipping out on monthly favorites posts.

And as someone who loves to hear about other beauty junkies' favorites, I've really got no excuse.

Except that, for some reason, lately I find recapping my monthly favorites overwhelming.

Because each month there might be too many products or not enough and I wind up obsessing over it like a crazy person.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Review -- Sigma Creme de Couture Collection

 Disclaimer: I am a Sigma affiliate, but I paid for all of these products with my own money. The post contains affiliate links.

I have been a big fan of Sigma's brushes for several years now.

I own the Essential Kit, the Premium Kit, the Mr. Bunny Essential Kit, several of the Sigmax brushes, and a few other singles, and I'm happy with all of them.

I hadn't tried any of their makeup products, though.

I'd been curious about some of the palettes that they put out and some of the shadow bases and eye liners totally caught my eye, but I never pulled the trigger for whatever reason.

When I saw the Creme de Couture Collection that came out recently, though, I finally caved and made my first Sigma makeup purchase.

The packaging alone, designed to look something like candy or pastry boxes, totally sucked me in.

That's how easy I am.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Review -- e.l.f. 32 Piece Geometric Eyeshadow Palette

 I usually don't buy eye shadow palettes from e.l.f.

I find that their single eye shadows tend to be better quality than the palettes, so I mainly stick to those.

But I'm a sucker for any makeup product that looks cool/pretty/unique and since e.l.f's items are all pretty affordable, I was willing to take chance on the relatively new 32-piece Geometric Eyeshadow Palette.

The palette was originally $12, which is a pretty good deal for 30+ shadows, but I actually picked it up for only $6, making it an even better deal.

Sadly, though, I still wouldn't recommend it for even $6.

The quality just isn't there.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Review -- bareMinerals READY Color Boost in The Adrenaline Rush

 I tried very hard to talk myself out of buying the bareMinerals READY Color Boost in The Adrenaline Rush, which came out as part of the Power Neutrals Collection a couple of months back.

Of course, I was drawn to the product -- I'm a sucker for any of these multi-shade cheek products, and I've loved virtually everything from bareMinerals' READY line that I've tried -- but I'd already bought a couple of blushes the month before and couldn't see justifying another cheek color purchase.

Then I read some blog posts reviewing it and watched a few youTube videos featuring it and I decided that I had to have it.

I'm ridiculous like that, you know.

But in the end, I'm really happy that I picked up The Adrenaline Rush.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Too Faced Palettes Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered the Too Faced Palettes Giveaway. 

I'm happy to announce the winner is Jenny Brooke Erin.

Jenny, I've already emailed you, but when you get a chance, please send me your contact information so I can get your package in the mail ASAP.

If you didn't win this time around, don't worry -- I'm already planning the next giveaway.

And as always, thanks for reading the blog.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bad Week

You've probably noticed that I haven't been around at all this past week.  I've pulled disappearing acts before I know, but I don't usually do it when I'm running a giveaway -- I like to post reminders so everyone has a chance to enter.  This week, though, has been one of the worst I've had in a long time.

If you've read the blog for a while, you've probably seen me mention Brownie, my Chocolate Lab.  She came into my life 10 years ago and since that day has been a endless source of joy and love... even when she was driving me crazy with her demanding, bratty tantrums.  We lost her this week under pretty unexpected, unforeseen circumstances.

If you have a pet, I don't have to explain how s/he becomes so much more than an animal. I don't have kids so Brownie was like my baby. I fussed over her, worried over her, indulged her, all of that. I work from home so we were together all day and my schedule was based almost entirely around hers. I got up at the time I did because that's when she needed to take her walk, and I took my breaks based on when she'd need something.  In other words, pretty much everything was about her.

Even this blog.

When I'd go out on the deck to take photos of items for reviews, she'd come with me and supervise.  Though sometimes she was pretty annoyed that the makeup was getting a little more attention than she was.

My little devil

I'm in a complete fog right now, so I'm asking for a little patience in the weeks ahead.  There will probably be some days when I'm too sad to think about, write about, even play with makeup, so I won't post anything to the blog. Then there will probably be days when reviewing a new lipstick or eye shadow is a nice distraction and I'll be happy to do it.  I'm just going to take it on a day by day basis.

The giveaway will end tonight as it's supposed to (thanks to everyone who entered) and I will announce the winner tomorrow.  I'll also get the prizes in the mail ASAP just like always.

If you've made it this far, thanks.  If you have pets at home, give them an extra hug or kiss today ... just because.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Giveaway Time -- Too Faced Natural at Night and Romantic Eye Shadow Collections (CLOSED)

It's been a while since I did a giveaway so I thought it was time to remedy that.

My Too Faced eye shadow collections are some of my most reached for palettes in my collection, which makes them an ideal giveaway prize. One lucky winner will receive the Too Faced Natural at Night Eye Shadow Collection and Romantic Eye Collection.

The Too Faced Natural at Night Palette contains sultry shades that are perfect for evening looks but still belong to the natural color range. The Romantic Eye Collection is full of soft, super feminine shades that are perfect for date night or any time you want to look extra flirty.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

PSA -- Tarte Amazonian Eye & Cheek Palette on Sale at Sephora

The other day, I posted a review of the Tarte Amazonian Clay Eye & Cheek Palette.

It usually retails for $44, which I think is a pretty good deal for two blushes and six eye shadows.

But as I was perusing Sephora's sale section this morning, I realized that you can actually score the palette for $26 -- which makes it an absolutely amazing deal.

If you were thinking about picking it up, now is definitely the time.

There are some other good deals in Sephora's sale section too, so you may want to check it out.

Happy shopping!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Review -- Best of BECCA Kit from Sephora

(In my last review of the Tarte Amazonian Eye & Cheek Palette, I mentioned that I had come across a couple of items that I'd forgotten to review when I got them at the beginning of the year. This is the second of those items.)

I've always been curious about the BECCA brand.

Maybe it's because Lisa Eldridge is always using products from the line in her tutorials and she makes them all look amazing.

(Of course, she makes everything look amazing, right?)

That's probably the main reason, actually.

But when you've never tried a brand and don't know that much about, it can be difficult to figure out where to start.

Fortunately for me, my aunt gave me the fabulous Best of BECCA Kit from Sephora for my birthday so I got to try a bunch of products at once.

It's a terrific way to introduce yourself to any brand, I think.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Review -- Tarte Amazonian Clay Eye & Cheek Palette

Recently, I've been reorganizing my makeup collection to try to make it a little neater and easier to access.

In the course of cleaning out drawers and moving items around, I realized that I had a couple of items that I received at the beginning of the year (at Christmas or for my birthday) that I never got around to reviewing. When I realized that both were still available, I figured better late than never since both products are kind of interesting.

The first is the Tarte Amazonian Clay Eye & Cheek Palette.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Review -- Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Shadow Palette

I always get in trouble when I go to Target.

I head inside to pick up some basic necessities like Diet Coke, treats for Brownie, or toothpaste and come out with $100 worth of stuff that I didn't intend to buy.

And it's not just beauty stuff that I fall prey to -- I've come home with clothes, shoes, lamps, throw rugs, etc.

You name it, I've probably bought it on impulse at Target at one point or another.

Most recently, it was an eye shadow palette from Pacifica that somehow found its way into my cart.

I didn't even know that Pacifica made makeup -- I thought they were just a bath and body products company -- so that's what piqued my interest.

Oh, and the shades in the palette were totally calling my name too.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Upcoming Tarte Beauty Without Boundaries TSV from QVC

 If you've been reading this blog for a while, you probably know two things about me.

1) I am a sucker for pretty much any beauty-related TSV on QVC

2) I love almost everything that Tarte puts out.

That's why you probably won't be surprised to know that I pre-ordered the Tarte Beauty Without Boundaries TSV that will air on QVC on September 24th.

While I likely would have ordered any collection that Tarte put out, this one was actually a no-brainer for me because it contains a product that has quickly become a must-have for my makeup bag, along with a few new products that I was interested in trying and a mascara that I love.

That said, I don't think this TSV will appeal to everyone because its centerpiece is not necessarily a product that everyone will buy into. 

Now, as I said, it's become a must-have for me, but I'm not sure that everyone else would agree.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Review -- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils in Naked and Naked 2

I'm not really a lip liner girl.

Partly because I'm lazy and it's just a step in my makeup routine that seems unnecessary since I don't really have a problem with lipstick or gloss bleeding or moving outside my lips.

(Of course, the one exception is when I wear red lipstick.  But that's not that often.)

And partly because I just don't care for the way most lip liners that I've tried feel -- they always seem dry and drag along my lips when I try to apply them.

They're just not for me.

Still, I decided to give Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils a try because I'm a big fan of the brand and I like that they have shades that match all of their new Revolution Lipsticks -- which is kind of an odd thing for me to say because usually when I buy a lip liner, I choose a shade that's close to my natural lip color so I can use it with any lipstick or gloss in my collection.

And that's actually what I did with the UD 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils - I picked up Naked and Naked2.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Review -- e.l.f. Studio Lip Balm SPF 15 in Pink, Plum, Nude and Peach

When Brownie wakes me up every morning at precisely 7:30 for her morning walk, I don't really have a lot of time to make myself presentable.

I usually have just enough time to throw on a tee shirt, yoga pants, flip flops and some sunscreen before she's dragging me out the door.

Before we get outside, though, I usually try to throw on a little lip balm, preferably tinted because I feel like that little bit of color makes me a look a little bit more alive and awake.

You know, not like I just crawled out of bed and still need another hour or two of sleep.

Several months back, I picked up one of the e.l.f. Studio Lip Balms SPF15 to use expressly for that purpose -- just a little something to throw on first thing in the morning.

Imagine my surprise when I liked it so much that I started using it as much as some of my lipsticks and glosses.

That's because these babies are lot more pigmented that I thought they would be.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

BE Feel the Love AD #2 (and Small M.A.C. Product Alert)

The bareMinerals Feel the Love TSV, which was originally available back in April, is certainly not the most exciting BE kit that I've ever purchased from QVC, but it has all of the basics necessary to do a complete face. 

Today, my UPS guy brought me the second installment of the auto-delivery series, and I'm pretty happy with the new shades in the collection.  They may not be for everyone, though, so if you've delayed your shipment, you should definitely check out photos and swatches to see if they're up your alley.

Like the original kit, this installment contains three face products:
  • Ready Foundation Broad Spectrum in Fair
  • Bisque Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF20
  • Stroke of Light Eye Brightener in Luminous1

Monday, August 19, 2013

Review -- Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in To Nude or Not to Nude?, Nude Delight & Let's Get Naked

 Over the past two years or so, I have become absolutely obsessed with nude lip colors.

I simply can't pass them up when I see them.

Of course, my favorite kind is a peachy nude, but I like pinky nudes too.  Brown nudes are really the only ones that I can't pull off -- though I have a couple in my collection and I can get them to work if I layer the right liner under and the right gloss over them.

When I saw a display of the new shades in Rimmel London's Moisture Renew Lipstick line in my local Walgreen's a few weeks back, which include berry, pink and nude colors, I once again couldn't resist.

There were two nude shades in the display -- To Nude or Not to Nude? and Let's Get Naked -- so I grabbed them, and when I passed by the old shades, I also picked up Nude Delight, which I'd been meaning to buy for a while now.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Review -- Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation Stick

Back in the day, mainly when I was in college, I really liked using a foundation stick.

I was a big bareMinerals fan back then too, but when I wasn't wearing my mineral foundation, I really liked how quickly and easily I could apply my stick foundation -- a few quick swipes, a little blending, and boom, you're done -- and the amount of coverage I got.  My favorite was the one from Benefit, but then they discontinued it, or, at least, got rid of my shade and I couldn't find another stick foundation that I liked as much so I gave it up.

Over the past few months, I've been wanting to try it again so I've bought a few.  I haven't reviewed any of them yet because I thought I'd do a big comparison review and offer up my recommendation as to which one was the best.

But now I'm thinking that it's best to review each foundation separately to make sure that I don't leave anything out.

And I figured that I would start with the newest stick foundation on the market, the Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Laura Geller Beauty Off the Vine AD Shipment #3 from QVC

 Work has been a little hectic this week (Yeah, and it's only Wednesday...) so when my UPS guy showed up with a package from QVC this morning, it was just the distraction I needed from work craziness.

Today's package was the third and final installment of the Laura Geller Beauty Off the Vine TSV which was originally available in December. (You can read about the first and second installments here.) The products in these kits all supposedly contain powerful anti-aging ingredients that are derived from grapes, including grapeseed oil and resveratrol -- hence the wine theme.

Like the first two kits, the third installment contains the Spackle Supercharged Fortified Under Makeup Primer, Take Cover Anti-Aging Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF20 with Skin Self-Defense Complex, and a fun lip-shaped wine glass charm.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Shopping Bag -- LORAC, e.lf. & bareMinerals

When I was cleaning up my makeup area this morning, I realized that I had gathered up enough products to do another "Shopping Bag" post (if you're not sure what these posts are about, there's an explanation here.) and figured today was as good a day as any -- especially since I want to put these items away so things look a little neater.

I'm not a neat freak by any stretch of the imagination, but when it comes to my makeup, I like everything to be organized and in its proper place.

So onto the goodies in question...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review -- Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks in Naked, Lovelight, & Streak

Note: More apologies for disappearing again. After I recovered from the stomach bug, my allergies decided to act up.  Hopefully, I manage to stay relatively healthy this week.  Also, you may notice that I'm skipping a Monthly Favorites post for July.  I only have a couple of items for the month because I tried a whole bunch of new things so I'll save them for next month and just combine July and August. 

When I first heard that Urban Decay was doing away with its old line of lipsticks, I was kind of bummed.

I only had a few of the lipsticks, but I really liked the ones I had -- in particular, I was a fan of Naked, a lovely pinky-nude shade that was perfect for everyday.  (Way back when I started the blog, I even included it in a list of my favorite everyday lipsticks of all time.)

Now, they weren't perfect.

While they felt nice on the lips, they had a pretty thin, slick consistency that meant the wear time wasn't all that great. I wasn't really crazy about the scent either -- a hint of something licorice-y, maybe? -- and the packaging with the little dagger at the end was kind of cool, but it did make them a pain to store and even carry around in your purse.

Urban Decay's new Revolution Lipsticks don't have any of those issues, so I really don't think I'll be missing those old lipsticks at all.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Balm is back on HauteLook

I know I just posted yesterday about Tarte's F&F Event, but there's another great sale that I just had to share.

The Balm is back on HauteLook starting today.

If you've been reading the blog for a while, you know that I'm absolutely crazy about this brand -- I would pretty much recommend every product that I've tried from the line -- and there are some especially good items available right now. The Nude'Tude, Meet Matt(e) Nude, and Balm Jovi Palettes are all available at about half off, which are amazing values, and my very favorite Shady Lady Palette -- Vol. 2 -- is also up for grabs.  You can also score the Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter, Betty-Lou Manizer Bronzer, and several of their classic blushes, including Frat Boy, Down Boy, and Cabana Boy.

You seriously can't go wrong with any of those products.

If you're not a HauteLook member, you can sign up here. (That's my invite link.) Membership is free, but you must be a member to purchase from the event.

The Balm will be available until Saturday, August 3, at 8 am PST.  (Thought items can sell out quickly so if there's something you want, it's best to pick it up early.)

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Apologies & Tarte's F&F Sale (30% off!)

First of all, my apologies for disappearing for the past few days.  I was busy over the weekend with family stuff and then came down with a nasty stomach virus on Monday.  Fortunately, I'm feeling much better now but I'm so far behind on work that I'm feeling pretty stressed still.

So I thought I'd ease way back into posting with a friendly PSA about a seriously good sale...

Tarte's Friends and Family Sale starts today, which means you can score 30% off orders on  If you spend $40 or more, you can also get free shipping.  Just enter the code TARTEFF at checkout.  The sale is valid through August 4th.

So if you've been wanting to try Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blushes or any of their fabulous foundations and concealers, now is the perfect time.

Happy shopping!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Review -- L'Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder

 Last week, I posted a review on the Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation, and I mentioned that I'd seen some discussion about the new L'Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder being a possible dupe for it.

Since I've really come to like the Giorgio Armani Maestro but don't much like the $62 price tag, I was intrigued by the possibility and decided to pick up the Magic Nude Liquid Powder and see how it compared.

After using it for almost a full week, I have to say that I don't really think it's a dupe.

The concept is certainly the same, and the Magic Nude Liquid Powder definitely isn't a bad foundation but if you've tried the Maestro, I think you may be a little bit disappointed with it.

If you don't have the Masetro to compare it to, though, and don't have extremely oily or extremely dry skin, I think the Magic Nude Liquid Powder could be a really nice summer foundation for you.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review -- Maybelline Color Tattoo Pure Pigments (Barely Brazen, Improper Copper, Breaking Bronze & Downtown Brown)

 Lately, I've gotten back into playing with my old school bareMinerals loose eye shadows.

I have a bunch of them that I've collected over the years -- they actually have their own drawer in my makeup collection -- but I have neglected in them recent years simply because they can be kind of messy and it just seems easier to grab some pressed shadows and go.

However, I remembered a shadow that I'd always loved (Night Owl, in case you're curious. I don't think it's available any longer, but it's a gorgeous shimmery cool brown.) and went digging around the drawer for it and found a bunch of other old favorites that I'd forgotten about as well.

And I'd forgotten how these loose pigment type shadows always seem to last longer on my lids than pressed shadows.

I mean, I use the same primer that I always do, but the loose shadows seems to stay bright and bold much longer than my other shadows.

Maybe that's just me.

So I was in the middle of my renewed love affair with loose shadows when I walked into CVS and saw the new Maybelline Color Tattoo Pure Pigments.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Review -- e.l.f. Pressed Mineral Eyeshadows (Heartbreaker, Disco DJ, Beauty Queen, & What's Your Name)

 Whenever e.l.f. has a big sale, I always take the opportunity to try a bunch of products.

Now, their prices are certainly reasonable to begin with, but when you're getting 30 percent off or more, they're practically steal.

I mean, the products are definitely hit and miss, but when you're spending $3 or less on them, you can feel free to experiment without worrying about wasting much money.

A while back, I decided to give the Pressed Mineral Eyeshadows a try, mainly because the colors seemed to call to me.

Yep, you guessed it -- they're mostly natural shades.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Review -- Sephora Disney Collection Storybook Eyeshadow Palette Vol. 3 in Ariel

I wasn't sure if I should do this review because I know that at the time that I'm writing it, the Disney Collection Storybook Eyeshadow Palette Vol. 3 in Ariel is no longer available on the Sephora website.

However, the palette is also available in stores -- and inevitably at a jacked up price on eBay -- and I thought it might be helpful to share some photos, swatches and my opinions on the palette so you can decide if it's worth it for you to go hunting at all the Sephora locations in your area or pay an arm and a leg for it on eBay.

Now, before we get to the nitty gritty, I feel like I should put this review in proper context.

I'm not the biggest Disney fan in the world, so I wasn't all that tempted by the previous two Storybook Palettes despite how pretty they looked. Don't get me wrong -- I love "Cinderella" as much as the next girl (not so much with "Aladdin," if I'm being honest), but not enough that I really felt the need to purchase a collection of shadows in shades that I probably already have in my collection.

On the other hand, I absolutely, 100 percent, with all of my heart, adore "The Little Mermaid."

It may not be my favorite Disney movie ("Sleeping Beauty" holds that honor), but it is a close second and I dig Ariel like nobody's business. In fact, when I first decided to dye my hair red all those years ago, she was half of the inspiration for the change. (In case you're wondering, Scully/Gillian Anderson from the X-Files was the other half.)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review -- Mary Kay Products (Mascara, Lash Primer, Cream Shadow & Lipstick)

Note: I did not pay for these products; I received them in an Influenster VoxBox. If you're unfamiliar with Influenster, it's a program where companies can share their products with a community of consumers, who then share their opinions about the products. You can find more information here (including how to sign up, if you're interested). That said, I assure you that these are my honest opinions.

I've wanted to try Mary Kay products for a while now, but somehow I never got around to it.

(Part of it, I think, has to do with the price -- not that the products are super expensive, but they seem a little pricey for a mail-order brand that I can't see or test the items ahead of time. I mean, I've purchased from Avon off and on over the years, so I'm not averse to the idea in general, but Avon's prices have always seemed more reasonable and they regularly run specials so it seems like there are always good deals to be had.)

So when I received the Influenster VoxBox featuring Mary Kay products last month, I was pretty excited.

It was a completely no-risk way to try the brand and see what I thought of the quality.

Sounds good, right?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review -- Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation

Back in March, when I went to Vegas, I won a little money on the slots.

I'm not a particularly lucky person, so it felt kind of like a jackpot to me.

And of course, like any good makeup junkie, I took my little windfall and used it to treat myself to products that I wouldn't normally shell out the money for.

So that's how I found myself buying my first ever Giorgio Armani makeup items.

What better way to spend slot winnings, right?

I knew that I wanted to try a foundation because I'm always curious how the ultra high end brands are going to perform, and at the time, the Maestro Foundation had just recently come out. All the marketing materials boasted about its unique texture and how it could perfect the skin without looking or feeling like traditional foundation.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Review -- NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray

I'm kind of obsessed with setting sprays.

But not because I expect them to actually set my makeup and make it last all day.

I have zero hope of any product ever doing that for my super crazy, makeup-eating skin.

Instead, I use setting sprays to mist my face when I'm done with my makeup to eliminate any powderiness or cakey-looking spots.

So I suppose you could say that what I really like are finishing sprays -- it's just that most cosmetic companies call them setting sprays.

Tomato, Tomahto, right?

The one that I always seem to come back to, time after time, is M.A.C.'s Fix +, which is my favorite finishing spray because in addition to taking away any powderiness, it always seems to add a subtle radiance to my skin too, which I love. It's also a total multi-purpose product (I use it for applying shadows wet or shadows as liners all the time) so I feel like I get a lot of bang for my buck with it.

When I saw the NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray, I thought that it might be a good alternative to Fix +.

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