Friday, August 28, 2015

Arcana Strawberries Crave Rhinestones perfume oil - Review

The Arcana Craves collection came out a while ago, so this review is a bit late. I had missed out on the initial sale of this one from the Rhinestone Housewife (it was an exclusive scent), and picked up a bottle in a destash. I'm sure there are a few more floating around out there if you take the time to hunt!

Strawberries Crave Rhinestones sounded super fruity, girly, and right up my alley. The notes listed are sparkle strawberry with pink frosting, white musk, black raspberry, black cherry, pink pepper, and a drop of champagne. From the bottle, the initial scent is thick, sweet syrup. I don't want to say cough syrup, since it doesn't have that medicinal backing, but it's reminiscent of that. Dry on the skin, it smells mostly like cherries and strawberries. I don't get any pepper or fizz of champagne. The fruit is still syrupy, almost too sweet in a way. This lasted a good eight hours and more, even after a shower. The throw was enough so that I could smell it while typing and driving, didn't need to look for the scent.

Review 2.5/5 - I'm torn. It's a bright scent, but I don't know if it's too heavy for a fruit scent for me.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sixteen92 General Catalogue Perfume Oils - Review

As you may or may not know, I pick up a lot of Sixteen92 collections in the form of samples. So this review focuses on some scents from the general catalogue. I picked up Black Sugar, Mellifera, and Southern Gothic, and Claire (the owner) was kind enough to include two mini samples of Rei and Shadow Show with my order! I've had these in my perfume cellar for a bit, so they've had time to rest. (Also known as: I have too much stuff to review!)

Black Sugar is listed on the Sixteen92 site as "A dark counterpart to Aquolina’s Pink Sugar. Spun brown sugar, red berries, vanilla and tonka bean absolute dance with a sprinkle of dirt, a swirl of cauldron smoke, and a drop of bittersweet cocao absolute." In the vial, the perfume smells exactly like Pink Sugar. If you haven't come across it, it smells like bright pink cotton candy. On the skin, it smells like Pink Sugar. I'm going to be honest, I only smelled Pink Sugar all day. This scent lasted ALL DAY on me! After 9 hours I could still distinctly smell cotton candy on my skin. The throw was very good - I got in the car and smelled cotton candy. It faded after about 5-6 hours, but the scent never left my skin. Personally, Pink Sugar was not a scent for me, and neither is Black Sugar. If any of the "dark" notes had come out to play, maybe. But on me, this was fluffy cotton candy all the way.
Review - 2.5/5

Mellifera has notes of "Wildflower Honey Accord (not vegan), Violet, Jasmine Sambac, Vanilla Infused Sugar, Sandalwood."  From the vial, the scent is rich honey. Claire has a great honey note, it's so realistic. There's some vanilla in the background, but it's mostly honey. Wet on the skin, the honey is there but the floral notes come out to play, as well as a bit more of the vanilla. Dry on the skin, the perfume keeps the strong honey scent. There is a light and sweet floral background - the vanilla sugar mixing with jasmine. I did not detect any violet, which usually goes a little powdery on me, so that was nice. This lasted on the skin for over eight hours, though the throw fell away after around six hours.
Review - 4/5

Rei was included as a free sample, and I decided to give it a shot even though the notes aren't something I'd normally go for. The notes are listed as "Aldehydes, Ozone, Rose Oxide, Bergamot, Yuzu, Gardenia, Labdanum, Vetiver, Fossilized Amber, Opium." Opening the vial, a bright white floral is the first scent. Wet on the skin, the white florals remain, mixed with rose and hint of yuzu. Dry on the skin, the scent is a very sharp white floral. In the back the citrusy scent of yuzu is lingering, but gardenia is the most prominent note here. A tiny dab of bergamot finishes off the scent. The throw was somewhat big, I sat in a cloud of gardenias. But it wasn't too big to be offensive. The scent was still detectable on my skin after eight hours - and not the crazy sniffing my wrist to see if it's still there sort of detectable.
Review - 3/5

Shadow Show is not a scent I would have picked for myself as a perfume. The notes of "Kettle corn, spun sugar, apple, machine oil, rusty metal, dirt," are a far throw away from my usual fruits, tea,  and cake like gourmand scents. But because I am always looking to go out of my comfort zone concerning perfumes, and it was included with my order - here we are. The initial scent upon opening is of apple cider. Wet on the skin, the apple note remains, with a background of dirt and something metallic. As it dries, the initial apple note fades, and leaves behind the dirty metallic scent. I didn't really get any kettle corn out of this at all, which is a little disappointing. Definitely not a scent for me! My partner got a whiff of this and said it smelled earthy and herbal. He wasn't a fan either. I will honestly say I didn't wear it around for the day since I wasn't thrilled with my initial test, but I wore it to bed after trying to wash off the wrist I applied it on and it was still around.
Review - 2/5 (not for me, but it did have those machine like notes and the apple, so credit where credit is due...)

Southern Gothic excited me due to the fruit notes it contained - "Mandarin Orange, Apple, Coconut Pulp, Southern Magnolia, Jasmine Sambac, Balsam, White Sandalwood." From the vial, the scent is light coconut, white florals, and sandalwood. Wet on the skin, the oil is all white floral and sandalwood. After drying, it smells a lot like sunscreen. There's a touch of white florals and coconut in the background, so it's like a tropical sunscreen. So if you're looking for a Coppertone like scent, something to remind you of the beach and summer, this might be it. The throw filled my car after applying it 20 minutes earlier, but quickly faded to hold close to the skin. The scent lasted about 4 hours on me before needing the strained sniff.
Review - 3.5/5

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sunsets and Seas Haul!

Sunsets and Seas is a new bath and body shop from Christine, the mind behind Hello Waffle Cosmetics. The grand opening is on August 28th, but Christine was nice enough to let me put in an order a few weeks early to try out the new items! They arrived with a few days to spare before the shop opening, so I wanted to post up some first impressions.

I picked up the following from the shop:
  • Body Lotion (2 oz.) in Vanille
  • Dry Body Oils (2 oz.) in Forever Young and Let's Go To The Orchards
  • Bubble Bombs in Candied Pears and Raspberry Lemonade
And some extra goodies:
  • Half of a Bubble Bomb in La Mer (which I used before taking a picture, oops.)
  • Perfume Oil samples in Blush and Lace, Fleurs, For Your Dreams, Haunted Hay Ride, and Vanille
The Body Lotion in Vanille (A rich and deep vanilla. Slightly boozy yet creamy. Sweet but not at all gourmand. Divine.)  has a light sent of vanilla sugar with a hint of coconut. When I sniffed out of the bottle, it smelled just like coconut cream! I really like the lotion formula, it's not very heavy, almost liquidy. It absorbs quickly, and doesn't leave a lotion residue - you know the feeling when you apply a heavy lotion and you know it's there. I don't get that at all with this lotion. The remaining vanilla scent is very light, and lasts for a couple of hours after use.

The Bubble Bomb in La Mer (Rolling Ocean Waves, Musk, Clary Sage, Ozone, and a drop of Salty Seaweed) has a light scent to it before use. I scrubbed my tub out to give this a whirl since we were lucky enough to get a non-humid day, I was going to wait til the weather had cooled down a bit to try one. Unfortunately, it didn't bubble very much, and what bubbles did come up faded pretty quickly. However, the water was turned a very pretty light shade of blue, and had a soft ocean water scent to it.

I was super excited to give the dry body oil in Forever Young (A lovely sweet scent consisting of juicy peaches, ripe coconut, and french vanilla.) a shot, as I have heard great things about body oils. (Of course, I was too late to the game for Haunt, who supposedly made a great one!) I sprayed this on liberally and rubbed it in - the initial scent was fruity coconut, to die for! About a half hour later, the scent had faded to a nice vanilla. The scent is not overpowering at all, but is very light and pleasant. The oil absorbed completely within five minutes, and no greasy feel was left behind. My skin was nicely moisturized - not too heavy, just the way I like it.

Like I said, this post is all about first impressions. I'll probably go back and do a full review of the perfume oils I received, but here's what I'm getting from some quick sniffs of the vials:
  • Blush and Lace - Light and feminine, a combination of soft florals ad fruit.
  • Fleurs - White florals and a bit of earth. (Not like, dirty earth, though!)
  • For Your Dreams - Bright citrus.
  • Haunted Hay Ride - Leaves and smoke.
  • Vanille - Vanilla bourbon.
I'm really excited about my order, especially the body oils and lotion! I'm looking forward to reviewing the scents I received more in depth as well. I'm a fan of Hello Waffle, and it's great to see Christine branching out into other items - I hope she continues to bring more offerings to Sunsets and Seas! (Whipped soaps and scrubs, fingers crossed!)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Rose Rose Shop Skincare Haul!

Remember when I posted my last big Rose Rose Shop haul and said that was the only large skincare haul I'd need this year? Well, I lied. I recently have gotten super into my new multi-step skincare routine, and wanted to add to it. I hopped on to Asian Beauty subreddit and scoured their Holy Grail thread for the summer and picked out what I thought sounded like a good fit for me. I'm hoping to incorporate these new items with the products I've always used (Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, I love you so!) along with the newer products I mentioned last month.

I ordered the Too Cool For School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack samples, which includes a set of ten. I heard this product mentioned all the time, so I wanted to give it a shot in sample form. Rose Rose Shop also included some other foil samples - I got two of each of these pictured.

I'm almost out of the Vitamin C serum I'm using (Ole Henriksen Truth Serum) so I decided to pick up the OST C20 Vitamin C Serum. It's gotten plenty of good reviews, although there are concerns about it being unstable. I figured I'd give it a shot to see if i like it. 

The Skinfood Strawberry Black Sugar Wash Off Mask supposedly smells amazing and is a great exfoliating mask. I also picked up the Skinfood Peach Sake Pore Serum as it's been described as good for oily skin.

I wanted to try a new BB cream, so I selected the Mizon Snail Recovery BB Cream based off of favorable reviews. I'm currently using a Skin79 BB cream, and I hope I like this just as much!

The Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence is something I hope to use to reduce redness in my face. There are concerns about preservatives, but I'll be storing this one in the fridge once I open it. I also hope to use the Tosowoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule to calm my skin when it needs it. 

The COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid was bought because I'm really loving the COSRX BHA that I have right now. Hopefully, it'll help me get a jump start on any fine lines, as well as keep my skin in check come hormonal acne time. 

I got the Innisfree Green Tea Mineral Mist because why not, maybe I just want to spray my face with stuff and feel fresh.

Now on to the super fun portion of the haul - sheet masks! Each of the pictures will show one, but I bought these in multiples. Etude House sheet masks were the first ones I ever tried, and I really like them. I picked up Tea Tree, Snail, Pomegranate, and Vita Complex. The only one I haven't tried is the Vita Complex, and I'm excited to see if my face likes it!

Innisfree It's Real Squeeze Mask Sheets in both Tea Tree and Pomegranate. I really like the Etude House masks in Tea Tree and Pomegranate, so I wanted to try these. I also picked up Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheets in Green Tea and Royal Jelly. I read about these on an AsianBeauty thread about favorite sheet masks, and wanted to give them a try.

I struggle with large pores, so the TonyMoly I'm Real Red Wine sheet mask sounded like a perfect fit! I also got a TonyMoly Intense Care Snail Hydrogel Mask since i have yet to dive into hydrogel masks, and who doesn't love snail? Last but not least, I picked up Tosowoong Pure Sheet Masks in Propolis and Green Tea, off another suggestion thread in AsianBeauty.

I am SO excited to open all these and use them! Unfortunately it'll be a slow process, testing each one and seeing how my skin reacts. But just receiving the box and opening it was fantastic! I chose the cheaper shipping option that Rose Rose Shop offered and it was overnighted via DHL to me - the long wait for Korean orders is so agonizing, I'm glad I got to skip it! Let me know what you think, which products you want to hear more about, and if you have any suggestions for next time!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Kat von D Tattoo Liner in Mad Max Brown - Review

Because I'm the worst, I never got around to reviewing the Trooper tattoo liner, even though I featured it in my favorites all the way back in February. I loved it so much I decided to pick it up in brown!

Mad Max Brown is described as a "rich chocolate brown." In the swatch it's very brown, but on the lid it's so dark that it's almost black. However, it's less intense than a black liner would be, so it's getting the job done. The Tattoo Liners have a very fine pointed brush tip, which I happen to prefer over felt tip liners. (Not that the KvD Ink liners are bad, I just like the brush more!) As you can see from the swatch, the tip allows for very fine lines, and for broader strokes.

The liner is decently pigmented, one swipe will usually get enough product out to suffice. However, sometimes it is not opaque enough (as seen from the bottom of the swatch) and will need another pass. When going over lines, the liner does not bunch up or flake off. After application, it dries down very quickly. The liner dries to a matte finish. I had no experience with any smudging, either.

When trying to remove the liner, it's pretty stubborn. I usually end up taking most of my makeup off with a Simple makeup wipe, but I have to scrub at the liner to get it to come off. Using an oil based cleanser, or a regular face wash will get most of it off. Micellar water will also take it off relatively easily, if you let it sit on the liner for a bit and then wipe it away.

  • Fine point brush
  • Great longevity!
  • Decently pigmented
  • Doesn't flake off
  • No smudging
  • Dries matte
  • Waterproof
  • May require a second swipe or two
  • Could be too stubborn to remove for those with sensitive eye areas
Kat von D Tattoo Liner in Mad Max Brown - $19.00 for 0.02 oz
Review - 5/5

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Brauhaus - One Year!

I can't believe it's been a full year for my blog already! I know I'm not the most active poster, but when I do get around to blogging, I really enjoy it! I'm happy I have a place to share my thoughts on all the products that I come across. Thanks to blogging, I also have the perfect excuse to justify new purchases!

Since it's been a year, I wanted to do a rundown of my most popular posts. Not surispsingly, a lot of them are indie makeup related, as I share my posts with the reddit indie community who are super supportive!

  1. Fyrinnae Kitten vs. Colourpop Tootsi - The top post is basically a 'best of butthole lip' post, and I wouldn't have it any other way. 
  2. Performance Colors Haul and Swatches - RIP in pieces, Performance Colors. You're sorely missed!
  3. Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Gavi - Review - I love the Bite Matte Crayons, and this was a shade I picked up in the holiday mini size!
  4. Sugarpill Lumi vs. Shiro Moon Prism Power - Another comparison post! 
  5. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Lovely vs. Fyrinnae Ocelot Lip Lustre - Everyone loves indie dupes, it seems!
  6. Life's Entropy Cosmos Lipsticks Haul and Swatches - More indies! I remember how hyped up these lipsticks were, the limited edition factor made it even bigger.
  7. Scaredy Cat Cosmetics Haul and Swatches - I love those adorable bottles. I have some more of these I need to write about!
  8. Performance Colors Black Rose vs. OCC Black Metal Dahlia - More indie comparisons, sadly PC is gone. 
  9. Hello Waffle Rose Champagne vs. Shiro I Tried - All Rose Gold Everything.
  10. Darling Clandestine rHug of Death - Review - I'm so happy a scent review made the top ten! I really enjoy reviewing indie perfumes, and this one is a favorite!
Thank you so much to everyone who has been reading over the past year, it really means a lot to me! Here's hoping for another fun year!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bow n Arrow - Review

I've had a few of the new Kat von D liquid lipstick shades for a while, so it's about time I review them! I jumped on this shade the moment it was available, since I'm really getting into nudes. In case you didn't know, KvD released sixteen! new shades in mid July, and they're ALL permanent. So there's no rush to grab this or any other new one. (Not that I listened to myself on that.)

Bow n Arrow is listed as a "fawn nude." This nude is definitely more brown leaning than pink leaning, and the shade is warm. On me, it doesn't completely wash me out, there's enough pink in there to richen up the tan shade and keep it from being corpse-ish. The Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks come in a slim tube with a doe foot applicator. I happen to like the doe foot, it's small enough to get into the corners of my lips no problem. The packaging is a sturdy plastic tube, with silver detailing on the cap, and black detailing on the top of the tube.

Application of this shade is very smooth - it helps that I wear a lip primer to really make life easy, but I didn't experience any dragging of the applicator. The formula takes about two minutes to fully dry down. In the meantime, it gets a bit tacky. The plus side to the longer dry time is that you have time to fix any mistakes without needing to reapply everything, as adding another coat doesn't rip up the first coat, as some formulas are wont to do. The pigmentation is great, I got full coverage with one coat. Theres a slight lipstick-y scent to this, but it fades quickly.

I noticed minimal transfer while wearing this, a perk of the liquid lipstick formula. I was able to eat some non-greasy snacks, but my lunch (a salad) took off the lipstick on the inner portion of my mouth and I needed to reapply. Thankfully, reapplication did not make everything that was still leftover look worse. I didn't find this drying, but I always wear a lip primer. There was no bleeding or feathering, either.

As it stands, the Kat von D formula is my favorite liquid lipstick formula to date. I haven't really had any huge issues with any shade I've tried. At $90.90 an ounce, there is way worse out there. (Anastasia Beverly Hills charges the same price for half the amount of product.) I'm super happy with the shade extension for this product, and I hope there is even more to come!

  • Smooth application
  • Barely transfers
  • Non drying
  • No bleeding or feathering
  • Great pigmentation
  • I now want every shade
  • Needs to be reapplied after eating
  • Not the best scent
Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bow n Arrow - $20.00 for 0.22 oz
Review - 5/5

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sixteen92 Birthday Collection - Review

To celebrate their first anniversary, Sixteen92 put together a wonderful cake themed collection. I managed to get my hands on one of the coveted sample sets, which sold out lightning fast when first stocked! The Birthday Collection was structured a bit differently than other releases - samples were only available until July 31st, after which full sizes would only be available until August 15th. Lotions in all five scents were also available, but those sold out quickly as well. I normally try to wear scents around three times before reviewing, but in an earnest effort to try and get a review out before full sizes are gone, I've only worn each of these once or so before reviewing.

The Masquerade Party is one of the scents from this collection I was super excited for, and I'm sure you can see why: spiced pumpkin cake filled with toasted pecans and topped with maple buttercream. From the vial, the first sniff is maple syrup and rich buttercream. In the background is a touch of cinnamon and other pumpkin pie spices. Wet on the skin, the maple takes prominence and becomes sweeter. The buttercream is still heavy in the background. As the oil dries, the pumpkin note emerges, mixing with cinnamon and cloves. As the pumpkin starts to eclipse the maple buttercream, the full cake scent manifests. This scent is a very full sweet gourmand, not for those who don't love rich cake scents! Wearing this makes me think of those pumpkin scones that Starbucks has. 

The throw on this is moderate - you won't clear a room but you may be told you smell like autumn. As for wear time, I got more than three hours out of it - I applied after a shower and wore it to bed, but it was gone in the morning.
Review - 4.5/5

The Princess Party is described as orange petit fours with fluffy whipped vanilla cream filling and a caramelized brown butter glaze covered with pink fondant. Upon opening, the scent is just like the Blood Orange & Vanilla lotion from Sixteen92. Orange creamsicle. Wet on the skin, the scent warms up a little, bringing forth the notes of browned butter and fondant. Vanilla cream sits back, but you can sense that it's there. As the oil dries, the orange becomes a little more prominent, but it's not a juicy orange, still leaning more creamy. After drying, the sweet brown butter fades off, leaving just the orange creamsicle notes to remain. Unfortunately for this one, it starts out somewhat layered and complex, but then fizzles out. 

This one has a moderate throw, and since it's a softer citrus scent, it wasn't overpowering. I got about 3.5-4 hours out of this one.
Review - 2.5/5

The Tea Party is another scent I was looking forward to, because, well, I love tea scents! The description for this tea cake concoction is vanilla almond birthday cake topped with Earl Grey buttercream. I was hesitant about this, because Claire (the wizard behind the curtain) had mentioned that this was like Almond Tea Cakes with a very top note of Earl Grey tea. I reviewed the lotion not too long ago, and I was worried that the scent would go all almond extract on me. In the vial, the scent is a light, sugared almonds. A sigh of relief from me. Wet on the skin, the note of sweet almonds remains, but it's graced with the bergamot of Earl Grey tea. The buttercream is in the background, not nearly as strong as The Masquerade Party's note - this cake is much lighter, more sophisticated, meant for high tea, not coffee after dinner. As the oil dries, the almond eases back and the scent is all Earl Grey with a light touch of buttercream. There's a slight hint of vanilla, but black tea with milk is what remains after the drydown. Perfect.

The throw on this scent wasn't terribly impressive, it hugged close to the skin mostly. The wear time was about three and a half hours before it got to the weird sniffing the wrist to see if it hung around stage. I still loved this scent, Earl Grey is one of my favorite teas (don't judge me!) and I love tea scents all around.
Review - 4/5

The Pool Party has some wonderful summer notes to it: fluffy white cake with a pineapple-citrus compote filling sprinkled with toasted coconut. From the vial, the scent is cake and pineapple. The pineapple note is very juicy, like when you cut open a very ripe pineapple. Wet on the skin, the pineapple note remains but is mixed with coconut. The sweetness of the cake is still evident, though, though as the oil dries, the coconut begins to take over the scent. After everything has settled, the end result is basically a piƱa colada. There's a faint cake scent in the background, but it's mostly tropical drink goodness.

The wear time on this was about two and a half hours, not the longest wear time in the book, but noticeably better than earlier Sixteen92 perfume oils. The throw was moderate, I could catch whiffs when I gesticulated, but I don't think I was knocking anyone out with pineapple outside of my immediate vicinity.
Review - 3/5

The Afterparty has a rich coloring to it, just like the rich cake it is supposed to embody. Chocolate espresso truffle cake with marshmallow filling topped with dark chocolate ganache. The first sniff is rich mocha.  Behind that, there's a distinct marshmallow note, very fluffy. While it's wet on the skin, the perfume holds its rich mocha topped with marshmallow scent. The chocolate here isn't overly sweet, embodying the dark chocolate note that was offered in the description. As it dries, the initial richness wears off, leaving behind a more cake like scent, akin to fresh devil's food cake. In the background the espresso note remains, to complete cake and coffee for dessert.

This didn't have too great of a throw, which is good because its a very rich scent that doesn't have much to give it a 'lift,' so to speak. Unfortunately after about three hours, I couldn't detect it on my skin anymore. This is a bit too rich of a gourmand for me (omg!) Maybe I will revisit it when it is less hot outside and I'll change my mind!
Review - 2.5/5

My personal favorites were the Tea Party and the Masquerade Party, and I ordered full sizes of each! All of the scents did a wonderful job embodying the luscious desserts presented in the description. If you're a fan of gourmands, you'll probably find something to like in this collection!

Perfume oils work differently for different people due to skin chemistry. This is my experience with these perfume oils, which may differ for you!

Not So Glamorous Ulta Haul

I was at Ulta the other day and I picked up a few things! Not too much, and nothing incredibly exciting, but hauls are fun!

I picked up another bottle of Nivea In Shower Body Lotion. This stuff has totally changed my shower experience, I love not having to worry about moisturizing my back after the shower since I can manage much better in the shower! I also don't have an issue with tub residue, though I know I have heard it from some. Some more mundane items - bobby pins and foam toe separators. I've been working with broken toe separators for what feels like a century, and it's always one of those things you never think to pick up. Thankfully, I spotted these right by the registers and they were a dollar.

I was in the market for a foot scrub. I normally pick up a Footsie Pumice Scrub from indie shop Savor, but they haven't had it listed lately, and the shop is currently closed for vacation. In its stead, I picked up Earth Therapeutics Purifying Foot Scrub. Hopefully it gets the job done, I need to keep my feet looking nice during sandal weather! (Like I wear sandals...more like constant flip flops.)

Also managed to snag my third repurchase of the NYX Cosmetics Micro Brow Pencil in Ash Brown. It's $10 and I love it - I'm sure you're tired of hearing about it from me. Also picked up my go to top coat, Seche Vite. I've tried other top coats, but I keep coming back.

I love hauls, even small, mostly boring ones! Hopefully the foot scrub works out, I really miss the Savor scrub (mine was chai tea scented!) but I needed something in a pinch.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

July 2015 Favorites!

A few days late on this, mostly because I was out of town and also lazy. I'm excited to share my favorites, though!

Darling Clandestine KelahWhirl Bitsy Solid - I have worn this at least 3 times a week since I got it. You can read my full review here. It's getting to the point where I just reach for this because it's perfectly summery and juicy, instead of other scents that I have that I haven't even worn yet! I tossed it in my bag on my latest trip, it was great. Also my bitsy is teeny and pink with stars, I love it!

NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Ash Brown  - I've had this in my favorites in the past, I know. But as I just bought my third one, I feel that it was time to feature it in my favorites again. You can read my full review of it here, but I gotta say, this is my new staple brow product. It's so easy to use, and SO much cheaper than the Brow Wiz. If I want a more defined brow, I do pair this with Anastasia Dipbrow, but I usually use this by itself for natural looking brows.

Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Double Dare - This shade is one of the sixteen! new shades released earlier in July for the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick range. I haven't put up a full review yet, but it's coming! I love this shade, it's a darker pink leaning coral. It's perfect for summer, especially with the liquid formula when you don't want things to melt off of your face. I've worn it a couple of times since I got it about two weeks ago!

Skin79 Lovely Girl BB Cream - So I've had this laying around forever and wasn't really using it since I didn't buy it (Anna sent it my way a while back!) but I started applying it using a damp BeautyBlender and oh my. I LOVE this! The 'target' range for this BB is younger women, aged 17-22, and yes I am past that, but I love the finish! It's a little dewier than natural, but when I set with some powder it looks great. It has been my go to for summer since it's so light, and it doesn't weigh on my skin. It looks greyish at first, but it really doesn't make my skin look off at all.

Chikuhodo Sakura Collection Cheek Brush - Unfortunately, this brush was apart of a LE set and is now sod out. I provided an overview of the set when I received it. I really like all of the brushes, but the cheek brush is the standout of the collection. It is so inexplicably soft, it's like I'm applying highlighter with my pet bunny's tail every morning. It's very soft and is good to diffuse stronger powder products - I use it often with Becca's Rose Gold pressed highlighter.

As always, excited to go through August and see what it brings! What stood out for you in the past month?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sephora VIB Rouge Beauty Before Brunch Event for Beauty Insider Appreciation Week

To kick off "Beauty Insider Appreciation Week," Sephora hosted one of their infamous VIB Rouge closed door shopping events.  If you're VIB Rouge, you may have gotten a paper mailer or an email with the invite earlier last week:

The last Rouge event I went to in Manhattan was actually quite awesome! However, these smaller shopping events usually leave much to be desired. I finally learned from past experiences and didn't show up at 9 in the morning, because really, it's Sunday. I threw on whatever and only put on sunscreen. The main 'draw' of the event was 4x points for Rouge members, and as we all know, Sephora points aren't really good for too much, unlike Ulta's rewards points. Not to mention I really didn't need or want much of anything (can you believe it?!) I figured I'd get something to get the goodie bag and be on my way.

I rolled in at about 10 AM and was greeted at the door, was given a name tag and a shopping basket. I was offered a chance to sign up for skincare or makeup consultations and I declined. I noticed representatives from the following brands at my Sephora - Boscia, Tarte, Benefit, and Stila. There may have been more, but those were the ones that I was able to pick out or that spoke with me. I had never seen a Boscia rep at an event before, so that was pretty cool. 

I had gone in wanting to swatch some of the new Kat von D Metal Crush eyeshadows, but unfortunately, only five of the ten shades were in, and I was interested in none of them. I wandered around and finally settled on the following items:
  • Kat von D Ink Liner in Woolf
  • Nudestix Clean Up Pencil
  • Make Up For Ever Mist and Fix travel size (better price per mL than the big size!)
I opened up the sample bag and what do you know - it contained everything in the photo above. They went heavy on minis and kept it to the one Fresh foil (which I have minis of already!) Kudos to Sephora, I'm actually really pleased with this sample bag. I LOVE L'Occitane hand cream, so the mini is quite welcome, as well as the Formula X polish. Not a Benefit fan and we always seem to get Porefessional shoved at us, but at least they upped it to a mini and not a foil. Really, really pleased with the samples! I'd have just also loved a mini mascara, but hey, can't beat getting what you're shown in the photo!

Although Sephora seemingly did well, there was a drawback. Sephora put up the notice for the event early on their BeautyTalk forums, three days earlier than they sent out emails to all Rouge members. Because of this, some locations were already full when it came time for the general Rouge populace to RSVP for the event. I can see Sephora wanting to reward their forum Rouge members, but it seems a bit unfair to lock out those Rouge members who do not frequent BeautyTalk. We all spend the same baseline amount to make Rouge, so don't you think it should be made as equal as possible when it comes to going to the non-regional events? Just my thoughts on the matter.

Did you hit up the event? Happy with the samples? Miss the chance to RSVP? Tired of Rouge BS in general? Let me know!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Fresh Skincare Favorites 500 Point Perk

I love Fresh face products. However, they're a bit pricy. So whenever a Sephora point perk for a Fresh item pops up, I try and snag it. Recently, they had a 500 point perk available that I added to one of my orders.

The Fresh Skincare Favorites set came in a Sephora box with a decorated Fresh sleeve on it. Inside were the products with a bit of black crinkle cut packing worms. The box was too big for the products so they rattled around inside a bit. I've found that the majority of all 500 point perks come packaged like this, unless they come in a makeup bag.

With the set, you get four items. It stands to note that many 500 point perks come with five items, making it a combo of five 100 point perks. You can't help but feel a little cheated here, since you're spending 500 points on four items, and 500 points can be equated to $500. (You really shouldn't think of it that way, but everyone does...) Looking at the point perks available right now, both have five items inside. But I digress, here is what comes in the set:

Soy face cleanser (.6 oz) - $38/5.1oz = $4.47
Rose face mask (.6 oz) - $62/3.4oz = $10.94
Black Tea Perfecting Mask (.67 oz) - $92/3.3oz = $18.68
Seaberry face oil (.16 oz) - $50/1.6oz = $5.00
Total = $39.09

I happen to love the Seaberry oil and the Black Tea mask, so this set was worth it for me. I already have a Rose face mask from a prior 100 point perk, but these masks are expensive ($62 for the full size!) so having more than one deluxe mini doesn't hurt. I brought the Soy Face Cleanser with me on a recent trip, as it's perfect to toss in a carry on clear bag for flying.

Personally, I'm happy with the point perk, but I can see where others are coming from with getting shorted a product. The grand total does fall short of $40, but full sizes of all these items are on the pricier side so I enjoy being able to pick these up as point perks.

Did you snag this point perk? How do you feel about the 500 point perks in general, are they usually a hit or a miss? (I tend to wait for stuff I really like, such as the Marc Jacobs perk a few months ago...that also only had four items...)