Friday, April 13, 2012

Beauty Deals!

I am always on the hunt for good deals on beauty products, especially ones that I use regularly.  Anytime I come across something good, I will always pass it on!  

So I went to Ulta the other day because I had one of those nice 20% off coupons that did not exclude prestige brands.  I needed more of my Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser, this was the main reason for my visit.  So, once I got to the Philosophy section, I was so sad to see that they seemed to be out of the 16 oz. bottles.  I even asked someone to check in the back for me, but they were completely sold out.  But, when I was wandering around the store, I ended up finding something even better!  I found a box set that came with the 16 oz. cleanser AND a full-size package of the Purity Cleansing Cloths.  The price for this set was $39, whereas the 16 oz. bottle of the cleanser is $32.  So I ended up getting the wipes for $7.  They are regularly $20, so I saved $13 in the end.  Now, the wipe thing is ideal for me since I use wipes to remove my eye makeup before I cleanse at night, and before and after working out.  If I did not use makeup remover wipes regularly, it may not have ended up being worth the couple extra dollars.  In my case it definitely was though.  I've been wanting to try the Purity Cleansing Cloths for a while now because I really love the Purity Cleanser.  Since I also had the 20% off coupon, I ended up getting that value kit for just over $31.  So for me, this was a great deal!  I typically use the Yes to Cucumbers cleansing wipes, so I am interested to see how the Philosophy ones compare to those.

The other deal that I came across was something that I did not need, but I am happy that I found!  Butter London is one of my favorite nail polish brands, but I struggle with how expensive they are, and how quickly the polish chips on me!  I like the fact that they do not contain those harsh chemicals that some other nail polish brands contain.  I also know that you get the best results from the polishes when they are paired with Butter London's top coat and base coat. I've been using my Butter London polishes with my Orly Bonder and Seche Vite top coat.  I have been delaying buying the B.L. ones because of the price, but I came across this value kit, and decided I would take the plunge.  I am so glad that I did because I am so pleased with how the other products perform.  I once borrowed the base coat and top coat from Butter London from my friend, and I was so impressed with how much of a difference they make.  They recently released this value kit that comes with all of the essentials, and the cost is $39.  So, with the kit you get a full-size top coat, base coat, nail polish color of your choice, and a mini nail polish remover.  All of these products separately would cost $55, so with the kit you save $16.  Which is quite a bit, you could get another nail polish with the money you save! ;)  Plus, with  my 20% coupon, again it was only $31.

The thing that I have come to realize about the Butter London line is that I really needed to just invest in the entire system.  When you are paying this much for a nail polish, you really want to get the very most out of the product.  I see now that this means just biting the bullet and using their base coat and top coat.  I am glad that I got this, I did my nails on the same day that I went to Ulta, and I am still chip-free 3 days later.  Which is impressive for my nails!!  With my regular base coat and top coat, I get one chip-free day MAX out of Butter London polishes.  So I am a very happy camper now!

Artful Dodger

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Egg NOTD!

If you haven't noticed yet, I am obsessed with nail polish!  I love doing cute nail designs for special occasions, but also for no reason at all!  Easter is a fun holiday for my nails because I love pastel colors, and I love how creative I can be with my designs.  Decorating eggs is something that I love to do, so I figure it is a win-win if I can combine nail art with egg decorating.  Basically, I figure that my nails are just tiny little eggs that I can decorate too.  I also had to do one glitter accent nail because I needed a little glitter in my life today! :)

When doing Easter egg designs, the sky really is the limit with what you can do.  You just have to make sure that you can duplicate the designs on both hands.
Left hand thumb

Left hand

Right hand
Colors used:
Thumb: OPI-Pink Friday base, with Sally Hansen-Mint Sorbet polka dots
Index: Sally Hansen-Mint Sorbet base, with Butter London-Trout Pout zig zags, and Sally Hansen-Pacific Blue polka dots
Middle: China Glaze-Lemon Fizz base, with Butter London-Scoundrel polka dots
Ring: 1 coat of Essie-Blanco, and 1 coat of  Revlon-Starry Pink 
Pinky:Butter London-Trout Pout, with Essie-Blanco zig zags

Friday, April 6, 2012

FOTD & MAC Reel Sexy & In Extra Dimension!

I had the pleasure of swatching and playing with all of the new goodies that MAC just released on April 5, 2012.  I want to start out by saying that I am not typically one to get caught up in the hype of all of these special collections that MAC comes out with regularly.  So, that being said, my rave reviews are even more of an indication that these new releases are truly worthwhile to check out.  I was not too surprised that some of the new items are already sold out online, but I was surprised that they were already selling out in my store on the April 5.  

I do not have a full MAC store anywhere near me, so unfortunately I could only go to a counter.  Not all of the shades, and products were there, so I did miss out on some items.  I tried out all of the new collections that were available there.  The two that really caught my eye the most were the Reel Sexy line, and  the In Extra Dimension line.  I did not go too crazy this time, but I did play around with all of the testers enough to be able to tell you with absolute certainty that I love most of what I saw/tried.

Although I only ended up with one item from the Reel Sexy line, I must say that all of those products were so lovely!  The Magenta blush was really something special, but I just knew that I wouldn't use enough for it to be worth it.  All of the bright colors are so fun and vibrant, and completely on track with this season's fashion trends.  The only item that I have from this collection is a lipstick in Reel Sexy.  It is an amplified finish, and is absolutely divine!  It is so creamy, and I am impressed with the lasting power.  Now this is one item that is sold out in my store, and online, so if you're interested in this one, you will want to get a move on it soon! :P  The other lipstick and glosses that I saw were amazing as well.  I also loved the eye shadow duos.  Overall, you could have a lot of fun with the colors from this collection!

The In Extra Dimension line was everything that I could have hoped for, and more!  Now words can describe how much I love the new formula.  It is so smooth and creamy, and it just glides onto you skin and blends in seamlessly.  The colors all have a wonderful amount of shimmer that isn't too much, it is just perfect.  

I had a battle with myself over whether I should get any of the eye shadows.  The shades that these came in were so similar to many of the shadows that I already own.  I do love the quality of these, but I would hate to get hooked on new shadows and let the older ones go to waste.  I am happy to report that I do have one eye shadow though.  I got Modern Pewter,and it is a color that is unlike anything that I own.  It is an amazing olive green metallic color.  This shadow will be great alone, but can be even more wonderful when paired with other complimentary colors.  Today, I paired it with two other eye shadows that were fairly matte and I think that the finished look ended up looking really beautiful.  I also recommend Blue Orbit (deep blue) and Grand Galaxy (deep purple.)  I was so impressed with both of those colors, I could not get over all of the different looks that I could make with them.  They are so smooth and pigmented, those two shades were really hard to walk away from!  The price of these shadows is $20 for 2 grams, whereas the regular eye shadows cost $15 for 1.5 grams.  So these are bigger, but a little pricier as well.  Overall, I'd say that for the quality, they are well worth the price.

Please don't mind my lashes, they do not look good here at all!  I am trying to use up a high-end, but disappointing mascara that is super clumpy.  It was too expensive to just throw out, so I'll just dislike my lashes for a little while until it is gone...This mascara will definitely be going into a "products that I regret buying" post in the near future! 
I was also super impressed with the Extra Dimension Highlighters.  There are three colors.  As of right now, (9pm on April 6, 2012) two of the three highlighters are already sold out online.  Again, I cannot stress enough how quickly these are selling out!  The three shades are all extremely pretty and highly pigmented.  A little goes a long way I've found.  I have Superb which was the middle shade.  The lighter one is called Whisper of Gilt, and the darker/bronze one is called Glorify.  I just adore Superb, and it something that I will probably end up wearing every single day!  My pictures did not pick it up very well, but it's there, I promise.  The price of these is $29 for 9 grams.  As a point of reference, a Mineralize Skinfinish will cost $29 for 10 grams.  So there is a slight quantity difference, but since these Extra Dimension ones are so pigmented, you really need very little product to make an impact.  

FOTD Products:
Yes to Cucumbers Eye Gel
Yes to Tomatoes Moisturizer

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer-Bronzing

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow liquid foundation in Petal
Amazing Cosmetics Concealer in Fair
Maybelline Dream Matte in Light 4-5
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
MAC Brule
MAC Copperplate
MAC In Extra Dimension Modern Pewter
Smashbox Brow Tech in Taupe
Lorac Front of the Line Pro in Black
Lorac Multiplex 3D Lashes Volumizing and Thickening Mascara
Benefit Hoola
Benefit Sugarbomb
MAC Extra Dimension Highlighter in Superb
Cargo Reverse Lip Liner
MAC Reel Sexy
Bare Minerals Buxom lip gloss in Krystal 

All of the pictures of my makeup were taken over four hours after I applied everything.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

First Attempt At Ombre Nails! NOTD!!

Next time I try this, I will probably not mix shimmer colors with flat colors.  I think that is what makes it somewhat funny looking?  I like it though!  I love blues, and getting to wear five different ones all at once makes me happy! :)

These are the colors from left to right:
China Glaze-First Mate
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear-Pacific Blue
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear-Ocean View
Essie-Barbados Blue
Hard Candy-Sky