Friday, April 25, 2014

Under $20 Makeup Challenge

My computer is still not functioning properly, so I'll add pictures later, but I wanted to at least share what products I used in my under $20 makeup challenge, and I'll add better pictures later.

Here's my crappy cell phone pic of my makeup, hopefully that'll at least give you an idea. 

Here's what I used:
Concealer: NYC Cover Stick in Medium - $1.99 
I liked this concealer pretty well, especially considering the price. I did find that it didn't stay in place well if I was blending over it (like when I put on my blush and such).

Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation in Soft Beige - $4.99
I already did a separate review of Rimmel Stay Matte after I got it for free to try from Influenster, but I really like it, (you can read my full review here)

Wet n Wild Blusher in Pearlescent Pink - $2.99
I prefer cream blush but this one was okay. It went on well, but didn't last very long. 

Wet n Wild Eyeshadow Palette in Comfort Zone - $4.68 
I'm a huge fan of this palette (especially for under $5). The colors are pigmented, and don't crease too much, even without a primer. 

Wet n Wild Mega Protein Mascara - $2.97
This mascara isn't terrible but it isn't great either. I don't feel like it did much for me lash-wise.

NYC Expert Last Lip color in Coralista - $1.96
I got the Forever Fushia Expert Last Lip Color in my UniVoxBox from Influenster, and while it was way too bright on me, I was impressed by the smoothness, and the lasting power of the lipstick. I picked up Coralista today, and I'm loving it! The color is great, the lasting power is great, and you can't beat the price! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation

I recently got the Rimmel Stay Matte foundation in the Uni VoxBox from Influenster. I had tried it about a month before getting it in Influenster, at the recommendation of several friends. I bought it expecting to love it, and was suuuuper let down. It looked really cakey and highlighted every flaw on my face. I tried three or four different times without success to make it work for me before asking the friends who'd recommended it if they had that problem. The advice I got from almost all of them was to use less and do one section of the face at a time (because it dries so quickly, and becomes difficult to blend once it dries). After following their advice I LOVE Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation. It truly keeps my skin matte all day (which is a feat, because I have very oily skin) and despite my only using a tiny bit, the coverage is great! Now that I've gotten the hang of it, I love that a little goes a long way!

"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes." (Though I bought it for myself before that, so I'm not sure if it matters.)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Great deal when you join Birchbox

So, right now (I'm not sure how long it lasts), when you join Birchbox and use the code: SFBB100 you can get $20 in points to spend in the shop. So you can pay $10 to get a month's box and a $20 credit to use on anything in their store. It doesn't get better than that! Please use my link to sign up if you decide to take advantage of this great deal!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Birchbox vs. Ipsy-March 2014

For anyone who doesn't know, Birchbox and Ipsy are both subscription services in which you pay $10 a month to get 4-5 deluxe samples mailed to you. Birchbox has a lot of variety, and includes makeup, haircare and skincare. Birchbox's samples tend to be on the smaller side, but if you review all of your samples each month you get 50 points, which is equal to $5 in the shop. Ipsy has a lot of repeat brands, but they send out a lot of full-size products or larger samples. 

Here's what I got in this month's Birchbox:

Vasanti  BrightenUP 20grams- $5.63 
This is something I'd wanted to try for a while, and I actually got it in my second February box. I'm liking it so far, but haven't decided if I like it more than my usual cleanser.

Corrective Control: Cucumber Seed Cleanser and Oil-Free Healing Lotion - $1.95
I'm never excited to get foil packets, but I'm interested to try these, and I am excited that since it's two little packets of two different things, it counts as two items. So instead of getting 10 points for my review, I'll get 20 points since I'm reviewing both separately.

Keims Peppermint and Macadamia Shampoo - $1.90
I'm never super excited about getting shampoo, mostly because I don't use it that often, this one has sulfates in it, which makes me even less excited about it. I'll probably end up swapping this item.

Coola mineral sunscreen Natural BB Cream - $3.60
I got a sunscreen sample from Coola in my first ever box and hated it. It wouldn't blend, and it felt really gross on my skin. I wasn't at all excited to try thing, but actually found I liked it more than I expected. It provided NO coverage, but it was very light, and it was more mattifying than most BB Creams. I won't use this as a BB Cream, but as sunscreen I like it.

air repair Rescue Balm - $1.08
This was something that I saw in their video and was really excited to try. So far I've only used it on my lips, but it was definitely very moisturizing. It's perfect for winter travel (or just winter).

The total value of this month's Birchbox was $14.16. I wasn't blown away by the value of this month's bag, and there were only two products I was really excited for. That said, I paid a little under $10 for it, and will get $6 worth of points to spend in the shop for reviewing my products this month.

So, on to Ipsy. Here's what I got!

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Get Ready - $7.50
This color is gorgeous, and I love how it smells, so this product is a definite winner for me! It also came with a code for a free sample of their new mascara and free shipping on any order, which is pretty neat.

Chella Indigo Blue Eyeliner - $24
I don't really wear blue eyeliner often, and I prefer the blue liner from Mally color-wise, so I probably won't use this. That said, I like that it's felt-tipped, and maybe if I get into liquid liner I'll change my mind about this. It's hard to complain about an item that pays for the entire bag on its own, and it'll make a good gift!
Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer Mini - $9
I was really excited about this at first, thinking it would be a standard primer. Unfortunately, it's sparkly. It's more of a highlighter than a primer, and for someone with oily skin, that's not a good thing. At all. I'll definitely be swapping this.
NYX Love in Rio Trio - $6
I would've rather had the Bora Bora they were sending out (by Be a Bombshell), but this is a cute little trio. I love NYX shadows, and wish they'd been sending out some of the brighter Love in Rio trios. I already have enough neutrals to last a lifetime.

The total value of this bag was $46.50, even though this was only a four item bag (which a lot of people were complaining about). This wasn't my favorite bag, of the four products, I'll be using one, swapping one, and gifting two. Even the products that I'm gifting are great products though (especially the Chella and the NYX).

My first two matchups make a lot of sense, but after that it's just based on how much I liked the items.

Match-up #1: Lip Products
I like the air repair, but I LOVE the Marvelous Moxie lipstick. The color is great, it lasts quite a while, and it smells really good. This one definitely goes to Ipsy.

Ipsy = 1
Birchbox = 0
Match-up #2: Complexion 
While the Coola didn't provide any real coverage, I still think it'll be something I use. The Pixi on the other hand is going straight to my swap board. This one goes to Birchbox.

Ipsy = 1
Birchbox = 1
Match-up #3 : Vasanti vs. NYX
This one was hard for me. I'm more excited to try the Vasanti, but the NYX is just so cute, and will make a great gift. Honestly though, I signed up for Birchbox and Ipsy to try things that I might not try otherwise, and I've already tried NYX's neutrals. This one goes to Birchbox.

Ipsy = 1
Birchbox = 2

Match-up # 4 : Keims vs. Chella
This is an easy one: Shampoo sample that isn't sulfate free vs. a Chella liner? Chella wins. I won't use either, but at least the Chella is something I can gift.

Ipsy = 2
Birchbox =2

Match-up #5 : Corrective Control samples vs. Ipsy's bag
I don't usually count the bag as anything, but since it was a four-product month, I will. There are things I like and dislike about both of these things. I like that I'll get 20 points for reviewing these little packets. I also like that Ipsy hired a local artist to design this bag. I don't really like samples this size. I don't really like the look of the bag. I'm tempted to call it a tie and leave it at that. In the end though, the bag is giftable and the samples are tiny, so I'll give it to Ipsy.

Ipsy = 3
Birchbox = 2

Ipsy wins!

This wasn't my favorite month for either box, but both had at least one product that I was excited to try.

As always, if you sign up to Birchbox or Ipsy after reading my posts, please use my links. I get a referral bonus any time someone signs up with my links. 

Thanks for reading! If you get Birchbox/Ipsy, what'd you get in March's Box/Bag?

Thursday, April 3, 2014


I've always heard a lot about POPSUGAR, and the posts I see about it always show boxes with values well over $100. That said, I could never justify paying $40 a month for any box, even one that would be worth over $100. After seeing the spoilers for this month, I was tempted, and a friend found a coupon code that made the box cost about $20, so I went for it. I can't wait to get it, and thought I'd share. If you do sign up, please use my referral link. The coupon code I used is Channel7 and it gave me 50% off.
I love Too Faced, and this palette alone is $36, which almost pays for the box at full-price, and more than pays for it at half price. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ipsy Sneak Peeks - April 2014

Sneak Peek #1 - It looks like all subscribers will be getting this in their bag. 
"Bring out the velvet ropes and bust out your makeup melody for this awesome rock star product in your Glam Bag this month!"
It looks like we'll be getting an Urban Decay 24/7 Black Velvet Eyeliner.

Based on their description, I'm guessing the theme of this month's bag will be rock star. I'm hoping that doesn't mean that we'll all get fake lashes. 

Sneak Peek #2 - All subscribers will be receiving one of the following:

The first item is a Cailyn Lip Tint, in what looks to be Mauve.

The second item is a Mary Kay At Play Jelly Lip Gloss in either Violet Vixen, or Berry Me. 

The Third item is a Starlooks Lip Liner, it looks most like Sweet Spice to me. 

The fourth item is another Cailyn Lip Tint, in Velvet Rose.

Sneak Peek #3: All subscribers will receive one of the following.

The first product in the sneak peek is City Color's White Gold Shadow and Highlight Mousse. I really liked the City Color blush in February's bag, so I'm hoping this'll be good too. It doesn't look like it comes in other colors, so I guess subscribers who get this will be getting it in white.  

The second product in the sneak peek is Rainbow Honey nail polish in Midnight Fountain.

The last item in the sneak peek is Elizabeth Mott's Pop! Goes the Shadow in Champagne. This comes in three different colors, so I wonder which ones they'll be sending out.

Sneak Peek #4: All subscribers will get one of the following

The first item in this sneak peek is Benefit's Lollitint! I really hope I get this! I love Benetint, and haven't tried Lollitint yet.  

The second item is dr. brandt's microdermabrasion, which is amazing. It's one of my favorite skincare products, it works really well and smells great! I love it!

The third item is St. Tropez Gradual Tan Anti-Aging. I really hope I don't get this, but I'm sure I can swap it if I do. 

The third item is Cover FX, Mattifying Primer. I've never tried this, but I would love to!!!

As always, if you sign up for Ipsy after reading my blog, please use my link. I can earn goodies if you do!

Sneak Peek #5: All subscribers will be getting one of the following:

The first item in the preview is Big Sexy Hair Mini Root Pump. I'm hoping that I won't get this since I assume it isn't intended for long, thick, curly hair. 

The second item is a pair of Kiss Lashes. I'm hoping I won't get these, but if I do I'll just donate them. Someone pointed out that hospitals sometimes give them to cancer patients with hair loss. 

The third item is the St. Tropez Multi-Action face lotion again. 

The fourth item is another set of lashes, from the brand Such a Tease. I'm not good at guessing what kind of lashes people have on, but I'm guessing Puppy Love?

The fifth item is Demeter roll-on fragrance in Jasmine. Most perfume's give me a headache, but Demeter tends to be really popular, so at least I'll be able to swap if I do get this. 

The last item is a Coastal Scents brush. This is the one I'm hoping it is, but based on the handle it looks like it could be any of the shadow brushes. 

So far this is looking like a great bag! Pretty much everyone loves Urban Decay, and I'd love to get another Cailyn Lip Tint. 

Sneak Peek #6: Our bag!!

Let me know what you think of this month's bag, and what would be in your perfect bag!

If you sign up for Ipsy after reading my blog, I'd appreciate it if you use my link to sign up.