NORDSTROM - Choose your free gift with $75 Shiseido purchase

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Clarins Coupon Code 2012: FREE 7pc Gift, 3 FREE Samples + FREE Shipping with $75 order


Clarins is offering an exclusive Best of Clarins 7pc Gift Bag ($90 value) + free shipping + 3 free samples* with any $75 purchase. Offer is valid today only. Enter coupon code LEAP at checkout.

*affiliate link

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Swatches + Review: Chanel Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powders for Eyes and Cheeks



Chanel recently released the limited edition Las Vegas De Chanel Collection, which includes the Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powders for Eyes and Cheeks. To make myself feel better about dropping $95 on a materialistic object, I keep telling myself that I can't bring "money to my coffin" so I might as well spend it while I'm still alive. Also, I try to rationalize my expense by telling myself that it's for my blog and my readers & not just me, me, me, even though deep down inside, I know that I only bought it because I couldn't resist the gorgeous design. *sigh* -_- Chanel also included a soft angled brush and the standard velvet pouch, which is a lovely added bonus.


Lucky Stripes contains 4 unique shades that can be used as eyeshadows, an illuminator and even as a bronzer for my NC30/35 skin tone. In order to pick up the colors individually and use them as eyeshadows, I recommend using a small and dense brush, such as the MAC 239 (full review). All the shades apply smoothly and blend easily. They have good color payoff when layered and when used with a primer. Also, they don't crease or fade throughout the day; however, I did experience some fallouts during application. Also, I find it difficult to use only this palette to create an eye look, since it doesn't contain any matte shades. I don't like using all shimmery shades for one eye look because it ends up looking like I got attacked by a "shimmer bomb."  


The texture of Lucky Stripes feels very silky, but it's a mess when I start using it because tiny sparkles fly all over the compact. The product also leaves an unflattering finish on my face. When I swirled all the colors together, using my Inglot 4SS brush (full reviewand applied it on top of my cheek bones, it looked too frosty. I made sure to tap off any excess before applying. Also, I tried blending it using my Sephora #43 brush (full reviewand tried applying it using the travel brush, but no matter what I did, I ended up with the same result. The deal breaker was that when I looked upclose in the mirror, I could see tiny specks of sparkles sitting on top of my skin, which looked very unnatural.

Also, I found it interesting that the color looks peachy gold when swirled all together and swatched on my arm because when I actually apply it on my face, it's colorless.


To use as a bronzer, I picked up the bronze and peachy shades and it gave my face some warmth and dimension; however, I'm not a fan of the shimmery finish. It's too overwhelming, especially for day time. Moreover, I prefer my bronzer to be matte because it creates a more natural look.


Bottom Line: The quality of Lucky Stripes is excellent when used as eyeshadows and I'm undeniably head over heels for its packaging and its gorgeous embossed star design. Those who love shimmery illuminators and bronzers would enjoy this, if you don't mind the hefty price tag. Unfortunately, the finish is too frosty for my liking. Dior Amber Diamond (full review) still remains to be my holy grail cheek highlighter because it leaves a natural glow and a dewy sheen


(all shades swirled together)

(bronze and peachy shade mixed together)

Note: Lucky Stripes contains 15g of product and is available at Chanel boutiques inside the Bellagio and Wynn hotels in Las Vegas for an arm and a leg $95. It’s also available online at Chanel.com and Nordstrom, but you better act fast because it's a limited edition piece.

Will you be grabbing this as a collector's item?

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Benefit Coupon Code 2012: FREE Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation with ANY Order


Receive your choice of Benefit's new Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow foundation sample* with ANY order. Just enter the specific code at checkout:
  • Ivory – HFIVORY
  • Petal – HFPETAL
  • Champagne – HFCHAMPS
  • Honey – HFHONEY
  • Beige – HFBEIGE
  • Toasted Beige – HFTOASTED
  • Amber – HFAMBER
  • Hazelnut – HFHAZEL
  • Nutmeg...Gotta Know Me – HFNUTMEG
Offer valid through March 31, 2012, while supplies last. Free standard shipping is automatically applied to all US orders over $50. 

*affiliate link

Tarte Cosmetics Coupon Code 2012: 15% OFF + Free Shipping

shop tarte cosmetics

This might be the time to stock up on Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12 Hour blushes because they're offering 15% OFF* with a $75 purchase or more plus free shipping. Offer expires February 29, 2012. Enter coupon code FEB75 at checkout.

*affiliate link

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Benefit Coupon Code 2012: FREE Finding Mr.Bright Kit ($36 Value)


Benefit is offering a free Finding Mr.Bright Kit* plus 2 free samples with a $45 purchase or more. Spend $5 extra to receive free shipping. Offer expires March 9, 2012. Enter coupon code LAUGHTER at checkout.

Kit includes:
  • Erase Paste in 02 (medium) Brightening Camouflage 3.2 g
  • Girl Meets Pearl Golden-Pink Liquid Pearl 0.25 oz.
  • Posietint Poppy-Pink Tinted Lip & Cheek Stain 0.13 oz.
  • High Beam Luminescent Complexion Enhancer 0.08 oz.
*affiliate link

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Swatches: L'oreal Colour Riche Lip Balm Part 1


Left to Right: 418 Caring Coral, 518 Tender Mauve, 818 Nourishing Nude, 819 Caramel Comfort

Alot of people have been comparing the L'oreal Colour Riche Balms to Revlon's ColorBurst Lip Butters; however, I find them to be very different from one another for one main reason. I only have 4 shades of the L'oreal lip balms, but from what I have and tested, I can tell you that these 4 particular shades are truly sheer, while the Revlon lip butters are more opaque. (I have swatched all 20 shades of the Revlon lip butters. Check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 for the swatches.)

Left to Right: 418 Caring Coral, 518 Tender Mauve, 818 Nourishing Nude, 819 Caramel Comfort

Caring Coral and Nourishing Nude barely show a tint of color on my lips because both shades are really close to my lip color. Also, they're slightly similar to each other, except that Caring Coral leans more orange, while Nourishing Nude has a more brown tint to it.

Tender Mauve shows up as a mauvey pink on my lips and Caramel Comfort shows up as a nudish brown. Although they are slightly more pigmented than Caring Coral and Nourishing Nude, I still find them to be sheer and subtle compared to Revlon's lip butters.


L'oreal's lip balms apply like butter, feel slightly more moisturizing and are glossier than Revlon's lip butters; however, I still need to wear a lip balm underneath because my lips are extremely dry and get chapped easily. Other reviewers have mentioned that the L'oreal lip balms have a foul odor & taste; which I didn't experience at all. When I smelled the swatches on my arm, it had a light vanilla scent; however, when I wore them on my lips, I didn't taste any flavor or noticed any rancid scent. 

In order for the color to show up better, these shades have been swatched heavily.

Personally, I find the packaging of the L'oreal lip balms to be prettier, and I appreciate that they contain SPF 15. I also like that it doesn't have a sticky texture and that the packaging doesn't get messy when I'm twisting the product back into the tube. However, other people may not like the fact that they're paying around $6 for just a slightly tinted lip balm. I don't mind the price, especially since there are always sales and deals. Bottom line, if you prefer sheer lip products, then I recommend grabbing some L'oreal Colour Riche Balms.

In order for the color to show up better, these shades have been swatched heavily.

Note: L'oreal Colour Riche Balms contain 2.9g of product and are available at Target, Ulta and drugstore.com for around $6. 


*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Do you prefer L'oreal's lip balms or Revlon's lip butters?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Announcement: Giveaway Winner


My giveaway was posted on January 12 and about a week later USPS announced a price increase in their shipping rates. It's not fair for the winner to pay for the new USPS shipping rate, since my giveaway post had the old shipping rate. So, I will cover the difference out of my own pocket. =)

I also noticed that a lot less people entered this time around compared to my previous giveaways. I know that the shipping rate was a huge turnoff for alot of people. However, it seems like USPS has no intention of lowering their shipping rates and instead, they seem to be increasing them every so often. =(

The entire prize list of my last giveaway valued at $273 and 15 items valued up to $118, so even though the winner has to pay for the shipping cost, I still think it was worth it to enter the giveaway. However, I'm not sure if I should continue to do these giveaways or just sell the makeup products. Please let me know how you all feel about this and I would love to hear your suggestions.

Anyways, the winner of my last giveaway is Holly Ann@Make Me Shimmer & Glitter. Congratulations, my dear! Please email me your shipping address and 15 items that you want from the prize list. I plan on shipping your package tomorrow or within 24 hours of hearing back from you. ^_^

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Swatches + Review: Boots No7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow

Top Left to Right: Khaki 40, True Gold 25, Emerald 45
Bottom Left to Right: Truffle 65, Mink 60, Wheatsheaf 55

Hey beauties! Hope everyone's been doing well. I decided to review Boots No7 Stay Perfect eyeshadows because (1) this post is way overdue. (I've had these eyeshadows since September of 2011.) and (2) there aren't many reviews about them in the blogging sphere, currently.

Left to Right: Khaki 40, True Gold 25, Emerald 45

Boots No7 Khaki 40 - shimmery olive green with a gold undertone; decent color payoff when layered and used with a primer, doesn't crease, minor fallouts during application, but gets dusty in the pan, starts to fade after 6 hours, & blends away too easily 

Boots No7 True Gold 25 -  shimmery yellow gold; poor color payoff even when layered and used with a primer, contains chunky glitter, fallouts during application, gets dusty in the pan

Boots No7 Emerald 45 - shimmery forest green; decent color payoff when layered and used with a primer, doesn't crease, minor fallouts during application, but gets dusty in the pan, starts to fade after 6 hours, & blends away too easily 

Left to Right: Truffle 65, Mink 60, Wheatsheaf 55

Boots No7 Truffle 65 - shimmery neutral brown; good color payoff when layered and used with a primer, doesn't crease, blends easily, no fallouts during application, but gets dusty in the pan & starts to fade after 6 hours

The color turns into a light shimmery warm brown shade when blended. It is also too dark to use as a lid color & too light to use as a crease color for me, personally.

Boots No7 Mink 60 - shimmery taupey grey; good color payoff when layered and used with a primer, doesn't crease, blends easily, no fallouts during application, but gets dusty in the pan & starts to fade after 6 hours

The eyeshadow does not show a hint of brown on my NC30/35 skin tone; however, on other people's swatches, it has a brown undertone to it. The eyeshadow either varies according to one's skin tone or Boots changed the formula. Regardless, I love how the color shows up on me and I love using it as an all-over-the-lid color. I don't have any eyeshadows similar to it in my collection.

Boots No7 Wheatsheaf 55 - shimmery beige with a hint of pink; good color payoff when layered and used with a primer, doesn't crease, blends easily, no fallouts during application, but gets dusty in the pan & starts to fade after 6 hours

MAC's Naked Lunch is pinker, while Jest is peachier. Regardless, Wheatsheaf is a great color itself as an all-over-the-lid shade.


The Boots No7 Stay Perfect eyeshadows get crumbly and messy in the pan because the texture is a little bit soft. Therefore, in order to prevent major fallouts during application, you must use a brush that's firm and dense, such as the MAC 239 (full review)Japonesque Professional Medium Eye Detailer Brush (mini review) or Royal & Langnickel BC410 brush (mini review), and make sure you tap off any excess before applying.

The eyeshadows do come with a sponge applicator; however, if you follow my blog, then you know that I hate using sponge applicators because (1) they're unsanitary, (2) difficult to clean and (3) don't pack on color as well as brushes.


Bottom Line: Stay away from True Gold if you want to avoid the sheer pigmentation and glittery mess. Khaki and Emerald swatch beautifully, but I had application issues. They blend away too easily, even with a light hand. I had to reapply the color, which is a pain if you're in a rush in the morning. Truffle is a deceiving color because it looks like a medium neutral brown shade when swatched; however, when blended, it turns into a light warm brown shade, which doesn't work on my skin tone very well. It's too dark for me, personally, to use as a lid color & too light to use as a crease color. However, I would still recommend it along with Mink and Wheatsheaf because the price is reasonable for the quality that they offer. These 3 shades provide good color payoff when layered and when used with a primer. They also don't crease and there are no fallouts during application. (Just make sure you use a dense & firm brush and also tap off any excess before applying.) Truffle, Mink and Wheatsheaf are good alternatives, especially if you're not financially ready to invest in mid-range and high end brands. Just don't expect them to perform as well as MAC or Urban Decay eyeshadows. 

Note: Each Boots No7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow contains 2g of product and is available at drugstore.com and Boots' online store for around $6. 

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Have you tried any of Boots No7 Stay Perfect eyeshadows?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Benefit Coupon Code 2012: FREE Makeup Bag


Get a free WOW makeup bag with any $65 order* plus free shipping and 2 free samples. Enter coupon code WOWZABAG at checkout. Offer expires February 21, 2012. The makeup bag retails for $28. It has a double zipper and a side strap. It measures 10.25" x 5" x 5".

*affiliate link

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Review + Swatches: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer

From Left to Right: 160 Brightener, 120 Light, 130 Medium

One of my lovely friends (who's an extreme couponer) has been providing me with a lot of drugstore products for free. Some of them have been prize options for my giveaways, while others have been tested for review purposes. 

From Left to Right: 160 Brightener, 120 Light, 130 Medium

I decided not to give away the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealers* because I wanted to see if this product lives up to the hype. Alot of people have been raving about how well it conceals dark circles. Unfortunately, this product did not work for me.


First off, the shade range is very limited. The brightener shade in 160 and the light shade in 120 were too light for my NC30/35 skin tone. When I wore 160 underneath or over the medium shade in 130, the result looked ashy. Fortunately, 130 worked well alone for my skin tone. It did conceal my redness very well and my dark circles to some degree; however, my MAC Pro Longwear Concealer conceals my dark circles much better because it has a pinkish tint to it, which counteracts the purple & green tones of my dark circles. It is important to mention that Maybelline recommends applying the neutralizer shade in 150 underneath the concealer shade for "extreme dark circles." However, I don't have the neutralizer shade, so I can't comment on whether or not it helps with concealing "extreme dark circles."

From Left to Right: 120 Light, 130 Medium, 160 Brightener

The consistency of the product is not too thin and watery or too thick and heavy. It falls somewhere in the middle. It's creamy, but dries quick, while still giving me ample time to blend.

From Left to Right: 120 Light, 130 Medium, 160 Brightener

As for the packaging, I don't like sponge applicators in general because I find them to be unsanitary and difficult to clean. Maybelline claims that it is "protected with an anti-microbial system" and warns not to wash it, but to clean it with a "dry tissue only." Regardless, I still feel uncomfortable placing the applicator directly onto my skin. I prefer to touch the product with a clean finger and then apply it onto my skin. Even though I use this method, I still have concerns because the product gets soaked in the sponge, which causes a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, to get the product out, you have to twist the collar and when I first used this, it took about 15 turns before any product came out. Now, it only takes about 1-2 turns for the product to come out, thankfully.

The deal breaker for me was that it left an unflattering finish and it settled into my fine lines. (I made sure that my under eye area was fully moisturized and that the moisturizer was fully absorbed into my skin before applying the concealer. I also adjusted the amount that I applied and made sure to apply a light dusting of setting powder; however, it didn't make a difference in the finish.)


Bottom Line:
If you don't have extreme dark circles and intend on using it to cover minor blemishes on the face, then this will be a great drugstore find. Unfortunately, it did not work well underneath my eyes. =(


Note: The Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer contains 6ml of product and is available at UltaTarget and drugstore.com for around $8. 

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored by the company.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Swatches: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters Part 4 (end)

From Left to Right: 090 Sweet Tart, 015 Tutti Frutti, 070 Cherry Tart

Please check out Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 for more swatches.

From Left to Right: 090 Sweet Tart, 015 Tutti Frutti, 070 Cherry Tart

The last batch of swatches of the Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters* still feels the same as the other Lip Butters that I have previously swatched. They do feel more moisturizing than lipsticks; however, I still need to wear a lip balm underneath because my lips get chapped easily and they're very dry.


Like I mentioned before, they're all unflavored and unscented, and they all glide onto my lips effortlessly. However, because the formula is so buttery and melts on skin contact, the product can get messy when you're twisting it back into the tube.

From Left to Right: 090 Sweet Tart, 015 Tutti Frutti, 070 Cherry Tart

Regardless of the messiness, I still recommend checking these out at your local drugstore. By the way, you can enter my current giveaway and get a chance of winning them. ^_^



Note: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters are available at Ulta, Target, and drugstore.com for around $7. As with any drugstore product, I would definitely wait for a sale because there is always a "buy one, get one half off" or even a "buy one, get one for free" sale.

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

I can't believe I just finished swatching all 20 shades 
of the Revlon Lip Butters! ^_^

Monday, February 13, 2012

Philosophy 2012 Coupon Code: Free 5pc Gift of Hope + Grace + Free Shipping with $50 Purchase


Philosophy is offering a free 5pc gift of Hope & Grace + free shipping* with any purchase of $50 or more! Enter coupon code FEBGIFT at checkout. Offer expires February 16, 2012.

*affiliate link

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Swatches + Review: MAC Vera Pearlmatte Face Powder in Flower Fantasy


MAC's Vera Collection was supposed to launch on February 16; however, my MAC counter at Macy's released it on February 9. So, I immediately ran down there on Thursday and bought the Pearlmatte Face Powder in Flower Fantasy. I just couldn't resist the special design.

There are 3 individual shades, including a salmon-coral shade, pink shade and a shimmery peachy-champagne shade. All 3 of the shades are pretty stiff and difficult to swatch individually; however, I didn't have any issues with pigmentation when I used my Studio Gear #13 brush (full review) to swirl all the colors together and applied it onto my cheeks. It was easily buildable and easy to blend. I also loved that it
gave me a peachy pink glow and I didn't find it to be overwhelming. I would describe the finish as more of a high sheen rather than a frosty glittery mess.


When I wore the salmon-coral and pink shade together, it translated into a darker peachy pink shade with a matte finish. The color didn't really compliment my skin tone very well, so I added a little bit of the peachy champagne shade. It lightened the color a bit and it gave me a nice sheen. Also, I wore it on top of foundation and it lasted 7 hours before it started to fade. 
 

(blended)

(swatched heavily)

Bottom Line: I recommend grabbing Flower Fantasy before it's all sold out. I love that it allows you to control the shimmer factor and that it acts as a blush and a highlight for my NC30/35 skin tone. Also, the gorgeous design is another reason to have it in your collection. If you're not a blush or highlighter fan, you could always just admire it on your vanity.

Note: The MAC Vera Pearlmatte Powder in Flower Fantasy contains 12g of product and costs $28 at MAC and Nordstrom. This is also a limited edition item, so I recommend getting it as soon as possible before they all fly off the shelves.

Did you get anything from the MAC Vera Collection?

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.
 
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