NORDSTROM - Choose your free gift with Estee Lauder purchase NORDSTROM - Find the perfect fragrance gift for Mom

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sephora Coupon Code 2013 - VIB 20% OFF Sale

Sephora.com, Inc.

Sephora is offering VIBs 20% OFF on any orders, even sale items. 
Enter coupon code VIBTOPIA at checkout.
Offer expires November 11, 2013. 

I'm stocking up on my essentials, including Dior Forever foundation, Benefit Facial Emulsion, Nars Light Reflecting powder, and Clarisonic brush heads, and going to try out some of MUFE's new brushes!



*This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

How to Access My Blog once Google Reader is Gone!


Hey beauties! I'm sure many of you guys are well aware of Google's decision to terminate Google Reader. You still have a few hours left to transfer all your favorite blogs from Google Reader to Bloglovin. Just sign up and create an account on Bloglovin' for free. Then, go to this link: http://www.bloglovin.com/import/reader and just click "Import from Google Reader." You'll be able to see my new blog posts pull up on Bloglovin' from now on. You can also follow me on Facebook or Google Plus

I'm so disappointed in Google's decision! Why can't they cancel Google Plus rather than Google Reader??? -_- As a blog reader myself, the latter is so much more convenient to access blog posts from many bloggers at the same time.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pixi Beauty Friends & Family Sale 2013 - 25% OFF Entire Order (No Minimum)



Pixi Beauty is having a 25% OFF Friends & Family Sale (no minimum)
Enter coupon code FF13 at checkout.
Offer expires June 20, 2013


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Clarisonic Friends + Family Sale 2013: 15% OFF (rare coupon)


Clarisonic is offering 15% OFF ALL Cleansing & Opal Infusion System Kits of $119 or more.
Enter coupon code FRIENDS15 at checkout.
Offer expires June 9, 2013 at 11:59PM PDT.

* This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Swatches: Tarte Cosmetics 500 Point Perk at Sephora

Sephora Tarte 500 Point Perk Reward

I hoard my Sephora points and rarely redeem them because they rarely offer any goodies that I'm interested in. They came out with the Tarte Cosmetics 500 Point Perk ($45.98 value) last week and I placed an order to redeem it. As most of you know, for every dollar that you spend at Sephora, you get 1 point. Some of you guys may feel that I paid $500 for the Tarte 500 Point Reward. However, I don't see it that way. I see the Tarte 500 Point Reward as a bonus on top of the $500 worth of makeup products that I bought. Also, even if Sephora terminated their rewards program, I would still buy my cosmetics from them because they have an extensive line of beauty products, an amazing return policy, and awesome discounts without limitations throughout the year.

Tarte Cosmetics 500 Point Perk Sephora

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara 0.10oz ($7.92) - The full size costs $19/0.24oz. It volumizes, darkens and separates my lashes well, but since it's non-waterproof, I can't wear it. Non-waterproof mascaras tend to weigh my lashes down and don't hold my curl. Unfortunately, the Tarte one was no different.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder

Tarte Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder 0.07oz ($6.34) - The full size costs $29/0.32oz. It's transparent, mattifies my skin and leaves my skin silky smooth, but my NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder controls my oils better. (I have an extremely oily t-zone.)

Tarte Shimmering Moss Cream Eyeshadow Swatch

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Cream Eyeshadow 0.1oz ($19) - I received the full size! The Maybelline cream eyeshadows (0.14oz each) look much bigger than the Tarte ones, but they contain almost the same amount of product. The Tarte one is definitely more travel friendly and feels more lightweight. Shimmering Moss has a more olive undertone compared to Mossy Green, which is more green and Gold Shimmer is more gold. I find that the formula of the Tarte one is creamier and doesn't dry as fast as the Maybelline one. I love using Shimmering Moss as a base for MAC Sumptuous Olive. It makes the powder eyeshadow more intense, lengthens the wear-time and prevents creasing & fading.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Cream Eyeshadow Shimmering Moss Swatch

Tarte Shimmering Moss Dupe Maybelline Mossy Green Swatch

Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil 0.23oz ($6.22) - The full size costs $46/1.7oz. Alot of people love this product. Unfortunately, I find it to be greasy even when I use only a tiny drop and it doesn't sink into my skin. It feels like it's just sitting on top of my skin and I'm scared to lie in bed because I'm afraid that I'll get my pillow case all oily. (You all know how oil can be impossible difficult to remove.)

Tarte Shimmering Moss Swatch

Tarte Exposed Blush Swatch
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Exposed

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed 0.05oz ($6.50) - The full size costs $26/0.2oz. This was the main reason I redeemed the 500 Point Reward. Everyone seems to rave about the color and I want to get in on the action too! Also, the packaging is so cute and it's so convenient for travel. Exposed is more rosy, while Prim & Proper is more nude. Both are my go-to neutral shades when I'm doing a day time look or when I don't know which blush to match my eye makeup. You can't go wrong with either shade in any situation. They both have regular pigmentation (not sheer or too pigmented) and are buildable. Also, they last at least 8 hours without fading when applied on top of liquid foundation + setting powder. Prim & Proper is discontinued and difficult to find, but fortunately, Exposed is still in production.

Tarte Exposed Swatch
(Indoor Natural Lighting)

Tarte Exposed Mac Prim Proper Dupe
(Outdoor Natural Lighting on a Cloudy Day)

Tarte Exposed Blush Swatch Mac Prim Proper
(Outdoor Natural Lighting on a Sunny Day)

Note: The Tarte Cosmetics 500 Point Perk is sold out on Sephora's website, but is still available in some Sephora stores. Call your local Sephora store!

Which Sephora 500 Point Perk was your favorite?


*This post contains affiliate links.

Swatches: GlossyBox USA March + April + May 2013


(GlossyBox USA March 2013)

GlossyBox USA March 2013 ($90.89 Total Value):

1. Elite Models Liner in Matt Brown 2.5ml ($15) - I received the full size! The color of this eyeliner is great for those who find black to be too harsh. Unfortunately, the formula doesn't stay put on my oily lids. It fades and transfers to my bottom lash line within a few hours of application. 

2. Koh Gen Do Cosmetics 0.28oz ($32.49) - The full size costs $123/1.06oz. It's fragrance-free, paraben-free and doesn't contain mineral oil, which is a major plus. The product sinks into my skin quickly, feels extremely moisturizing & lightweight, and never leaves a greasy finish. I like using it as my night time moisturizer as well as a primer underneath my foundation.

3. Model Co Cheek+Lip Tint in Rosy Red 10ml ($24.00) - I received the full size! It has a strong cherry scent. When applied with my fingers, it leaves a blotchy finish on my cheeks. I prefer to use a stippling brush. The color looks like a pinky coral shade on my cheeks and lasts at least 8 hours without fading. On my lips, it looks more like a dark fuschia red shade. For reference, my top lip is naturally darker than my bottom lip. The formula doesn't dry out my lips or make them peel and it feels like i have nothing on. The problem is that it doesn't stain my top lip that well and the color fades away within 10 minutes of application. 

4. Prestiche Essential Oil Bar Soap 125g ($16.99) - I received the full size! When it comes to body washes, the scent is very important to me. The Prestiche bar soap smelled like ginger, which I love in cooking, but not on my body. It also came with a $40 gift certificate that can be used on the company's website and I was going to buy the Wonder Polish Ocean Mist Scrub ($59.99/15oz), but my total came out to be $32 because shipping was $12 for me. The $40 gift certificate did not seem to be a good deal for me. GlossyBox also provided a 60% OFF coupon code, which is a better deal, but I still didn't want to pay $12 for shipping for only 1 item.

5. Sebastian Professional Shaper Fierce 1.5oz ($2.41) - The full size costs $17/10.6oz. I use it as a hairspray and it keeps my hair in place. For fly aways, I recommend spraying the product onto your hands first and then apply the product onto your hair using your hands. Sometimes, if you spray the product directly onto your hair, you might end up spraying too much product and your hair will end up looking crispy hard.





(GlossyBox USA April 2013)

GlossyBox USA April 2013 ($54.59 Total Value):

1. Alterna Haircare Bamboo Style Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist 0.85oz ($4.45) - The full size costs $22/4.2oz. One of my friends describes it as a "nice fresh scent." I, on the other hand, am not a fan of the scent, which is a very personal thing. The bottle says it can be used on damp or dry hair. I find that it does nothing for me when used on damp hair. When used on dry hair, it gives my hair a volume boost, while still leaving it manageable. I like to spray Narciso Rodriguez For Her Hair Mist afterwards to cover up the smell.

2. Bvlgari eau Parfumee au the Blanc Tea Bag for Bath 0.5oz ($9.50) - I received the full size! This smells sooooo good and it's really strong. I placed the tea bag in a bucket of warm water and soaked my smelly feet (>_<) in it after a long day. It felt so relaxing and it left a very feminine and welcoming scent. I felt like I was dipping into luxury. The problem is that I don't know where to find a reputable seller.

3. The Honest Company Honest Organic Lip Balm in Lavendar Mint 0.15oz ($3.65) - The 3 pack costs $10.95 and each lip balm contains 0.15oz. I like the scent, but I wish the mint was a little bit stronger. It leaves my lips very buttery and smooth.

4. TIGI Cosmetics Glow Blush in Brilliance 2g ($22) - I received the full size! My Milani baked blushes contain 3.5g and my regular powder blushes contain 6g-12g. So, the TIGI Glow blush seems more like a travel size, which is convenient when you're on vacation. Also, I love the color, texture, finish and formula so much that I am considering getting their other shades. Brilliance is a pinky shade with gold shimmers that don't leave the skin looking like a glittery mess. It just leaves a beautiful sheen to the cheeks and lasts at least 8 hours without fading. Also, it applies smoothly, blends easily, and is buildable. 

5. Wash with Joe Coffeemint Invigorating Body Wash 1oz ($1.75) -  The full size costs $28/16oz. It lathers nicely with a loofah and I love the smell of coffee and mint, but just not together. 

6. Le Metier De Beaute Replenishing Daily Solution 0.10oz ($13.24) - The full size costs $225/1.7oz. I got this in my January 2013 GlossyBox and my opinion about this product still hasn't changed. GlossyBox also provided a $75 OFF coupon code for this product, but $150/1.7oz still has me hesitating. 




(GlossyBox USA May 2013)

GlossyBox USA May 2013 ($55.97 Total Value):

1. Amore Pacific Color Control Cushion Compact in 106 Almond Blush 4g ($16) - The full size costs $60/15g. It has a nice perfume-y scent to it. At first, I thought it was a blush, but when I opened it, it looked more like a foundation. The packaging is cool, something that I've never seen another company do before. The product is packed inside a sponge and the product transfers onto your fingers when you press the sponge. The coverage is similar to a tinted moisturizer. It feels hydrating.and leaves a natural finish when set with powder. The problem is that it's a little dark for my NC30/35 skin tone and it looks slightly orange. 

2. Etre Belle Collagen & Aloe Vera Hydro Mask 1 mask ($3.95) - 10 masks costs $39.50. I used it on a hot summer night and it made my face feel very refreshing and it had a cooling effect.

3. European Wax Center The Exfoliate .14oz ($2.66) - The full size costs $38/2oz. It exfoliates the skin, but it doesn't contain scrubbing beads. It has a gel consistency and reminds me of the Natural Aqua Gel Cure, except the European Wax Center version is alot thicker and has a more fruity scent. I use it on dry skin and as I'm rubbing the product into my skin, I notice my dead skin cells coming off. After the shower, I apply my moisturizer and it sinks into my skin alot easier, leaving my skin feeling more hydrated and smooth. GlossyBox also provided a free bikini line, eyebrow, or underarm wax treatment for first-time female customers and eyebrow, ear or nose wax treatment for first-time male customers at a European Wax Center. (No purchase necessary.)

4. European Wax Center Slow It Body Lotion .14oz ($0.35) - The full size costs $20/8oz. It has a sugary lemon scent to it. I love how buttery smooth it makes my skin feels and it melts into my skin immediately with barely any effort. Also, it doesn't leave a greasy finish. 

5. My Prime Multi Purpose Mattifying Moisturizer 10ml ($11.33) -  The full size costs $68/60ml. I don't notice any mattifying effect and it doesn't fill in pores, but it makes foundation application go on smoother. Also, it leaves the skin feeling very hydrating and buttery smooth. 

6. Nicka K New York Absolute! Perfume Stick Lux 369 0.29oz ($14.99) -  I received the full size! At first, I thought it was a deodorant stick, but it's actually a perfume stick. Scents are very personal and this one has a strong floral scent, which I tend not to gravitate towards. I'm more a fan of "sophisticated" and "mature" scents like Narciso Rodriguez For Her, Dior J'adore, BBW Magnolia Blossom, and Britney Spears Curious. 

7. Sebastian Professional Volupt Spray 1.7oz ($6.69) - The full size costs $19.95/5.07oz. I use it when my hair is dry and I find that it volumizes well and the floral scent smells so much better than the Alterna Mist, but it can leave my hair slightly crispy if I spray too much. GlossyBox also provided a coupon for a free 1.5oz Sebastian Professional Shaper or Shaper Plus with any Sebastian purchase at Ulta.

Amore Pacific Color Control Cushion Compact in 106 Almond Blush

Amore Pacific Color Control Cushion Compact in 106 Almond Blush

Amore Pacific Color Control Cushion Compact in 106 Almond Blush

Nicka K New York Absolute! Perfume Stick Lux 369

For more information about GlossyBox, check out my previous posts of their August & September box. Also, use coupon code LOVE at checkout to receive a free gift ($23 value) with any GlossyBox order.


*This post contains affiliate links and the products mentioned were provided by GlossyBox for consideration. This does not affect my opinion about the products. I don't do paid or guaranteed reviews. My reviews are based on my own honest opinion. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Philosophy Friends + Family Sale 2013: 33% OFF All Orders (no minimum)


Philosophy is having a Friends & Family Sale and is offering 33% off all orders (no minimum)
This is the best time to stock up on all your favorites. =) 
Offer expires June 7, 2013. 
Enter coupon code philofriend at checkout. 

one-step facial cleanser - purity made simple - cleansers 32 oz.

I highly recommend getting the Purity Made Simple One Step Cleanser. I recently bought it in the super-size 32oz and have been loving it as a brush cleanser. It removes all the liquid/cream product out of my brushes with 2 washes and doesn't leave a greasy finish, which olive oil sometimes do. It just breaks down the product easily, but it's gentle at the same time and doesn't dry out my brushes. Love it!



*This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Swatches + Comparisons - Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Creme Bronzer in Rich Bronze + Too Faced Aqua Bunny Cream-To-Powder Bronzer

From Top Left Clockwise: Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Creme Bronzer in Rich Bronze ~  Too Faced Aqua Bunny Cream-To-Powder Bronzer ~ Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzer


From Left: Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Creme Bronzer in Rich Bronze ~  Too Faced Aqua Bunny Cream-To-Powder Bronzer

From Left: Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Creme Bronzer in Rich Bronze ~  Too Faced Aqua Bunny Cream-To-Powder Bronzer

Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Creme Bronzer in 42 Rich Bronze ($10.99/0.18oz) - It costs $61.06 per ounce, which is actually more expensive compared to the Chanel bronzer ($48/oz), but the quality is well worth the price. Rich Bronze does not look Oompa Loompa orange and has a more yellow undertone compared to the Chanel bronzer. It's extremely buildable and dark enough for medium to tan skin tones, but it's also very blendable and looks natural on lighter skin tones. Because it leaves a matte finish, I love using it as a contour shade to define my cheekbones. I usually use a synthetic brush, such as the ELF Angled Blush Brush because it fits nicely on the hollows of my cheekbones. (A little goes a long way, but don't worry if you over apply the product because it's super easy to blend out.) As for longevity, it lasts at least 10 hours without fading when set with a translucent powder and it also prolongs the wear of my powder bronzers when used as a base. Also, it has a compartment underneath that houses a mirror and sponge, which I find to be very odd and useless. Definitely use a synthetic brush or even your bare fingers to apply the product.

Ingredients List: Dimethicone, Isononyl Isononanoate, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Trimethylsiloxyphenyl Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Polyethylene, Nylon 12, Silica, Dimethicone/Divinyldimethicone/Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Salycilate, Dextrin Palmitate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, BHT, Fragrance, Caprylyl Methicone; May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Carmine, Ultramarines, Manganese Violet, Zinc Oxide, Ferric Ferrycyanide, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide, Chromium Oxide Greens, Chromium Hydroxide Green, Red 6, Red 7, Red 7 Lake, Red 28 Lake, Red 30 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Yellow 5 lake, Yellow 6 Lake

Too Faced Aqua Bunny Cream-To-Powder Bronzer ($26.10/0.32oz) - It costs $81.56 per ounce, which is the most expensive out of the bunch. Aqua Bunny is more red based compared to Rich Bronze and Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel, but it has the same pigmentation, blendability and longevity as Rich Bronze. The biggest difference besides the undertone is that it has a more satin finish. Under direct sunlight, I notice tiny bits of shimmer, but it's definitely not glittery. Also, it has a mirror on the top compartment and a bottom compartment that houses a synthetic brush, which is convenient for touch-ups.

Ingredients List: Triethylhexanoin, Corn Starch Modified, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Polyethylene, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Dipropylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Silica, Cera Carnauba/Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax/Cire de carnauba, Hexyldecanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, SD Alcohol 40-B (Alcohol Denat.), Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Benzyl Benzoate, Aroma/Flavor, Centella Asiatica Extract, Echinacea Angustifolia Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Phoenix Dactylifera (Date) Seed Extract, BHT, Limonene, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Manganese Violet (CI 77742).

(Outdoor Natural Lighting in the shade)

(Outdoor Natural Lighting on a Sunny Day)

(Indoor Natural Lighting)

Bottom Line: If you found the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel to be too light or too orange, then the Sonia Kashuk one would be a more suitable option, especially as a contour shade since it's completely matte. You can't go wrong with the Too Faced Aqua Bunny bronzer either because it's dark enough for medium to tan skin tones and it also blends out easily. So, it looks very natural on light skin tones as well. Personally, I love all 3 of the bronzers because each of the formula is so easy to work with and they all apply like butter.

Note: The Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base contains 1oz of product and is available on their online store and Nordstrom for $48. The Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Creme Bronzer in Rich Bronze contains 0.18oz/5.2g of product and is available only at Target for $10.99. The Too Faced Aqua Bunny bronzer contains 0.32oz/9g of product and is on clearance on their online store for $26.10.

What product do you use to contour your face?


*This post contains affiliate links.

Swatches + Comparison: Urban Decay Sephora Inside JCPenney Stores Exclusive Eyeshadows

From Top Left: Naked ~ Buck ~ Faint ~ Secret Service
From Bottom Left: Heartless ~ Sidecar ~ Snare

From Top Left: Buck ~ Faint 
From Bottom Left: Naked ~ Secret service

Naked is a beige brown with a matte finish. When swatched, it looks like it would be a nice transition color or a blending shade, but it's actually too dark for that purpose and too light as a crease color for my NC30/35 skin tone. Kid, Wedge, Cork and Soft Brown work much better as a transition color for me even though they all look darker than Naked because the formula of the MAC eyeshadows are more stiff and they don't pack on as much color when used with a fluffy brush, such as the MAC 217. Moreover, they don't crumble in the pan and I don't experience any fallouts during application. They are also very versatile because when I use a dense crease brush, such as the Inglot 80HP, they provide excellent color payoff. 

(Indoor Natural Lighting)

(Outdoor Natural Lighting on a Sunny Day)

(Outdoor Natural Lighting in the shade)

Buck is a medium beige brown with a matte finish. It's similar to Naked, but just darker. It's too light as an outer v shade, but it's excellent as a crease color.

Faint is a medium brown with a matte finish. Urban Decay describes it as a "warm, dusty brown matte," but it looks more neutral on my eyes. It's a tad bit darker than Buck, but they both look very similar to one another when used as a crease color. 

Secret Service is a dark cool-toned greyish brown with a matte finish. It defines the eyes and works well as an outer v shade. Embark is more intense and more red, while Brown Down is more brown. 

The Urban Decay matte eyeshadows are much softer than the MAC matte eyeshadows; therefore, they get messy in the pan easily and I experience fallouts during application. However, because the formula is softer, they also apply more smoothly, pack on more color even with a fluffy brush and blend like a dream. Also, they last at least 10 hours without fading when used with a primer.

(Direct Sunlight)

(Outdoor Natural Lighting in the shade)

From Top Clockwise: Sidecar ~ Snare ~ Heartless 

Heartless is a pale pink with a satin finish. I find it to be too chalky and light on my skin tone. Moreover, the pigmentation is not as great as SWF, which has a more frosty finish.

Snare is an olive green with gold micro-glitters. When I swatched it by itself, it looked more like a bluish grey shade, but when swatched next to a more blue shade (Gunmetal), I can definitely see the green undertones. Also, it looks more green when applied onto the eyes. However, it's not as pigmented as other urban decay eyeshadows and it fades a bit when blended.

(Outdoor Natural Lighting in the shade)

(Outdoor Natural Lighting on a Sunny Day)

(Indoor Natural Lighting)

From Top Clockwise: Heartless ~ Sidecar ~ Snare

Sidecar is a medium warm brown with a bronzey sheen and silver micro-glitters. Blaze, Suspect and Chase are all lighter and more suitable for my skin tone. I find Sidecar to be a little bit  too dark as a lid color and too light as a crease color. The texture doesn't feel as buttery smooth as other UD eyeshadows, but it doesn't feel gritty either. I did experience some fallouts during application. So, I recommend using a cream base and tapping off the excess before applying the eyeshadow with a dense brush, such as the MAC 239.

(Indoor Natural Lighting)

(Indoor Natural Lighting on a Sunny Day)

(Outdoor Natural Lighting in the shade)

Bottom Line: Each Urban Decay eyeshadow is different in terms of color, finish and formulation. Most are hits, while some are misses. Definitely DON'T dismiss all Urban Decay eyeshadows if you found one that did not work out for you.

Note: Naked, Buck and Secret Service each contain 1.5g and are available for purchase at Nordstrom, Beauty.com, Ulta and Sephora for $18 each. Faint, Heartless, Sidecar and Snare each contain 1.5g and are sold exclusively at  Urban Decay's online store and Sephora Inside JCPenney Stores for $18 each. MAC Wedge, Cork, Soft Brown, Espresso, Corduroy, Embark and Greensmoke each contain 1.5g, while Kid and Brown Down each contain 1.35g. All 9 MAC eyeshadows are permanent and are available at MAC and Nordstrom for $15 (pot) and $12 (refill pan). 


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