Monday, December 31, 2012

Birthday and Christmas Haul!

It's been a while since I've actually purchased more than one thing at a time so I'm so excited to show you guys my birthday and Christmas haul! You probably already know that I've been doing project pan since September so my purchases were pretty far and few between. This month I went a little crazy but I'll still be working on project pan.
First, we started with a little pre-birthday shopping at Ulta to get some Skyfall polishes

Moonraker, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, GoldenEye, The Living Daylights, Tomorrow Never Dies, Top Coat (free from an Ulta promo)

If I'm not getting them all at once, I have a strategy. You can't be sure that certain colors won't sell out or I will even have the extra cash later to go back for others. So I pick my favorites on the first trip and I don't get my heart set on any of the others. So these 5 were the colors I was most excited for.

Then, on my actual birthday, my present was to go shopping after dinner. So we went to Macy's (which for me is just the MAC counter) and Ulta.

The Spy Who Loved Me, Skyfall, Die Another Day, The World Is Not Enough, Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Skip The Gift Wrap, Gift Cards for Everyone!

Ulta didn't have The Spy Who Loved Me or Skyfall so I did have to get them at a salon. The last two are Ulta Holiday Exclusives, so I got them for free for buying 4 OPI polishes.
Also at Ulta, I got my first Real Techniques brush, the blush brush! At the MAC counter, I decided to get my first MAC lipstick, Speed Dial. I had heard my very very favorite youtuber, Amarixe talking about it and it looked so perfect on her. I just had to check it out and it ended up being beautiful on me.

On my birthday, I placed a Sephora order for my Christmas present from the boyfriend. I had a promo code for a bag full of samples, I wanted to get my VIB birthday gift AND one of the girls from the group Sam and I are in gave me a gift card so I threw in a little something extra.

Sephora Anti-Shine Foundation Primer, Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish, Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch, Sephora Instant Moisturizer, Benefit Coral My World! kit, Fresh Sugar Kisses VIB gift, Tarte Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder, Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara, Urban Decay De Slick makeup setting spray
  Acqua di Gioia, J'adore Dior, Thierry Mugler Alien, Hello Kitty, Kate Walsh Billionaire Boyfriend

I'm not very good at using up samples but I'm hoping I can fix that soon. The perfume will be a little more difficult to use and form opinions on, simply because many perfumes give me a headache.
The thing I was most excited about was my Christmas present!

The Sephora In The Glow Kit! It comes with nine mini sized highlighter, bronzers and blushes (3 of each). Except for Benefit and Too Faced, these were all new to me brands and eight of the products were brand new to me. The highlighters were Lorac Perfectly Lit in Spotlight, Benefit High Beam, Bare Minerals All Over Face Color in Pure Radiance. The bronzers were Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Golden Mosaic, Nars Laguna, and Too Faced Chocolate Soleil. The blushes were Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Splendor, Tarte Natural Cheek Stain in Flush, and Stila Convertible Color in Peony.

Let's move on to stuff I got on the actual day of Christmas. I won't show you everything because that would be ridiculous but I do have a few things I want to share with you!

If you remember my October Wishlist, I specifically posted a pic of this. Well my sister ended up getting it for me! I'm such a Benefit fangirl and I'm super excited to try all of these! This comes with It's Potent! eye cream, The Porefessional primer, Hoola, Badgal Lash, Stay Don't Stray, Ooh La Lift, Cha Cha Tint, Sunbeam, Bella Bamba, and That Gal.

I also got this Burt's Bees set. It comes with four of their lip balms in peppermint and vitamin e and a little keychain pouch. Burt's Bees lip balms are so awesome! The mint is crazy cooling but my favorite of their scents! I also got an Ulta gift card. Not sure what I'm going to get yet so I'll be holding onto it for a while.

Lastly, I got this beauty. My sister introduced me to Vera Bradley at least a year and a half ago and I've been in love ever since. This is the mini hipster in my current favorite pattern, English Rose. I'm just so excited! I haven't carried a little bag just for me in a long time.

I also got some cash for Christmas but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet. If I get anything awesome, I'll be sure to tell you guys about it.

I love seeing what other people got so post a comment about what you got or a link to a blog post or something! Have a happy New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Project Pan December Update

It's that time again. And surprisingly, this month was much different than previous months. How so? Well...

You may know that the Maybelline mascara that's been in my project pan since the beginning is my very favorite mascara of all time. I've decided it's time to toss this tube. I haven't used a different mascara since August! It's not completely gone but it does take several coats to build up the same color/length/volume. It's just been so difficult to work with and it's reached an age where I'm not really comfortable using it any more. So I'm saying good bye to this mascara for now. I will definitely repurchase this after project pan.

As mascara is something I know for sure I want to get down to just one or two tubes at a time, I decided to replace my old mascara with Benefit's They're Real! mascara. It's ok, definitely not my favorite. I don't think I would ever buy it again because it's crazy expensive for mascara. But I did spend good money on it so I will be trying to use it up!

How's everyone else doing? I hope you had a good Christmas! I had a fantastic day. I have a Christmas/birthday haul going up next week but between now and then I will be busy moving. I have a few posts scheduled for January but I probably won't be answering comments for at least a week. I'm not sure when they will be coming to set me up for internet at the new house. Anyways, have a fantastic new year's!

Monday, December 24, 2012

OPI GoldenEye

Yay for another Bond polish! This is GoldenEye. It's a pretty sparkly yellow gold. I thought I might have problems with application because I generally do with metallics but this was three easy coats. It doesn't feel gritty but I did use my Revlon topcoat. I'm kind of in love with this color, I think it's so festive. As we did with Moonraker, we watched GoldenEye when I put this on. It's my boyfriend's favorite Bond movie and I think he was disappointed I didn't love it as much as he did. I did really enjoy it though! Pierce Brosnan makes a very sexy Bond and I fricken love Sean Bean. I just didn't find it as fun as Moonraker. Still, it's a good movie and I recommend it, if you haven't seen it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Favorite Things 2012: Nails Edition

We can't talk favorite things without talking about nails. I started this blog just to keep track of the polishes I had worn. I went back through all my posts from the last year and picked my five absolute favorites. You can see all my nail swatches here. I'm just reposting the pics from their respective posts but you can click the name to read my thoughts on it, how many coats I used, etc. These are not in some kind of special favorites order, just alphabetical by brand name.

I've loved blogging all of my manicures this year. I fell off the wagon as far as writing regularly a couple times in 2012 but I'm hoping to be a little more consistent with my posting in the next year. It's been a great year and I'm hoping 2013 will be even better. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Favorite Things 2012: Makeup Edition

It's not quite the end of 2012 just yet but I figured now would be a good time to talk about my favorite products of the year! There were definitely some standout products for me this year. Even with my project pan, there were products I just kept using frequently. I didn't just pick things I purchased this year but things I really really used and loved. It just so happens that most of these were purchased within the last year. I didn't include skincare even though there were a couple of things I got this year that I don't want to live without now. Skincare is something that really doesn't change very often so that kind of deserves it's own post. Without further ado, here's my favorite products from 2012!

 Loreal True Match Lumi foundation - Seriously love this stuff! It was easy to find a good match for me from this range because they have a ton of colors and I even saw testers at a couple of stores. It doesn't set too quickly and it doesn't cling to dry patches. It's not too luminous so it looks really natural.
MAC Fix+ - The makeup artist at the MAC store Sam and I went to managed to sell me on this as I was paying for the other things I bought and I kind of regretted it at first. I mean, did I really need another makeup spray? Probably not but I'd been hearing a ton of people say either that it's a holy grail product or just a big waste of money and I wanted to judge for myself. And it's awesome! I don't usually use it as a setting spray, although it is really nice for that. I mix it with foundation or spray my brush with it (or both) to help foundation go on a little more smoothly. I plan on buying a full size bottle before this baby one runs out because I can't imagine life without it.

Benefit Hoola - I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm a Benefit fangirl. That's partly due to the adorable packaging and fantastic sets they put out. I got this deluxe size sample from a little set at Sephora. And while the packaging isn't the best ever, it works for me. I had been looking for a bronzer that wouldn't turn orange on me and wouldn't be too dark. Hoola is perfect. It's matte so I can use it to contour or I can layer it over blush to make me look a little more sunkissed. I don't think I'll ever run out of this little sample but if I do I'll definitely buy the full size.
Benefit Benetint - I got this in the Sugarlicious set from Benefit and I know I'll be buying a full size eventually. I love it as a lip tint because it stays all day, looks very natural and goes with any look. I usually put a gloss over it and it's perfect.
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Redhead - I got this because of the name and it turns out the colors are perfect for my skin tone. It just makes me look so glowy without looking like a disco ball. Redhead also plays nice with almost any blush!

 MAC Painterly Paint Pot - Everyone raves about paint pots being good bases for eyeshadows and I wholeheartedly agree. It just holds every color in place and lasts all day long. I like painterly because it's my skin tone so I can put it on without anything else and still feel very polished.
Maybelline the Colossal Volum' Express mascara - This was one of the first mascaras I've ever tried and I continue to repurchase it over and over. It's lengthening and volumizing. It just make my lashes look amazing. Seriously, if you haven't tried this before, you really need to give it a shot.
NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss is Crystal Soda - Like benetint, this is one of those super versatile lip products that goes with every look. I can wear just about anything underneath this and Crystal Soda looks pretty with it. It can look nice and nude but over a bold color it looks fun and youthful. The mega shine formula is a great gloss, non sticky and really long lasting.

 Urban Decay 15th Anniversary palette - This palette was limited edition so you can't get it any more but it's probably my favorite palette that I own. It's got the perfect neutrals, brights and smoky colors for me. The packaging is beautiful but a little annoying (the lid just lifts off, the shiny surface holds fingerprints like a crime scene). I've gotten a ton of use out of this and I always get a little giddy over how pretty it is.
Wet N Wild Color Icon Trio in Walking On Eggshells - This is my perfect every day look. The shadows rival Urban Decay and MAC in quality but it was only like $3. They are buttery smooth and blend beautifully. I use this a ton, especially when I'm running out of time. It's practically foolproof.

So those were my favorites this year. I know it's a little early but share your favorites with me! On Thursday I'll be showing you my nail polish favorites so stay tuned for that!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

OPI Moonraker

The rarely seen right hand! So this is OPI Moonraker, which is part of the Skyfall collection that I've been lusting after. My boyfriend got this and a couple others for me for my birthday (I'll post them in a haul after Christmas). Of the whole collection, I was most looking forward to Moonraker. It was such a unique silvery blue almost liquid metal type of shade and I knew I at least had to have this one. The color is stunning but the formula is so disappointing. I did 6 coats on my left hand and 4-5 coats on my right. It was so thin but it clung to the brush. Even waiting 5 minutes between coats, I had dragging. Maybe it's my technique or maybe I just got a dud. Either way, I'll try again eventually because I just love this color! We watched Moonraker after I put this on and I actually really loved it! I guess whenever I hear the name James Bond I think Roger Moore, even though this was the first Bond movie I've seen with Roger Moore as 007. So Moonraker the movie totally lived up to my expectations but Moonraker the polish was disappointing. Did anyone else have this problem with the polish?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Makeup Storage and Organization December 2012

Are you excited?! Seriously, I love these types of videos and blog posts. If I haven't said it enough times, we are moving this month! That means I will have a new vanity and probably completely different storage for the new year. So let's get started!

 This is my setup! The vanity is very old. My mom gave it to my sister and me at least 10 years ago. It just has one drawer, a mirror that tilts and a stool. The dresser is the Ikea Kullen 5 Drawer Chest. It's really nice and will definitely remain a part of my setup after we move.

The top of the vanity holds my brushes and other things I like to reach for daily. The clear vases are cheap and from Ikea. Eye brushes on the left, face brushes on the right and dirty brushes go in the mug, which probably came from Walmart. Then we have Burt's Bees cuticle butter, Lush bubblegum lip scrub, three setting sprays, and a rogue cotton ball. The back container used to have makeup removing wipes but now it holds foundations and primers and my tweezers. The little basket is my project pan basket! The spoolie is just out because I hate hunting for it in my other brushes.

 The drawer holds my palettes and sharpeners. The palettes are an ELF 32 palette, my MAC palette, Benefit Sugarlicious, UD Naked 1, the old UD Feminine palette, 88 Warm palette (this seller but my palette really doesn't look like that), and UD 15 Anniversary palette.

Top of the dresser I keep body sprays, lotions, some skincare products, perfumes, deodorant, my jewelry box, a box of recently purchased nail polish and my favorite Mainstays Fresh Linen candle. I also have a plastic lid, so I don't have to put foundation on my hand and a mirror from Ikea.

Left side of the top drawer. Along the back I keep lipsticks, powders, and small eyeshadow palettes. The front is lipglosses, blushes and concealers and lipbalms. The baskets are from Walmart.

Right side of the top drawer. Across the back, eye primers and cream shadows, Rimmel palettes (I won all of them in a giveaway) and my MAC shadows that need to be depotted. In the front, lipliners, eyeliners, and mascaras. The little boxes are actually boxes that little blocks of velveeta come in! (No food actually touched the boxes)

Second drawer is all polishes. I have my two favorite brands on opposite ends, China Glaze and OPI. In the middle I have random brands, Orly, Ulta, Zoya, Sally Hansen, ELF, Butter London, Deborah Lippman, Nicole By OPI, and Essie. In the back I have page reinforcers for french tips/half moons, Sally Hansen polish pen things (they have brush tips and I'm not a big fan of them), top coats, base coats, thinner and Sally Hansen polish strips.

The third drawer is kind of random. I have manicure supplies in the green bag, qtips and a spare makeup bag. The cardboard boxes are Birchboxes. I have (very out of date) polish swatch wheels, makeup I don't like or don't have a place for and unused swatch wheels. The clear boxes are from Walmart. From the left, spare brushes, samples galore!, and extra tools and such.

The other two drawers are junk and storing boxes, brush rolls and the like. I have no idea how my storage will end up in the new house. The vanity will have more storage and I need to make a decision on how to expand my polish storage. If you have a video or post of your storage, comment with a link so I can see!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

German-icure By OPI

Finally, I'm showing you one of my picks from the OPI Germany collection. And honestly, this was kind of a let down. It's a very pretty rusty red color with a little brown and a little orange. I don't know exactly what I expected but it pulls a little more orange than I hoped. Still, it's a lovely color, perfect for a fall collection. I used OPI basecoat, 3 coats of German-icure and one coat of Revlon Colorstay topcoat. The shimmer isn't extremely pronounced but it does give it a little bit of a glow. It's so frustrating to wear two colors in a row that don't live up to expectations. It makes me not want to wear an untried next and just show you guys something I've already worn and love but haven't taken pictures of. If there is something on my list you want to see, let me know!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fall 2012 Target Beauty Bag

If you've spent some time in the beauty community on the internet you've probably heard of the Target Beauty Bag. Seasonally, Target's "Target Style" facebook page offers free makeup bags, filled with samples and a coupon book. I've received three of these bags in the last year. Sometimes there can be a deluxe sized sample in the bag but this one was all just single use packets and that's fine by me. I rarely use samples but my box for them is overflowing so I plan on using all of these and telling you guys how they work for me!

The fall bag is a vinyl type leopard print bag. They are usually fairly decent quality. I've used them for travel and they haven't fallen apart or anything.

Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy shampoo and conditioner - I've wanted to try this for a while and even though it's inexpensive, it's nice to try before you buy.
Fekkai Shea Butter shampoo and conditioner - Fekkai is not cheap but I always love trying high end brands!

 L'Oreal EverCreme shampoo, conditioner and masque - These are sulfate free products, which I've never tried. I've been curious if sulfate free really would be better for my hair but I'm skeptical that they will work the way my usual stuff does.

Jergens Daily Moisture lotion - I don't use lotion all that much simply because I've never found anything that wows me enough to make me use it everyday. I'll give this a shot.
Pixi Flawless Beauty primer - I've never used anything from Pixi but I've heard good things. There was a $3 off coupon included so I'm excited to try this.

You can like the Target Style facebook page here to have a chance to get future bags. My sister received one as well and I'll edit later to include any posts where she talks about it. Is anyone else like me and has to force yourself to use samples?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sally Hansen Loves Me Not

Have you ever seen a polish (or a blush or eyeshadow etc...) and thought OMG I have to have that and it turns out nothing like you though? Yeah that's Sally Hansen Loves Me Not. Look at that incredible shimmer in the bottle! I found this at Walmart (in a special display, so I'm not sure if it's limited edition or what) back in like May but there was polish dripped all over the bottle so I decided to wait for when Sam was here to get it somewhere else. And in all that time it was built up in my head about how awesome it was and I had to have it. I found it at Ulta the very first day she was here so, of course, I bought it and all was right with the world. It's been sitting with all of my other untrieds since. Clearly, this did not turn out the way I wanted. The pic is showing slightly more shimmer on the nail than what translates in real life. It's a really deep plum, slightly glowy but not nearly as shimmery and cool as the bottle shot. Loves Me Not is unique to my stash and I love the Complete Salon Manicure formula and brush but it's still disappointing. Two easy coats plus Revlon Colorstay top coat and it's already showing some tip wear. At least I'm back to painting my nails again!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Project Pan November Update

It's hard for me to believe I'm even writing a November update for my project pan! Three months and I've had progress to share every time! I wore makeup a lot at the beginning of the month but only a few times in the past three weeks, while I was getting over a sinus infection.

I finally hit pan on my ELF studio blush in Tickled Pink! I think this happened like 2 days after I posted my last update so the pan grew a lot. I still just love this blush but I'm excited to get to wear some of my other favorites more frequently.

I also finished up my Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer. This was a great tinted moisturizer and I definitely recommend trying it out if you are interested. I probably won't repurchase because I'm more interested in trying out other things. My method for applying was using a damp brush (which is my go to method with most foundations). I liked MAC Fix+ on my Sigma F80 but I've also used just plain water and ELF Mist and Set and both worked really well.

As for the products going into the basket, I chose three to get me back up to five products in the basket. Coincidentally, all three are ELF products. First up, ELF Essential Clarifying Pressed Powder. For $1 this is a nice powder. Not the most finely milled, but it gets the job done and provides a little bit of coverage as well. I'm just looking to hit pan on this because I would like to keep it in my collection. I also have the ELF Essentials Hypershine Gloss in Bubblegum. I got this in a set of 5 a while ago and I'm just not impressed. They all smell very plastic-y and don't have a ton of color. All 5 will probably go through the project pan because while I'm ready to be rid of them, I'd actually like to get some use out of them. Lastly I have the ELF Essentials Brightening Eyeliner in Coffee. It's not a bad eyeliner, I'm just not wearing eyeliner very often so I'm looking to pare down my stash of them.

Overall, my progress this month has made me more excited to keep going. Last month wasn't working for me but I think this month will be good. My makeup purchasing has slowed significantly in the past three months. I'll probably have a few new things to show you at the end of December since it's both my my birthday month and Christmas but I'm pretty proud of how much I've been able to curb my spending. I even went to the CCO at the beginning of November and walked out with nothing!

Friday, November 23, 2012

I ♥ Drugstore!

I've been loving these videos on youtube lately so I'd give it a shot!

1. What is your favorite drugstore makeup brand?
I guess it's ELF because I own more ELF than any other brand. I've tried a pretty wide range of their products and there are so many things I love from them. Favorites are the studio blushes, essential lipsticks, studio high definition powder and makeup mist and set.

2. What are your favorite face, cheek and lip products?
Face- L'Oreal Lumi Foundation and ELF HD Powder
Cheek- ELF Studio Blushes
Lip- NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss

3. Least favorite product?
Rimmel pro primer. It just felt heavy on my face and broke me out (probably because my face was sweating from how heavy it feels). To add insult to injury, it didn't really do anything to improve how my makeup went on or it's staying power.

4. What is the best makeup bargain?
Probably the Wet N Wild Color Icon Eyeshadows. So inexpensive but the quality and pigmentation is on par with MAC and Urban Decay!

5. What is your favorite underdog product? (Something you love that often gets overlooked?)
The ELF essentials lipsticks. They're only $1, really creamy and pretty basic colors. For a beginner, it would be great to pick these up, even if all you want is some lippies to play with and experiment with what colors look best on you. Just a heads up, the packaging is definitely $1 and they are so soft they can be prone to breaking. This doesn't bother me as I don't carry lipsticks with me and I don't mind repairing a lippie.

6. A drugstore product that is overpriced?
Physician's Formula. I only own one Physician's Formula product, I won it from their FB page and I'm meh on it. My roommate at college only used PF products and she looked like a hot mess at the end of the day. I'm sure they have some quality products but at that price, I'm going to upgrade to higher end brands with prettier packaging and fewer added fragrances.

7. Show your best drugstore dupe(s)!!
I'm not sure if these are exact dupes because I've never bothered to check. I've heard WnW Walking on Eggshells is similar to MAC Shroom, Mulch, and All That Glitters. I'm not big on makeup dupes, I really only care about nail polish dupes.

8. Drugstore product that isn't worth the hype?
EOS lipbalms. I've spoken about these before. They are so waxy. Everyone loves the cute packaging but it is pretty impractical, at least for me.

It was very fun to try to come up with these answers! I tag Sam to try it! I'm definitely going to look for other tags that might be fun to try blogging!