Sunday, March 31, 2013

Makeup Haul!

Hello again! Time for another make-up haul! I got a couple packages recently delivered from Sephora, so I figured I'd show you guys what I got! I'm starting to feel that it's actually a good thing that I wait to post my hauls because that way I have time to try some things out and these posts aren't just "hey, look at what I got!" but more "hey, look at what I got and this is what I think of it!", which are generally more interesting and informative kinds of posts. So with that, let's get to it! (The first few paragraphs are about my quest to get Hello Kitty nail polishes, so feel free to skip down if you'd find that boring. Pictures start when I start actually talking about my haul!)
 Okay, so recently, Sephora has had their Hello Kitty brand nail polish on sale for half off (so $5 a bottle instead of $10). I've seen it in their sale section online a few times, but never really gave it a second look. ...see, the thing is, I don't really even LIKE Hello Kitty; I think she's been over done and has been...cheapened? by the sheer amount of collabs and things that feature her. I really love other Sanrio characters like Cinnamon Roll, My Melody, Tuxedo Sam, the Jewel Pets, etc (oh, and I also wanted to mention Hello Kitty's cat, Charmmy since she is so bizarre and cute), but Hello Kitty just seems so boring to me. However, Hello Kitty products tend to just be so cute! There's actually a nice sized Sanrio store in the Mall of America that I love to go to just because everything in there is adorable. I even own a bunch of Hello Kitty things (I had the Hello Kitty toaster in college; it would toast the bread and leave a image of her face un-toasted in the center. Very cute, but lead to soggy bread middles.) but...I'm just not that fond of her. Haha, so that tangent was basically to explain why I hadn't looked too closely at the sale HK polishes! Well, that, and I'm kind of picky about which nail polish brands I like to get, but I digress.

So finally, for reasons I can't remember why though which are likely just boredom, I clicked on the nail polish to give it a closer look. First of all, the bottle itself is pretty dang cute. It's modeled into Hello Kitty's head shape and has all the details molded on as well. I like how subtle and almost...classy? hmm, maybe not classy, but definitely subtle the bottles look since, even though it's HK's face, it's pure, smooth glass with no extra coloring or anything. A lot of times, cutesy nail polishes will have stickers and painted details and the like on them and while that can be cute, it does come across as being meant for a younger age group (which they are). These bottles are cute, but in a more grown-up way. Second of all (and most of all!) the colors it comes in are ADORABLE. The colors are what really got me; they're these really cute, springy pastels and they all seem to be more on the cool-toned side, which is great with my skin tone. There's a mint green, a cool bubblegum pink, a periwinkle, a pastel creamy yellow, a pink and a grape sheer polish with glitter, and a clear polish. Now, for some reason, I decided to dilly dally and not order them right away (I think I was still a little put off by the "they're HK polishes!" idea), which was a HUGE mistake. When I finally decided I wanted to buy them, Sephora was completely sold out of all of the colors except the clear and the sheer pink with glitter (It's not so much "glitter" as more chunky iridescent particles. I don't like straight up fine glitters because they are awful to take off.) I was sad, but I figured I'd cut my losses and get at least the pink sparkly one. I had other things to get at that time, so I just threw it in my order. I figured that I could find the colors in other polishes and that would be that. I was wrong. I looked (albeit not THAT hard) for polishes that were similar in color to the HK one, but I really couldn't find any that I liked (especially one that looked similar to the mint and yellow colors). They were all either too saturated or too green or too sheer. So, I needed these polishes.

I began sort of...stalking the sale page on see if they would come back in stock. Luckily, at this time, I had spent enough to renew my VIB status with Sephora (which is sad considering it's only March...) so I got a coupon for free shipping. The mint and pink colors had come back in stock (the pink with glitter and the clear had been in stock this whole time) and I immediately purchased them. I also got two of the pink with glitter ones for Easter presents for my mom and sister. I wanted to get them the bubblegum pink one, but I had managed to snag the VERY last one because it wouldn't let me add more than 1 to my cart and after I checked-out, the bubblegum pink was pulled off the site. I tried to console myself, saying that the pink and the green ones were the ones I wanted the most anyways (I've been obsessed with mint lately), but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted the other colors. Admittedly, part of my need for these polishes probably came from the fact that I perceived them as rare, but seriously. I could not find a good pastel yellow that wasn't over $10 anywhere. So I kept stalking. And then ALL of the polishes came back in stock again.

Without another free shipping coupon, I wanted to get up to the $50 so I wouldn't have to pay the $8ish for shipping. I did think about just getting the nail polishes, but it didn't seem worth it when I took in account the shipping cost. So I ended up buying a bunch of extra stuff that I was interested in trying out anyways, and now (well, soon, that order just shipped recently) I own all of the HK polishes except the clear one!

Uh, sorry for that kind of long rant. I don't fully understand why it was so important for me to get all the HK nail polishes, but now that I did, I can finally move on in life. So here is a picture of my first Sephora order! Uh, please ignore the fact that you can see me in the Lorac compact...

Okay, so the two main reasons for this order was to restock on foundation powder and to get the Sephora+Pantone Universe Precious Metals eyeshadow palette. I got the Sephora+Pantone Universe palette that they made last summer when it went on sale for $27, and I thought it was a good deal so I figured I'd try this one out, too. I don't think I would pay full price for these (I got both on sale for $27 each), but not because I don't think they'd be worth it. I just...I don't like paying full price for Sephora's in-house make-up. It's so close in price to higher-end stuff, but it just feels almost like drugstore quality to me. I feel like I can buy a mascara or an eyeshadow from a drugstore for half the price and have it be similar quality. That might be just me, though. I've had good experiences with Sephora's own brand of stuff (they have good eye make-up remover, I like the Sephora by OPI nail polish and their nail polish remover, and all of my brushes are Sephora brand), but I'd much prefer either paying a few dollars more and get something from Stila or Tarte or something instead.That being said, I do buy a lot of Sephora brand stuff when it goes on sale because then it feels worth the price. I also made this order when they still had the "get 5 samples instead of 3" promo going on, and I was able to still get the Beauty Insider gift of a deluxe sample of Caudalie's "Premier Cru The Eye Cream".

So to start off with, the foundation I picked up.

I got Too Faced's Amazing Face SPF 15 foundation powder. I'm always trying different brands of foundation powder because I'm never fully satisfied with the color match. The very first high-end foundation powder I ever got was from Benefit and it was waaaaaay too yellow on me. Too Faced was the second brand I had tried and while I was pretty happy with it, I thought that there might be other options out there. The next one I had tried was Smashbox's Halo powder, but that was also too yellow (and too pricey) for me. I finally brought my issue up to a Sephora associate, and she said it was because I was more pink-toned and most of the powder foundations out there had a yellow-ish cast. At her suggestion I got the Laura Mercier Mineral Pressed Poweder SPF 15 in the color Tender Rose. In the store, it seemed like a really good match, but in practice, I feel like it was almost...too pink? My skin is very sensitive, so it gets red pretty easily in the winter due to the cold and wind, and I felt like the pink color emphasized my redness. I was thinking about trying the next color up called "Real Sand" to see if that would help (it was the other color I tried in the store, but it looked a little too dark for me), but I decided to just go back to a powder that I had used before and was happy with, instead of trying something new that might not work.

I got the color I was before, "Vanilla Creme", which is the lightest color they offer. One of my favorite parts about this foundation is how cute the compact is! I know that that really shouldn't matter, but I do like cute things and I really like the molding and the overall chunkiness of it (I rarely take my foundation powder with me, so I don't mind over-sized packaging). I'm waiting until I finish my current powder to start this one, but I like having reserves in case something unexpected happens like I drop and break it or something.

Next, the Spehora+Pantone Universe eyeshadow palette!

Sorry if this picture is a little hard to see, I left the plastic overlay on that had the Pantone color numbers on. The colors do have names, but they're on the back on the palette (unlike the summer one which just has the Pantone numbers on the back). The "theme" for this palette was metallics for the holidays (these came out a bit before Christmas). I know when this first came out, a lot of people were concerned that the colors weren't really "metallic" and it's true, they're more satin and frosty finishes than what you would call a "metallic". That being said, the colors look very complementary and lean more towards the neutral side than the summer palette (who's theme was bright, summer colors). The palette itself is nicely constructed and very sleek. The top cover is also a huge mirror (the whole cover is the mirror) which is super useful. I haven't used any of the shadows in this palette yet, but I have used the shadows in the summer one and overall I am very happy with them. Some colors are better than others, but honestly, that happens in almost every palette. I would recommend this palette if you're looking for a bunch of eyeshadow options, but I believe it's now sold out. If you can find it in store, buy it, but if you're still looking for a good neutral palette, you can't go wrong with either of Urban Decay's Naked palettes (I have Naked 2, the more cool toned one).

Every now and then I go through make-up "cycles"; sometimes, I think that all I really need is a foundation, BB cream, and concealer and I'm good to go. These are when I'm feeling generally lazy about my make-up. Other times, I get it into my head that I am clearly not doing enough and that I should be wearing blush and primer and contouring and all that. These times follow my "lazy make-up" phases, when, after a while, I start feeling like I'm "missing out" on a complete make-up routine. Right now, I'm in the "complete routine" phase, so I decided to pick up some blush and bronzer.

The first one I got is a blush/bronzer and eyeshadow quad from the Izak line by Sephora that was on sale for $9.

The packaging on this is really cute, though I'm not sure how practical it is for travel (which is what it's intended for). The palette closes with magnets, but I feel like that wouldn't be secure enough for someone to throw this in their purse and go. I think that powder would fall out and get everywhere or that purse dust (Seriously, where does this come from? Every now and then, I find that I have this "dust" in the bottom of my bag. Is my bag just that dirty?) would be able to get in and mix with the product. But that may be just me, I'm pretty paranoid about these things. I bought this mostly for the blush/bronzer, but the eyeshadows are a nice bonus.

The reviews online said that you have to be careful about fall-out from the glitter in these shadows, but it's pretty easy to avoid if you don't try to put too much on at once. I haven't used the eyeshadows yet, but I have used the blush and I really like the color of it. It goes well with my fair skin and it's really heavily pigmented so you don't need to use much at all. I think this was worth the $9 I paid.

While I was looking at all the bronzers that Sephora offers, came across this $7 travel size Lorac highlight/bronzer compact. I prefer travel sizes since I like to try new things and rarely, if ever, use a full product up entirely before I feel like it's too old (this is my biggest issue with make-up; I keep buying new things, but I never really use up the old ones before they "go bad". I actually had buyers remorse after buying the metallic eyeshadow palette since I barely made a dent in the summer one and I already own the Naked 2 palette. Luckily, eyeshadow last 2 years+, so I just have to stop buying it and use up what I have.). I know you get a better "deal" if you buy full-size, but it's not really saving money if I just end up throwing it out anyways.

This is the compact open (...ignore my jammies)! It's a lot smaller than the full $30 size (which is a lot bigger than I realized! I saw it in the store and I was amazed at how large it was.), but like I said, I would much rather pay $7 for this little one. When I first opened it, I was concerned because the bronzer looked like it would be way too dark for my skin, but it actually looks really nice on! I use it for contouring and it blends in great. I already have High Beam from Benefit for my highlighter, but I like using this highlighter powder when I don't feel like taking the time to get out my bottle and go through the process of blending it with my fingers. Oh man, that makes me sound super lazy! For $7, I really recommend this!

Since I had been browsing the sales page, I decided to pick up a Sephora lipgloss stick on a whim. It was on sale for $5, so I figured "why not!".

This is the Sephora Jumbo Color Wand for Lips in the color "Daydreamer". They have another color "Uptown Girl" that's at the full $11 price. I was surprised by how good the reviews were for this, and the colors looked pretty, so I put on my order. I'm very glad I did! I've used all the colors at least once, and they're all very easy to wear and they taste good, too. I like that each color has it's own applicator, and I like how these are packaged. It's a little too long to fit into my make-up bag in my purse, but you get so many color options, I can look past that. For $5, this is a very nice collection of travel-sized gloss and if you get a chance, I recommend picking this up (Hmm, I may be a bad reviewer if I recommend everything!).

Finally, the nail polish that started it all!

This is a slightly blurry picture of the color "Pink Sprinkles", which is a sheer pink with iridescent sparkles. One thing that surprised me was how different this color looked in real life. Online it looked and cool toned where in real life it's almost a salmon color. I haven't used this yet, so I can't say for sure how the color looks on. This is the color that is always in stock and, compared to the other colors, I can see why, but it's still cute.

So those are the things that I actually paid for! One thing that I really like about ordering from is all the different samples you can get; I've really drifted away from buying things in the store unless I need one or two small things and don't want to pay shipping.

Here are my 5 regular samples, along with my deluxe eye cream sample. I was really happy I got the Anna Sui fragrance sample; on my order it just said sample/sample so I wasn't sure if it went out of stock and they were going to replace it with something else or something. As I said, I'm going through an "all the make-up!" phase, so I wanted to get a face primer sample. I've also been experimenting with skin care (last order, I fell in love with my sample of Ren facial cream, but full sizes are so expensive and I already have a full sized $30 face cream I've barely used!) so I got two face cream samples. I'm looking forward to trying the fresh Lotus face cream, but I didn't realize that the Clarins cream was meant for more mature skin than mine. I'm going to give that sample to my mom (she gets the samples that I either have too many of or that don't work with me due to skin type, coloring, etc.). I got the Hourglass tinted moisturizer since there wasn't a 5th sample that really called to me, but I'm a little worried that it might be too dark (most samples that I can't pick the color for usually are. I'm basically the "lightest shade possible", unless it's super pink or almost white) so that might go to my mom as well. Finally, I got the Beauty Insider special deluxe sample of Caudalie's "Premier Cru The Eye Cream" which I believe was touted as a $45 value. The full size is $98 for 0.5 oz and the sample is 0.2 oz, so yeah, about $45 worth of eye cream. I definitely like trying new eye creams since I have a lot of issues with my eye area (dark circles, thin skin, very dry, fine lines) and I'm trying to find something that works well and is a reasonable price (I'm willing to pay if it does what it promises!). I've tried this a few times and haven't noticed anything dramatic, but skin care is one of those things that's hard to make an assessment of without using it for a few weeks to a few months. I'm glad the sample size is pretty substantial so I'll be able to use it long enough to see any results.

Whew! One order down, one small one remaining! This second order is the one where I just got four bottles of nail polish to make sure I got the pink and green ones.

Nice and small! This was the one I used my free shipping on. I also got three samples; I like that there isn't a minimum order you have to make to get the three free samples because I live for samples. Once again, the colors of the polishes were a bit different than they looked online. They're a bit lighter in real life, but I actually liked them more than I did when I saw them online. One thing I've heard of people having an issue with is that these polishes are a little sheer and take a few coats, and yes, it took 3 coats to make the color opaque (I've tried both pink and mint), but that doesn't bother me. I got through nail polish so slowly (I've never used a full bottle) that by the time I finish it, I'll probably be obsessing over a bunch of new colors anyways. They dry in a reasonable amount of time (similar to my other polishes) and, at least with a top coat, I haven't tried them without one, they don't chip, so it's a fairly high quality polish. Oh, and did I mention the colors are AMAZING? Because they are. I would recommend these for the color alone! They're so perfect for spring and their cool tones go very well with my skin tone.

As for the samples, I haven't used the mascara yet, but I have used the eye gel and the face cream. The face cream seems really nice; it makes my skin feel really soft and it hasn't irritated it (which is easy to do since my skin is so sensitive) which is always a bonus. The eye gel feels nice on, but I'm not sure if it's doing anything. Once again, it's one of those things you need to use for a while to really get an idea of whether it works or not, but the sample is so small, I'm not sure how many more uses I'm going to get out of it. Maybe a week at most?

Almost done, I swear! I also wanted to include a picture of the plastic bag Sephora is now putting their samples in.

In my previous orders, the samples were just kind of thrown on top of my order (usually on top of the massive amounts of kraft paper Sephora seems fond of using). In these last two, they've actually been in these little ziplock baggies with Sephora's iconic stripes and logo. I think it's a nice touch and makes it look like my order was a little more "important"; like they took the time to make sure everything was packaged well instead of just plopping it in last minute on top. Plus, now I can start collecting baggies to reuse for when I travel!

So there's my latest make-up haul(s)! I do have another package on the way that includes the remainder of the HK nail polish colors, but that just shipped out so it might be a few days before I'll be able to post about it. Sorry again for the longish rant at the top, and I hope you didn't find it too wordy!

Thanks for reading! Hope to see you again!

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