Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sephora VIB Chic Week Tote and Random Make-Up and Accessories Haul

Hello! Still trying to get this glut of posts all typed up and published! I may even try to get one more post up today; it'll depend on how long this one takes. This post is going to focus on what I got in my VIB tote from Sephora to celebrate the start of their Chic Week (which was April 11th, so that just shows how behind I am...) as well as some other purchases I made from MAC, Macy's, and Forever 21!

Let's start with what brought me to the mall: the Sephora VIB Chic Week tote!
To celebrate the start of Chic Week, Sephora was giving out these totes to any VIBs who made an in-store purchase on April 11th. VIBs also got a 15% discount on any and all purchases for the week and were able to let a friend use the discount on the 11th as well (I could be wrong about this, it's been a while and I threw away my coupon card). Normally, I wouldn't make a trek to the mall just to get a tote (actually, I might. A bit ago, a free tote never really caught my attention, but now I seem to be willing to go out of my way for one. I...have a lot of free totes.) but this tote had samples in it!
Here's the bag of samples! They were in one of the special Sephora baggies that you sometimes get your samples in when you order online (I don't know what causes them to put things in the bag, maybe if you have more than three samples?). I like to save these bags and use them when I travel. You know, to be environmentally friendly and all. There were eight samples in the bag, and only one of them was a fragrance, which was nice because I have way too many fragrance samples.
I'll get the fragrance sample out of the way first, since it's the most boring. It's Gucci's "Premiere" Eau de Parfum. It's a pretty standard, dull, fancy perfume smell. It's a little powdery (I don't generally like powdery smells) and fades pretty quickly. Nothing really new or innovative.
The next sample is a shampoo and conditioner set from Bumble & bumble. I've used some of Bumble & bumble's products before, specifically their curly hair shampoo, conditioner, and hair creams (both curl varieties), and honestly, I haven't been very impressed with them. I always go back to my holy grail hair condition from Ouidad and I've discovered the brand Alterna for my styling product needs. This sample is from their thickening line, which is good for me because I have very fine hair. Overall, it was an okay product, and I'm sure if my hair didn't have deep-seated frizz and dryness issues, this would have worked great. It just didn't have the moisture my hair needed, and I didn't really notice any additional volume (though I do use a volumnizing mousse, so maybe that masked it.).
Another hair product sample I got was of Josie Maran's Argan Oil Hair Serum. I have an argan oil sensitivity (at least I think I do; I had a terrible reaction to Josie Maran's Argan Oil Lip Treatment and argan oil products tend to make me break-out, but I got the same reaction to a different lip product that I don't think has argan oil, so I may have been reacting to a different ingredient) so I was a little leery of using this. I also still have a full deluxe sample jar of pure argan oil, so I don't really need a specific hair product made with it. I do think it's kind of weird that there's an argan oil hair treatment, when you can just use pure argan oil in your hair. I did use this (you only get one use out of this little packet, which was kind of lame) and I wasn't very happy with it. I love love love my Kendi Oil from Alterna and this product didn't really compare.
The next sample I got was a Perfect Cleansing Oil for face and eyes by the brand Nude. I have not used this yet, but it has some good reviews on and it's Paraben and Sulfate-free (along with being free of a lot of other chemicals, which is great) so I'll hopefully give it a try soon. I've only used one other oil cleanser before, and it was an argan oil cleanser that made me break out, so I've been a little cautious.
Haha, I'm just starting to realize how a lot of these samples have kind of been disappointing. I feel like I've had negative things to say about all of them, and this one is unfortunately no exception. I had a lot of high hopes for this product, since I do like other skin care items from the Ole Hendriksen line, but I really didn't care for this moisturizer. It had a weird texture and smell; it was kind of...gooey? and it smelt weirdly citrusy. It made my skin feel like it had a film on it almost; it's hard to explain. I know exactly how it felt, but not a good way to describe it. If anything, I feel like it made my skin look even more dull. It could be that this product just wasn't meant for my skin type and that it may work wonders for other people. That's always the downside of make-up reviews; just because it didn't work for someone doesn't mean it won't be amazing for you.
Next up is a sample of Make Up Forever's Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation. I think there were different skin tone options for these sample bags because this set is labeled for "fair complexions", and another product I got came in the color "light". The Sephora employee who checked me out must have just picked what she thought would fit me best. In the "fair" part of the spectrum there are four different shades to choose from, which I appreciated since a lot of times "fair" and "light" colors tend to be a bit too yellow for me. There's a " 110 pink porcelain", "113 neutral porcelain", "115 pink ivory", and "117 golden ivory"; I'm thinking I'm going to be either the 110 or the 113, but I haven't tried it yet. One thing that concerns me is that these are small samples, so I don't think I'll get more than one (or even just one full) application, which can make it hard to judge a product's performance fairly.
This was the other sample that came in a specific color. This is Smashbox's Camera Ready BB Cream in the color "light". I've actually used this product before; it was the very first BB cream I ever tried. I ended up switching to my current BB cream (the Black Label Detox BB Cream by Dr. Jart) because I heard that American made BB creams don't really compare to the Korean ones; that the American ones are more like tinted moisturizers than true BB creams (Dr. Jart is actually a Korean brand and it's made in Korea). I felt that this BB cream also had a drier, almost chalky texture when it dried and it was far too yellow for my skintone. I'll try it again and see if maybe it was just the bottle I had, but I'm not really expecting to be blown away by this sample.
My final sample is of Shiseido's Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion for face and body. I was really excited to get this sample because I've been looking into getting a good face sunscreen for days when I feel lazy about doing my make-up (and I mean super duper lazy because I generally just slap on my BB cream, which is already SPF 25). I've looked into different drug store brands of facial sunscreen, but I haven't been too pleased with the kinds of ingredients. I really want a physical sunscreen (one made with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) since they don't react weird with your skin and breakdown in the sun. I haven't tried this yet, but I am definitely looking forward to.

Those were the eight samples that were including in my VIB tote. I'm not sure if everyone got the same samples and only the colors of the BB cream and foundation were different, or if there was any randomness to the samples you got. I know it sounds like I wasn't happy with my samples, but I was actually pretty happy. I really enjoy trying new things, even if I end up not liking them. As I said before, in order to get the tote, you had to make a purchase. I didn't have a lot of time to look around, so I grabbed something from the cash wrap/impulse section.
I grabbed a travel size of Clinique's Take the Day Off make-up remover thinking I could try a new cleanser, but when I got it home, I realized it wasn't sealed. I'm a little weirded out by things that aren't sealed that I purchase in store, because you never know if someone opened it and used it or something. I know it's weird and kind of paranoid, but I know I wouldn't feel comfortable using it and that it would just sit on my counter. I ended up bringing it back, but Sephora is really great about returns and was very understanding.
I also grabbed a trial size of Soap and Glory's "Clean on Me" shower gel. I love this gel; I had a bottle from a gift set I bought around the holidays and I was sad when it ran out. It's very creamy and lathers beautifully. It also smells delicious, just like their body butter (which I am also a huge, huge fan of) and I just love this shower gel. My local Sephora didn't carry the Soap and Glory line in store except for this and the travel size of the Hand Food hand cream (which is also amazing) when I got this, but they just recently got the full line in stock, which is awesome.

And that was my adventure at Sephora! While I was at the mall, I also decided to go to Macy's and check out the MAC counter. If you remember from a previous post, I picked up MAC's Select Moisturecover concealer for my undereye area and absolutely loved it, but was super disappointed in the customer service at the MAC store. I was interested in exploring more MAC products, and I especially wanted to pick up a lipstick in the color Snob (I had heard a lot about it on Youtube and was very curious to try to it out. That and I honestly don't know much about MAC products so I wasn't sure what else to get.). The MAC counter in Macy's was SUPER busy; all of the make-up artists were doing demos and it took a little while to find someone who wasn't too busy and who could grab my lipstick and check me out.
And here's Snob! I was really surprised how much I liked this lipstick! To start with, the packaging is super sleek and cute (oh man, I am such a MAC newbie...). I had heard that MAC lipsticks have a very distinct smell, and they do! It's very pleasant and kind of vanilla-like. I was a little afraid that the color wouldn't look good on me; I know Snob is a very popular color (well, from what I've seen on Youtube at least. That and there were two testers out instead of just one) but I never feel like I look good in lipstick. The first time I tried it, it looked really weird and almost made me look kind of sickly. I was really worried that I had just wasted $15 on a lipstick that I can't use, but I decided to try and layer a gloss over it to tone the color down and it worked! I ended up loving this color and have even gotten brave enough to wear it out with having to tone it down with a gloss on top. It really is a very pretty color and I think the description of it as a "very lady like mauve" is very accurate.

While I was leaving Macy's, a product on an impluse tower caught my eye.
It's called the "Get the Pulse" eye collection. I don't know if these are still in stores, I got this a few weeks ago, but if it is, I highly recommend getting one! It was only $28 ($30 after tax) and you get seven deluxe sample sized eye products AND a bonus eyelash curler! I couldn't resist; I love kits like this where you get smaller products, but you get a lot of different ones.
The products come in this shiny faux-quilted box The insert inside that holds the products is removable, so the box is reusable, which is nice. For some reason, I love to hoard cute little boxes like this. I'm thinking about using it for either make-up or jewelry storage.
Here are the products in their tray in the box. I didn't get a picture of each individual product, which I should have, but this gives a nice overview. The card on top describes each product and talks about it's features and benefits. Going from right to left, you get bareMinerals Flawless Definition Volumnizing Mascara, Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara, Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to Die For - The Mascara, Too Faced Lash Injection, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Pencil in the color Perversion, the curler, StriVectin-TL 360 Tightening Eye Serum, and Philosophy Eye Hope. I've used the Lash Injection mascara by Too Faced before and loved it (it's the one that makes little tubes on your eyelashes!) so I was happy to get another sample of that, and I've never tried any of the other products so I'm super excited to give them a shot. I don't want to start using them all at once, though, since I don't want the mascaras to go bad too quickly (I tend to go through mascara slowly because I hate trying to take it off; I've never finished a tube of mascara, deluxe sample size or full before the 3-4 months time frame is up.) I was excited to the the 24/7 pencil because I've heard rave reviews of the line and I'm ALSO really excited to have it in the color "Perversion". I guess most sets that include a black 24/7 pencil usually have it in the color "Zero" and "Zero" isn't as strong of a black as "Perversion. I always love trying out new eye creams and serums, so the inclusion of two from very well known and respected brands is awesome. I'm glad this caught my eye and that I went ahead and bought it (I did spend a minute or so debating it, since I wasn't expecting to buy anything except the lipstick).

Finally, I went to Forever21 to check out their hair accessories. I ended up missing my bus (which is why I had a limited amount of time in Sephora) because I spent so much time trying to find someone who wasn't busy at the MAC counter, so while I was waiting for the next one, I popped into Forever21. I wanted to get some cute, soft headbands for spring/summer so I could be a little lazier with my hair, but still look semi-put together. I do have boring headbands, but they end up hurting and giving me a headache because they're too tight (I have kind of a big head). I got four different headbands:

I think my favorite one is the lace with the floral underneath just because it's easy to wear with a lot of different outfits. My least favorite is the pink one with the knot in the middle; I grabbed these pretty quickly so I didn't notice the knot until I got home. It's kind of big, and I have pretty fine hair, so it's a little overpowering, but the color is cute so I can try and make it work.

While I was at the checkout, I spotted this super cute shower brush.
Not only is it heart-shaped, but it's pink! It was also only $1.50, so I figured why not (I had already bought $30 worth of eye make-up on impulse, so I was feeling good about only spending $1.50). I did try and use it, and I think this is intended to be more for like scrubbing your feet than anything else. The bristles are really rough, even though they feel like they'd be soft enough for skin. I tried it on my back and it felt way too abrasive, so I've regulated it to feet only. It was super cheap, so I don't really mind that it didn't work out.

And that's everything! WHEW that got long. I almost hope that you chose to watch the video instead of reading all of this! That's one of the reasons why I've been neglecting my blog for so long; videos are just easier to make and easier to watch than typing all this out. I do like that I can take my time more and really talk about things here more so than I can in a video, so I'll continue to do both, but I do think I prefer videos over blogs. What do you prefer? Let me know!

Thanks for reading! <3

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