Sunday, August 4, 2013 July 2013 Haul - Opening and Review!

Hello! It seems like all my posts have "Opening and Review" in the title nowadays! I feel like I need to branch out and focus on some other things besides on the stuff I buy. I was thinking about doing an "Empties" video and blog post, but I never really seem to accumulate that many empty products. Since I love trying new things, I'm always switching up the products I use and generally give my mom and sister anything I didn't use much of (or at all). I was also thinking of doing a "Hit or Miss" type of video/post, which would be more doable since I do try out so many new things, so be on the lookout for that!

Onto what this post is all about: my most recent order from!
This order isn't too terribly large (technically, I only bought three things), but I did get my birthday gift, two 100-point reward items, and the special VIB SkinIQ sampler bag, so there's a lot to it!
Look at all that paper! I actually like to save it and reuse it for packing material; my husband and I (actually, just my husband) sell a lot of stuff on eBay so it's super handy to have all this extra packing stuff laying around. So on the very top of my order, as always, are the three samples I picked. Sephora also snuck in one of their fragrance cards; this one for Honey by Marc Jacobs. I feel like Sephora is really pushing their fragrances this summer since people really don't tend to buy more than one a year (if that). I know I never really need to purchase a full sized bottle of perfume ever again since I have so many little sample vials laying around.

 The three samples I got where Benefit's It's Potent! Eye Cream, Boscia's Super-Charge Overnight Moisture cream, and YSL's Touche Eclat. I've always wanted to try YSL's Touche Eclat since it's supposed to be the best highlighter ever, but I could never come to terms with the $40 price tag (I went with the $22 Stroke of Light Eye Brightener by bareMinerals, which has served me quite well). I'm always open to trying new eye creams and since Benefit was the first high-end make-up brand I ever purchased, I thought I'd give theirs a go. The Boscia cream was kind of an afterthought; I didn't like the other samples and needed to pick a third one, so why not? I've only tried Benefit's eye cream so far, and I haven't noticed it being any different from the other eye creams I have, but we'll see; I've only used it for a couple days.

I think I'll continue with the "add-on" theme and move onto my birthday gifts next. One of the perks of being a Beauty Insider with Sephora is that, every year during your birth month, you're eligible for a special free gift!
This year it was two products from Benefit; their "They're Real!" mascara and "Watt's Up!" brightener. Benefit is always giving away samples of their "They're Real" mascara (which makes sense since it's one of the most popular mascaras) so I actually already have another small tube of it laying around somewhere. I do like it, I just have a hard time getting it off, which is why I prefer Too Faced's "Lash Injection" mascara. It makes little tubes around your lashes so it doesn't ever "bleed" or smear or anything; when you wash it off, the little tubes pop off. I was pretty excited to get a sample of "Watt's Up!" since I've never tried it before. It seems pretty similar to Benefit's High Beam highlighter, except in a solid stick form. Definitely a fun little extra (also, if you're not a Beauty Insider with Sephora, I highly suggest you sign up, even if you don't buy that much make-up. It's a great loyalty program and you can earn some cool stuff)!

The next little add-ons to my order are my two 100-point reward items.
I usually just bank my points because I like to get the 500-point sets, but I really wanted to try these two products out. I got a small bottle (0.25 fl oz) of Ole Henriksen's Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil and a little Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner in Intense Black. I was most interested in the eye liner since I don't have a pen-type liquid liner, nor do I have a liquid liner in black. Eye liner is something I'm pretty awful at, so I've been trying out different types to see if I can improve (the only way I can line my eyes and not look weird is using an angled brush and eyeshadow. I'm tried using pencils, kohl, and liquid liners that come with a brush but it always ends up looking weird. I want to try using a gel liner since that's most similar to the method I use now, but I haven't gotten my hands on one yet). I haven't tried it on my eyes yet, but I do really like how it swatches.
Here it is on the back of my hand, along with a swatch of Benefit's "Watt's Up!". I tried to do a thin line and then a thicker line, but I'm not sure how well it worked out. I pointed out earlier how "Watt's Up!" and "High Beam" are similar products, but as you can see here "Watt's Up!" is a bit warmer in tone where "High Beam" is a little more pinky and cooler.

I've been trying to "shake up" my skin care routine, so I really wanted to get the special VIB SkinIQ Sampler Pack.
It is a pack of  9 samples of various skin care products, all tucked away in this nice pouch. Actually, the pouch feels a little on the cheap since it's pretty thin and plastic-y. I'm starting to accumulate a lot of these cheap plastic packs from Sephora for some reason... Anywho! I was actually a little disappointed in this set, especially since it was for VIBs only AND you had to buy $25 worth of stuff to get it. Usually, you can get a cute little deluxe sized sample of a product when you fulfill those requirements, but all the samples in this bag were foil packets. Foil packets are probably the worst way to try out new products, especially skincare since you need to use it more than once or twice to really know if it will work with your skin or not.
Here are the nine samples that were included in the pack. I'm sorry about the bright flash; my camera was being stupid and wouldn't take a proper picture because it kept going into portrait mode (it wanted to keep focusing on the girl's face). In the pack I got:

Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial: This is the only product I've tried out of the pack so far. It's a lotion you use at night and it's supposed to be super moisturizing. I think it was too hydrating for me; it made me break out pretty badly. It also has this weird smell, kind of like a medicinal cream, but that may have be because I've had it sitting out open for a little while.

Algenist Pore Correcting Anti-Aging Primer: I've had a lot of luck with Algenist products in the past, so this is a nice sample to get. Unfortunately, Algenist products tend to be a little out of my price range so even if I do really like this product, I probably won't purchase the full size. It does have silicone in it, which my skin really, really doesn't like (when ever I use a silicone-based primer I turn red and break out terribly), so I may or may not use this.

Clarins Body Lift Cellulite Control: This is a special cream for your legs and, ahem, bottom (the directions say to apply it anywhere from the ankles to the waist) to help combat cellulite. It sounds like it's a firming cream (it amuses me that they describe it as a "superficial tightening effect"). Luckily I don't have too much cellulite, but since I now have a desk job and am at risk to develop more, I might give this one a try.

Murad Essential-C Day Moisture: This is a little packet (I think it's the littlest one in the pack) of a moisturizer/sunscreen combo. It's broad spectrum and has an SPF of 30 which is great. I have a lot of SPF stuff from my Sun Safety kit that I still haven't used, but honestly, you can never have enough sunscreen (well, you can, especially if you have so much that it expires before you can use it).

Ole Henriksen Perfect Truth CC Eye Creme: I thought this was kind of a unique product; I've heard of CC creams before, but not one that's specifically for your eye area. I feel like my eye area really lacks sun protection a lot of the time; most products you use on your face you can't really use around your eye area since chemical sunscreens can be very irritating (but mineral ones are generally fine). The SPF on this CC cream is a little low at 15, but I'll take whatever I can get. The color is "natural", so I'm not too sure if it will work with my skin tone or not.

 Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Corrective Serum: I take back what I said about the Murad packet, I'm pretty sure this is the smallest one! There's not really a description of what this is supposed to do on the packet (it does have directions on how to use it, at least. I've gotten samples that don't explain how to even use it...). I just looked it up on and holy cow is it expensive! I'm just going to quote what it says in the description on the site: "Restore your complexion's ability to produce collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid for timeless skin. See results in just one day thanks to a revolutionary new ingredient: Bio-Corrective Complex. This youth-restoring powerhouse delivers visible improvement from the very first application, imparting radiance and smoothness to aging skin." Very interesting, will definitely give this one a try.

Sephora Age Defty Eye Cream: This seems like your run-of-the-mill eye cream. It doesn't seem to have anything super special or gimmicky about it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I tend to shy away from Sephora's in-house branded products only because if I'm going to shop at Sephora, I might as well buy from a brand. Most of the time the products even cost the same! I blame stores like Target and Wal-Mart though for cultivating the idea that in-store brands are "generic" and thus should be less expensive.

Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer: I like how the directions on this packet say to use it both am and pm; not too sure I'd want to use an energizing product before going to bed... I'm curious if this has any special energizing ingredients in it or if it's a more smell/feeling based type of energizing (like when you use citrusy soap in the morning).

Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil: I didn't realize there was a sample of this in this pack! As you can see above, I also picked up the 100-point deluxe sized sample of this product. It doesn't seem like you use a lot of this product when you put it on (especially since it's just a mix of different oils) so I'm going to be set for a long time.

On to the meat and potatoes of my order: the items I actually ordered!

This was the main item I wanted to pick up. I was running low on my FAB Facial Radiance Pads and thought it was time to give a different toner a try. I've been breaking out more than normal lately, and I think it might have something to do with my facial pads; they've started to make my skin red and feel kind of sticky. Also they're fairly expensive; about $30 for a 1-2 month supply, depending on if I use them once or twice a day. I actually intended to try out some drugstore toners, but when I went to purchase one, all the toners I could find had alcohol in them, which isn't cool ( does feel cool, but alcohol is very drying). I went with this one because it had pretty good reviews on (4.4 out of 5 with 266 reviews), with people saying it's great for acne. It's also alcohol and paraben free, which is what I was looking for. I've been using it for couple weeks now, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. It is quite refreshing, but my acne has stayed the same/gotten worse over that time frame. I don't know if this product is to blame though since my skincare routine has been very screwy; I've been messing around with different products and have been somewhat lazy. I'm going to try and stick to a strict routine and see if that helps calm things down. The directions say you should spray it directly on to your face and neck, but I find that I don't get an even distribution of the product that way. I've taken to spraying it on a cotton round and then applying it to my face (the same way I used to use LUSH's Tea Tree Water spray).

Because I hate paying for shipping, I picked up a replacement head for my Clarisonic to help bring my total to $50.
They really emphasis that you need to replace these every three months; not only does it say it on the top, but along the sides, too! I'm pretty close to the three month mark (I think...I'm bad at remembering stuff like that), but even if I'm not, I think my brush head needs a change anyways; it's all stained from my BB cream! I'm pretty sure it doesn't affect its performance or anything, but it does look kind of gross. I went with a "sensitive" head again, but I'm thinking that I maybe should have gone for either a "delicate" or "acne" brush...I suppose I can always try a new one out in three months.

Unfortunately, I was still about $1 short of free shipping, so I threw one more item in my order.
Sephora is basically having a fire sale on their "Sephora by OPI" nail polishes this summer (it's all been half off and they just recently introduced a "3 for $10" deal) since they're dropping the line. I've surprisingly been good at not going crazy and buying all the colors ('s probably because I've been going crazy and buying so much Julep polish...), but I couldn't resist this one. It's called "Looks Like Rain, Dear" which I think is supposed to be a pun on the line "go insane, go insane, throw some glitter, make it rain" since this color is CRAZY glittery. I used to hate glitter polish since taking it off is such a nightmare, but it's an evil I am willing to live with because I love glittery nail polish. I'm like a magpie; sometimes I just look at how sparkly it is. This color is described as an "opaque gold with fine and chunky iridescent glitter", so clearly, I had to purchase it.
Look at how glittery and gold it is! Gorgeous!

And that's my most recent order from! Nothing too extreme or super special, but I was able to get a bunch of fun, "free" (not sure if the 100-point rewards count as free since you have to spend money to earn the points..) extras that I really wanted to share with you guys.

Thanks for reading! <3

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