Sunday, April 13, 2014

I Like Buying Things! - Another Haul! - CCO: MAC, Coach Outlet, Sephora, and More!

Hello! Exclamation points are all over the place! Because excitement! Also because it is very difficult to express tone and intonation through the internet and using exclamation points makes sentences sound more friendly and bubbly. I feel like with the amount of time we now spend communicating with written words we really need to come up with a few more types of punctuation to help express the nuances of the English language. ...I took a lot of literary/language courses in college.

ANYWAYS. Yes, this is another haul! Ugh, it's starting to look like all I ever do is spend money on crap. Which I suppose is technically true, but these hauls are older and are usually over a certain span of time; they're not money-crazed one day shopping sprees. Usually. This haul should be pretty interesting since I went to our Premium Outlet mall and got some neat stuff, and it was the start of the Sephora VIB Rouge 15% off sale!
I'll start with the stuff I got at the Premium Outlet mall since that's what I picked up first! I'm lucky enough to live within a comfortable driving distance of a Premium Outlet mall, though I rarely ever get a chance to go shopping there (in fact, this trip was my first in a very long time...). What really drove me to go this time was the fact that there is a Cosmetic Company Store (CCS or CCO, which I think is the European version. The "O" stands for Outlet). Visiting a CCO is pretty much the only way to get MAC products on sale with the guarantee that they are authentic MAC products (you can find MAC products on sale online, but there are so many fakes out there that I would never risk it). The CCO also has Estee Lauder, Clinique, Bobbie Brown, Origins, and Smashbox products at discounted prices (since they're all owned by the same parent company. Funny how those things work!). I ended up getting some MAC eyeshadows and a Clinque set.
This is the set I got from Clinique. At the CCO, they have those special gift sets that you can get for free with a minimum purchase from Clinique counters and they let you just straight up buy them. I paid $8 for this set, and I think it's totally worth it. I got deluxe sample sizes of the Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss, Take The Day Off makeup remover, Derma White City Block sunscreen, and All About Eyes Depuffing Serum. I used to be a big fan of Clinique products, especially their All About Eyes eye cream, but I've since moved on to what I think are bigger and better things. I do still like their products, and I figured for $8, this would be a great way to try a few more (I've used the All About Eyes Depuffing Serum before, but everything else is new).

Now for the MAC shadows! I got two mineral eyeshadows and a holiday 2013 palette.
This is MAC's Bright Moon from the Heavenly Creature collection. I thought this shadow was just gorgeous! I love the blues and silver all swirled together; I bought this more for how it looks in the pan than what I think it will look like on my eyes...
Here's a swatch! It ends up being a very frosty, silvered blue which, while pretty, is not something I would normally wear. But I'm very happy I was able to get it just because it is so lovely in the pan!
I was really surprised to find this quad at the CCO! This is Great Beyond, from the Fantasy of Flowers collection, which just came out this spring. They had this quad and the green one (In The Meadow, I think) but not the other two, which is good because I paid full price for those and I would have felt silly if I could have gotten them cheaper.
I debated getting this one at full price and I'm glad I waited! All of a sudden, I've been obsessed with the color purple (I assume part of it is influence from Sephora and the color of the year) and I thought these colors were so pretty! I guess people are pretty torn about MAC's mineral eyeshadows; some love them, some hate them. I think I'm in the "love" camp; they are pretty sheer, but I kind of like that. The only thing I don't like is how sparkly they can be.
This is what I was most excited about getting! This is the Stroke of Midnight: Warm eyeshadow compact from the 2013 holiday collection! They had the cool palette and the smokey palette, as well as two compacts from the 2012 holiday collection.
I really debated between getting this one and the cool-toned one; I already have a lot of shadows that are similar to these, but I feel like these are the colors that look better on me (...which is why I have so many in the first place).
Pretty! Left to right is Femme Fi, Amber Lights, Mulch, Socialite, and Midnight Hour. I was impressed with the quality of these shadows, and I especially like Amber Lights. When I first saw these compacts at the MAC store, I thought they were kind of ugly, but now I'm starting to big the Art Deco kind of look! This is such a cute compact and, since it comes with a teeny, double-sided brush, it's great for travel! (Side story: the first time I bought this, it didn't have the brush in it. I really wanted the brush because it was so perfect for traveling and on the go touch-ups, but it wasn't worth the time and gas money to drive back to exchange it just for a teeny brush. I got lucky and my mom came down to visit and agreed to stop by the CCO on the way home and exchange it for me!)
It also came with this neat little booklet that has three different eyelook tutorials!
I like the drawings and the fact that they list all the products used, including brushes.
I'm so happy I got this palette, especially on the cheap! Next time I'm there, I think I'm going to pick up the cool-tone one as well, if they still have it in stock.

I didn't intend to go into the Coach outlet (this trip was specifically to go to the CCO), but since it was right next door, I figured why not? I went through a phase where I needed a Coach bag and had a hard time finding one I really liked (I feel in love with one from the Coach Poppy line, and I was thisclose to buying it, but I didn't and it ended up selling out). My husband got me a gorgeous one that I used almost every single day. After about a year, I kind of...not moved on exactly, but I felt that I had satisfied my Coach craving and started using other purses as well. Since then, I've been pretty "meh" about Coach, so I didn't think I was going to buy anything.
But then I did! But I am so happy we went in there and I got this bag. Like I said, I've been super into purple this spring and, seriously, how perfect is that lavender color? And with the khaki? Gorgeous! I found this bag in the 50% off section, and then I had a coupon for 30% with an additional 20%. I know they always have those coupons and they use them to make you impulse buy, but I needed this bag. And I got it for under $100. Which is awesome.

About a week or two ago (I think it's more like two weeks), Sephora had a special Spring 2014 Social for their VIB Rouges! We got to shop in the store during non-business hours, meet with a bunch of brand reps, and get 15% off our whole purchase (you could use the 15% discount as many times as you wanted until April 11th. I think other VIBs and Beauty Insiders got the 15% discount as well, but they didn't get to use it for as long as Rouges did). I was a super fun shopping-party, and I'm really happy I got to go! I ended up buying pretty much exactly what I wanted, though my Sephora was sold out of one thing.
First, I picked up the Formula X for Sephora nail system kit! I've never tried any Formula X polishes and I've heard good things, so I figured this would be a great way to give it a try. You get a full size bottle of the nail cleanser, a full sized base coat, a full sized top coat, and any Formula X polish of your choice! I spent a long time debating what color to get, and I ended up with Fine Like Einstein.
Holographic sparkles! I have a semi-obsession with holographic glitter and this polish is just packed with it! I couldn't decide between this one, Freaky Like Freud, which is a purple holo-glitter, and Turbulent, a turquoise and black splatter special effect top coat. I'm kind of sad I didn't go for Turbulent; it's a little more unique than Fine Like Einstein, and I actually ended up picking up another polish that's so similar to this one (I didn't realize it would be at the time) that it feels a little redundant.
I also really wanted to pick up an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder. These have been all over Youtube and everyone just loves them. I wanted to try one, but they are a little pricey ($45 for a powder compact is pushing it for me), so with the 15% off, I was able to justify getting one! I ended up with Diffused Light.
I went with Diffused Light because, according to the description on, this powder would address a lot of the issues I have with my skin. I'm going to quote it here, because I am lazy: "A soft, warm, pale yellow that reduces redness, eliminates shine, and gives skin clarity." I also thought about getting Dim Light since that is a "neutral soft beige that provides a perfect balance of warm and cool tones to blur imperfections." I almost wish I had gone with Dim Light over Diffused Light since I like the color a little more (plus it seems to be the most popular as it's sold out right now!), but what I really regret is not being able to get the special holiday palette that came out and then sold out. I'm not 100% sure how I feel about this powder yet and if it was worth the $45, but I'll keep experimenting with it. And will also probably get Dim Light.

The final item I intended to get was another Anastasia Beverly Hills Go Brow Kit.
I love the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel. I think it's worth every penny. I know elf has a brow gel that's like $1-3 dollars but I really don't think it can compare to this one, even if it is 20x as expensive (if you get the full size). I got my other brow gel in a similar kit, though now they started including a little travel sized eyebrow pencil and they increased the price by $6 to compensate (at least they added something before they increased the price; I've heard that companies are shrinking the size of their products but leaving the prices the same. Sneaky!). There's something about this brow gel that makes my eyebrows look so perfect and well groomed, even if they're not. And you can't tell you're wearing it! Well, you can feel it on, but you can't see it.

I ended up grabbing one thing on impulse, and that was the Sephora Smoky Cream Liner in The Deep End.
Not much to say about this; I've never used any Sephora cream liners. I picked it up because it was on sale for $5 and I wanted to try blue liner for summer. Neat!

With my purchase, I got some extra goodies!
Everyone got this cosmetic bag (not sure if non-VIB Rouges got them or not) and a plastic baggie filled with foil-packet samples.
The bag is actually really nice; it's a heavier canvas material with nylon lining. I like the black and white stripe design with red accents; very bold without being overpowering. The samples were nice, but kind of "meh". I was hoping we would get more deluxe kind of samples instead of foil packets. Can't really complain about free things, though!
I also grabbed a 100-point reward because why not! This is a good sized deluxe sample of Algenist's, Firming and Lifting Cream. I really don't need any more skin care, but I do really like Algenist products and they tend to be on the expensive side so why not snag some for "free"?

They were also giving out special samplers of any fragrance you wanted! You could pick any bottle they had a tester of and they would fill a little atomizer for you to try it out. You got a good sized sample (the same, if not more, than what you get in a traditional sample vial), too! I went with two, Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black and Marc Jacobs Honey.
Very different types of scents! I like MJ's Honey since it's softer and more summery, but I really like EJ's Nirvana Black, which really surprises me! It's a very heavy, powerful scent (it made my whole bag smell like Nirvana Black and even now, just sitting in the bag on my desk I can smell it) and it has sandalwood, which I usually don't like. I think what really makes me like this scent is the vanilla; I've discovered that I love the scent of vanilla, it's just so...happy? smelling. It's hard to explain. If you read my past hauls, you'll know that I actually did get a sample of this perfume in the past, but it arrived broken so I was unable to try it. This is actually a perfume I would consider getting the full size of, but I may wait until it gets colder again; I'm not sure it would be good for the summer.

And now on to the random things! These are some other purchases I made that I wanted to share with guys, but that didn't fit in and/or warrant their own blog post!
From Ulta, I bought a NYX Wonder Pencil in the color Light. I've been trying to find a good flesh-toned pencil to line my waterline and make my eyes look more awake without much luck. I've seen this before and considered picking it up, but I didn't because I wanted something that wouldn't irritate my eyes and that didn't have things like parabens in it. I ended up buying the Pixi eye brightener and I did not like it all! It irritated my eyes, it faded right away, and I really don't think it was worth the $14 I paid for it. This little guy was $4-5 (I can't remember) and I figured I didn't have anything to lose by getting it.
I wish I had bought this in the first place! This pencil is really creamy, it doesn't irritate my eyes, it stays for a long time, and the color is pretty much perfect! You can also use this pencil as a reverse lip liner and a spot concealer (hence the "Wonder Pencil" name). If you're in the market for something like this, I would highly recommend picking it up!
Completely unrelated, I got this shirt! It's a crop-top tee shirt and I got it from Ragstock. My husband and I were walking around the Mall of America and, as we passed by Ragstock, we both spotted this shirt at the same time. I love cats, he loves ninjas, it was a match made in heaven! Granted, I paid $8 for a t-shirt that someone cut in half, but it was totally worth it. I can't wait for the weather to get warmer so I can wear it!

Also in the Mall of America, we stopped by the LEGO store to see if they had a certain set in stock...
And they did! This is the Cloud Cuckoo Palace set from the LEGO Movie series. Ever since we saw the movie, we've been trying to find this set because we wanted the Uni-Kitty figure. Unfortunately, everyone else wanted the Uni-Kitty figure so it's been sold out everywhere for a very long time. We finally were able to snag it at the LEGO Store (they only had two left and someone had tried to hide the other one behind a bunch of different sets) and it was a glorious day. I think demand for this kit has died down, or LEGO has upped their production of it because we recently found it in stock at our Target. We didn't pay any more for it from the LEGO store, so no bigs, but I am a little sad to see it's not as rare as it once was.

We also stopped by Gamestop! My husband and I collect Skylanders and there was a certain one I've been on the look out for. And it finally came out!
This is Scratch and she's a Sphinx! I love cats, which is basically all the reason I needed to get this one. I haven't even played with her yet so I don't know if she's "good" or not (most of the Skylanders are pretty balanced in their effectiveness, there are just some that are more fun to play with than others), but. She's a cat. I also find it interesting that my two favorite Skylanders (Scratch and Sonic Boom) are Air-types.

Finally, I had a coupon to Bath and Body Works for a free travel sized item that I wanted to use.
Generally, I'm not a fan of Bath and Body Work's lotions (they're too highly scented and they don't feel very moisturizing), but my free item had to be $5 or under so I couldn't get the body mist like I wanted (since that was $6). I also don't normally like lavender scents (even though I wish I did), but I think combined with the honey, it's actually quite pleasent.
They also had these little bottles of perfume at the checkout counter and they were on sale for $4! I did buy this on impulse, but it's actually a really nice, summery scent, so I'm glad I did! Regular price for these is $8.50, which isn't bad, but I wouldn't have been as inclined to buy it if it wasn't on sale.

And that's it! That's all the stuff I bought (at least, for this round of hauling...)!

Thanks for reading! <3

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