Thursday, September 18, 2014

Haul Time! - Sephora, Zoya, Bath & Body Works, and More!

Hello! Hope you're having a great start to your Thursday! Not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I actually started working part-time; same job and everything, I now just work Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Technically, my "last day" at work was September 4th, but due to timing (and other) issues, they haven't been able to hire someone to take my place so, instead of abandoning my office, I'm sticking around until they find someone! Friday (so...tomorrow) may or may not be my last day; it all depends on my health insurance (they want me to possible work through the first week of October, and if they haven't officially changed me over to part-time, I'll still be able to have health insurance through October. If they changed me, then I won't so there's not much reason for me to stick around). It's been nice only working three days a week (24ish hours), but every day feels like a Monday and a Friday.

I have another haul for you guys! I seem to do these weekly, though they are usually collective hauls; I've been buying things steadily (which really isn't better than buying everything all at once, but it sounds better) over the week or so and by the weekends it all piles up around my desk and it's time to put it away. Depending on my work situation, I might have to put a hold on buying much of anything besides food so...not sure what direction my blog/vlog will take. Maybe a Project X Pan/No Buy is in order...
I'll start with my Zoya order since it's the one I got first!
A few weeks ago (maybe a month now? I honestly can't remember...) Zoya had a special BOGO sale on all their "summer" polishes! They had a couple pages of polishes that they deemed "summer colors" and you could mix and match and buy one get one free! Which is awesome! They also has free shipping on orders over $20. Even MORE awesome! So I got myself four bottles of polish for $20; two Pixie Dusts and two cream colors.
Zoya also included color swatch panels (they call them wheels, but they're squares) for their Tickled and Bubbly summer collections...
the Naturel and Naturel Deux transition collections...
and the Entice and Ignite fall collections! I love these little swatch panel things; it's the best way to see if you actually do like a polish color (even in real life, the color of a polish in the bottle can be very different from how it will look on your nail). I believe you can order individual polish spoon swatches and then, if you like the color and order the full size, Zoya will take the cost of the sample off the price of the polish, but I'm not 100% sure (it might have been something they did in the past if they don't do it now, or it might even be a whole different brand I'm thinking of).
My four polishes came safe and snug in a Zoya polish box! You can't see it in the box shot, but the whole box was also filled with packing peanuts. Which is kind of lame since they're the non-biodegradable kind which are terrible for nature, but it does keep your polishes safe.
 This is Ginni! It's a Magical Pixie Dust, which is my favorite type of texture polish. Ever. Zoya describes it as a "glittery pink tourmaline" and it's super pretty! I avoided getting this polish for a while because, even though I love the finish, the color is very similar to my other pink Magical Pixie Dust, Lux, but since it was part of the buy one get one free promo, I figured why not. Also have you guys seen the new Ultra Pixie Dusts for fall? Yeah, all over that.
This is Stevie, the other Pixie Dust I got. I do like the regular Pixie Dusts, but they're more subtle and a loft softer looking than the Magical ones. Well, subtle in comparison. Zoya describes it as a "violet sparkle" and it is seriously one of my favorite polishes now. It is such a gorgeous purple, and the matte glitter texture adds a nice "edge" to the girlishness of the color. Stunning. If you get one Pixie Dust, make it Stevie. Unless you don't like purple; then I can't help you.
What would a summer nail polish haul be without a coral color? This is Wendy; a "juicy summer melon". It looks a lot pinker in the picture than it is in real life, but Zoya cautions that "due to the florescent pigment used, actual shade and photographic reproduction may differ" so that's why. It's definitely a pink-coral and it is bright and I am going to wear it even in the middle of winter.
 And finally this is Wednesday, because I'm a sucker for these kinds of greens. Zoya calls it a "faded dirty medium turquoise with green undertone", though I much prefer the description of "vintage green". It looks more blue in the pictures, but it's definitely more green in real life, though a very wearable green!
Here they are all swatched! Left to right is Ginni, Wendy, Wednesday, and Stevie! I'm very, very happy with the four colors I got (especially since it was only $20 for all four, shipping included) but Stevie is my absolute favorite.
And then I ordered some things from Sephora! I placed this order because I wanted to get something from the sale section and there was a special deluxe sample that Sephora released on Facebook that I really wanted to try.
These are the samples I got; nothing too interesting, though I know I picked different perfume. I assume they ran out of what I picked and included a replacement.
 So...this is the thing I wanted from the sale section. Weird, I know. It's a little travel-sized refillable atomizer! It was on sale for $7 and I have a fragrance that I really like to wear, but it's in a bottle that doesn't have a spritzer. I can still use it, but I want to be able to take it with me and much prefer using an atomizer if possible. One thing I read in the reviews is that you have to keep the filling instructions because they don't exist online (or at least, anywhere official).

And then I bought more things to get my order to $25 so I could get my sample...

I got another travel-size bottle of the LaVanila Healthy Deodorant in Pure Vanilla. I love this stuff; this is legit the best deodorant I have ever used. It's pretty expensive at $8 for this size and $14 for the full, but it's natural and I like the smell of it.
I also got another bottle of the Sephora brand Express Nail Polish Remover. This isn't the best remover I've ever used, but I do like it and it's on sale for $5 (which, compared to drugstore nail polish remover is really expensive, but it all depends on context). Apparently, they're not going to carry this anymore at the U.S.A. Sephoras, but it will still be in stock in other countries. Weird. Maybe they just don't want to import it anymore since importing/exporting stuff like nail polish and remover is stupidly expensive. Hazardous materials and all that.
This Sephora's new natural Citrus Brush Cleaners and it has some really good reviews on It's made by Parian Spirit (at least, the formulation is) and it smells citrusy and it's apparently amazing. I've always used the Sephora-brand brush shampoo and daily brush cleanser and have generally been happy with them (though admittedly I haven't tried any other brands...) and if this is even better than the regular shampoo, that's pretty awesome. The only thing I worry about is the citrus smell; I'm not a big fan of citrus-based scents, but the reviews say the smell doesn't linger.
And this is the whole reason for this order: this is a deluxe sample size bottle of the Omorovicza Queen of Hungary mist! I believe this went pretty quickly and it was a "Fan Friday" sample thing, so the code for it was only released on Facebook (I think; I don't actually know much about Sephora's social media presence. Because I am a dinosaur). I've heard of this brand before (though I can't pronounce it), but I know absolutely nothing about it besides the fact that it's expensive. This is a facial refreshing mist toner and it "was inspired by the Queen of Hungary Water, the world’s first recorded perfume, formulated for Queen Elisabeth of Hungary in the 14th century" which sounds really cool. Though...didn't Egyptians use perfumes? Like, they had big cones of fat and oil they put on their heads that they let melt in the heat and cover them in goo and scent. Or does that not count?

This mist sounds pretty amazing, though: "Key dermatological benefits of this enhanced delivery include: the support of natural collagen and elastin, a tighter lipid matrix to lock in hydration and protect skin from micro-damage, and improved antioxidant defense against free radicals." The scent is a mixture of rose, orange blossom, and sage waters and, while I really hate the scent of rose, it's very delicate and gentle and it actually smells amazing. I can see wearing this just as a perfume. The full size of this is 3.4oz and costs $86, which is crazy. The sample we got is 1fl oz, which is a great size, and it's worth $25, which is what I needed to buy to get it for free, so it's like I paid $25 for this and got to pick $25 worth of other stuff for free. I love getting samples of really expensive skin care because I know I'll never be able to buy the full size but I still want to feel fancy. Worth it!

Let's do Bath & Body Works, next! I actually didn't get much from BBW (that acronym amuses me to type), but I'm still really excited about what I got. Because I got a coupon in the mail for a free 3-wick candle. Totally free! No purchase needed. I didn't even know they had coupons like that! ...I have been a little candle crazy lately, which is probably why I got the higher value coupon (this happens to me with Victoria's Secret; I used to work there and am like the highest tier of the Angel Credit Card thing even though I barely ever buy anything from there anymore so I get the really good coupons. If you're going to work retail, work somewhere you like to shop because you will get discounts and work your way up the rewards program system really quick).
 And this is the one I picked; Vanilla Pumpkin Marshmallow. I pretty much have all the other candles I want so it was a little tricky to pick out my free one. I did want to get the Trick or Treat one, but it smells almost exactly like Marshmallow Fireside and I only need one manly, smokey-smelling candle.
Is it possible to have too many pumpkin-scented candles? I'm almost at my pumpkin-candle saturation point... This candle smells like vanilla, pumpkin, and marshmallow, with a big emphasis on the marshmallow. It's super sweet, which just a hint of pumpkin and vanilla. It's nice to have a sweet vanilla scent without any "bakery" notes.
...I really, really didn't need anymore PocketBacs. At all. Ever. But the Halloween ones are so cute and I was getting three of them anyways so I might as well get the five for $5. I got Hoot Berry, Trick-Or-Treat, Pumpkin Cupcake, Pumpkin Spice Latte, and my favorite, Brown Sugar & Carrots. I love smelling like pumpkin and sugar; did you know that the scent voted sexiest by men is pumpkin?

I picked up some "essentials" things from Sally Beauty Supply:
These are the Hands Down Ultra Nail Pads and they are the best things ever to use to remove your nail polish. They're more expensive than normal cotton rounds (it's about $5.50 for a bag of 60), but you only need one or two to remove polish from all ten nails (maybe three if you have a super glittery, texture polish). They don't leave any linty pieces and they even have a tab on the back that you can hold so, if you only need to remove polish from one or two fingers, you can do so without worrying about messing up your other nails. Totally worth it.
I also wanted to get some mascara spoolies because I don't have any and they're pretty useful to have around. I tried saving some brushes from mascaras that I used up/that dried out, but I didn't find cleaning them worth my time when I can just buy a bag of disposable ones. They have regular straight ones, but I went with the curved ones because I actually find a curved brush easier to use; especially when trying to get in close to my inner and outer lashes.
 Sally's started carrying some neat sheet masks! Actually, I'm not 100% sure these are truly "new", but they are promoting them and they even had them on sale for buy one get one free! I've been really into sheet masks so I wanted to give these a try! These are both two-piece masks so there's a piece for the top of your face and a piece for the bottom which allows for more adjustment and better fit. These aren't the best masks ingredients-wise, but they are made in Korea and they're pretty good for mid-range. There are a couple other types including and anti-aging and a pore-refining one so I might go back and try some more! I used the brightening one and overall liked it, though it was a lot, uh, juicer than I expected. It kept running down my neck, but I just rubbed it in and called it good.

My Sally Beauty Supply is really close the a Marshalls, so I impulse bought some stuff from there, too!
I don't need any more nail polish by any stretch of the imagination, but these OPI two-packs at Marshalls (and I assume TJMaxx as well since they're the same store) are $8 and are a great deal. Plus, these two Liquid Sand polishes looked very interesting.
I have no clue what, if any, collection these two are from, and it looks like the other polishes in the two-packs were from the Muppets, Minnie Mouse, Bond Girl, Maria Carey, and Oz collections. This is Get Your Number and it really intrigued me; in the bottle, it looks like it might be similar to a Zoya Magical Pixie Dust polish since, unlike other Liquid Sand polishes, it has a lot of holo-glitter. On the nail, the holo-glitter is significantly less pronounced, so it ends up being this cool hybrid between a normal Liquid Sand finish and a Magical Pixie Dust. It's very pretty!
 And this is The Impossible! I don't think you can see it in the picture (or at least not very well) but there are star-shaped pieces of glitter in this Liquid Sand! No other textured polish I have has different-shaped glitter in it and, while I knew it would be difficult to get the stars out and on the nail, I needed it.
Here they are swatched! Left is Get Your Number, right is The Impossible. You can see how the holo-glitter in Get Your Number is there, just subtle. I managed to get one star out the bottle for my The Impossible swatch, but you can't see it and that's sad.
I also got a Cleanlogic Blemish Extractor. I've wanted an extractor for a while now, but I haven't been able to find them for cheap (the only ones I've found are the Sephora brand or Tweezerman which, while good quality, are more than I want to spend without knowing if it would even work with my skin). This was only $4 and it looks sturdy enough. I like that it comes in a sealed bag because a. I am a germaphobe (I'm going to sanitize this with alcohol before and after each use anyways) and b. it looks like when they sterilize surgical equipment (if you've ever gotten a tattoo/piercing from a legit place they'll open the bags in front of you and they look really similar) and that amuses me. Also this company apparently donates to the Inspiration Foundation for blind people. Neat.

Couple more random things!
I got the Real Techniques Base Core Collection set for "kind of free" from Kohls! I had one of those magical $10 off any purchase coupons that come in the mail every now and then and I couldn't find any clothes I wanted to get (all the clearance stuff was summer left overs) and all the Essie nail polishes looked gross and used. This kit was $18 and I had a Kohl's giftcard that my grandmother-in-law gave my husband and me for our birthdays. So, free! I got this set because I really wanted the contour brush and the buffing brush.
And from BestBuy I got Sia's 1000 Forms of Fear CD. I rarely buy CDs because I can just listen to songs on Youtube, but sometimes I like the artist enough to buy the CD (and unfortunately line the pockets of their label) because I still can't wrap my head around buying mp3s (I like buying a thing; I can just upload it to iTunes myself). This was on sale for $8 and has two songs I've been really digging lately: Chandelier (oh my god I actually spelled that right the first time all by myself) and Elastic Heart. The whole CD is really good and I've always been a big fan of Sia. She's a great artist and writer and she's actually written a lot of hit songs for other artists as well!

And that's everything! Not too crazy this week, but enough to make a big mess! I'll be very happy to get all this put away and start using it!

Thanks for reading! <3

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