Monday, January 26, 2015

Haul Time! - Ulta, Sephora, LORAC, and More!

Hello! Hope you're having a great start to your week (or middle, or end)! I'm trying to get everything off my desk so I blogging like mad! ...I actually want to wash my makeup brushes and need my desk clear to give them a place to dry. #firstworldproblems

I have a haul to show you guys! I cut back on these (or at least tried to...) around the holiday season and I feel like I'm trying to "make up for it" with a lot of random purchases. I think I need to get back into a "no-buy" mentality; especially since all the holiday sales should finally be over with. ...but then all the new spring stuff is coming out. Hmm. Tricky.
There's not a lot of rhyme or reason to this haul; it's mostly beauty-related items, though I do have some random stuff to throw in that I did not include in my video. This post might get long (though I'll try to keep it short, both for my sake and yours), but if you want to see what I picked up over the last couple weeks, then please click below!
Hmm, not even sure where to start. I suppose I could go in the order of my title and just run with things from there. Yes. Let's do that!
SO. Ulta. Nyx products were buy one get one 50% off and there were a few Nyx products I was interested in trying. First off is this orange-tinted dark circle concealer/color corrector.
I have pretty severe dark circles; I inherited them from my dad and they're made even worse due to the fact that I have pretty deep-set eyes. I've struggled with them all of my life (one time a goth kid who liked me asked if I wore makeup or if my eyes were just that way and then another time a kid on the bus asked me if I had been punched in the face. It was an awkward time in my life) but I'm finally figuring out how to make them look less noticeable. Normally, I just try to cover them up and brighten the area, but Victoria Donelda, on the Youtubes, mentioned that it's important to color-correct, then cover and highlight because if you don't, it will look off since all you did was lighten the area (she explains it much better than I do). I've never used a color-corrector before, so I didn't want to invest in anything too expensive, so I thought Nyx would be a nice compromise of quality versus price.
I wasn't sure if I should get light or medium, but I went with light and I think that was the right decision. It's not super noticeably orange and it blends out really well. I think it definitely does help, so I'm very happy I bought it. I might look into purchasing a more higher-end brand when it runs out.
For my 50% off item, I went with the Nyx Control Freak clear brow gel. I ran out of my Anastasia Beverly Hills clear brow gel a long time ago and, while it's not a super necessary item, I do think that it adds a nice, polished touch to my face. This is a pretty good gel; it's not as good as the Anastasia one, but I wasn't really expecting it it be since it's only $6. I think it works well for the price.
I also picked up two of the Soft Matte Lip Creams. I tried one of these before in the color Tokyo; I think the color was wrong for me and I ended up not liking it too much. I've been into the matte lip look because I am a sheeple, so I thought I'd give these another try. I wanted some more neutral colors since most of the lip products I own are more intense colors like red and purple. I ended up with Athens (on the left) and Istanbul (on the right). I wanted to try Stockholm, but Ulta was all sold out. Such is life. Actually, they were sold out of most of these, which I assume is because they're kind of popular. And for good reason!
Here they are swatched; again Athens on the left and Istanbul on the right. I was worried that Athens would be too dark and/or too brown toned based on the little picture the display showed, but it's actually a nice peachy nude. Istanbul ended up being darker than I expected based on the display, but it's still pretty. They have a delicious vanilla scent and they dry down pretty quickly. I like how the colors look, my only issue is that they are super dry, at least on my lips. Admittedly, I'm not used to wearing true mattes, so maybe they will be super duper dry on my lips, but wow. It was like a desert. Next time I wear them, I'll try wearing a lip balm or something underneath.
On a different trip to Ulta, I got some more brushes. I needed another blending brush and Ulta had EcoTools for buy one get one 50% off. I ended up with this six piece essential eye set; I don't mind the shorter handles and I got a lot of different brushes for like $12, so I thought it was a pretty good deal. I haven't washed these yet (due to reasons stated above), but I'm assume they'll be as soft as my other EcoTools brushes.
And for my 50% off item (actually, I think the other set was technically the 50% off one since this was a few cents more expensive...I can't remember and it's mostly a moot point) I got this face and body sculpting brush. I haven't seen this brush before, and this was the only one there, so I'm not sure if this is an uncommon brush or what. I read some online reviews and people said this was a very soft brush and was great for bronzer or for dusting your shoulders and decolletage. I think it will be fun to use in the summer for bronzing and shimmering.
I also got some more sale nail polish because I have an addiction. I'm actually not totally sure what I purchased with what and when, but again, these weren't all one big purchase. I was super-duper excited when I saw this on sale; this is OPI's Glitter Off base coat and it's my favorite base coat ever. It came out over the summer and I was able to get my hands on a single bottle of it and I haven't seen it since. It's a peelable base coat that you can use under glitter nail polish to make it really easy to remove. I love wearing glitter polish, and I like wearing polish for two-three days before removing it, so this is basically made for me. You can dupe this using Elmer's Glue, but I like having it in a bottle. Very, very happy to get another bottle of it, especially on sale.
 I also found another Qtica item on sale; this time it's a Natural Nail Growth Stimulator. I'm really enjoying the other Qtica products I purchased, so for $5, why not? I don't really need to encourage the growth of my nails since they do pretty well on their own. but I'm curious to see if this improves the health of my nails.
I also caved and got two DerMeLect (not sure if that's how they want it capitalized, or if it's just Dermelect) polishes. I've never tried this brand before and, normally, I avoid polishes that are this cheap and look used (I'm that weirdo unscrewing the caps and checking the rims for dried polish), but these colors were quite pretty and they didn't look too bad. Even so, it's really difficult to catch anything from a nail polish; they're so full of solvents that it's very unlikely that something organic will be able to survive (especially if they're not water based). Think about all the people who get their nails down at the salon and use the salon's polish. More often than not, the things you catch from the salon are from unsanitized equipment or an unskilled nail tech who ends up cutting you/abrading your skin. Sorry, just had to keep justifying this to myself.
 The first color I got is this pretty peachy pink called Lust Struck. It looks cooler-toned in the picture, but in real life it's definitely peachy. Also, the name amuses me.
 And this pretty purple (lol, pretty all the things) is called Luxurious.
And here they are swatched; these are two coat swatches on my nail wheel. They seem very opaque and the formula appears to be quite smooth, so I'm pleased with them, especially for $1 each.
And finally from Ulta, I got a sunscreen. Random, I know. I have a lot of face moisturizers, but not all of them have SPF in them. It's important to wear sunscreen since the majority of aging occurs due to sun damage. Basically, the sun can kill you. Whee. I ended up with CoTZ on the recommendation of a Pur Minerals rep (again, weird, I know) and I wanted something without dimethicone since it doesn't always agree with my face. This is a broad spectrum SPF 30 mineral sunscreem; it has zinc dioxide and titanium dioxide, along with no synthetic ingredients. Also, water is the very last ingredient, which is interesting since it's usually the first. This sunscreen has a slight tint to help prevent that ashy/white cast that mineral sunscreens can give you. This isn't the face specific one (that one has dimethicone), but I've been using it on my face and it hasn't caused me to breakout or anything. It does take a little bit to absorb and it feels a little tacky (since it's a mineral sunscreen and doesn't have dimethicone), but my makeup goes over it just fine and it doesn't really bother me. I got this bottle on sale for $15, which is a lot if you were going to use this all a full body sunscreen, but is pretty inexpensive as just a face sunscreen.
Sephora time! I placed a very teeny little order from Sephora because I am still trying to (unsuccessfully) spend less money and because I get free shipping on all my orders. These are the samples I got; I'm actually excited for the Eve Lom sample because a. that stuff's expensive and b. I got a cleaning cloth with it.
And this is what I ordered! I want to wear more lipsticks, but I hate taking them off, especially long-wearing ones. I really like the Bite Beauty Lush Lip Wipes, but they're pretty expensive, especially if I'm using them almost daily. This is the Sephora brand Ultimate Oil-in-Gel Lipstick Remover and it was on sale for $5! Most people really seemed to like this, so I thought I would give it a try. It's important to have quality makeup, but it's also important to have quality items to remove it with. I haven't tried this yet, but I hope it works as well as the reviews say it does.
 Let's change gears and go back to nail polish! I got some more polish on sale; this time at Marshalls. Marshalls is actually a great place to look for sale nail polish; I've found a lot of OPIs, Essies, and Formula X polishes. When I got Snow Globetrotter, I also considered picking this polish up, but decided against it. Then I looked up swatches (and past eBay prices) and decided to drop the $4 on it. This is Comet In The Sky from the Holiday 2014 collection and it's basically a black version of Snow Globetrotter.
This is two coats, so if you were using this as a topper over another color, you could probably get away with just one. I think I like Snow Globetrotter better, but I'm happy to have this color.
 And this is Wonderment by Formula X for Sephora. This polish. Hmm. This polish is from the brushed metals collection and it has an interest matte finish when it dries. It's almost like a chalky matte; it's different from the other mattes I have. I really like the color of this polish; it's a linen/off-white with pink shimmer in it. I also really like the texture of it when it dries. But this polish has probably the worst formula I've ever used. It's either way too thin or it's way too gloopy; it was very difficult to work with and I needed four coats to get it opaque on my nails. That said, it does dry super fast, even with four coats.
If I had paid full price for this product, I would have been very disappointed; almost to the point of taking it back. But since I only paid $4, I'll keep it around and try to work with it some more. Again, great color and finish, just a really horrible formula.
 Continuing with the randomness, I needed a new lip scrub (not really; I still have the cherry one from Bite, but I missed my scrub from Lush) so I went to Lush. Lush's lipscrubs are my absolute favorite; they exfoloite my lips without bothering them and they taste delicious. I went in to get Popcorn, but I ended up with the Valentine's Day limited edition scrub, The Kiss. Mine was made by Oscar on January 8th. Thanks, Oscar!
The employee at Lush described the taste as kind of like Nerds, though online I've heard it described as sweet/fruity marshmallows and the official description says it's mandarin based. It has sprinkles in it, too! I thought it smelled great and I was excited to use it, but then I read the ingredients and saw that it had pink luster in it. I'm not a fan of glitter on my lips, especially when I'm taking care of them and not really wearing makeup, so I ended up exchanging this for my good ole' Popcorn. I'd say go and give this a smell because it's really yummy; I just wish it wasn't shimmery.
Since I was the Mall when I got my scrub. I'll show you the other thing I picked up; this is the most recent issue of the Make-Up Artist magazine. This is a great magazine if you're interested in a career in make-up or, if you're like me, you like the technical side of things. There's a lot of great info in here, though it does focus more on stage and film makeup and less so on beauty makeup. It's made by the same people who put on the IMATS, uh, shows. Ugh, that's like saying "ATM machine" but it sounded awkward without "shows".
 More randomness! These are some Hair, Skin, and Nail gummies I got as a sample from Target. I love stalking the sample section on and seeing what neat stuff I can try for free. All you have to do is take a survey to see if you "qualify" (you can retake it if you don't) and then Target will mail you a sample free of charge. I've gotten foil packets up to full sized products and it's totally free and kind of fun. You just have to wait forever for your samples to get to you.
So I also got this set! I saw this on Nouveau Cheap's Instagram and I was slightly interested, but it wasn't a "must go out and buy". Until I saw swatches. And then remembered that I had a bunch of Kohl's giftcards to use up. Needless to say, I made the journey and got the last one at my Kohl's (though if your Kohl's is all sold out, you can order it from one of the kiosks and have it shipped free of charge, which is nice). I think I'm going to make a post just for this set since I do want to talk about it more in depth, so I'll just keep this short and sweet.
We're on the homestretch now! Because I am getting old, I thought it would be nice to get one of those rolling foot massage things. I also happened to have had a giftcard to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and I assumed that "rolling foot massager" would be a part of the Beyond. And I wasn't disappointed! I wasn't able to find one on it;s own, but I found this Earth Theraputics foot spa set for $20 and it included a bunch of other goodies.
This is the foot massager thing. It's called the "Footsie", which is funny. I've never seen this sold on it's own, so I'm not sure if you can only get this in the set, or if it is sold individually. It's nice, but I think I would have preferred a squishier foot massager with nubs.
 I also got a foot-shaped brush, so I will always know that it's for feet only. I actually like brushing my feet in the shower; I have a four-in-one pedicure/foot thing I got a long time ago and the brush is the thing I use the most. I don't think it does anything, but it does feel really nice.
There was also a pumice stone in the set. This I will probably give to my mom since there's a pumice stone on my brush and I have another stand-alone pumice stone as well.
 There were also full sized bottles of the Tea Tree Oil Cooling Foot Scrub and the Tea Tree Oil Foot Repair Balm. My feet have been super grouchy lately (again, old), so I'm actually happy to get these two items as well. Honestly, I think I'm more excited about the other products in the set than I am about the foot massager.
My giftcard was $25 and I wanted to use it all up since I rarely go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, so I also picked up a set of Moisturizing Hand Gloves, also from Earth Theraputics. My hands are super dry and I really need to start wearing lotion to bed, but I hate how it gets everywhere. I'm hoping these will both prevent me from getting hand lotion all over my bed and will help it penetrate better. Overall, I ended up spending about $3 of my own money for both items, so not too bad.
Just a few more random things, I promise! I got some more of the Sailor Moon chibi figurines. My husband and I found these at a local game shop for $9 each; they're the same brand (kind of) of the ones he purchased for me from the comic book store, except these are scouts in their outfits! And the outer senshi!
I was worried I would get Tuxedo Mask, but I would have been happy with any of the other ones. I jokingly said I wouldn't want Sailor Uranus, but that's mostly because the other figures were more interesting.
Oooh pretty. I only got one of each because I didn't want to go too crazy, and I'm glad I did. Unfortunately, I think these might be bootlegs. I had some suspicions since the original scouts box was pretty washed out and looked like it might be a bad copy or something, but all the writing and copyright stuff was the same font and crystal clear.
I did end up with Sailor Uranus, but I also got Sailor Mars, so I was happy about that. The faces are well painted, but the paint job on the bodies is incredibly sloppy. Sailor Mars is missing the shading on her hair and the bases have sprue marks and are just generally cheaper looking than the first two. I'm pretty bummed that these are likely bootlegged figures since I spent about $20 for these two and I really don't have a lot of extra money to throw around.
LAST ITEM I SWEAR. I've actually had this sitting around for a while now and just never had a post it fit in with. I've cut back on my Monster High purchases, mostly because I now have most of my collection stored in boxes and it's starting to feel like wasted money. HOWEVER. I could not pass up a kawaii little girl Grim Reaper, which is exactly what River Styxx is. She also has translucent lower limbs that have bones in them. She's pretty neat looking. I would have much preferred the new Bigfoot doll, but unfortunately I have yet to spot her in the wild (much like real Bigfoot). Monster High is one of my favorite toy lines ever; it's a unique idea for a girl-centric toy line and the designs of some of the dolls are really cool.

And that's it! We're done! Whew! If you read this whole thing, you're awesome! I honestly wouldn't blame you if you just watched the video instead. I love long videos, but long blog posts can be hard to get through.

Thanks for reading! <3

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