Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 2016 Julep Maven + Add-Ons - Endless Summer - Unboxing & Review!

Let's continue my Julep streak (this is what, four or five months in a row now?) with my August 2016 Julep Maven box!
Along with my regular, customized box, I also added on three more products (and got a fourth product for free for doing so!). The theme for the August collection was Endless Summer and it was very holographic-heavy, though I ended up only getting one polish from it. I ended up going in a different direction this month and actually picked out some beauty products to try (normally, I stick to polish and nail/hand/body care).

Birchbox - The Best Of K-Beauty Kit - Unboxing & Review!

With the recent changes to the Birchbox rewards system (basically, no more points for reviewing your samples), I knew that I would be unlikely to earn a significant amount of more points, so I decided to spend whatever I had left in one fell swoop.
Lucky for me, Birchbox has a Best Of K-Beauty value set that includes some pretty interesting items, including two products that Birchbox doesn't even carry (when I purchased this, they didn't carry three items, but it looks like Birchbox added it in the interim)!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sephora Favorites Skincare Ritual Kit - Review!

Apparently, it's my goal to collect every single skincare-themed Sephora Favorites kits this year...
That's not true, I've missed a few already, but it sure seems like it, doesn't it? The kit I'm going to share with you in this post is the Sephora Favorites Skincare Rituals kit. This is a Sephora Inside JCP exclusive kit and I believe it is currently available, but I'm not sure. I randomly found this kit on a day it was on sale for around $22, so I thought it was older, but when I tried to look it up when I got home, I couldn't find any information on it (plus, it has a design similar to other kits I've seen released in the last year or so, so it couldn't have been that old). I hadn't seen it again at my local JCP, nor had I heard anything else about it, until Nouveau Cheap made a recent post about new Sephora Inside JCP sets and included this kit.

Anastasia Beverly Hills - Moon Child Glow Kit - Swatches & First Impressions!

I thought I was immune to the highlighter craze; I rarely ever use it in my daily routine and I have a lot of samples so I don't really feel like I need to purchase any. When the Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) Moon Child Glow Kit first came out, I basically ignored it; I wasn't interested in highlights to begin with, much less unnaturally colored ones.
But then someone mentioned Sailor Moon, I found out that you can also use it on your eyes and, well, here we are.

This is a beautiful highlight palette and I regret nothing!

Kat Von D #LockItRevolution Influenster Voxbox - Lock-It Concealer, Setting Powder, and Brushes - Review!

I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to fully convey how excited I was when I found out I was going to get the Kat Von D #LockItRevolution Voxbox from Influenster.
Look at all those goodies! So excited! Trying to not burst into a meme because I'm an adult and find that can be kind of obnoxious so I apologize...

A while ago, Influenster asked me to pick out a concealer color that I thought would best match my skin that would be included in possible future Voxbox. They didn't give much more information, so I had no idea it would be for the new Kat Von D (KVD) Lock-It Concealers until just before these boxes shipped! I already love a lot of products from KVD, especially the Lock-It Foundation and Tattoo Liners, so I had high hopes for these new ones.

I was not disappointed.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Mini Sephora Haul - Urban Decay Razor Sharp Liquid Eyeliner in Fireball and Tarte Tarteist Tools Best-Sellers Kit - First Impressions!

Who's ready for a haul?! It's kind of a small haul, so don't get too excited...but it's from Sephora, so it's okay to be moderately excited!
It always feels kind of weird when the thing you paid the most money for ends up being in the smallest box. This was one of those instances where I was interested in a product and willing to wait a bit before buying it, but ended up purchasing it right away mostly because there was a deluxe freebie that I really wanted. Sephora is good at getting  me like that...

This mini haul includes an Urban Decay Razor Liquid Eyeliner in the color Fireball (the product I was interested), a Sephora Collection Algae Sleeping Mask (the product to get my order total to $25+), the Tarte Tarteist Tools Best-Sellers 500-Point kit (the 'freebie' I was moderately interested in), and a deluxe sample of the Touch In Sol Metallist Liquid Foil & Glitter Eye Shadow Duo in Adelio (the freebie I really wanted!).

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Darling Clandestine - Goldenscale Fragrance Oil - Review!

If you've read some of my posts before, you'll know that I have...unique tastes when it comes to fragrances. I find most mainstream perfumes boring, if not downright malodorous. Okay, that's a little harsh, but what is the beauty world without hyperbole?
Because I am so picky with my fragrances, I prefer to purchase them from indie perfumers. Specifically, from Darling Clandestine! Evonne, the owner/creator, has an amazing sense of smell and creativity and makes some pretty magical concoctions. My most recent acquisition is one of her newer scents, Goldenscale.

July 2016 Play! By Sephora - Effortless Summer - Unboxing & Review!

Just like fashion, makeup can be quite seasonal. You can always wear whatever you want whenever you want, but makeup trends do seem to change throughout the year: from soft, fresh looks in the spring, to bronze and bold colors in the summer, to deeper, autumn-color inspired looks in the fall, and finally to bright, crisp looks in the winter (especially around the holidays!). Along with trends, the needs of our skin changes throughout the year, which in turn changes the types of products we need/want to use.
Which leads us to the July 2016 Play! By Sephora box, which is themed 'Effortless Summer'. ...okay, most boxes right now have similar themes and, more often than not, you can argue that many different products fit this theme because it's pretty vague, but I do think that Sephora did a good job curating this box and included products that are very appropriate for the summer season.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

July 2016 Allure Beauty Box - One The Hunt (Nordstrom Anniversary Sale) - Unboxing & Review!

One thing I've noticed about the Allure Beauty Box is that it seems to be more overtly sponsored than other subscription boxes. I'm sure that all boxes, at one point or another, have been paid to include a certain product and/or other types of advertisements like inserts and promo codes, but most are subtle and incidental (these types of partnerships aren't bad things; more often than not, we get bigger/better samples and coupons for products we'd probably purchase anyways). Allure isn't shy about it's partnerships and, in fact, has themed an entire box around one.
Can guess what the theme for the July 2016 Allure Beauty Box is? Actually, Allure announced it way before these boxes shipped, so it's not really a mystery...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

July 2016 Glamour Doll Eyes Of The Month - Really A Mermaid - Unboxing & Review!

I'm going to be honest with you guys; I have no idea how to open this post. I was trying to do something clever and it just wasn't working (certainly not the first time this has happened...) and I've had this sitting on my desk for way too long now, so I'm just going to jump right on in!
I feel especially bad for not having a good opening since this is a great indie subscription service and I want to give it the recognition it deserves: this is the July 2016 Glamour Doll Eyes Of The Month.

For July 2016, the Glamour Doll Eyes Of The Month(GDE and OTM, respectively) is mermaid-themed! Mermaids are definitely a popular and common theme in the makeup world right now (and have been for a while now...), but in traditional GDE style, Vee (the creator/owner) puts her own spin on things...

Sunday, August 14, 2016

ZzzQuil Sleep-Aid - Influenster Voxbox - Review!

And now for something completely different! Well, sort of. It's not makeup/beauty related, but it is a product I'm going to review, which is something that happens quite commonly here.
Recently (...again, sort of), Influenster sent me a sample of the ZzzQuil Sleep-Aid to try and review. I was kind of surprised that I was even considered for this box because most, if not all, of my activity on Influenster is makeup/beauty related. That being said, I actually do experience some issues with sleeplessness, so I'm part of the target audience for this product. Since this is a medicine, please take everything I say with a grain of salt and be sure to consult a physician before taking any new medications. Even over-the-counter medications can be unsafe when taken incorrectly.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit 2016 - Review!

For the last four years (starting in 2012), I've made it a point to purchase the Sephora Favorites Sun Safety kit every summer. Out of all the skincare products I use, sunscreen is pretty much the one product I can't do without (it's about tied with cleansers). I know I've talked up the Sun Safety kit for this year, especially because I was so impatient about it and ended up purchasing a few other kits and now I have a sunscreen hoard, so I apologize for how long it's taken me to post about it.
This kit is no longer available online, but I have still seen it in some physical Sephoras (Sephoras in JCP had their own mini kit; these, to my knowledge, were never available online and I've only seen them in stock once). I think it's pretty telling how long this kit has stayed in stock this year; the first year I purchased one, I got the last one in the store and I never saw them after that (I know I purchased it before June because I got it as a gift for my mom before my wedding). A lot of people have expressed concerns about the Sephora Favorites kits in general in regards to product size versus value and, after doing some research into past kits, I'm kind of surprised at how much the value has decreased.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sephora Favorites - Soko To Tokyo Customizable Skin Care Set - Review!

Okay. I'm so far behind with my blog posts that the product I'm about to tell you guys about is not even available any more. Well, technically, the products themselves are still available in full size, but the special kit they came in, along with some of the sample sizes, are not. I had an internal debate about whether or not I should still post about it and (obviously) I decided it was still worth it: you can purchase the products individually and Sephora seems to come out with a similar type of customizable skin kit every year, so it would be a good comparison if they do release another one.
This is the Soko To Tokyo Customizable Skin Care Kit and I was very, very excited when Nouveau Cheap posted that it had become available online. Sephora has released at least one other Sephora Favorites kit with the 'Soko To Tokyo' name, but that one was one customizable. There was a little bit of drama when Sephora listed it, then took it down right away, but they put it back up about eight days later and I made sure to grab one as soon as possible. Since this  is a customizable kit, there were initially thirteen products to mix and match and, with customizable kits like this, the best products 'sell out' fast. For $25, you get five products of your choice out of the thirteen. Each product is listed as having a $20 value; you add five to your cart, then add the kit itself for $25, which gives you a $100 'credit', bringing your total to $25 for everything. It's very convoluted, but if it works, it works. You could still purchase the kit even after some products sold out, but there were less options to choose from (I think Sephora took it down when there were less than five products available since the discount wouldn't work anymore).

July 2016 Birchbox - My Morning Routine - Unboxing & Review!

Starting in July, Birchbox changed some things with their subscription service: most notably, and the changes we were notified about, are the changes to their reward point system. One of the biggest reasons why I've stayed subscribed to Birchbox for so long is the reward system, and now...we'll have to see.
With that slightly ominous beginning, let's take a look at my July 2016 Birchbox! After getting the announcement that Birchbox was reworking their reward point system, I was curious if there were going to be any changes to the subscription service. As you can see, things are slightly different, and I'm not sure if it's for the better. ...which sounds just as ominous as my beginning. Hmm.