Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sephora VIB 20% Haul

Hello my loves!

It's that time of the year again when I buy myself presents. For the most part, I'm good all year and I only shop at Sephora if there's something I really need or there's a limited edition item I want or they tempt me with a really good online-only offer. But for everything else, I hang on and I wait and wait and wait until it's November and I can get most of my shopping done in one big haul during Sephora's 20% off sale for VIB and now VIB Rouge members. I always spend just enough to qualify for VIB status next year.

I think I skipped doing a post last year but my haul involved a lot of sets and eyeliners that I haven't really been testing as much as I should. Oops! This year I decided to go for a bunch of practical items as well as a few fun ones. I also purchased two items that I'm not going to show you which were gift sets for my mom. This was a particularly fantastic shopping trip because I was able to use $200 in Sephora rewards giftcards and start my shopping trip through Ebates giving me 8% cash back.

I was up late (early?) on November 6th constantly refreshing the Sephora page as it continued to crash from all the traffic of everyone else up late trying to place their orders during the 20% off sale. Happily, I was able to snag everything I wanted sometime between 3:00 am and 4:00 am. I'm pretty happy with all of my purchases though I'm thinking about maybe returning the FAB cream as I realized that I already have a backup from a gift set I bought last year.
First of all, I had to pick up of this Shiseido concealer. It's a little pale for me and isn't as high coverage as I need it to be but it's a easy go-to concealer. I love how light it is and how easily it blends in. The first time I bought this concealer I lost it when I took it on vacation. When I bought it a second time and took it on vacation it exploded in my makeup bag. For whatever reason it doesn't travel well but it's fine it carry around in my purse for touch ups. 

I have wanted this Hourglass lip gloss for a while now as soon as I saw they had a mini version but I just left it in my cart assuming it would sell out by the time this sale rolled around. Obviously it didn't. I've heard good things about this shade so I'm excited to try it out this winter.
I love the formula of the Urban Decay Revolution lipstick I already own in F-bomb so I decided to pick up two more shades. I was tempted to get a backup of F-bomb but I don't think this line is going anywhere and I have plenty of that lipstick left.
This is Anarchy. I think it'll make a great fall shade that can also transition into spring and summer.
This is 69. I know I have too many reds. But I can't help myself. Red and fuchsia lip colors are my go-to shades. Also, I have to toss some of my old lipsticks and I don't know if I'm going to replace them yet. Let me know in the comments if you'd be interested in seeing the lipsticks I'm tossing out of my collection.
Now I'm not totally sold on the Clinique blush I already own in Plum Pop. I keep using it with my BH cosmetics brush which I don't think picks up a ton of color so I can't tell how pigmented it is. However, that blush does blend really nicely and look very natural on my skin so I thought what the heck, I'll pick up this orange-y shade as long as it's on sale. So far I haven't been able to commit to an orange blush but maybe this will be the one.

This is my fun purchase. I heard about this product from amarixe and fell in love with her swatches. I don't know how I'll rock this product as I stay away from heavier eye looks but it was just too gorgeous to resist and sales are a great excuse to try out more outlandish products you normally wouldn't purchase.
The top looks like an eye dropper but it's attached to a doe-foot applicator.
It looks quite coppery in the bottle but hopefully it's more rose gold on the skin.

REVIEW of Jordana Nail Polish in 651 Foiled in Pink

Hello peanuts,
By the way, it's aluminum. Have I just alienated my entire international audience? Come back! I want to tell you about my first Jordana nail polish. I feel like it's been forever since I was testing Essie polishes on a regular basis. I just don't go to the drugstore that often anymore and besides, the recent collections haven't done much for me. I'm much more likely to be placing an order at some big beauty retailer online and tossing a bunch of discounted polishes into my cart... which is how I got this Jordana polish in Foiled in Pink. I placed an order at Cherry Culture back in mid-September during their 40% off sale. It took 20 days for it to get to me but that's a topic for another post. If you'd like to check out my entire haul click here. As with you Essie, OPI, and Zoya polishes, you get 15 ml of polish but unlike those brands the retail cost of a bottle of Jordana Nail Polish is only $1.99. I paid 99 cents because of the 40% off deal.

Color: Foiled in Pink is a pale pink pearl polish. In the past I've called polishes like this frosts or shimmers but I think I've been trying enough of these polishes that they can have their own separate category. The polish doesn't have the perfect mother of pearl finish veering towards opalescence but it does have the flatter pearl finish of say plastic pearl beads. It also glows in a beautiful way, particularly in the first few days or wear almost like a metallic polish. This polish is really good at capturing and reflecting light. I think I would like it better if it were a little more pink but it's very pretty and puts me mind of ballerinas and just a very sweet, girly aesthetic. It doesn't clash too badly with my skintone but I think it'll flatter others more than it flatters me.
Formula: The formula is thin but not watery.
Application: The first coat applied very smoothly without any drag. The brushstrokes were visible even on the first coat so I would be careful about making sure all your brushstrokes are pointed in the same direction to get the best results. The second coat also went on smoothly. At two coats the polish failed a light test and was not totally even under a light test. However, if you wanted to wear it a little sheerer with VNL you could leave it at two coats. I'm not a big fan of sheer polishes so I added a third coat. At three coats the polish still fails a light test because it can't block the light but I think the slight improvement on opacity and more importantly the improvement on the evenness of the polish makes it worth applying the third coat. I don't have much to comment on about the difference between Jordana and other brands but I did like the brush. It was soft and easy to work with.
Wear: The first day I wore this polish, maybe in the morning and certainly by the afternoon the polish on my right thumb was badly scuffed. It wasn't that the polish was damaged while it was wet or that it got dented while it was drying. When I say scuff it looks more like someone keyed a car. Part of the top layer of polish was scratched off. I wore this polish for six days mainly because I couldn't find time to remove it. In spite of the scuff from the first day, when I removed the polish there was almost no tip wear and just growth at the cuticles.

CONCLUSION: I would recommend this polish. It won't be for everyone, particularly those who won't wear a polish that isn't fully opaque and hate visible brushstrokes. But if you like frosty shimmers and girly pinks, this one applies really nicely and unexplained damage aside, it holds up well. I was impressed with the quality of this polish given the price. I may add more Jordana polishes to my collection in the future.

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REVIEW of L'Oreal Nail Color in 138 The Statement Piece

Hello knockouts,


I know it's a big shocker whenever I leave the house but I had somewhere special to be recently so I decided to bust out a special polish. A statement polish. That's right. You clicked on this review. You know I'm talking about L'Oreal's The Statement Piece. And this polish does make a statement. Perhaps you're thinking, Cat, you already have so many gold and silver polishes and even textured gold and silver polishes. Well, I'm pretty sure The Statement Piece is unique in my collection, but if you'd like me to do a comparison post just leave a request in the comments.

Color: L'Oreal The Statement Piece is a pale, cool-toned gold textured polish containing pale gold glitter. It's not hex glitter and it's not microglitter. It's just regular small, round glitter. Sometimes I think it looks more like silver than gold but it's not silver enough to clash with the gold if that's what you're thinking. The polish itself can sometimes veer towards champagne but in bright direct sunlight and at night it's definitely a gold polish. Worn as a textured polish without top coat I find that it makes a statement without being too flashy. Because it's a pale gold and not super sparkly that tempers the textured effect and the glitter. If you're going to wear something like this it's a way of doing it that doesn't look cheap or juvenile. This polish was pinging my recognition centers so I checked my Pinterest board. It reminds me a little of OPI Honey Ryder and Zoya Tomoko but it's a dupe for neither. Even when it's first applied, The Statement Piece doesn't have the craggy roughness of OPI Liquid Sand textured polish. It's just slightly rough while still definitely being a textured polish. The other polish I thought of was Maybelline Gold's Night Out but The Statement Piece isn't nearly as flashy and arresting. I can always do a comparison of the polishes so you can get a better idea of what you'd prefer. Just leave a request in the comments.
Formula: The formula is a little bit thick.
Application: I used three coats of Elmer's glue as my base coat which is my standard practice with glitter polishes for easier removal. The first two coats of polish went on super smoothly. Even though the formula is on the thicker side, I think because the glitter is small and the polish base isn't too gritty, the polish applies smoothly instead of being gloopy and thick. At two coats the polish was still a little sheer so I added a third coat. I think you can definitely see the improvement in opacity between the second and third coat though the polish was still not opaque at three coats under a light test.
Wear: I applied this polish at night on November 7th and removed it a night on November 13th. Six days! With a glitter polish using glue as base coat? That's crazy for me. I don't know. I found this polish oddly wearable and I didn't want to take it off. When I did remove the polish I had a little bit of tip wear but no chipping. The signs of wear were major growth at the cuticle and gaps at the sides of my nails. I think that might be due to the glue as base coat as that kind of gap doesn't happen with cremes. This polish did not peel off cleanly. I don't know if that was because I had it on too long or if it was the polish itself. I tried to peel at the edges but I ended up mainly applying pressure with my nails and pushing the polish off my nails. It did come off cleanly if in pieces. Most of my nails were not damaged but the surface of a few nails seemed a little scraped.

CONCLUSION: I would recommend this polish. It is a little sheer but it looks beautiful on the nail and applies smoothly without any issues. This is a perfect polish for a night out when you want to make a statement without making a nuisance of yourself and calling too much attention to your nails.
If you're planning on shopping on amazon this Black Friday or anytime during the holiday season, please consider starting your shopping trip through one of my amazon links. It really helps me out. You don't have to purchase what's featured in the ad. As long as you start from one of the links on my page I will get a small percentage of the revenue at no extra cost to you. 
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Monday, November 17, 2014

Beyond Vintage Sample Sale Report November 2014

Hello chickadees,

The second sample I visited at 275 W 39th St was a little more worthwhile, at least for me. The Beyond Vintage sample sale will be open from November 17-21 and November 24-26. Sale hours are 11:00 am- 6:00 pm. The sale is on the second floor of the building. There is no coat or bag check and possibly because there were less than shoppers there when I was browsing, things were pretty chill.

Now here are my pro tips. If it's still raining, do bring a plastic or cloth bag of your own from home. I took the train from Bryant Park and the paper bag they gave me broke after two or three stops. Also, dress in something that you can try clothes over. They have very large windows in the showroom that look out onto the street and there is no closed off dressing area to try things on.
The Beyond Vintage sale mainly consists of blouses. There are some dresses but it's mainly tops. But first let's talk about what I think is the real draw, the actual vintage items. There were about four racks of real vintage items on the far side of the room opposite from the check out table. Dresses were $20 and tops were $10. Now I do love shopping at vintage shops from time to time because you can find some really interesting pieces in large sizes but even I have to admit that not everything here is gold. There was a very cute black 1920's style dress with a lot of beading but there were also sequined pieces that should only be worn by little old ladies for Bingo Night. Everything seemed pretty well maintained but some pieces definitely seemed like they had seen better days and had that musty quality that I personally try to avoid with vintage shopping. Still, I would start here and try and find some treasures before tackling the rest of the sale. You also have a better chance of finding different sizes in this section. I asked and they said they might be restocking both the vintage and the regular Beyond Vintage merchandise later in the sale if they sold a lot of the stock out on the floor.
Vintage Dresses
Vintage Dresses
Vintage Tops
Vintage Tops

The rest of the sale as previously stated consists of blouses, mainly in small with some mediums. There were some sweaters in a bin and some mock vintage dresses but for the most part, you'll find a lot of thin, lightweight blouses. I think ever color of the rainbow is covered, but I personally found the white and cream tops that looked almost like real vintage pieces the prettiest. To figure out the price, look at the tag. The color of the sticker: green, blue, red, and yellow corresponds to a price; $20, $40, $60, or $80. Generally all the items on one rack are the same price though I did see a few items mixed together so pay attention to the tags.

There were odd knit bathing suits on this rack mixed in with the shirts.



RD Style Sample Sale Report November 2014

Hello raindrops,

Because I love you so very much, I decided to trek out into the rain this morning to cover some sample sales for you. And because I knew everyone else would go to Rebecca Minkoff, I went to two sample sales at 275 W 39th Street instead. The other report will be coming shortly (as soon as I've finished writing this one) but for now let's talk about the RD Style sale. The sale is taking place from Monday November 17 through Friday November 21. Hours are 10:00 am- 5:00 pm. The sale is on the 7th floor and at least while I was there we had to use the freight elevator.

Now, when I left the house the rain wasn't too bad but by the time I left the second sale, it was pouring. I don't know if that explains the low turnout or if like me, there was just a lack of brand recognition. Pricing is fairly simple. Instead of items being tagged, everything is just priced by general category. Sweaters are $20. Pants are $15. Blouses are $15. T-shirts are $10. Outerwear is $30-$30.  Racked NY says they are only accepting cash but the saleswoman didn't bring it up.

The sale consists of only four racks. There are other racks in their showroom but none of the racks along the wall are included in the sale merchandise. The rack closest to the elevators holds most of the pants. There were fairly simple black pants and shorts as well as khaki shorts. I wouldn't go to the sale just to buy pants but you might find a nice basic pair of slim fit pants to pair with a loose top. Sizes varied. I saw everything from small to large but mainly mediums.


The next rack consists of outerwear. If you're thinking about attending this sale, this is what you should go for. There was one trenchcoat style but this rack mainly held leather jackets. The leather is thin faux leather but it doesn't feel super cheap like bad faux leather can and I thought some of the styles were cute. Jackets were mainly black, camel/beige, or this pewter color though there were one or two random white and brown jackets. As with the pants there are a lot of multiples among the jackets though again mediums dominate.



The last two racks were made up of blouses and sweaters and T-shirts. There were more smalls in this section but I don't think it would matter much as most of the items were loose-fitting knits. There were fewer multiples in this section.

I think pricing is pretty fair if not spectacular. The prices weren't slashed that much but most of the items didn't seem to be that expensive to begin with. For example one of the leather jackets was originally $79. I wouldn't go out of your way to attend this sale, especially in this weather but if you're in the area and considering picking up a faux leather jacket, it might be worth a look.

Friday, November 14, 2014

REVIEW of Maybelline Color Whisper Lipstick in 85 Berry Ready

Hello chickadees!

This is one of many dark lipstick reviews that will hopefully be coming your way if I stay on track. Embarrassingly, I actually picked this up as part of a drugstore.com haul all the way back in March 2014. Eep! I'm so bad at reviewing things in a timely fashion. I only started using it in May and even though this color makes no sense in the summer I continued to test it from time to time through to the middle of July. Now that the weather's actual perfect for a color like this I'm happy to finally be reviewing it for you.

Color: Maybelline Berry Ready is a berry colored lipstick. I'm sure you're shocked. Of course, berry means different things to different people and different makeup companies. This berry is partway between red and a deep pink with a very slight tinge of plum. When I swipe it on I often see more of that deep reddish pink with the hint of plum but for some reason when it photographs and especially after I've been wearing it for a while I feel like it goes more red. I was impressed with how pigmented it was even in the first swipe. Of course I chose a darker shade but still, you'd expect a formula like this to be a little lacking in color. I think it's a nice color for fall if you're looking to dry a darker lip color but you don't want to commit to really intense, almost black reds and purples. It's also nice if you have paler skin and you want that high contrast but I think it would look nice with a range of skin tones.
Formula/Finish: The formula is fairly light. It doesn't have the creamyness or weight that I associate it with a standard lipstick formula but it isn't really like a balm either. I think it's closest to a balm but without the moisturizing feel. When it is first applied it has a slight sheen but that fades fairly quickly.
Application: I think the lipstick glides on to the lips smoothly but it will catch in any dry flakes. As I mentioned it's very pigmented so you don't have to build it up. It applies evenly.
Wear: I don't find the product particularly slick or greasy. It feels very light on the lips, almost like a liquid product without the wetness or stickiness. I've also tried patting it on and wearing it as a stain. I don't recommend that if your lips are already dry. As a stain, it has a softer look and appears more like a deep pink. If you're eating and drinking the product will wear away from the center of your lips leaving that ring around your lips. In my experience, this lipstick is a little drying, especially if you wear it for a few hours without reapplying. I wore this once for five hours without eating or drinking and by the end of that time I felt like I had applied a tint or a dry lip crayon or lip liner. The color was still bold but there was a bit of feathering around my top lip.
Scent: The scent is not really distinct for me. It seems to almost be a mix of two things. I get a bit of fruitiness and also a bit of a candy scent. Both are deeper scents though like cherry and caramel for instance instead of very girly, light notes. It's not a very strong scent and I'm sure the fragrance is just there to mask the scent of the ingredients. I don't think it should bother those of you who are sensitive to fragrance but if you avoid all fragrance it's something to be aware of.
Taste: I don't think this product has any taste.
Price: These lipsticks are $7.49 at drugstore.com. According to my old drugstore product stalking posts, they used to be $8.49 at CVS. But whether you're buying it online or in person I would wait for a sale. You can easily find something that will bring down the price. I think about five or six dollars is fair for a lipstick like this.
Packaging: I find the shape of the bullet a little annoying. It's hard to get the precision you want, especially around the cupid's bow with the cylindrical shape of the lipstick. I wouldn't mind so much with a balm or a lighter color but you're kind of sunk if you mess up with a darker color like this. If you take your time you can pretty much manage but it's still annoying since this is not the kind of product I'm going to whip out a lip brush (which I'd later have to wash) to use.

CONCLUSION: If you like deep berry lip products and you prefer lighter formulas that don't sacrifice pigment, I think you'll like Maybelline Color Whisper Lipstick in Berry Ready. If you have drier lips this might not be for you as it can be drying and it will catch in any flakes or rough patches but as far as drugstore products go, I think it's a nice introduction to darker lip colors for fall at a good price.
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Question: Makeup Purge

Hi chickadees!

So I recently got my Sephora VIB 20% off order in the mail and I will be doing a post as soon as I can. Receiving that order, in addition to receiving other orders and just surveying the general chaos of a relatively big makeup collection in a tiny apartment inspired me to reorganize my makeup collection. It was in a shameful state. It's probably still in a bit of a shameful state if I'm being honest. I'm trying not to be a hoarder but it's so difficult to part with a product you haven't hit pan on, especially when it's something that I haven't had a chance to test or swatch or review for you. But I have to face facts that there are some products that it's just too dangerous to test after a certain point and that others (mostly polishes) are not going to come back to life. So I wanted to ask... would you be interested in seeing the products I'm tossing out before I say goodbye to them forever? Call it a makeup graveyard post or a makeup purge but whatever you call it, it needs to be done.

Most of these products are old so I can't for example swatch the lip products on my lips for fear of bacteria but I can try and do things like arm swatches and show you the disgusting state of the products and packaging. Let me know in the comments if you'd be interested in this kind of thing. Also, let me know what your personal cut off points are for tossing out your makeup. A couple of months? A year? Three years? How much shame should I feel?

It's much more difficult for me to part with polish because I always imagine I'll have some use for it but we could always take a trip through my polish collection... maybe in video form as I don't think I could stay sane and also photograph every single polish I own. Again, let me know what you think in the comments and thanks for your input!

-Cat