Friday, April 27, 2012

Botkier Sample Sale

Hi darlings!

I was recently contacted about a sample sale you might want to check out very soon. I don't really have a policy about disclosing whether I've been sent products or if I've been asked to advertise anything because I have tiny little blog and no one sends me anything or asks me to advertise anything. Except for things like the Target Beauty Bag but I had to ask for that. OK, now that we're through with that, it's time to let you know the details. :)

Botkier Sample Sale
Date: Tuesday May 1 to Sunday May 6
Times: Tuesday - Friday 11am -8pm
            Saturday & Sunday 10am-4pm
Location: 225 Fifth Avenue (between 26th and 27th St)

To be honest, I'm not really familiar with this brand but you can check out some of their designs here. I'm only suggesting you check out this sale because it's being held at 225 5th Avenue/260 Sample Sale and I've found great items the other times I've visited for the Hugo Boss sale and the Hanky Panky sale. I'm not much of a handbag girl as we've discussed since I'm more about practicality than fashion with my lifestyle and I tend to like simpler styles anyway, but my personal favorites from the website are the Eden small satchel, the Valentina satchel, the Nicola satchel, and the Nicola tote.

To give you some idea of the discounts, they sent me three examples of the bags you'll find...

(pictures and pricing after the break)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Target Beauty Bag

Hi darlings!

Well, I had a long, horrible day full of coughing and headaches (literally, I had a whole day on and off headache). But I had a lovely surprise waiting for me when I got home...My Target Beauty Bag!
Simple but cute. I associate these kinds of bright stripes with summer and as much as I hate the phrase "on trend" this orange/tangerine/coral is certainly "on trend" for the season.

It just arrived in the mail today. I can't remember when I ordered it, but I got the tip from one of my favorite blogs which you NEED to be following if you're a drugstore makeup girl, Nouveau Cheap. I also got the last bag, which is where I keep all my tubes and pencils (eyeliner, mascara, primer, etc. in my makeup kit) though I wasn't too fond of any of the actual items in the bag last time aside from the face wipes. Well, as this only came in the mail today, I can't really comment on what I think of everything, but maybe you'll enjoy seeing the contents, either to get psyched up for the next beauty bag or to compare to what you got.

I will say that I really like the way the bag was put together this time. Aside from the sample of L'Oreal's Magic Lumi Primer, which I already own and love (though usually I don't use it as a highlighter because it can be a bit too much with my regular foundation. I might start using it more if I stop using foundation so heavily in the summer), the samples all came in their own little containers, sort of like the mini versions of products you can pick up at CVS and other drugstores.

I'm most excited to try the Simple face wipes because they've been advertising Simple products on TV and in magazines and I haven't really heard anything about how the products perform.
This package contains 7 wipes which is a pretty great sample considering the regular sale size is 25 wipes and you don't really need too many of these to figure out if they work. Also, I'm assuming these are wet wipes and not like the Olay ones which you activate with water so I'm happy there aren't too many so they won't dry out before I can finish using them.
Also in the bag are the standard Target coupon book, a Nivea lotion, the sample of L'Oreal's Magic Lumi primer, and a Neutrogena cleanser.
Daily Lotion 1 fluid oz. Definitely could be something worth trying for my dry skin.

My skin is in a really good place right now but I'm willing to give this a try anyway.

I'm pretty loyal to Garnier, but I do have fine, thin hair so if this can actually give my hair some volume, it might convert me. Currently, if I want volume I'll use my Lush Shampoo Bar (review coming soon!)

Did you also get your beauty bags? Were any of your products different? Are you excited to try them out or are you disappointed with the results this time around? I'm much happier with these mini sample sizes than the packets we got last time because I can at least give these to a friend if I decide I don't want to use them.

Update: I'm currently extremely aggravated with the Essie 2012 Wedding collection (review coming soon!) so I think I'm going to cave and get my nails painted a nice neutral color tomorrow so I can concentrate on essay writing and test takiing without staring at the horrible mess of my nails.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

CVS Beauty Haul (Coupon Crazy)

Hi chickadees!

Mama did some truly impressive coupon-aided hauling today at CVS.

I picked up L'Oreal's Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner in 610 Black Mica after hearing Allison/Amarixe rave about it in one of her videos. As of right now, I haven't had much luck with pencil liners but I love my Maybelline gel eyeliner which I first heard about from Allison so I'll try this one out as well. They've been doing some interesting thin-lined eye makeup looks on Gossip Girl that I want to try out. Hopefully, this liner will help in recreating those looks.
(Original price: $11.49) Yes, I know NY prices are ridiculous, people who don't live in NY.

I picked up another Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black because I love them. I just started using my second jar (I threw out the first after a few months when it was starting to smudge and it didn't glide as smoothly. I still had a healthy amount of product left which is why I'm always going to prefer drugstore eyemakeup. I don't feel terrible when I toss it to avoid breeding bacteria for too long and risking an eye infection.) It is going in my safety/giveaway bag where I keep duplicate items I get on sale or in a big online order in case I run out of a product or I ever get enough followers to do a giveaway.
(Original price: $11.99)

Also from Maybelline, I got the new Maybelline Colorsensation Lipstick in Tigerlily Treat from the Spring 2012 Pastel Collection. Swatching it, it seems a little sheer but I'm OK with that as it's a bright Barbie doll pink. It was the only one left in the display and no one had swatched it so I took that as a sign it was meant to go home with me. My lips are kind of a mess right now but I'll be testing it out soon.
(Original Price: $9.99)

I also picked up another L'Oreal Magic Perfecting Base even though I usually don't use primer. I find that primer with my skin tends to cause makeup to look heavy. But I still think it's a great primer and it's useful when I do have some dryness or unevenness and I don't want to bother with foundation. I'm still in the testing phase but right now I'm loving my new Benefit moisturizer. It might just be that my skin has calmed down with the rise in the temperature but I really think I've seen an improvement with this new product. Can't wait to tell you about it. OK, getting back on track...
(Original price: $14.79) Yes, I know. NY prices are RIDICULOUS. And I know it's cheaper at Duane Reade. But I had CVS coupons.

Now, I was undecided about what to get from Rimmel so I picked up the lipstick AND the eyeshadow. I have few red lipsticks. Less than the average beauty blogger but probably more than the average girl who rarely wears red lipstick needs. To me, red lips requires pulling back a bit on the clothes or the eyemakeup which is just not as fun. :) But I couldn't resist this special Kate Moss Rimmel collection red lipstick, especially after Sineady Cady mentioned it among her favorite drugstore lipsticks in a youtube video. So yeah. I got it. Lack of willpower, people. Lack of willpower. I compared it to my other reds once I got home and I actually still don't have a dupe. This is somewhere between a true red and a red that pulls slightly orange.
(Original Price: $5.79)
Love love love the packaging. :)

It's so pretty in person. It's probably weird to like the shape of a lipstick but I prefer this to a lot of the other drugstore brands. For example, the Maybelline lipsticks kind of curve in at the top. (Photo below.)

From left to right: Maybelline Colorsensational Lipstick in Red Revival
Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate Moss collection Lipstick in 01
Covergirl glossbalm in Peony
Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet

From top to bottom: Maybelline Colorsensational Lipstick in Red Revival
Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate Moss collection Lipstick in 01
Covergirl glossbalm in Peony
Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet

I also picked up Rimmel's Glam Eyes HD Palette in 05 English Rose. You know how much I love English Oak. So I'm excited to try this one out because I've been searching for good pink eyeshadow that isn't too sheer and doesn't make you look tired or diseased.
(Original Price $6.79)

And finally, because I've been so in love with my fake Cartier LOVE bracelet in rose gold lately, I got a bottle of Orly nail polish in Rage. For some reason this CVS is the only drugstore in the city where I've seen Orly polishes.

$11.49+ $11.99 + $14.79 + $5.79 + $9.99 + $7.99 + $6.79= $68.83. $74.94 with tax. Wow. That does seem like a bit too much to drop on one trip to the drugstore right? Well, how about we

...subtract $1 for any L'Oreal product (tear-away manufacturer's coupon from a previous display)
...subtract $1 off coupon (received for spending a certain amount at CVS in a given period)
...subtract $3 off any L'Oreal item (coupon printed out with previous purchases from CVS)
...subtract $2 off any Rimmel item (coupon printed out with previous purchases from CVS)
...subtract $1 off any Maybelline item
(tear-away manufacturer's coupon from CURRENT Spring 2012 Pastels display)
...subtract $2 off any L'Oreal Studio Secrets item (Allure magazine coupon)
...25% off coupon (coupon printed out with previous purchases from CVS)

...Leaving us with $41.87 or $46.38 with tax. That's right. With a combination of CVS and manufacturer's coupons, I ended up saving $28.56 AND getting another $10 off coupon for spending $25 on L'Oreal products (special for this week only).

Yes, I am rather proud of myself right now.

Let's start a conversation in the comments. Link me to your blogs so I can see what you've hauled lately. Let me know if you've tried any of these products and what you think. Is there anything you want me to priority review?

Talk to you soon,

Friday, April 20, 2012

REVIEW of CVS purifying mint masque

Perhaps these kinds of facial treatments are just not for me. Sometimes it doesn't always work when you try and recreate the spa experience at home. This is just another entry in the long list of rejected products that did not end up clearing my pores. It has a thin, liquid paste consistency, almost like a gel/cream moisturizer. It is described as a relaxing facial treatment, but I found it to be far from relaxing. The first time I tried it, I washed it off almost immediately when I started to feel a burning sensation. I tried some on my arm without any burning sensation to verify that I wasn't having an allergic reaction to the product. Once that was settled I tried applying it again a few days later. I continued to feel that same burning sensation but it calmed down as the masque started to dry. I only applied the product to my nose because I wasn't sure if it would dry out my face and my nose is where I have the biggest problem with oil and clogged pores. I kept it on for the instructed time period and then washed it off to noticeable difference, with a lot of blackheads and whiteheads. To highlight how useless this product had been, I performed extractions using only light pressure to remove many of the whiteheads.

I have heard a lot of good things about the Queen Helene masque which this is supposed to dupe, but I'm not sure if I want to bother trying a similar product when this was unsuccessful. What do you think? Will I have better results with Queen Helene? Let me know in the comments. :)


Spread out

How it looks as it starts to dry

REVIEW of Essie's Who Is The Boss with SWATCHES

This pretty light blue polish is from Essie's 2012 Wedding collection. I initially picked up "Who Is The Boss" from Ricky's after debating between it and Essie's Mint Candy Apple. I chose it because it seemed a little more demure and sophisticated and because I liked the hint of green to the color. In the bottle it almost looked more green than blue. I guess, I would say I'm pretty happy with the color and OK with the formula. It was kind of hard to work with, not watery or thick but difficult to paint on evenly. It took three coats to get it to stop being patchy and for the third coat, I had to paint pretty thickly and it still looks thick and a little bumpy and uneven on my nails. And yes, those specks you see in the photos are popped bubbles. I did not have fun applying this polish. Even now, I'm debating whether or not I want to go through the trouble of painting the nails on my right hand.

I think it's a cute idea to have a demure blue polish in a wedding collection. Something borrowed, something blue and all that. Although this polish was more blue than what I had expected, I do like the color and it's flattering for my skin tone. but I don't think the formula is something you want to deal with around your wedding day.

Conclusion: I like the color and hate the formula so I can't recommend this polish.

SWATCHES (after the page break)

Mini Fashion Haul

I don't know how exciting this will be for you, but I thought I'd share some recent purchases. Usually, if I need to update my wardrobe, I'll go to TJMaxx or another reasonably inexpensive store and leave with a ton of merchandise (at least 10-15 items) so that's what I consider a fashion haul. This is more of what happens when I go about exploring without any real direction.

Stopped in Town House No. 504 Their online shop is currently not up yet. I wouldn't recommend that you run there ASAP but they had some cute bracelets and one that reminded me of the belt buckle bracelet I've been obsessing over lately. So...I got it. It was about $30.



Next, I continued wandering until I ended up somewhere near Prince St. and Broadway and something caught my eye. Was it? Oh, yes...a knockoff of the Cartier LOVE bracelet in rose gold. I picked it up for $25 and I'm kind of planning on going back to get another one and maybe a few as gifts. They come in rose gold, gold, and silver. And unlike the Cartier one's these open and close easily but securely. Photos below.

And finally I spent a ridiculous amount of time in line at H&M and another nearby store not finding anything but a loose-fitting button down shirt. I picked up one in a blue/slightly purple color and one in white. I think they were each about $12.

Hope you enjoyed this. Let me know if you'd like to see more of these kinds of posts in the future.

SWATCHES of OPI's You Callin' Me a Lyre?


Quick post because I got my nails done at the salon so I can't review this polish. This is 3 coats of O.P.I.'s "You Callin' Me a Lyre?" from the O.P.I. NYC Ballet Soft Shades collection. I did not think much of this collection until I saw swatches on Scrangie and ever since I've been hunting for them. They're only going to be sold in salons, beauty supply stores, (and on amazon, ebay, etc. obviously) so I'm trying to find the cheapest way to get all the colors I want. I definitely want 2 bottles of this and 1 bottle of Piroutte My Whistle. I'm unsure about the rest of them. I might have to go back to the salon and test them out first.

My impression from the way she did my nails at the salon was that the formula was decent. It glided on well. It seemed a teensy bit patchy and too sheer after the second coat so I asked her to do a third. On the third coat it's more translucent than sheer and you can see more of the pink. It looks like lingerie for the nails. I love it. I did notice some bubbles but that may have been the way she applied it. Again, this is why I can't review polishes I haven't applied myself.
(I also included some photos at the end so you can see the polish compared to a bare nail.)

The second nail from the left is completely bare. No polish, top coat, base coat, etc.

The second nail from the left is completely bare. No polish, top coat, base coat, etc.