Saturday, December 30, 2017

Sephora Haul: VIB Sale and Black Friday Discounts

Hello my loves,

I know I haven't been writing that many blog posts lately. I've got a lot of ideas but sometimes my heart is just not in it and I can't make it happen. I do try and post on my Instagram on a regular basis, so follow me there if you're interested in non-beauty updates. I haven't really been buying too many products for a while. Not only am I trying to save money and wearing less makeup on the whole but I've already got a pretty respectable makeup stash. But recent sales have been too good so I've dipped a toe back into the beauty world. There are also products I needed to stock up on (e.g. eyeliner) or add to my routine (e.g. skincare). I might share my other Black Friday hauls in a separate post but for now I wanted to share all the things I picked up at Sephora.

I placed two big orders at Sephora this fall. The first order was using the 20% discount from the VIB sale. The second order was taking advantage of all the sales around Black Friday. Let's start with the VIB 20% off part of the haul.

My skincare routine is basically nonexistent. I have really dry but usually blemish free skin. I've tried exfoliators and moisturizers and cleansers and creams and serums before but basically everything freaks my skin out and provokes breakouts and so I just settle back into having dry skin. Once in a while I do apply sunscreen or moisturizer but I don't do it on a regular basis. This is obviously a problem. I'm getting older and I need to start taking better care of my skin. I've tabled the sunscreen issue until I run out of my current sunscreen (La Roche Posay) but I decided to use the VIB sale as an excuse to try out a ton of products. The saleswoman at Sephora recommended the REN skincare line so on her recommendation, I stocked up on their products.

I picked up the REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk for Sensitive Skin, the REN Clean Skincare Flash Hydro-Boost for All Skin Types, the REN Clean Skincare Vita Mineral Daily, the REN Supplement Moisturizing Cream for All Skin Types, and the REN Clean Skincare Micro Polish Cleanser. I'll let you know how I get on with all of them after a month or two. The only difficult thing will be figuring out which products are doing the heavy lifting (or causing any irritation) because I'll be trying them all at the same time.

I also purchased another bottle of my favorite Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo. It'll be included in a Product Empties or Current Favorites post if I ever get around to writing it.

I got a pack of three Beauty Blenders in bright summery colors but I might return it. It was a decent discount for beauty blenders but I don't really wear foundation and I've heard that the AOA sponge might be a good dupe for a lot cheaper.

As a treat for myself, I got the Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick and Lip Mattifier Set and the Huda Beauty Smokey Obsessions palette. The lipsticks are tiny but I go through lipsticks really slowly so I don't mind just having more colors to play with.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Maple Holistics: Free Samples Opportunity

Hi chickadees!

I wanted to let you know about an opportunity to try out products from an all natural, cruelty free company based in the US called Maple Holistics. This is not a sponsored post, but they reached out to me and I didn't see any reason to not tell you about this amazing program. I know it can be tricky to find products that are really natural and cruelty free and free from caustic, irritating chemicals. You don't want to get me started on a diatribe about how ridiculously under-regulated the beauty industry is in the US, especially when it comes to known carcinogens and irritants. But when you're dealing with smaller indie brands, it's tough to know what will work for you when there's a comparative lack of reviews and consumer feedback.

That's why Maple Holistics' free samples program is so fantastic. Just take a few minutes to browse the website and look over their selection of shampoos, conditioners, toners, essential oils, and body butters and decide what you would like to try out. Then go to this page and fill out your information. It's that simple! All you have to do is wait for your free sample to arrive in the mail. Then, if you're so inclined, you can leave a review on the site or on amazon and purchase a full-size product if you enjoyed your free sample.

Longtime readers of this blog will know I have very sensitive skin. I've been trying to find a skincare routine that won't make me breakout and I've struggled with a dry scalp and serious hair loss over the past few years. I'm currently trying out the Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo and I'll try and have my thoughts for you soon.

Much love,

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fashion Inspiration: Summer Boho Dresses

Hello chickadees,

In the sweltering summer heat, figuring out what to wear can be so confounding that you just decide to stay home. Luckily, Rosegal has stepped in to solve the problem with a wide selection of boho dresses. You can follow this link to find all the boho dresses they currently have available in a vast array of pretty colors, fabrics, styles, and sizes.

Or, you can follow this link to the main Rosegal website to complete your summer wardrobe with cute and trendy tops, rompers, swimsuits, jewelry, and accessories. You'll never have to say no to beach days, rooftop screenings, and late summer barbecues because you don't have the right outfit. I have already placed my own order at Rosegal (as compensation for this article) and I'm excited to share my haul with you once it arrives in the mail.

After doing some digging on the site (it's amazing how the hours go by when you're online shopping) I was pleasantly surprised at the selection of trendy and affordable clothes. Usually a fashion site will only cater to one type of customer but I found items that would suit all kinds of tastes and dress sizes. Even better, I have an additional coupon for even more savings on top of the already low prices.

You want some new clothes, why not taking a look over here?
Summer sales ongoing, all from 33% off. Use code RGEN for another 10% off!

Time for a new outfit!

Happy shopping!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received compensation for writing this article but all the opinions are my own.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Stila Sample Sale Report June 2017

Hello darlings!

Sorry for the delay. I meant to cover this one two days ago but I've been busy with work. Cutting right to the chase, this sale is running at 260 Fifth Avenue for 2 more days. Today, July 1 through 7:00 pm and tomorrow, July 2 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. I am only covering the Stila beauty half of the sale.

Now, you know that when I cover a sale, I cover that damn sale. Here are all the details you need to know about what's on offer.


Very sadly there were no Stay All Day Liquid Liners which are my favorite go-to these days and the reason I checked out the sale. They do have the Stila Kajal Eyeliner in 02 Topaz and the Stila Got Inked Cushion Eyeliner in Black Obsidian Ink. Both are $10 each.

They only had one Eye Shadow Compact Pan in Kitten's sad cousin Wheat. There was an Eye Shadow Trio in Gold Glow but a sample compact wasn't set out so I didn't get a look at it. Eye shadow is $5.

For brows, they had the Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color in Light Ash, Medium Warm, and Auburn. Brow color is $5 which would be a great deal if my brows were lighter. I've converted to Anastasia for my brows these days.
There was a decent selection of palettes. I've eyed these in the past when they've gone on sale but I don't know, I'm just not that into palettes anymore. There are always some blues or reds or dark colors I'm never going to use. Still, if you are into palettes, this might be a good time to stock up at $15 per palette. They had the Eyes Are the Window Shadow Palettes in Body, Spirit, and Mind as well as the Perfect Me, Perfect Hue Eye/Cheek Palettes in fair/light, light/medium, medium/tan, and tan/deep.

Finally for eyes, there was the Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer ($10) and the Waterproof Volumizing Mascara ($10).


This is a great sale if you love Stila's lip products. There was a big selection of Stila Color Balm Lipsticks ($10) in Olivia, Sonya, Maya, Valentina, Ruby, Savannah, Natasha, Brigitte, Ali, Elle, Isabelle, Evangeline, Vivienne, Betsey, Gemma, Opal, Aubrey, and Emma. I already own Valentina, Ruby, Natasha, Isabelle, Gemma, and Evangeline. A little of this lipstick goes a long way and I've never been able to decide whether I find it moisturizing or drying. It is more conditioning that other lipsticks but I find that it can pill and bunch up weirdly on the lips after a few hours. I considered stocking up since they're basically half price but again, a little goes a long way and I'm not sure I'll need backups anytime soon. My favorite of the ones I own is Evangeline because it's the most wearable. By the way, if you would like a review of any of the Stila lipsticks I own, leave a request in the comments. Also, you should know that Stila has currently also slashed the price of the lipstick on their website if you can't make this sale. 

The Stila MATTE'ificent lipsticks come in Palais, Mon Ami, Papillon, Coquille, Jolie, Etoile, Bisou, Soiree, Framboise, Bordeaux. Also $10.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

New Instagram Page

Hello darlings,

Very quick post today. I know I've been very caught up with everything else going on in my life and I haven't made as much time for this blog. I'm still testing and swatching but I can't seem to write reviews and blog posts as often as I'd like to. With that in mind, I decided to start a new Instagram page. Since it's an extension of the blog, I'm calling it "dashesofinsanity." Please come follow me there. I'll be posting #RoamingManicure photos of my nails in interesting places and showing you everything else I get up to on a weekly basis. I'm hopeful that this will be a good way for us to keep in touch when full blog posts are too much for me at the moment. I hope you enjoy it.

All my love,

Sunday, January 22, 2017

REVIEW of Deborah Lippmann Strike A Pose

Hello bunnies,

It's time for dark polish review. I tend to save up all of my dark polishes and glitters for fall and winter so look out for those in the coming months. Or don't. I'm highly unreliable unpredictable. If you're wondering why there have been so many Deborah Lippmann polish reviews, don't worry, I'm not being sponsored. Dear God, why won't anyone give me money for this quality work? No, I just happened to pick up a bunch of minis and they're in dramatic colors that are more appealing to me right now than the other polishes lying around waiting to be reviewed.

Color: Deborah Lippmann Strike A Pose is a very dark teal creme polish. It's a green leaning teal but for all intents and purposes it could be black or at least very dark green. It did make me a little crazy. Sometimes I thought it was green. Sometimes I thought it was blue. I think if you like a sort of goth dark color, but you don't want to wear an actual black polish, this might be a good choice. If you want a teal or a dark green or blue, there are better options.
Formula: The polish was a little thick.
Application: The first coat of polish applied smoothly without any drag. It went on very dark and very shiny. It reminded me a good, inky black polish. The second coat also went on smoothly. The polish was a little thick but it was easy to even it out. with the brush. On short nails, I thought two coats were enough for opacity. On my right hand, I found the polish forming more ridges but it was fairly self-leveling. Also, the polish was threading (forming a long thread of polish when you pull the brush from the bottle) but it didn't seem to affect application.

As part of my application, I tried out Simply Peel for the first time. It didn't work for me. I didn't get the Simply Peel close enough to the nail to get it where the polish got on my skin. And when the polish did end up on the Simply Peel, it didn't pull up when I pulled the dried layer off. I'm going to try and revisit the Simply Peel when I do some kind of nail art and I'll let you know how I get on with it.
Wear: I wore this polish for 5 days. At the end of the 5 days, I definitely had tip wear. It wasn't horrifying. No major chipping though it wasn't just regular wear or shrinkage because the tips didn't wear away in that clean half-moon shape of my nails. The wear was definitely noticeable.

CONCLUSION: If the color of this polish sounds appealing to you, I think the formula is fine. Personally, I'd rather wear a true dark polish or a true teal and I think there are better formulas that are cheaper. I would not buy a full price regular sized bottle of this polish and 5 days is not great wear time for me so if you struggle with your polishes chipping, I don't think this would work well for you.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

REVIEW of Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in My Boyfriend's Back

Hello angels,

Did you know that Broadway production of Jersey Boys is closing in January? It feels like it's been running forever. I remember when it first came out and I really wanted to see it. Instead I just got the album and listening to it over and over. It's still a great listen and available on Spotify if you're interested. I know that seems like a weird transition into a polish review but like most (all?) Deborah Lippmann polishes, My Boyfriend's Back is named after a song. This one was first performed by the Angels. Ah. See? Everything makes sense now.

Color: My Boyfriend's Back is a medium blue creme polish. It's a dusty blue like cornflower but maybe two or three shades darker. But it's still lighter than actually dark shades like Prussian blue and royal blue. I think it's pretty unique in that respect. I don't think I have a shade of blue that's an exact match. Most of the blues I have are similar but either lighter or darker.
Formula: The formula is a little thick but not gloopy.
Application: Application started off well with my first nail. The polish went on very smoothly. Moving forward, the polish seemed to get thicker and it was applying streaky so I had to even it out. It was still absolutely manageable though. I was able to even out the polish with the brush without destroying my manicure. The second coat of polish also needed to be evened out. The results were a little streaky and uneven but... not the worst. It just wasn't the prettiest manicure, though I did like the color of the polish. Two coats was fine for short nails so I left it there. Things were similar when I moved to my right hand. The brush seemed to be causing some of the streaks. The polish went on smoothly without drag. It was a little patchy on the first coat but I touched it up. The second coat also applied OK. Again, they weren't the best results or the worst.
Wear: I wore this polish for four days. I was also testing top coats (I'll get around to explaining that eventually). The two nails I used the Korres top coat on got a little messed up and you could see the imprints made before the polish fully dried. The two nails with Poshe had experienced shrinkage or tip wear. The nails that I applied Zoya's top coat to had experienced clear tip wear. So in general, I wouldn't say this is a polish that holds up exceptionally well.

CONCLUSION: I think the application of this polish is manageable and the results don't look terrible if you're in love with this color. But if you need a perfect manicure, this polish is not for you. It's a somewhat unique color but in all other aspects of performance, it scores average marks.

So angels, if you're planning to do any shopping at Amazon... and of course you are, because it's Amazon, please consider starting your shopping trip from one of the affiliate links on my site. You don't have to buy what's pictured in the ad. As long as you start from one of my links, I'll get credit for anything you buy during that Amazon shopping trip. It won't cost you anything extra and it would help me out greatly. Aside from leaving a comment, it's the best way to let me know that you like what I'm doing with this site and want more of the same.