BoxyCharm December 2017

I cannot believe that 2017 is almost over! It feels like it was just yesterday that we were all making new year resolutions and talking about what a good year it would be. Personally, it was a pretty good year. Know who also had a pretty great year? BoxyCharm. Their boxes have continued to get better and better! I have been seriously so surprised by the products we have been receiving, all for only $21 a month.

If you have never heard of BoxyCharm, it is a monthly makeup subscription box. For $21 each month, you will receive 5 FULL SIZED makeup items. Even better, they usually include at least one prestige brand, such as Tarte. You can learn more and sign up here.

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The first products that I noticed were the RealHer blush trio and Crown blush brush.

We have received previous Crown brushes and I have to say, I usually like them. While I do like this Crown Pro Blush brush, I will not be using it for blush. It is really soft and blends product well but I just think it is too dense to be used for blush. I ended up going back in with my regular blush brush to soften the look. I do think this brush could work well for contour. This brush retails for $12.

The RealHer Blush Kit includes three different blushes; Fearless (pink), Limitless (peach), and Unstoppable (peachy bronze nude). While these might look a little intimidating in the pan, they are really beautiful on. They each have a luminous finish but no apparent glitter. They blend beautifully and are not too pigmented. I really like mixing Limitless and Unstoppable. This palette retails for $32 on the RealHer site but you can get a 20% off coupon by signing up for their emails.

If you have been visiting my blog for a while now, you probably know I am a big fan of color correctors. Usually, I use a green one to combat my redness but I have been thinking about picking up a peach toned one for my dark circles. The Bellápierre Pro Concealer Palette contains three color correctors in green, lavender and orange. Sadly, I was not a huge fan of this palette. The product is too stiff and thick to blend properly and the orange is too dark for me to use. If you are looking for a good color corrector, I highly recommend the Color Correcting Liquid Concealer from Ulta.

I am a sucker for pretty packaging. When Pretty Vulgar was first released at Sephora, I was captivated. I loved the feminine vintage feel of their packaging. I was so excited when I saw the Pretty Vulgar My Lips Are Sealed Liquid Lipstick in Secret Sabotage in my box. It is a nude color with a metallic finish. This is truly a liquefied lipstick in the sense that it is not matte and will not dry down to be transfer proof. My favorite way to wear this is as a gloss or lip topper. If you put this just in the center of your lips, it looks so pretty. These retail for $24 and come in 8 shades.

I was shocked to see this final product; the Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara. I am a HUGE fan of Tarte mascaras. Previously, my favorite was the Lights, Camera, Splashes Mascara. However, this one might take it’s place. It really defines my lashes and gives me the volume I love while making them very black. It does not flake or smudge unless water is introduced. These retail for $23 but are currently on sale for $10 at Ulta Beauty.

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I mean, what can I say? BoxyCharm knocked it out of the park again. I really enjoyed all of these products, with the exception of the color correcting palette. While some of the items are over priced (I’m looking at you, RealHer blush palette) for only $21, this box is well worth it!

Have you tried any of these products before? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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Tarte Holiday 2018

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I love Tarte Cosmetics. I can’t think of a product from them that I have tried that I didn’t like. I especially love their blushes and the Hybrid Gel Foundation. One thing that I enjoy about the holidays are all the cosmetic releases. So many brands release value packs for discount rates, it makes it hard to decide what to pick up. Tarte is one of those brands, but they go above and beyond. They have so many great releases and exclusives for every beauty supplier. What really caught my eye were the Lip Luxuries Deluxe Lip Sculptor Set, Limited Edition Box Set and the Limited-Edition Tartiest Lip Bling Top Coat.

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I am a huge fan of the Tarte Lip Sculptors! They are a lipstick and gloss duo that is perfect for traveling.

I know that matte lips have been all the rage, but I definitely need something more moisturizing, especially while I was on Isotretinoin. These are the perfect product. They are creamy and pigmented. They stay put without the need of a lip liner and make your lips look luscious.

Normally, one of these is $24 but in this set you get 5 travel sizes for $29. If you are the type of person who likes to wear a different lip color each day, this is the perfect set for you. Or, if there are only a couple color you would wear you can always break apart the pack and give the extras to others.

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I travel a lot and I love it. One problem that I have is that I have a tendency to over pack especially when it comes to my makeup. When I first saw this set at Ulta, I thought it would be the perfect set to travel with. It includes 25 eye shadows, two blushes, highlighter, bronzer, matte lip paint, glossy lip paint, sex kitten liner and tarteist mascara.

   

I used every shadow in the palette and I was fairly impressed. The only shades I did not like were bangle and treasured. Otherwise, I used the shadows in every row to create a look to demonstrate the palette diversity.

 

I really enjoyed the blushes and highlight. They were smooth and blended well. The only powder product I did not like was the bronzer because I think it is too light for most skin tones.

As I said earlier, I enjoy a glossy lip. This set included a mini of both the matte and glossy lip paints. They were not patchy and were comfortable to wear. I like to top the matte lip with the glossy lip when it starts to get too dry.

Overall, this little box has been great to travel with. I took it with me to Punta Cana and it had every thing I needed for a complete look. Sadly, this one was an Ulta exclusive and is no longer available. However you can pick up a similar one from Sephora or Macy’s.

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Lip toppers have been huge the last few months. It seems like every company is coming out with one. Personally, I have stayed away from them. I really dislike glosses that have sparkle in them because they have a tendency to feel gritty.

This topper is different. It is fairly sheer and has very fine gold and pink/purple glitter. It makes my lips look so juicy without being sticky or feeling gritty. It also doesn’t upset the liquid lip I wear underneath. I think this will be so pretty in the spring and summer or topped over a holiday red for a festive look.

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What can I say, Tarte killed it again! I really like all of these product. The only things I was not a huge fan of were the Sex Kitten Liner and the bronzer. Other than that, every thing works so well. If you can only get one thing, I recommend the lip sculptor set. New to makeup or travel often? Definitely give the palette a try.

What product do you like most?

Xoxo Sammie

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Natasha Denona Holiday 2018: Aeris

I feel like Natasha Denona eye shadow palettes are the Porsche of the beauty world. They are stunning, high quality and way beyond most peoples’ price range. When the Lila Pallet was first released, I wanted it so bad. Luckily, I found the the Huda Beauty Desert Dusk palette satisfied my need for purple shades. However, since the first press photo of the Aeris pallet, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I have to be honest, it was mostly the blue shade. Luckily, the Sephora VIB sale came around and the palette was in stock at my local store.

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This is a five pan palette and is said to consist of “metallics, mattes, duo-chromes and sparkling chroma crystals.”

To me, I see only three formulas. Burnt Terracotta is a matte while Ice Blue, Red Bronze and Nude are metallics. The final shade, Peach Bronze, is a sheer glitter and I believe it is considered a chroma crystal. All of these were swatched dry with no base or primer.

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When I review palettes, I try to make looks using only the shades that are in the palette. All of these looks were created only using a mix of the five shades in the Aeris palette.

I LOVE this look! I started with Burnt Terracotta in the crease. I went in lightly at first and built it up lower in the crease. I went in with a tiny flat brush and Red Bronze on the outer two thirds. On the inner one third, I laid down NYX glitter primer and topped that with Peach Bronze. I took Ice Blue on a pencil brush and took it all across the lower lash line. For the inner corner, I wanted to brighten things up with a little Nude.

For this look, I wanted something more daytime but still glam. The best part? It is SO EASY to replicate. I started with Burnt Terracotta lightly in the cease and then packed all over the lid. I also smoked it on the lower lash line. I took a little concealer and blended it on the center of my lid. Then, I topped that with Nude and blended the edges with Burnt Terracotta. I added more Nude on the inner corner and the center of the lower lash line. Add some winged liner and you’re done!

As I mentioned, I am in love with Ice Blue and I wanted to use it in a different way. I took Burnt Terracotta and fluffed it all over the lid and blended into the crease. I applied NYX Glitter Primer on the inner two thirds of the lid and topped it with Peach Bronze. For the lower lash line I used Burnt Terracotta and added more Peach Bronze to the inner third. The look is finished with Ice Blue on the inner corner.

This final look I wanted something festive for a holiday party. I look Burnt Terracotta lightly in the crease, outer corner and on the lower lash line. I used my KVD Tattoo Liner to create a wing and topped it with NYX Glitter Primer. I then took Red Bronze to create a metallic red wing. I finished with Nude on the inner corner. This look is beautiful with a red or nude lip.T (2)I really enjoy the colors in this palette. That being said, it isn’t really a stand alone palette. There is only one matte, so you are limited there. Luckily, the colors all work well together.

The one matte shade is beautiful. It is smooth, blendable, and buildable. It works great as a transition and to create a warm smokey look. Nude and Red Bronze are beautiful metallic shades. They apply best with a damp flat brush or with your finger. Ice Blue is a little more sheer and needs to be built up a bit. I definitely prefer to use my finger or a small, stiff brush with the blue. The final shade is Peach Bronze. At first this shade was disappointing because it was so sheer. However, now that I know how to use it, I like it. It works best topped over another shadow. Also, you will want to use a tacky base and your finger to get the most opaque application. I love using it on the inner corner, lid and lower lash line.

Do you own anything from Natasha Denona?

Xoxo Sammie

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Sephora Favorites: Give Me More Lip

While eyeshadow is probably my favorite beauty product, lipstick is a close second. I just love how easy it is to switch up your look with just using a different shade. The only probably, I have a tendency to buy a lot of similar shades. Even more, buying tons of different shades can get expensive quick. That is why I love the Sephora Favorites kits. They are a great way to try a bunch of products for a fraction of the cost.

I picked up the Give Me More Lip set up during the VIB sale so it was 20% off making it only about $56. It contains 5 full sized items and 10 sample sizes. Here are my thoughts on all the different products included.

The first product is a sample of the Hourglass Girl Lip Stylo in Influencer. The color is a deep rose beige and the formula is creamy and comfortable to wear. It is silky and feels hydrating. I think this is perfect for an everyday look, especially this color. I think if you use a more bold color than you will probably want a lip liner to get a more precise application. However, I really love this formula.

I have tried their translucent powder, but I had never tried a lip product from Laura Mercier before this kit. Included was a Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour in Sensual. It is a beautiful muted pink color with a satin finish. I find the formula to be creamy and pigmented. The only issue I have is that I feel it accentuates the lines in my lips. However, I think it is pretty and will continue to use it. It just might look a little better with a balm or hydrating primer underneath.

I feel like Marc Jacobs is a classic, from their fashion line to their beauty products and their lipsticks are no exception. The Le Marc Creme Lipstick in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a beautiful baked rose. This is a great everyday color in a formula that is pigmented and easy to use. It is a rich, creamy satin finish that is both comfortable and long wearing. Perfect to throw on and go since there is no need for a liner.

While classic brands are beautiful, I find myself drawn to more trendy brands and packaging. The Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Big Bang is cool and trendy through and through; from the hammered metal bullet to the metallic finish. The formula is creamy and very reflective and even though there is micro shimmer in it, it does not feel gritty. I do find this formula to be a little sheer and I think it would look best topped on a lip liner or on another lipstick.

  

Touch in Sol is know for their metallic liquid eyeshadow duos. I was so excited to see that they came out with a lip line as well. The Touch in Sol Metallist Liquid Lipstick duo in Jasmine is a very interesting idea. Once side is a liquid lipstick and the other is a coordinating gloss. The liquid lip dries down but it is VERY patchy, not very metallic and overall just unflattering. The gloss is really pigmented, reflective and comfortable to wear. Personally, I think it is a really fun look for a girls night out and wish Touch in Sol would sell the glosses separate. In the future, I will probably just use the gloss side.

  

Now I have to be honest, I am not the biggest fan of Too Faced. Sadly, this product was no exception. The Too Faced Melted Latex in Hot Mess is a beautiful berry shade. The shine is unreal, but sadly it is also patchy and very thick. If you don’t mind the feeling of a sticky gloss, then you would probably like this product. I would just recommend wearing it over a liner or lipstick. As you can see, the product is bleeding on the lip line.

  

I love a good matte liquid lip. I mean who doesn’t want something that is kiss proof? Beyond that, it needs to be comfortable as well as easy to use and evenly pigmented. The Smashbox Always on Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver’s Seat has all of these qualities. I will say, it is not 100% transfer proof, but the transfer is so minimal I rarely notice it. I also love the applicator. It holds enough product so that I do not have to dip in multiple times but it also works great for lining the lips. The only thing I would recommend for all matte lipsticks is to exfoliate and hydrate your lips before using.

Though I love the long lasting kiss proof qualities of liquid lips, I also enjoy a glossy lip. Something I do often is, when my liquid lips starts to wear or get too dry, I will just put a plumping gloss on top. The Dior Addict Lip Maximizer Plumping Gloss in Pink is perfect for this. This gloss really doesn’t have any pigment to it but it provides a beautiful shine as well as a plumping effect. Though, the gloss can burn a little bit and might be too intense for some. Other really good plumping glosses (that are more affordable) are the Buxom Lip Creams and the Sephora Volume Glosses.

When I think of luxury, the first brand that comes to mind is Yves Saint Laurent. Everything in their collection is so clean, sleek and dipped in gold. I was so excited to see the YSL Rouge Pur Couture in N. 01 La Rouge included in this set. It is a classic blood red color in a beautiful gold bullet. It is a creamy formula that is very pigmented with a satin finish. While the tip is fine enough to line the lips, I recommend using a lip liner to get a really clean line because the formula is so creamy. This color also stains the lips so that it is not as apparent as it fades.

If the high price tag on some brands at Sephora scare you, there is one brand that offers good quality at a great price: the in house line. The Sephora Collection Lip Stain in #01 Always Red is not only affordable, but also stunning. The classic matte red is bright and bold. The formula is lightweight and glides on evenly. It is very comfortable to wear and has virtually no transfer. While you can use it alone, I almost always prefer to use a lip liner with bold colors such as this.

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One thing I love about the Sephora Favorites sets is the chance to try brands I have never even heard of. The Wander Beauty Wanderout Dual Lipstick in Nikki Beach and BB is both a brand and product that are completely new to me.

  

The packaging is very sleek and would be great for traveling since you get two products in one. Both colors are a matte finish and would be perfect in spring and summer. The formula was a little stiff at first but became more creamy with use. The pigmentation is even and I do nto think you would need a liner with them. However, they are a little drying and not my favorite matte formula. This full sized product retails for $30.

If you are not a fan or liquid lips or matte lipsticks, this product may be perfect for you. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Vintage is perfect to wear on its own or as a topper. The gloss is very pigmented and goes on evenly. You can wear it alone or also over a liner or lipstick. It isn’t sticky and, while super shiny, there is no apparent glitter or grittiness. Unlike the Dior gloss, there are no plumping ingredients. This lippie is full sized and retails for $16.

When I first started to really get into makeup, it did not take long for me to hear about Huda Kattan. When she first launched the Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick in Bombshell, I knew I needed it in my collection. I held off buying it and I was excited to see it included here. The formula is very pigmented and watery. Unfortunately, those are the only pros I have. It does not dry down fully and continues to transfer. At the same time, it feels tight on my lips and stays very sticky. I am going to continue to play with this one to see if I can make it work because the color is pretty and I like thinner formulas. This one is also full sized and retails for $20.

One brand that I never thought I would own is Bobbi Brown. Her products are so luxurious and that means they are also so expensive. The Bobbi Brown Luxe Lipstick in Brocade retails for $37 and it is stunning. I was worried because I thought the bright plum color would be patchy. However, it was very pigmented and went on like a dream. It was comfortable to wear and felt very hydrating. The only thing I dislike is the size and shape of the lipstick. It is too large to get a clean application. Definitely use a lip brush or lip liner when applying.

The final full sized product is the Tarte Quench Lip Rescue in Nude and it retails for $19. I love wearing this as a daily treatment, when I wear more natural makeup or as hydrating top coat. This product glides on effortlessly with a high shine finish. It is comfortable and feels hydrating while adding a little shine. It is perfect for when running out the door or to put over the top of a more drying lipstick. I really love this one.

Totaling up just the full sized products, this Sephora Favorites set has a value of $122 plus you get an additional 10 products to sample and play with. Honestly, I am so impressed! Most of these products I will continue to use and there are a few I may even buy in the full size and in more colors! Unfortunately, this particular kit is now out of stock. However, if you are interested in picking up something similar there are a ton of options! My current favorites are Give Me Some Bold Lip ($28), Glow For It ($40), and the Perfume Sampler ($65).

What are some of your favorite lip products?

Xoxo Sammie

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