Tarte Clay Play Palette

When traveling, I am pretty good at keeping my clothing, shoes and accessories to a minimum. Where my real problem is when I go to pack up my makeup. I start off thinking that I will not need much and end up with two makeup bags, a brush bag and a few random items shoved in my purse. Because of that, I am always looking for the perfect all-in-one product to help cut down on the number of items I “need” to bring with me. That’s what I was looking for when I picked up the Tarte Clay Play palette.

“Define & contour your features with this universal ‘power sculpting’ palette – like shape-wear for your face! Sculpt your eyes, brows, nose & complexion with 12 essential shades: nine neutral-to-smoky matte shadows with buildable color, and three sculpting face powders contour a variety of skin tones. Each microfine powder blends to a natural, long wearing finish minus the harsh lines. The secret’s in the clay: it helps balance & replenish skin so you get the most even payoff without creasing, caking, or flaking. #slaywithclay” -Ulta Beauty

The product

The Tarte Clay Play palette is full of everyday neutral matte shades. There are 9 smaller pans that can be used as eye shadows and 3 matte face powders to use to bronze and contour.

While all of the shades are matte neutrals, there is a wide variety of tones. For me, Sand is the perfect all over base shade while Solstice is perfect as a matte brow bone highlight. I use Instinct, Dunes, Journey and Stone as my transition shades for neutral and cool toned looks. Ember is perfect when I am going for a warmer look while Onyx works great to deepen the outer-v to create a smokey look. I also use Smoke to fill in my brows.

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Swatches from Tarte.com

As for the face powders, I have found that I like to use all three. I will go in lightly with a big fluffy brush and Timber to bronze up my face. Then, I will use Terracotta to contour my cheeks and jaw line. I like to finish with Desert to deepen my contour a little more, but closer to the hairline.

final thoughts

My final thoughts? I am really in love with this palette. I have had it for about two months now and I use it every single day. While it isn’t a stand alone palette for me, I love it as a companion palette. I like to pair this with palettes that lack transition shades, such as the KVD Saint & SinnerHuda Beauty Desert Dusk and Natasha Denona Aeris palettes. What makes this palette so great to travel with is that it has any matte/neutral eyeshadow I could need, a brow powder and my bronzer and contour shades. So it is basically 4 products in one. The powders are pigmented and all blend beautifully and, I have to say, Tarte makes my favorite black shadow. I HIGHLY recommend this, especially if you travel a lot or need a multipurpose palette.

What is your go to palette for traveling?

xoxo

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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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Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette

I know everyone LOVES warm eye shadow palettes but for me I am kind of over it. Personally, I haven’t really been drawn to the orange and red shades like everyone else. I own Modern Renaissance by ABH and that has been good enough for me. That is until I saw the Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette.

What really drew me in were the purple shade and shimmer shades. It was more than just the typical warm tone palette. The shades were so interesting to me and I knew I had to have it.

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Here are all of the shade swatched left to right, top to bottom. All are dry finger swatches done on bare skin.

The palette includes 8 mattes: Desert Sand, Musk, Eden, Amber, Oud, Amethyst, Saffron and Blazing; 6 shimmer shades: Blood Moon, Celestial, Nefertiti, Royal, Cashmere, and Turkish Delight; 3 duo chrome toppers: Twilight, Retrograde and Angelic; and one pressed glitter: Cosmo.T (4)

For this first look, I really wanted to use Twilight. I started by fluffing Desert Sand all over the crease. Next I went in with a little Eden as a transition shade. To add some definition, I used Amethyst on the outer corner and then swept it all over the lid. I also used Amethyst smoked out on the lower lash line. To finish the look, I put a little glitter glue on the lid and inner corner and then topped that with Twilight.

For this look, I started with Desert Sand as my base and went in with Musk as a transition shade. Then, I took Blazing a little lower in the crease. To add definition, I used Saffron on the outer corner. I also took a little bit of Musk, Blazing and Saffron on the lower lash line. On the inner 2/3 of the lid, I applied Cashmere with a damp, flat brush. For the inner corner, I applied a little glitter glue and finished the look with the Cosmo glitter shade.

For this final look, I started with Desert Sand as a base. It just works perfect with my skin tone. I then used Musk as my transition shade and went in with Amber a little lower. I also used these two shades on the lower lash line. Next, I took Oud all over the lid making sure that it was darkest on the outer corner. On the inner 2/3 of the lid, I placed a little glitter glue and topped that with Retrograde. The look is finished with Cashmere on the inner corner.T (2)

This palette has quickly become a daily go to! I just love the variety of looks you can do. You can create something colorful or go more neutral; flashy or casual. One of my favorite quick, easy looks is to use Saffron all over the lid and blended into the crease with a lighter color on the inner corner.

For me, the mattes all blend beautifully. The shimmer shades are reflective and apply best with a finger or flat brush. For the duo chrome toppers, I find that they really do best topped over a glitter glue. It helps to get the best pigment with the least amount of glitter fallout. These also apply best with a finger but a smaller flat brush works well too. For the pure glitter shade, most definitely use a glitter glue and either a finger or tiny brush. My favorite glitter glue to use is the NYX Glitter Primer. It is inexpensive, doesn’t irritate my eyes and keeps my glitter in place all day.

Will you be picking up this palette? Are you still a member of the warm tone shadow craze or are you ready for something new?

Xoxo Sammie

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Boxycharm November 2017

Its that time again; time for Boxycharm! I didn’t write a post for last month’s because there was another mishap with my shipping address and I ended up receiving it rather late. That being said, as soon as I saw the sneak peaks for this month I was so excited!

If you are unfamiliar with Boxycharm, it is a cosmetics subscription box that costs $21 per month. Each month you will receive at least 5 full sized products. Recently, they have been including things like eye shadow pallets and even a full sized Becca highlighter!

One of the more unconventional items in this month’s box were the three Collagen Infused Lip Masks from KNC Beauty. Basically, they are like a sheet mask but for your lips. When you first open the package they look like a pink jelly and feel somewhat slimy. You just put the mask over your lips and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. They are said to condition, moisturize, plump and hydrate and it is recommended to use one 2-3 times a week. I will say, that my lips felt hydrated immediately after use but I did not find it to plump or have lasting effects. These are fun to use, but I would not repurchase at $5 a pop.

Next was the Luxie Beauty Quad Eye Travel Set. These are said to retail for $32 but they are not currently available on the Luxie website. Normally, I really love Luxie brushes. They are soft and blend products well. However, I was not a huge fan of these travel brushes. I felt that they just did not blend well and found myself reaching for my Spectrum brushes instead. Unfortunately, I would say these are a pass for me.

Boxycharm has been on top of the eyeshadow pallete game recently. In this month’s box, we received the Winkylux Kitten Palette that retails for $25. There are 9 different shadows in what the website claims are four finishes: “holographic, matte, satin and glitter.”

Personally, I would say Duchess, Strut, Cheshire and Boots are mattes; Purr, Cateye and Romeo are all shimmers; and Holographic and 9 Lives are both duochrome.

For this look, I ended up using Duchess as my base with Strut all over my crease. Then I went in with Cheshire a little lower in the crease and on the outer corner. I took a damp, flat brush as used Romeo all over the lid. On the lower lashline, I went in with a little Strut and Cheshire. Finally, I used Purr as my inner corner and brow bone highlight.

Overall, I really enjoy this palette. I think it is great to travel with and includes a lot of really fun colors. I only wish it had a mirror.

Next we have LAQ A&Co Cloud Lips in Sunshower. On the brand website these are described as, “Surprisingly fluffy, Cloud Lips Airy Matte Lipstick delivers full coverage color for a pillow-soft pout. Available in 4 high-pigment shades, these lipsticks were formulated to last all day without feeling stiff thanks to avocado oil” and they retail for $17. Honestly, I really like the formula. The color was vibrant and the formula was light weight. The only thing I did not like was the tube it came in. For such a bright, bold color it was hard to achieve a precise application. I ended up having to go in with a lip brush. While I really like the product, it is just not practical for me as I would have to reapply throughout the day.

The final product was probably the one I was most excited for; the Cover FX Illuminating Setting Spray. These retail for $31 a bottle and is said to “provide instant illumination while giving your makeup serious staying power.” I have always used setting sprays, but even more now that my skin is more dry. I rely on them to keep my makeup from looking dry and cakey. First, that packaging on this is a beautiful white/pink iridescent. Also, the spray nozzle and mist is AMAZING! It is so fine and beautiful. The illuminating part of the spray comes from very fine glitter particles. I didn’t mind them except for how they looked on my eyebrows. I really like this product. I just recommend to shake VERY WELL before using so that you don’t have large deposits of glitter on your face and make sure to use one had to cover your eyes and brows so they they do not end up glittery.

Did I like every product in this month’s Boxycharm? Sadly no. I will use the remaining lip patches but would never repurchase. The brushes will probably end up at the bottom of the drawer and I only see using the lippie for pictures. However, the products I did like made it well worth the $21. I will definitely continue to use the eyeshadow palette and I am super into the Cover FX setting spray.

What about you, do you think this month’s Boxycharm was worth it? Let me know!

Xoxo Sammie

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Kiko Milano Cosmetics

It seems like makeup keeps getting more and more expensive. Especially when you are a fanatic, it is too easy to fall into the trap that price indicates quality. Next thing you know, you are justifying buying a $60 foundation. Or is that just me?

Luckily, I have found a brand that is not only great quality but budget friendly as well! Thanks to Octoly, I had to opportunity to try some products for free in exchange for my review. I have to say, I was not sure what to expect at first. Luckily, I was beyond impressed.

When it comes to mascara, I look for something that will define and volumize. The Luxurious Lashes Mascara ($12) formula definitely fits my needs. I am left with lashes that are black, volumized and fluffy. They hold a curl all day and I have had no problems with flaking or smudging. My only other thing I like in a mascara is for it to be waterproof. That being said, I find myself reaching for this mascara multiple times a week.

I have always been a fan of colored liner. I remember the first time my mom gave me a blue one, I was so excited! Now that I am older, that has not changed. I love a little color on the lower lash line or a bold wing. The Metallic Liquid Eyeliners ($10) are so fun! I got mine in a grey/gun metal color and I am in love. The pop of color is fun, wearable and perfect for the holidays. The formula was pigmented and I had no trouble creating a wing with the brush tip. It stayed all day with no cracking, smudging or feathering.

The final product that was sent to me through Octoly was the Velvet Passion Matte Lipstick ($12) in shade 316 which is a beautiful rose color. The first thing I noticed is that the cap in magnetized which I find so cool! I have carried this in my backpack and have had no problems with the cap sliding off. The next thing is the tip of the lipstick. It is slanted, which might look strange but is so useful! I use the tip to line my lips and the apply the lipstick like normal. It is so comfortable to wear and is long wearing. I had no problems with the formula becoming too dry or feathering. That being said, it is important to know that it is a traditional lipstick formula which means it is not transfer proof.

Overall, I am so impressed with all of these products! I have used the mascara and lipstick so many times over the last few weeks. I have not used the liner as much, but enjoy wearing it for a fun fall look or a night out with the girls. All of the products have been fantastic quality and are so affordable! I cannot wait to try more from Kiko Milano.

Have you tried anything from Kiko Milano? What are your favorite products?

Xoxo Sammie

I received this product complimentary from KIKO Milano U.S.A.. All opinions are 100% my own #gifted #honestreview #octolyfamily

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Review: Tarte Double Duty Beauty

I am always on the hunt for something new and interesting. Makeup is supposed to be fun and exciting. Even in the midst of looking for the next new thing, I have my go-to products that I always come back to. I recently realized that a lot of these products just happen to be from the Tarte Double Duty Beauty line. My love affair first started with the Hybrid Gel Foundation. This foundation was a God send after my skin dried out from taking isotretinoin. Since then, I have tried a lot of other products and Tarte has become one of my favorite brands.

One of the most popular items from Tarte’s Double Duty Beauty line is the Shape Tape Concealer. Though it is a little pricey at $25 a tube, it is so worth it! The formula is creamy, pigmented and blendable. It is perfect for covering blemishes as well as concealing under the eyes. The only problem is that it can be a little drying under the eyes if you have dryer skin. Currently, I like to layer it with my Maybelline Age Rewind and it is the perfect combo.

I am all about products that have dual purposes because I travel so much. They just make things easier and free up space in my bag. One of the newer Tarte products is their Blush & Glow highlighter and blush duo. I love the formula of this. The products are smooth and blend easily. The blush is not too pigmented, but buildable. I love the highlighter because it gives me a glow without being sparkly or accentuating texture. Beyond that, the packaging is beautiful, sleek and compact.

To help blend out concealer and foundation, there is the Double Duty Beauty Quickie Blending Sponge. I have to say, this isn’t my favorite sponge. It is just a little too stiff for my liking. I much prefer the Eco Tools sponge.

One of my all time favorite mascaras is the Light, Camera, Lashes from Tarte. So, I was more than happy to try out their Maneater Mascara. On their website, It claims to curl, lengthen and to give lashes 23x more volume. I have to say, I think it does all of the above. I love using this because it gives me the volume I want and keeps my lashes curled all day without any smudging or flaking.

Another awesome product to travel with is the Tarte Lip Sculptor lipstick and gloss duo. I love a glossy lip. With my skin being so dry, I need as many moisturizing products as possible. I love this because the formulas are pigmented and comfortable to wear. You can layer them or wear them on their own. The lipstick is so creamy and the gloss is not too sticky. Being that they are so compact, it is a great product to keep in your purse.
A similar concept to the lip sculptor is the Tarte Lip Architect. This is perfect for the girl on the go that does not want a glossy lip. It is a cream finish and it super moisturizing. One side is a lip liner and the other is a coordinating lipstick. While I enjoy the application, these are not the longest wearing but they are very comfortable.

The final product for today is the Sweet Tarte Fragrance Rollerball. This is a nice sweet fragrance. I like to keep this roller ball in my purse to use after going to the gym.

Over the last year, Tarte has become a favorite brand. Their double duty line has so many amazing products! Right now, Ulta even has a set with the full size highlighter/blush compact, lip architect, mini mascara and roller ball perfume. The whole kit is only $36!

What are some of your favorite Tarte products?

Xoxo Sammie

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Review: NovaShine Teeth Whitening

What’s one thing that you always felt self conscious about? For me, it is my smile. In my younger years, my front teeth were crooked. So, in middle school I had to get braces. When I finally got them off, I loved how straight my smile was, but i felt like it was too yellow.


I remember that I was so excited because, for taking good care of my teeth and doing well in school, my parents let me get my teeth whitened at the dentist. Ever since I have tried my best to keep my teeth sparkling white. However, I am now a daily coffee drinker with an occasional coke thrown in. Needless to say, keeping the staining at bay can be a struggle.

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That’s where NovaShine comes in. When they first contacted me about trying their product, I was super excited. Whitening your teeth can get expensive pretty quick. Because of that, at home whitening is a great option. In the past, I have always been a little weary of whitening my teeth myself. But, I figured that this would be the perfect product to try.


Novashine™ Teeth Whitening Kit comes with everything you need to restore your natural bright smile. The professional teeth whitening system is specially formulated to whiten teeth quickly, effectively, and without causing major tooth sensitivity. The system’s peroxide based gel removes tooth discoloration caused by stain-causing food and beverages, as well as tobacco products.”

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With every kit you receive 10 mL of whitening gel, a mouthpiece, micro-USB adapter, as well as instructions and a whitening guide. They instructions in the box are not the clearest, but there are more in depth instructions on their website. Luckily the product is also fairly easy to use.


Before whitening, make sure to brush and floss your teeth. Next, place a layer of the whitening gel on the upper and lower walls of the mouthpiece. Just make sure to apply to the walls and not the part you bite down on. Then, you just place the mouthpiece between your teeth and bite down lightly to hold in place. Plug the mouthpiece into your phone or other usb device to turn it on. Keep the mouthpiece in for 10 to 30 minutes.

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It is important to note, if you feel any sensitivity after whitening, to wait a few days before another session and to do it for less time. According the the NovaShine site, you can use this product daily as long as no sensitivity occurs.


For me, I saw results after my first 30 minute session. My teeth were not too bad to begin with but this definitely helped to brighten them.

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Overall, I really liked this product. It was quick and easy to use. I did not have any problems and I saw great results. The only issue I had was with plugging in the mouthpiece. I used my iphone 7 and I had to hold the adapter in place to keep the mouthpiece lit up. So, that was a little annoying. That being said, I will definitely be using this again. For me, I will use it probably twice a month to keep the coffee stains away.


Right now, NovaShine has their teeth whitening kits on sale! You can get the whole thing for only $47.99! Best of all, you can get many applications from the one tube of gel and they sell refills of the gel too

Would you give this product a try? Let me know!

Xoxo Sammie

 

 

This product was sent to me in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and based off of my own experience with the product.

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