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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Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals 2017

I remember the first time my mom let me go Black Friday shopping with her. We woke up around 1am Friday morning, stopped for hot cocoa at a gas station and then waited in line outside of Best Buy for another 5 hours. It was cold and dark out, but it was the beginning of a fun and exhausting day. I use to love going every year, but now that stores open on Thanksgiving, I have stopped. I just do not feel comfortable taking part in something the actively takes people away from their families, unnecessarily, on a holiday. All I can say is, thank goodness for online shopping. Here is a list of some of the best online beauty deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017.

Anastasia Beverly Hills 11/24 through 11/27:
30% off of Darkside Liner and Matte Lipsticks
40% off of Glow Kits, Liquid Lipsticks, and Lip Glosses
50% off of Contour, Eyeshadow Singles, and Blush Trios
All purchases over $75 receive a FREE brush

Bath and Body Works11/23 at 7am through 11/24: Mix and match entire store buy 3 get 3 free

Beauty Bakerie 11/24: 30% off site wide
Domestic shipping is $5

BH Cosmetics 11/24: Up to 60% off of select products (no code necessary).

The Body Shop now through 11/25: 3 for $33, 4 for $44, or 5 for $55 site wide
$40 Black Friday Filled Tote Bag available here ($120 value)
Free shipping on orders $75+

Catrice Cosmetics 11/24-11/25:  Mix and match any 5 items for only $20
Free shipping and Free gift with purchase

Coloured Raine now through 11/27:  25% off eyeshadow palletes
40% off everything else
Offers cannot be combined with discount codes

Devinah Cosmetics 11/23 6pm through 11/28 12pm: 50% off pressed shadows and highlights with code BLACKFRIDAY17

DHC Skincare 11/24 through 11/27: Save 20% site wide

Essence Makeup11/24: Save 50% off site wide.
11/25 through 11/26: Save 30% off site wide.
11/27: Save 50% off site wide

Gerard Cosmetics 11/21 through 11/24: Spend $100 during the sale and receive a coupon for $25 off of a $50 purchase to use between 12/5 and 1/5
35% off of Setting Sprays, Hydra Mattes, Metal Mattes, Glitter Lipsticks, Starlet Palette, BB+ Cream 3 Pack, Kiss Assist, and Slay All Day Mirror
50% off of Star Powders, BB+ Cream Individuals, Gold Lipstick Bullets, and Brow Bar to Go
70% off of Supreme Lip Cremes, Color Your Smile Lip Glosses, Lip Pencils, and Eternal Eyeliner
Free shipping on domestic orders over $20 and International orders over $59

Glam Glow 11/24 through 11/27: 25% off site wide
Exclusive holiday gift sets available

JD Glow 11/23 through 11/26: 35% off site wide with the code BLACKFRIDAY. Promo excludes sale items and liquid liners.

Jeffree Star Cosmetics 11/24 through 11/27: Velour Liquid Lipsticks all $15
Androgyny and Beauty Kill palettes $27
Lip Ammunitions $10.50
Skin Frosts $17
Lip Scrubs $8
Save 25% on all fashion and receive a free lipstick
40% off bundles: You Better Work, JSC x Manny Mua, and family bundle
Free shipping on domestic orders over $50

Jouer Cosmetics 11/23 at 8pm through 11/24:  15% off with the code CZ15OFF 
Free leopard makeup bag with all orders
Free shipping on domestic orders over $25 and International orders over $100
All lip products are buy one, get one free
Slim Creme Eyeliners are buy two, get one free
Skinny Dip Bundle (eyeshadow palette, powder highlight, and lip topper) $48 ($80 value)
Various eyeshadow bundles available for $60

Juvia’s Place 11/20 through 11/28: Eyeshadow palettes up to 46% off
Blush palettes up to 16% off
All brushes up to 50% off
All bundles up to 52% off

Kiko Cosmetics 11/20-11/26 6pm EST: Buy 3 Get 3 Free (three least expensive free)
Free standard shipping on orders over $15

KKW Beauty 11/24: Save 30% on lip sets
30% off contour and highlight kits
20% off cream contour kits

KL Polish 11/20 through 11/24 at 11am: Save 30% on all individual polishes

Kylie Cosmetics 11/22: New Holiday Collection launches at 3pm

LA Splash11/20 through ?: Click here to view all Black Friday markdowns
All Velvet Matte and Lip Couture liquid lipsticks are $10
All Dia De Los Muertos liquid lipstick singles are $5
Bundles up to 50% off
Most items marked down 20% – 50%

Limecrime11/21 through 11/27: Up to 85% off throughout site with lippies as little as $3

Lit Cosmetics 11/24 through 11/27: Buy one get one half off on all Lit shades, cannot be combined with affiliate codes

Looxi Beauty 11/24 at 6am through 10pm: Take 50% off of all eyeshadows and pan highlights with the code BF17. Only x1 of each shade per order. Looxi will be bringing back over 70 shades from the vault

Macy’s 11/17 through 11/21: Black Friday Preview Specials in the Beauty category
Take 10-20% off with the code SCORE or take $10 off of $25 with the code SCORE25 

Nabla Cosmetics 11/23 through 11/27: Save 20% site wide (exclusions apply)

Ofra Cosmetics 11/20: 50% off of ALL highlighters with the code GLOW50.
11/21: Buyone, get one masks & body (valid on two of the same products only) Offer applied in cart
11/22: Save 20% on the Nikkie Tutorials Collection Box
11/23: Receive a free Glam & Go bag on purchases over $30. Free shipping on domestic orders over $30 plus receive free shipping. Free shipping not valid on International orders.
11/24 through 11/27: 40% off site wide with coupon code (code TBA)

Royal & Langnickel (Moda Brushes) 11/20 through 11/27:  Save up to 60% on most items site wide

Sephora 11/24: The Sephora App preview included many $15 deals including:
Benefit Cosmetics Bestseller Blowout ($15, $43 value), Philosophy Purity Made Simple ($15, $36 value), Sephora Collection Blend & Clean Kit ($15, $29 value), Make Up For Ever Artist Neutrals Mini Lip Duo ($15), First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream ($15, $42 value), Lancome Dramatic Eye Duo ($15, $32.50 value), Becca Wake Up Call Natural Glow Travel Duo ($15, $23 value), Bite Beauty Multistick Duo ($15, $20 value), Philosophy Always on the Glow ($15, $32 value), It Cosmetics It’s Your Secret Set ($15, $35 value)
Also included were some $10 and $12 deals: 
Urban Decay Mini Naked Illuminated Powder ($12), Buxom Pout on the Prowl Lip Set ($12, $32 value), Ole Henriksen Dashing Through the Snow – Refresh Anywhere Set ($12, $22 value),  Atelier Cologne Perfume Ornament ($12, $36 value), Tarte Cosmetics Precious Picks Color Set ($10, $36 value), Nest Eau De Parfum & Scent Tattoo Set ($10, $40 value), Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Starter Trio ($10, $13 value), Alterna Hair care Caviar Moisture Kit ($10, $30 value), Tocca Favorites Trio ($10, $26 value), Clinique Double Cleansing Detox Black Friday Set ($10), Sephora Collection Colorful leanse & Treat ($10, $18.50 value), Sephora Collection Winter Queen Palette ($10, $20 value), Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser ($10, $16 value)

Smashbox 11/20 through 11/23: Save 25% on orders over $50

Sugarpill Cosmetics 11/23 at 10am pst through 11/27: Up to 80% off select items

Tarte Cosmetics 11/22 through ??: Save 25% off almost everything with code PREVIEW
Free shipping on domestic orders over $25

Ulta Beauty 11/23: Shop Black Friday deals online starting at 5pm CST

Violet Voss 11/20 through 11/26: Save 35% site wide with the code BLACKFRIDAY35
Receive a free full size Highlighter Trio ($25 value) with all orders over $25

Walgreens 11/20 through 12/2: Buy two, get one free mix and match skin care
11/20 through ?: Save 35% on regular priced designer fragrance with code SPLURGE35 (online only)
Save 15% on NYX Cosmetics with code NYW15
Buy one, get one half off all OGX hair care
Save 20% on Sleek Makeup, excluding gift sets
Free gift with purchases over $15

Wet n Wild Beauty 11/20 through 11/22: 20% off of Mega Glo Highlights, Liquid Catsuit Liquid Lipsticks, and 17 Piece Brush Roll with the code WILDFAVS20

Zoeva 11/24 10:30am CT -11/25 10:30pm CT: 20% Off any order with promo code: ZFS2017

Zoya Nail Polish 11/24: 50% Off your Entire order (open to US & Canada only) with promo code: FRIYAY
Free Shipping on all domestic orders

That’s all the deals I have found as of right now. I will be posting this the day before Thanksgiving because I know a lot of people like to plan ahead of time where they are going to shop.

Do you enjoy fighting the crowds on Black Friday or are you more of a Cyber Monday kind of person?

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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KVD Saint & Sinner Eyeshadow Palette

I have been a fan of Kat Von D for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching her tattoo on tv and was always mesmerized by her process and talent. When she came out with her makeup brand, I was so intrigued because of her unique style. Since then, her eye shadow formulas have become one of my favorites. Each palette is so unique and she always manages to come out with interest colors, cool names and new ideas.


When I first saw the teasers for her holiday release, I couldn’t wait. I knew it was going to be beautiful but trust me, it is even more stunning in person.

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“Experience divine dimension with three fearless finishes: electrifying metallics, velvety mattes, and shimmering pearls, plus two new special effect glimmer shades. Rightfully placed at the peak of the palette, these transformative super-glimmer shades amp up any eye look with prismatic micro-pearls that catch the light with every movement. Each cushiony shade is blendable and buildable. Kat Von D’s signature high-performance, long-wear eyeshadow formula creates next-level eye looks that deliver major impact. Whether you’re feeling saintly, sultry, or a little of both, you’re sure to find endless inspiration within this show-stopping palette of epic proportions. ”


Within the Saint & Sinner eyeshadow palette, there are 12 Saint and 12 Sinner shades. They can be mixed and matched to create a huge variety of looks. Most of the shades are are a shimmer, metallic or pearlescent formulas but there are 7 true mattes. The colors range from black to neon green with a little of everything in between.

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Here are some swatches of the palette. Keep in mind, these are all finger swatches. There is no powder or primer base and no use of water or a setting spray.

         

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For this look, I started out with Amen as a base and in the crease. Then I went a little lower in the crease with Crucifix. To create a smokier look, I mixed a little bit of Crucifix and Sabbath for the inner and outer corner, as well as the lower lashline. For the actual halo, I used Vestment on the center of the lid and center of my lower lashline. The look was finished with a littler Heaven in the inner corner.

 

I was inspired by this look created by Kristen Leanne. I started with  Baptism as my base. For the crease, I went in with Martyr followed by Crucifix to darken the outer corner. I also used these on the lower lashline. For the lid, I used Worship as a base and went over that with Rapture and a little glitter glue. I also took a little bit of Worship on the inner 2/3 of my lower lashline. The look is finished with Exodus on the inner corner.

 

I wanted to go for something a little more day time. I used Amen as my base and went in with Martyr in the crease and on the outer corner. I also went very lightly with Crucifix to darken the outer v a little more. On the lid and lower lashline, I used Chalice.I finished the look with a little Relic on the inner corner.

 

 

Finally, I knew I needed a sunset eye. With Amen as my base, I took Martyr and Devil in the crease. For the outer v  and lower lashline, I used Crucifix. I took Rosary on my lid and on inner half of my lower lashline. Finally, I used Sacred Heart as my inner corner highlight.
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Overall, I really love this palette. I think it is absolutely perfect for people who love to experiment with bold looks or like to incorporate pops of color. That being said, for most people it is not going to be an everyday or stand alone palette. For the looks above, I did only use shades within the palette and I was happy with how they turned out. However, I find that  I like to mix this palette with mattes from my Tarte Clay Play or KVD Pastel Goth Palette.

Almost every shade is the palette was fantastic. What I will say is that Sabbath is not the blackest black, but it can be built up. Also, the top two shades, Absolution and Rapture, are glitter shadow toppers. These do best when applied over a glitter glue. All of the other shimmer or metallics shades I was able to apply with my finger or a damp, flat shadow brush.

Overall, I am in love with this palette. Kat killed it again. If you’re interested, you better hurry. This is a limited edition holiday release.

Do you like to play with color? Will you be picking up this beauty?

Xoxo Sammie

 

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YSL Tatouage Couture Liquid Matte Lip Stain

While I LOVE makeup, I have my limits. I can walk up and down the aisles of my local Sephora and swatch anything that looks appealing. However, when it comes to buying some products I just can’t. What I am talking about is the luxury brands like YSL, Guerlain and Bobbi Brown. While the products may look stunning, it is hard to bring myself to spend $48 on a highlighter. So, when I received the notification that I was in the YSL voxbox from Influenster and would be receiving a YSL product for free, I was ecstatic! I would finally be able to put one of these luxury products to the test.


If you haven’t heard of Influenster before, it is a network of people that like to review products. When you are selected for a campaign, they send you product for free which you then get to review. There is no requirement for a positive review. While I did receive this lippie for free, all of my thoughts are honest and true.

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The product we received was the YSL Tatouage Couture Liquid Matte Lip Stain ($36). I received color 8 Black Red Code which is a deep burgundy color and let me tell you, I was worried. I had never used a dark lip stain that actually left an even stain on my lips. Usually, they wear off and leave my lips looking patchy.


This product claims to give “lips matte tattoo-like color that is lightweight and non-drying, making it ultra-comfortable to wear. The high-pigment color dries instantly, stays fresh, and moves with your lips for up to eight hours of wear. The exclusive liner-like applicator allows for precision outlining and filling in—creating perfectly defined lips every time. The color never feathers or spills over the lip line.” Sounds pretty perfect, right?

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While the packaging is beautiful and the applicator is interesting, what really matters is how the product wears. At $36, I was expecting perfection.


When I first applied the product at 12:30, I was impressed. The color was beautiful, pigmented and went on smoothly. The applicator was also great at lining the lips. However, I let it dry for about 10 minutes and was still getting a little bit of transfer. After eating, very carefully, around 1:15 I started to get the line on my inner lips. By 3:30, it was so bad that I decided to reapply. I put the product only where it had worn off and it layered really well.


After reapplying, my lips look great again. This time, I was determined to not eat or anything to see how the color would last. Unfortunately, it was about the same. In only two hours, I had the wear line again. I left it alone this time for about 30 minutes when I decided to see how the product stained. I lightly rubber the product, and to my surprised there really wasn’t any stain.

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This color is beautiful. I love the color and the formula is comfortable to wear, but unfortunately I do not think that it meets all of the claims. While lightweight and not too drying, the formula does not dry instantly on me nor do I get 8 hours of wear. Since my initial test, I have worn it three times and had the same results. That being said, the applicator is great for lining the lips and I had no problem with feathering.


Sadly, I would not recommend this product. I do like it, but I would never pay $36 for it. If you are looking for a comfortable lip stain, I definitely prefer the Revlon Balm Stains and they are much more affordable.

Do you ever purchase luxury brands? What are your favorite luxury products?

Xoxo Sammie

 

Are you interested in becoming and Influenster? Check out how to get your own VoxBox here.

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Hit or Miss: Lipsense

By now, we have all heard of lipsense. The supposed miracle lip color that “lasts until you take it off.” With claims that it is kiss, smudge and budge proof, who wouldn’t be interested? Add in the fact that there are over 50 available shades, it is more than a little tempting.


When deciding to purchase lipsense, I had two big issues. The first being that you can’t swatch the product or try it before buying it. At around $25 per lip color, it was hard to commit. My second big issues was the high alcohol content. To me, they seemed like alcohol paints but in a lip gloss tube. I even had one seller tell me my lips would look terrible for the first 2 weeks as they adjusted to the product because the product would “exfoliate them.” That totally did not sound appealing.


So, due to the starter set being $55 I held off from buying anything for a long time. That is until I ran into a seller that was getting rid of all her stock. I ended up purchasing the color Aussie Rose and the Pearl Gloss. I figured I would skip the Oops Remover and try to remove with oil. With her clearance discount, I ended up paying $32 for the two.


When you use this product, they suggest to use three layers. Apply a thin layer going in one direction across lips and let dry 5 seconds in between layers. After the third layer, apply the gloss.

So I put on the product at 9:45 in the morning. It was fairly comfortable and I was ok without adding more gloss until about 1:45 in the afternoon. At that time, I started to get the dreaded ring. I found that I was able to reapply the product in the patchy area without a problem. I ended up keeping the lip color on until 8 pm.


I have used this product about 6 times now and feel I have a pretty good understanding. As for the pros: it is long wearing and can be removed easily with micellar water or olive oil. For the cons: it is expensive, you have to buy the gloss and carry it with you, there is a chemically taste when you first apply and it can be difficult to get a precise application.


In the end, the product is long wearing but it is expensive and high maintenance. I only have the one color, but I worry that darker colors would be patchy and not as long wearing. In the end, I would much rather wear my Wet n Wild Catsuit Liquid Lips.

Have you tried lipsense before?

Xoxo Sammie

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