Boxycharm: January 2018

Its the last day of January, so what better way to finish the first month of 2018 than with a Boxycharm review! I seriously can’t believe that January is already over. It seems like it was just yesterday I was finishing my finals and getting ready for Christmas and now I’m back in school getting ready to take some midterms. Though it was a little late this month, my Boxycharm arrived at the perfect time. I was definitely in need of a little boost to get me through the month.

If you aren’t familiar with Boxycharm, it is a monthly makeup subscription box. For just $21 a month you receive 5 full sized products. Honestly, you can’t beat that! You can check out how to sign up here.

The products

This month we received TWO palettes, a primer, eyebrow pencil, and liquid lipstick.

The first palette is the Crown Pro Glam Metals Eyeshadow Palette ($29). This palette has 9 shimmer/metallics and two mattes.

Overall, this palette is okay. Would I ever spend $29 on it? Not a chance. But I am happy to have it. The shimmers are pretty and a few are rather unique to what I already have in my collection. The mattes are really terrible. They are not pigmented at all. The palette is super cute and I will continue to use the shimmers on the lid, inner corner and lower lashline.

The second palette we received is the PUR Bronze & Brighten Cheek Palette ($34). This palette contains an Afterglow highlighter, Mineral Glow bronzer, and a new blush in the shade Blushing Glow.

All three of these products are super pigmented! Also, they all contain shimmer. The being said, I think this is a really great, versatile palette. All three shades are super creamy and would be beautiful on the eyes. I also really love using these on the face, just make sure to use a less-dense, fluffy brush. Considering I can use this on the face and eyes, I think this is a great palette for any girl on the go.

Guys, I was SO EXCITED when I say this primer in my box! I have heard so many people rave about the regular one, I couldn’t wait to try the Dr. Brandt Pores No More Luminizer Primer ($38). When putting this on the skin, it felt hydrating and sunk in without leaving a weird film. I noticed my pores looked smaller and I was definitely luminous. My foundation applied beautifully. The only thing I noticed was my foundation breaking up really badly after a few hours. I’m not sure if it was the primer or something else. I will keep trying it with other foundations and update later.

From It Cosmetics, we received the Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil ($24). The tip on the pencil isn’t super fine, but for me that is okay. I only have a few places I like to fill in, so I do not need anything too precise. My only problem with this product is it only comes in one shade, “universal taupe.” While this shade may work for most light skin tones, I have a feeling it would look really ashy on medium to deep skin tones.

The final item in the box was a Girlactik Matte Lip Paint in Posh ($23). I have never tried anything from Girlactik and was excited to give this a shot.

The color was really pretty, but nothing overly exciting. The formula went on smoothly and pigmented. It dried down after a couple minutes and was transfer proof. This lasted through me drinking coffee and eating. It only started to fade after I ate some greasy Mexican food. It was really comfortable to wear, though it did make my lips look a little dry. I would be open to purchasing more colors if they ever had a good sale.

final thoughts

We received three HUGE brand name products this month from PUR Cosmetics, It Cosmetics and Dr. Brandt. Overall, this month’s box had a total retail value of $148. To me, it was totally worth it! I love Boxycharm because you get to try so many brand name products for an incredible price.

What product were you most excited for this month?

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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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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It Cosmetics: Confidence In Your Glow

It Cosmetics is known for their good for your skin makeup products. They do everything from foundation to eyeshadows to skin care. If you are looking for a product, chances are they have it. I first fell in love with the It Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact. Since then, I have also fallen in love with their CC+ Cream. When I first saw their take on the neapolitan face palette, I knew I had to have one. Originally, I bought the Instant Natural Glow. But, I recently won the entire collection, including the special brush, from Serein Wu. So, I just want to give a big shoutout to her! She is an amazing Youtuber and blogger. You can check her out here.


Here is the description of the products according to the It Cosmetics website, “from the sensorial experience of the fresh orange scent to the powerful vitamin C-infused radiance-boosting and brightening formula, Confidence in Your Glow™ transforms the look of your complexion with high-performance, anti-aging ingredients and talc-free, ultra-luxe pigments. Combined with proprietary Drops of Light Technology™, your skin will feel instantly softer and smoother with a younger, airbrushed appearance! Developed with plastic surgeons and perfect for all skin types and tones, this compact is truly your one-step wonder for your most beautiful-looking skin.” There are three different shades in this collection as well as the Heavenly Skin One-Sweep Wonder Brush #705.


The first, and lightest, of the compacts is Instant Nude Glow. The website describes this product as being perfect for achieving “the softest, sheerest naturally pretty glow.” I would describe the highlight as a light champagne color. The blush is a nice peachy pink and the bronzer is a soft warm bronze.


The only palette that I bought myself was the Instant Natural Glow. This compact is perfect “for a natural rosy kiss of radiance and natural boost of warmth.” The highlighter here is a little more pink tones. The blush is definitely rosey with a light, more cool toned bronzer.


Finally, we have Instant Warm Glow. On their website, it is described as “your richest shade of bronzer for the deepest color payoff, with a gorgeous peachy-pink flush for your brightening radiance.” This really says it all. The blush is a brighter pink with a darker bronzer and the highlight is a cream color.


The It Cosmetics brushes are unique because they are infused with skin care ingredients. The hair of the brushes are “infused with anti-aging collagen, silk, peptides, niacin and antioxidants.” The Heavenly Skin One-Sweep Wonder Brush #705 was made specifically to go with these palettes. You are supposed to be able to sweep the brush across the palette, from bronzer to highlight, and then sweep the brush across your cheeks back towards the hairline.


While this method does work, it is not my favorite. It is fast and looks pretty on the cheeks, but it does not work to well for bronzing the face. In actuality, I best like the brush for applying the bronzer by itself. It is so soft and blends the product like a dream. After applying the bronzer, I will go back in with other brushed to apply the blush and highlight.


Overall, I really love these products. They are pigmented, creamy and easy  to blend. You only have to barely touch your brush to pick up product. Just make sure to use lightly as the product does have some kick up. On the It Cosmetics website, each palette retails for $32 and the brush for $48. At those prices, I definitely think the palettes are worth it, but the brush is not necessary. However, if you head over to the QVC site, you can get a palette and brush combo for only $35.92. 

Which palette is your favorite? Mine has to be the Instant Nude Glow.

Xoxo Sammie

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Review: Ulta Beauty Cosmetics

What’s better than buying new makeup products? Getting them for free, of course. While doing some returns at Ulta last weekend, I decided to pick up a couple of the Ulta Beauty Cosmetics eye liners. Imagine my surprise when I get to the register and find out I get a free gift with purchase. I ended up with a little makeup bag full of Ulta Beauty Cosmetics. So, I figured why not do a review of the brand?


I decided to start with the eyes. This is always a good idea when testing new shadows in case there is a lot of fallout. That way you will not ruin your makeup.


I received an Ulta Nude Matte eyeshadow primer as well as a small palette with 6 Ulta Beauty eyeshadows: three matte and three shimmer. I really enjoyed these! The base kept my eyeshadow crease free and in place all day. Recently, I wore lace as a base and brow bone shade, charm in the crease and nostalgia on the lid. I will say, the mattes were a little powdery and there was some kickup when using a brush. Also. The shimmers apply best with your finger. Overall, I liked these a lot and will purchase in the future.


Next, there was a double sided eyeliner pencil, a pencil sharpener, and eye makeup remover pads. Overall, I like the pencil. The colors are something different than what I usually wear and the pigmentation is good. Personally, I am not really a fan of pencil liners. I much prefer automatic or gel, but these worked well. The eye makeup remover pads work amazingly well! They take off all of my makeup with very minimal effort.


After shadow, I do my brows. Included in the gift bag was an Ulta brow tint in medium. Originally, I thought this was going to be too light for my dark brows and I didn’t think the little wand would work out. However, I really love this product. The little wand is amazing at really getting in there without making a mess. This product also held my brows in place all day without making them hard and crunchy or overly shiny. The color ended up working out as well. I will definitely be purchasing this in the future.


The last eye product is the Ulta Amped Lash Mascara. Overall, I liked this mascara. It lifted my lashes and stayed all day without flaking. It also went on without clumping and I felt the wand really grabbed my lashes well. The only thing I dislike it that it felt flimsy. I am worried that the brush part will break off of the wand one day. Other than that, I did like it.


For the cheeks, there was a blush and highlight duo. Now, Ulta has two different blushes on their website: Ulta Mineral Blush and the Ulta Velvet Blush. The one included in the palette is in the shade Nude Pink, but I’m positive on which type it is. Either way, I enjoyed it. The pigmentation is good but buildable, which I personally prefer. The highlighter is in the shade Fresh Glow. I found the Ulta Illiminator online but, again, I am unsure if the one I received is the same. I was surprised to find this was light enough on my skin tone. It has very fine glitter and the color is buildable. It was good, but I do not think I would purchase. There was also an Ulta Blush Brush included, but I was not a fan of it.


The final products included were the Ulta Beauty Matte Lipstick in Petal and a Ulta Lip Gloss Stain in Treason. I found that the matte lipstick was not only a beautiful color, but very creamy and comfortable to wear. I would wear this with a lip liner for best application. As for the gloss, at first I really liked it. It was not sticky and felt like a moisturizing oil. However, it did not look cute after 3 hours of wear. The gloss feathered terribly at my lip line. Also, although it felt like an oil, it actually dried my lips out. Ultimately, it was not worth the hassel.

Overall, I did find a few items from Ulta Beauty Cosmetics that I really loved. My favorite items were the brow tint, shimmer shadows, eye makeup remover pads and the matte lipstick. The only products that I really did not like were the gloss stain and the blush brush. It seems that the brand has more hits than misses and I am excited to try out more from them in the future.

Have you tried any of the Ulta Beauty Cosmetics? What’s your favorite?

Have a great weekend!

Sammie

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