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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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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Ulta Beauty Cosmetics Part 2

I love shopping at Ulta. They are continuously adding more brands to their shelves and their rewards system is the best. I mean who doesn’t want to earn money off of their next purchase just for buying things you were going to get anyway? What a lot of people do not realize is that Ulta has their own in house brand. It ranges from makeup and skincare to hair and body products. I recently received a bunch of these products as a gift with purchase. I figured, why not make a part two to my Ulta Beauty review. You can check out part one here.


With my recent Ulta Beauty purchase, I received an eyeshadow primer, eyeshadow palette, eyeliner, mascara, face palette, lip primer, matte lip crayon and a lip gloss. Along with the makeup there was also a compact mirror, pencil sharpener and blush brush. All of these products came in a pretty purple watercolor makeup bag.


In my first Ulta Beauty Haul, we received a matte tinted primer. I loved it and still use it daily. In this bag we received the Tinted Eye Primer in Satin Blush. The tube is full sized and has a ton of product. The primer is a pink shimmer. The color is so pretty, but I would use it as a lid color or base for another pink shade. You wouldn’t be able to use this as a primer over your entire eye unless you want to look like you have pink eye.


The eyeshadow palette contains four matte shades and two shimmer. I was impressed with all of the shades, though the mattes were a little dry to the touch. The mattes included were Plum Pop, Desire, Say What and Buzzword. For the price, these blend much better than a lot of drugstore shadows. The shimmers, Sunshine and Fearless, are very pigmented and creamy. I used Say What to set my primer, Buzzword in the crease, Plum Pop on the outer corner with Fearless on the lid and Sunshine on the inner corner. I love the look as it reminded me of a sunset.


We received a pencil eye liner that is double sided. On one end is a liner in Blackout and the other end is in Plum. I am not a fan of these liners. I think they they are too stiff and not pigmented enough. That being said, I really enjoy the Ulta Beauty Gel Liners.


The final eye product is the Ulta Beauty Maximum Lashes Mascara. This mascara claims to be defining and lengthening. I already have fairly long lashes, but this product impressed me. It really helped to lengthen and define my lashes without being too wet or clumpy. It was also very black.


Along with the eyeshadow palette, there was a face palette that included a translucent powder, bronzer and highlight. The Ulta Finishing Powder in Translucent is great. I haven’t used setting powder in a while because it has been too drying. However, this one sets my concealer without making my under eyes super dry. As for the bronzer,  I usually prefer something cool toned. But, I do like the Ulta Matte Bronzer in Warm. It isn’t too orange and it blends really well. The only product I did not like in this palette is the highlighter. The Ulta Illuminator in Radiant Diamond was just too stiff and chunky for me. It was also subtle and accentuated texture. However, it can be pretty as an eyeshadow when built up and applied with a damp flat brush.


The Ulta Lip Primer claims to enhance the color of any lip product. I thought that it would act as a concealer on the lips, but it applied clear. I am not sure that it enhanced the color of my lipstick, but it was very hydrating and helped the product to go on smooth.


The final two products were both for the lips. The first is the Ulta Matte Lip Crayon in Soiree. The color is very pretty and the formula is pigmented and smooth. I found it to be comfortable to wear, but not long wearing. It is also hard to apply because the tip is so fat. Also included was the Color Rush Lip Gloss in Olivia. This gloss is so pretty, smooth and pigmented. It feels hydrating and looks great on the lips. I would recommend wearing this over a lip liner to keep it from feathering.


Overall, Ulta continues to surprise me. A lot of their product I have tried, I have really liked. Their eye shadows have proven blendable and pigmented while the lip products are comfortable and smooth. I am excited to see what this brand will come out with next. I have my fingers crossed for a Stila Magnificent Metals dupe.

Have you tried anything from Ulta Beauty?

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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