November’s Episode of Play! By Sephora

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So, a couple of nights ago when I posted this picture on Instagram, I hinted that I was less than pleased with last month’s Play box. On a side note, I think I’ll just go ahead and make reviewing each box a month late a thing ?

 

This month’s theme was ‘The Exclusives’. I get introducing clients to brands that are only carried within Sephora, because it practically ensures that you’ll fall in love with something you can only buy there, and always be a repeat client. That being said.. Play subscribers are already loyal to Sephora. I feel like each month’s curated selection should either work in conjunction to achieve a common goal, or have some other cohesive theme. It seemed to me that these products were all random 100-point gifts thrown into a box together.

 

The individual products here, however, are all good quality.

 

If you’ve never tried Josie Maran’s argan oil, it’s an all-purpose miracle worker that deserves a space in everyone’s routine. This argan oil is organic and full of vitamin E, making it hydrating and nourishing to the skin.

 

Stella by Stella McCartney is a beauuuuuuutiful fragrance! Assuming you like rose, of course – which I do! I loved this fragrance the moment I smelled it on a magazine tear-out when I was in high school. This is the only one I actually didn’t know was exclusive to Sephora (I don’t think this has always been the case).

 

Have you been searching for a lip plumper ever since you saw Kylie Jenner’s new lips last year? Buxom full-on lip cream is a classic choice! All their lip products are plumpers that have a tingly, cinnamon-y feel and taste to them. Years ago, I was obsessed with the gloss in ‘Bambi’, but ‘Dolly’ is a best-selling neutral shade. The lip cream formula is also thicker and more opaque than the glosses, but still maintains a shiny finish.

 

While I do like Sephora’s creamy liners, I found this electric blue pencil to be very out of season. It’s not even a trend shade, so the inclusion of ‘My Boyfriend’s Jeans’ was a puzzling choice to showcase the contour eye pencil’s formula.

 

At last! My favorite product of the month- Bite Beauty’s High Pigment lipstick in Rhubarb. I have several Bite lip products because they’re just AMAZING! Natural, full of antioxidants, and so conditioning to my poor perma dry/flaky lips. They’re also beautiful and pigmented, and wear for basically forever. Rhubarb is described as a plum rose, which I agree with, but it has some warmth to it as well. These pencils also give me more of a satin than matte finish, but definitely not shiny.

 

Finally, we have Make Up For Ever’s new Step 1 primer in the hydrating formula. This version came out as a replacement for the old HD formula, which I actually loved. The new one isn’t half bad either! My skin is often dry and flaky, but this smoothed right over those dry patches and visibly helped the texture of my foundation.

 

That’s all there is! Spoiler alert: December’s box is leaving a much worse taste in my mouth. I’ll update you all once I’ve tried everything!

 

 

NARS x Steven Klein is Making me Blush!

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If you’ve read some of my older posts, you know that I’m obsessed with NARS dual intensity blushes!

 

This limited edition shade, called Vengeful, is no exception. With the same smooth, gel/powder formula, it performs beautifully all day. The color on the left is a warm beige highlighter, while the color on the right is a bright cherry red. They can be swirled together for an iridescent winter flush, or applied separately to give a glow on the cheekbones and a more intense color saturation on the apple of the cheek.

 

Don’t miss out on this one! It’s a great way to spend that gift card you received over the holidays.

 

 

Magic of the Night

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Good morning everyone! If it’s not morning where you are, then have a happy whatever-time-of-day-it-is. Gather ’round so we can discuss MAC’s Magic of the Night lipsticks!

 

I only picked up 2 shades of the 4 in this collection, but there’s a good reason! I counted, and I already own 381,474 hot pink and deep plum lipsticks (barely an exaggeration ?). The two I purchased were Please Me and Evening Rendezvous, a soft peachy pink and a mid-tone neutral purple.

 

Purples have been one of my favorite lip colors for awhile. They’re different enough to give your look an edge, but wearable enough for almost any occasion. Evening Rendezvous is particularly pretty, because the neutrality of the shade gives it the ability to be worn with cool and warm eye looks. It’s very smooth and pigmented, and the finish is more satin than matte to me.

 

Please Me is a gorgeous warm pink that is so beautiful with gold or bronze eyes. It’s a little more sheer than I expected, but still a great contrast to all the cool pinks and nudes on the market lately.

 

This morning, I’ll be picking up some things from the Ellie Goulding collection, so watch out for more reviews coming soon!

Buying from Glambot

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If you’re a makeup junkie, chances are you’ve heard of Glambot. It’s essentially a big blog sale, and here’s how it works:

 

If you’ve got makeup just sitting on your vanity that you’re unhappy with and will never use, Glambot may want to purchase it from you. After requesting a shipping label from their website, you can send 20 + makeup items from their approved list of brands, and they’ll send back an offer for the accepted items. You can accept their offer via PayPal or in store credit, in which case they’ll give you an extra 30% to spend.

 

What do they do with cosmetics they’ve purchased? Sanitize them (using various methods, depending on the formula) and offer them for sale on their website for a discount! If you think this is “gross” all I can say is – have you ever tried on literally ANYTHING at a makeup store? And also, more for me!

 

This is a concept I LOVE! I used to be a swapper on makeupalley, and I like this operation even better. If you’ve got a super amazing limited edition product that you don’t use or like, why not give someone else the opportunity to cherish it? Vice versa, it’s also a great way to pick up a limited release that you may have missed out on when it was available from retailers.

 

Such was the case for lucky me, because I scored a product I absolutely PINED over upon its release. Dior Mitzah palette, I finally own you! The website indicated that there was about 80% of the product left, and even though only a small chip is missing at the bottom of the palette, I bought it for almost half its original price! There were only 1000 of these made at the time, I believe, and so this is a very special and exciting addition to my collection. These are the things in life that make me happiest!

 

Ordering is is a little scary, because most of the photos of product for sale are stock photos. That means that even though you have some idea of how much product is left and what basic condition the packaging is in, you can’t REALLY know until you receive it. I’m a very visual person, so this was terrifying for me, but I’m glad I took the plunge.

 

I also bought MAC’s Glissade Mineralize Skinfinish, and I’m very happy with that as well. The only complaint I can think of, is that shipping took a little too long for my taste. I ordered in on a Friday, and got my package in a week and a half later on a Tuesday. I realize this may be standard 5-7 business day shipping, but I just think that to compete with other retailers, it should happen in more like 3-5.

 

Maybe Amazon has just spoiled me! At any rate, I had an awesome experience and will definitely continue to purchase from them in the future. I’ll also be selling some cosmetics soon, so stay tuned for my review on the other half of the process!

 

 

Sleek & Chic by Laura Mercier

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By now, perhaps you can tell that I own several too many eye shadow palettes. Is there room for one more? Always! Especially if it’s this one.

 

Laura Mercier’s Sleek and Chic Eye Colour Palette is really just that. The tortoise shell packaging and wearable color selection (that isn’t just shades of brown) make this great for a professional environment or a night out.

 

Have you seen African Violet? It’s the shade 3rd from the left on the bottom row- yes, that gorgeous golden lavender. It’s my favorite Laura Mercier color, and just like Nars’ Orgasm or Stila’s Kitten, it’s included in almost every collection, and for good reason! It pops on every skin tone, and is just such a unique eyeshadow. Cashmere, a matte neutral pink, is a surprising star here. It blends like a dream (like the rest of Laura’s mattes) and makes for an interesting transition shade.

 

Laura is a champion at making vibrant jewel tones that are easy for a beginner to use. They’re buildable enough that you can work up to a great color depth, without being so pigmented that you worry about getting too much initial color and struggling to blend it out.

 

Noir is a matte black that isn’t deep and inky, but deep enough to add color in the crease without looking like you gave yourself a black eye.

 

If you’re someone who wants to transition from wearing only neutrals, but needs a little practice, or a person who’s looking for a great selection of colors for the office, run out and grab this palette! Unless you prefer online ordering – then click away, my friends.

 

 

Gwen X Urban Decay

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Who else is SO excited about this collaboration? Raise your hands!

 

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of this palette ever since Wende and Gwen started releasing details. They really are a dream team – punk, alternative, and color-outside-the lines fun. Now, finally, here it is! The palette is heavier and more substantial than I imagined it’d be. The packaging itself is a modern piece of pop art, with black polka dots on a white face, surrounded by golden accents.

 

The color selection inside really surprised me, I have to say. I love a healthy mix of matte and shimmer finishes, so no complaints here about that. What I did find strange (along with pretty much everyone else) is the abundance of neutrals. Gwen Stefani is not exactly known for being muted! For the most part, they’re also really light neutrals.. Great for me, but not so much for anyone that has real life pigment in their skin. I respect Gwen for choosing colors that actually work for her, but come on – it’s easy for us to blend down a dark shade, but how is someone with medium-deep skin supposed to make these brighter?

 

That being said, there are a couple colors here I’m already obsessed with. Serious is SO pretty! I LOVE a cool grey with some glitter. Steady, Baby, and Pop are all right up my alley, too. Anything I can sweep on my lids to get out the door (without too much blending) is really always a go-to. But as much as I craved more color from this palette, I have to say that I don’t see Harajuku or 1987 getting much love from me in the future. They’re too crayola-bright, and lack the depth that make vibrant jewel-toned shades like Danger so wearable. However, 2/15 colors is nothing to cry about, and I’m sure the other colors will keep me reaching for this beauty quite often.

 

Another minor touch I loved was the inclusion of a card in the packaging. It included 4 samples of upcoming lip shades that will be released soon as part of Gwen and Urban’s continued collaboration. I thought it was a brilliant touch to ensure the continued success of the collection. There’s No Doubt that this partnership is a perfect pairing!