Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Purchases: 6 Product Reviews

Hi everyone! A few weeks ago I received my monthly Ulta catalog touting the 21 Days of Beauty Sale that comes around every so often. Whenever I get the sale calendar, I always make a note to pick up certain products because Ulta often puts bestsellers in their lineup and best of all, they're all discounted by 50%! Finally, I made a note of all the products I wanted to pick up and actually committed to buying them. I bought almost everything I wanted. Here are my picks, along with product close-ups and mini reviews:

Smashbox Baked Fusion Softlights in Starblush - Orig. $32 Purchased for $16

Product Claims: "A disc of five baked, glimmering shades to bring a soft veil of shimmer to the complexion." Additional details claim "Get a gorgeous lit-from-within glow with this radiant silk-like powder. Enriched with an innovative baked formula, it imparts luminous shimmer to keep the skin looking luminous. These soft shades can be layered together and dusted onto cheeks, temples, the nose, the decollete, or even the lids for a glowing look. Or use the true highlighter (lightest shade) to strobe."

Review: Wow this product claims to be a lot, doesn't it? In reality, this product is a total and complete tease. Despite its gorgeous appearance, when applied to the skin this product is virtually invisible. While a quick swatch of the finger will immediately turn your finger into a glowy, luminous, incandescent sex object, when you actually go in with a brush and apply the product to your face, the result will make you confused. Where the hell is it? This product required layers and layers of application, with deep digs into the product to build up a tint visible to the human eye. I had to pile on the powder to even remotely create an angelic cast on my cheekbones. Disappointing. I returned it.

Smashbox Baked Fusion Softlights in Baked Starburst - Orig. $32 Purchased for $16 

Review: Similar story here, but not quite. The Smashbox Baked Fusion Softlights in Baked Starburst actually did show up on my skin, and didn't require as much application as the Starblush shade. I actually really liked the sheen it gave my cheekbones, but the highlight faded quickly throughout the day, and once I bought the Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit in Gleam (4 beautiful shades), I didn't feel like I needed this anymore. I preferred to get my money back so I returned it, but sometimes I still wonder if I should have kept it around.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit in Gleam - $40

Product Claims: The ultimate highlighter for the girl who craves a flawless gleam. Housed in chic compacts, Glow Kits feature an enviable wardrobe of four metallic powders that give your complexion an intense luminosity. Shades include:

  • Hard Candy (mood-changing golden peach w/a pink pearl reflective finish)
  • Mimosa (radiant golden peach w/ a metallic finish)
  • Starburst (rush of cool pink w/an iridescent finish
  • Crushed Pearl (glimmering pink and silver w/a crystalized finish) 

Review: So this was not a product featured in the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Sale, but when I overheard the sales associates half-whispering about how they got this product in last night, I knew I had to act fast. I'm so glad I did because this product is g-g-gorgeous! I'm so pleased to have added it to my collection, these highlighters feel like butter and they apply like a dream. They add an instant gorgeous sheen to your cheekbones, and each shade is so lovely that I can't tell which is my favorite. The one exception to these is the top left shade, Hard Candy, which is the highlighter I thought I would like the most. It fits my go-to blush color profile, which is primarily bronzey mauves, but it actually doesn't apply as nicely as the other colors. It's less buttery and a little patchy. Also, the color doesn't look quite right (interesting that it's apparently mood changing). One last thing, the descriptions of the colors are really off to me and the product image on Ulta is super muted so make sure to google for more accurate photos.

Laura Geller Baked Blush-n-Brighten in Pink Grapefruit - Orig. $28 Purchased for $14

Product Claims: Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten starts with a radiant blend of liquid pigment that is baked for 24 hours to create a soft, creamy powder. This formula treats your skin to a nourishing blend of antioxidants and anti-aging properties while creating a beautiful, glowing complexion. Features:

  • Made with a blend of rich, marbleized color
  • Unique formula is baked for 24 hours
  • Soft, creamy powder goes on evenly
  • Formulated with anti-aging and antioxidant protection
  • Paraben free and mineral oil free 

Review: It's veery easy for you to feel like you hit the blush truck with this one. I went to Ulta a week before the 21 days sale to test out the shades of this blush line by Laura Geller. I only found two shades I really liked, and this was one of them. However, when dusted on the cheeks, this blush immediately turns your cheeks bright pink. It's almost like a day-glow color. Judging from the actual blush itself, in the container, I thought it would translate to giving off a gorgeous flushed neutral warm pink-y tint, but instead it just looks intensely concentrated hot pink. Think of a rouge pot and a powder puff. Now hit your cheeks with it. That's the intensity of this blush.

Laura Geller Baked Blush-n-Brighten in Honeysuckle - Orig. $28 Purchased for $14

Review: Laura Geller's Baked Blush-n-Brighten in Honeysuckle - love at first sight. While I'm still on the fence about the Pink Grapefruit shade, this blush makes me smile, literally. I dabbed this shade on my cheek and it gave off such a beautiful bronzed, rose/tan color that I busted out into a grin. I had been nervous because this shade is a bit perplexing in the pan - it's kind of just this brown/pink marbelized looking swirl of powder, but I knew from swatching it on my hand that it actually gave off a deep tan/rose, which is exactly what it looks like on the skin.

Too Faced Sweetheart Perfect Flush Blush in Peach Beach - Orig. $30 Purchased for $15

Product Claims: Choose from three no-fail color palette blushes to take the guesswork out of creating a sweet, romantic flush. In each baked, heart shaped blush there are three individual color swatches. The baking process and multiple colors create dimensional color to provide the look of younger, brighter, healthier skills. It's like having Hollywood lighting wherever you go.

Review: So... this blush. I'm not quite sure about my thoughts on this one, despite me having applied it several times from sheer all the way up to full intensity to try and get an assessment of it. How does it look? I actually took a photo of the color on my makeup brush to try and give you a better idea.

It's hard to place what color is produced when swirling the three strips of color together. Judging from the brush, the color certainly is peachy (as the title alludes to), but it also shows up somewhat pinky. The color itself isn't unpretty, but there's just something about it that I'm not wild about. While it doesn't particularly tickle my fancy, it IS truly one of those blushes that give your cheeks a natural flush of color (good job on the name Too Faced!). Last note - this blush is very shimmery and sparkly, so be aware that it will look like you are wearing blush. I might return.

Thanks so much guys for tuning into this post, I really enjoyed writing these mini reviews and sharing my thoughts. I hope you will continue to come back for more! Thanks.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

My Earring Collection: 2016!

Hi guys! Through the years I've collected quite a few baubles, and I thought it would be fun to do an overview of my jewelry collection. To start, I'm sharing my earring stash. I have picked up so many beautiful earrings in the past few years, and what I love is that each earring has its own place - I haven't overdone it with the shopping to the point where I have tons and tons of earrings, with many copycats. I've really hand selected these gems and I'm very happy with what I currently own. I hope this overview will make me start to wear my earrings more often, because I don't and it's really a travesty. So often I run out of the house without a single accessory on! Oh the horror. Anyway guys, I hope you enjoy!

BaubleBar | I bought these statement earrings from BaubleBar called the Rose Dewdrops Earring ($34) around 3 years ago and they are so beautiful. Everything from the color of the stones to the shape of the earring itself is perfect. I absolutely love them and I wouldn't change a single detail.

BaubleBar | These are the Ice Aztec Drops from BaubleBar, which I believe are no longer on the website, but were for a very long time. These are stunning. I love that they really are like ice, the perfect crystal statement earring to accompany any look. Best of all, somehow, I managed to snag these on sale for a CRAZY price! It was literally $5-$10 if I recall correctly. 

BaubleBar | These are the Crystal Anemone earrings in the color yellow! I bought these either last summer or the summer before. Aren't they lovely? They're a bit more delicate than my other statement earrings and add a sunny pop of color to my collection. 

BaubleBar | These are the Von Trapp Drops from BaubleBar in the color Champagne. They look very similar to the Aztec Drops but are more of a rounded shape. I bought these in December of 2014 on sale for only $15!

BaubleBar | Ah, memory lane. These are the first pair of BaubleBar earrings I ever bought! :') They were part of a 3 pair set of pave studs that I bought at BaubleBar's first ever pop-up shop. Yep, we go that way back. Sadly, I lost one of the other sets, which actually became my favorite. They were pyramid studs. I still have the other pair though, which are stars. I believe I bought these in January of 2013. 

BaubleBar | These are the Mariposa Ear Jackets from BaubleBar ($32). I swear, I don't exclusively shop at BaubleBar! They're just really, really good. Anyway, my sister went on my Pinterest account to see my wishlist and surprise me this Christmas :') These are so elegant and they add a different touch to my collection. 

BaubleBar | Cairo Ear Jackets $28 These divine gold earrings! Another ear jacket, I swear 2015 was the year of the ear jackets. To be honest with you, I still don't exactly know what ear jackets are... but they appear to be studs with a lower main portion that sits below the ear. WOW that was bad. BaubleBar... am I off the mark? | Okay I found BaubleBar's description online - These spiked gold ear jackets evoke rays of sunlight, layered with extra sparkle thanks to tiny crystals.

BaubleBar | Spoiler alert: I'm crazy about pave. I love pave so much! It's gold and glitzy but understated, making it my go-to earring finish. These Pave XO studs from Baublebar ($28) are so adorable. One is an O and the other is an X! 

Anthropologie | I got these stud earrings from my friend Kin for Christmas. I'll be honest, we were in the store and I saw these and literally had to ask him for these as my Christmas gift. That's how much I loved them. They are the tiniest little gold pearl and initial set. So cute!! But I do remember they were pricy - about $28 to $32 I believe. 

BaubleBar | My sister also gifted me this pair of glamorous pair of ear crawlers (somewhat similar to ear jackets?) also from BaubleBar. These are called the Liza Ear Crawlers ($32). I love them! I'll share with you guys the description I found online for it - "Shine bright in gem-encrusted ear jackets shaped like heavenly bodies. Downward facing spikes add a hint of edge to your wardrobe. Adjustable post back."

BaubleBar | This is the other pair of pave earrings that came in the 3-pair set I spoke about earlier! You can't tell just how pave it is (maybe because they're so old?) but they are still glitzy and lovely :)

Brandy Melville | Finally, onto my Brandy studs! The first pair, purchased 3-4 years ago, and gold heart studs with tiny letters, LA, carved into them. too cute! 

Brandy Melville | Now, it's time to showcase my enormous plethora of Brandy studs. These are the kinds they sell so that you can mix and match. A few of these I have pairs of, and others are sold as individual studs in a variety set (so only one of each). These were all purchased around 2013... very cheap, I think the variety pack was $12, and the pairs were just a few dollars. 

Gold skull 

Silver star

Black peace sign

Black Hamsa Hand

Gold owl

Alright guys, so I didn't end up taking close-ups of the remaining Brandy Melville studs (apparently), so I took screenshots from my video instead, hence the lighting difference. I think you can still see them pretty well though!

Silver handcuff

Black lightning bolt

Gold lightning bolt

Silver bolt

Gold bird

Urban Outfitters | These are the latest studs I've added to my collection, I purchased this adorable four pair set at Urban Outfitters a month or two ago. It was only $14 I think. Feast your eyes! I tried on my two favorite pairs on camera.

Thanks guys! That wraps it up! It's been extremely laborious putting this overview together but I think it's well worth it. Now I get to share my collection with the world :) I hope you liked! Please leave a comment if you do, I would love your feedback. Don't forget to watch my YouTube video also!