Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Most Wonderful Day of the Year - the CVS Beauty Clearance, of course!

Guys, I'll admit it - I have a bit of a makeup addiction. That euphoria when I come home with a bag full of beauty goodies...it's the best. So obviously the CVS Beauty Clearance is my favorite event of the year, period.

I just hit up my first CVS (I have two or three more to go!) and I grabbed a bunch of 75% off (and a few 50% off) products. I'll try and do actual reviews on some/most of these products later on, but for now, I'll just show off my first haul out of (hopefully) many!

First is the Physician's Formula Bamboo Wear Bambuki Brush. I've never actually used any Physician's Formula brushes, but I do like a lot of their other products so I thought I might give this kabuki brush a try. Plus it's made out of 100% natural hair and fully sustainable bamboo, and having just watched two documentaries on climate change for my international relations class, I'm all for using renewable resources when making beauty products.
Original price: $10.79
Price after 75% off discount: $2.69

Next, I grabbed two nail polishes - mostly because they were already really inexpensive, and the 75% discount just made it too good of a deal to pass up. The first is the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Color in 05 Diamonds, which is a sheer, sparkly color that's actually a little more yellow-toned then this picture seems to show. I've never tried any polishes from the Diamond Strength line before, but I do think that the little plastic diamond on the bottle is super cute! The second color is the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color in 14 Plum Power. I have a few other Xtreme Wear polishes and I like them quite a bit, and with the 75% off discount this polish ended up costing about three quarters. That's even cheaper than doing a load of laundry in my dorm...
Diamond Strength Nail Color 
Original price: $5.49
Price after 75% off discount: $1.37
Xtreme Wear Nail Color
Original price: $3.19
Price after 75% off discount: $.79

Since we're talking about nails, the one other nail product that I grabbed was the Sally Hansen Quick Care Growth Treatment. Now, I normally wouldn't spend a lot of money on a product like this, unless I knew for sure that it worked well and would grow my nails. But since it was on clearance, I decided to go for it. After all, if it doesn't work, I only wasted around $2, instead of around $10. I'll let you guys know how it works for me - I tend to bite my nails (even though I'm trying to stop!) so they're perpetually short. Hopefully this treatment will encourage them to grow a bit and I can have nice, long nails!
Original price: $9.99
Price after 75% off discount: $2.49

I didn't get too many face products, except for the Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Correcting Concealer set thing. I've tried green correctors before (my face has some redness issues) but they never seemed to make a noticeable difference. So I figured I might as well give this one a try (I got the green corrector shade, they make one with yellow as well) and if it sucks...well, at least it was 75% off. The packaging is pretty cool - the little containers snap together, which would probably be neat if you had more than one set and wanted to organize them (it reminds me of their Gel CreamLiner sets that also snap together - more about those later, *wink wink*). The set contains a corrector, a concealer, and a highlighter, so it seems like it would be ideal for traveling or on-the-go touch-ups.
Original price: $8.99
Price after 75% off discount: $2.25

I also only picked up one lip product - the Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Siren. It's a bright orange/coral color, and while it may not be the best color for the winter, it's definitely a gorgeous color for spring or summer. I'm already a huge fan of this shade and I can't wait to get more chances to wear it - I'll probably break it out during December and January even if it's not totally appropriate for the season, because it's such a great color.
Original price: $8.79
Price after 75% off discount: $2.19

Ah, time for the eye products. First up are the only two things that I got for 50% off instead of 75% off - two Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Palettes in Vanity and Greed. I don't think i need to tell you guys how good these are - they're definitely fantastic! I have one of these palettes in Lust and I use it all the time, but I really wanted to try their more neutral palettes as well. I have really high expectations for these two since Wet n Wild has some great quality products out there, but I'm sure they'll live up to my expectations! 
Original price: $4.99 (x2)
Price after 50% off discount: $2.49 (x2)

Next is a bit of a spur-of-the-moment purchase. I've never used any Almay eyeshadows before, but I saw that their Intense I-Color shadow palette for brown eyes was on sale, and since I have brown eyes, I figured I might as well kill two birds with one stone - test out some Almay shadows, and test out whether or not the shadows actually make my brown eyes look any better! I normally ignore all that "for blue eyes!" and "for brown eyes!" stuff at the drugstores, but who knows...maybe they're onto something! The shades look really pretty, so I'm super excited to test this one out and let you guys know what I think! 
Original price: $8.99 
Price after 75% off discount: $2.25

We've made it to the Physician's Formula eye products, which means we're almost to the end of the haul! Now, I don't have hazel eyes, but I still picked up the Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips palette for hazel eyes because...well, look at those colors! Gorgeous! I actually have one other Shimmer Strips eyeshadow palette and I'm not a huge fan (it's from the Smoky collection and for green eyes, and I don't wear a lot of grays or greens so I really have no idea why I got it...it was probably from the CVS Clearance last year). But I wanted to give the range another try, this time with colors that I use more often, and there are a lot of beautiful colors in this palette. So fingers crossed that this one works out for me! 
Original price: $10.99 
Price after 75% off discount: $2.75

Lastly, I was really excited to grab two more of the Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Gel CreamLiners. I have the liner set for brown eyes from the original collection and I use them a TON, so I thought it was definitely time for me to pick up some more. Ironically, all three of the eye products from Physician's Formula are for hazel eyes, but I have brown eyes...I guess hazel eyed people just get the best shades of these things! It was really hard to get a good picture of these while they were in the packaging, because their plastic lids are so reflective, sorry guys! Anyway, I got one set from the core collection (it comes with taupe, pink, and black with pink shimmer), and one from the glam collection (it comes with antique gold, metallic amethyst, and black with gold shimmer). I love love love the one set of these liners that I already have, so I'm super excited to try more. And I adore the fact that they can stack together - I'll never lose any of the little pots! Plus, the brush that comes in this set is actually pretty useful. All in all, I love these liners and can't wait to test out some more of them!
Original price: $10.99 (x2) 
Price after 75% off discount: $2.75 (x2)

I had a $5 extrabucks coupon, so that made my discount even better - in the end I spent $23.60 after tax and the $5 off coupon, and I saved $76.92. CVS Beauty Clearance ... I honestly love you.

I still have a few other CVS's to check out next Monday, when I'm home from college, so expect more hauls soon!

XOXO, Ally

Monday, December 5, 2011

Jordana Cosmetics - Cyber Monday Haul

What constitutes a haul, anyway? I only ordered four items, and that seems rather small for a "haul," but I guess technically it still is, right?

Anyway...regardless of what it's called, I got my order from Jordana Cosmetics today! I've actually never tried any of their products before, but when I saw that they were having a 25% off plus free shipping sale (on their already very reasonably-priced products) for Cyber Monday, I figured now was the best time to give them a try!

From bottom-top: Easy Shine Glossy Lip Color in Raspberry, Easy Shine Glossy Lip Color in Sweet Strawberry, Lip Out Loud Gloss in E-123, Lip Gloss in Cotton Candy

I ordered two of their Easy Shine Glossy Lip Colors in Raspberry and Sweet Strawberry, the Lip Out Loud Lip Gloss in E-123, and their plain old lip gloss in Cotton Candy, which was apparently a cult favorite that they brought back. Each lip product retails for $1.99, except for the lip gloss in Cotton Candy, which is $1.49. I'm really excited to try everything and review/swatch them for you guys!

XOXO, Ally

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Urban Decay Naked ... 2!?

Check out the picture that was just posted on the Urban Decay Facebook page! Who's excited? Trust me, I am!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes Review (and...swatches?)

Maybelline Great Lash was probably one of the first mascaras that I used, back in 7th or 8th grade when I started wearing makeup. But even though the pink and green packaging is the cutest thing ever, I eventually realized that I really was not a fan of the actual product. The formula was always kinda wet and clumpy for me, and it just made my lashes look spidery. So when Maybelline came out with the new Great Lashes Lots of Lashes mascara, I wasn't sure if I wanted to give the product a second chance.

Eventually I was tempted with a $1 off coupon that kept popping up in my Facebook ads, and I picked up the Maybelline Great Lash mascara in Blackest Black. The packaging is as cute as ever, and I really liked the heart-shape theme that was carried throughout this product (there are hearts on the packaging and the brush is described as "heart-shaped"). Also, the fact that the acronym for the product name is "LOL"...my inner geek thinks that's hilarious and actually really adorable.
Bare lashes without mascara
Lashes with one coat of Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes Mascara
The actual product is...ok. I like to build my mascara gradually but if you apply more than a few coats of this it can get pretty clumpy. I also prefer thicker, drier mascara formulas, and Great Lash can be rather watery. I like how it looks on my bottom lashes, but it didn't impress me on the top lashes. I actually do like the brush, although you have to turn your hand around to do your other eye in order to get the same effect, which is something I don't normally do. I'm currently carrying this mascara in my makeup bag for touch-ups during the day and I do use it, but it won't be replacing CoverGirl's LashBlast as my favorite mascara. It's not bad, but I wasn't blown away by it, either.

Rating: 3/5
I like it better than the original Great Lash mascara, but I didn't like the original very much in the first place, so that's not saying much. The brush is pretty neat and if you prefer wetter formulas, maybe give this a try!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

For everyone celebrating Thanksgiving today, have a fantastic and delicious day! And don't forget to snatch up some fantastic makeup and beauty deals tomorrow on Black Friday!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch - Review & Swatches

For the past couple of months I've been hearing a ton about the Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm, and I finally decided to pick one up. These retail for $3.99 at Walgreens, but I got mine for $1.99 since Walgreens is having a buy one, get one 50% off sale on Maybelline products. I chose the shade Pink Punch because it seemed like it'd be pretty pigmented and I've been really into pink lips recently.

Pink Punch has a fruity punch scent which I really like, and a little bit of a flavor. For a lip balm, it definitely has nice pigmentation, which I really appreciate because my lips are pretty pigmented in the first place. The balm just gives my lips a pretty pink tint, and it's really quite gorgeous. I also like the fact that it's something that I can reapply quickly without needing a mirror like I would with a gloss or lipstick (aka it's perfect for class!) It's really smooth and moisturizing, although I can't say it's necessarily the best lip balm I've ever used. Obviously some of the product stays on top of the lips to give it the color, but it doesn't feel waxy or heavy. And it does have SPF 20, which of course is important in a lip product.

The combination of the great scent, nice pigmentation, and adorable packing are what make this product a winner in my opinion. And it's a pretty good value for $3.99, even better if you can find it on sale. I probably would repurchase this if I were to run out or if I wanted to try another shade. What can I say ... I'm a huge sucker for the packaging! It's beyond cute and if you're looking to try a new lip balm, I'd recommend giving this one a try!

Rating: 4.5/5

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wet n Wild Silk Finish Lipstick in 525D and 552A - Review & Swatches

Yesterday I popped into Walmart because I needed contact lens solution, and I came out with two new lipsticks, a set of nail files, and one of those mirror/brush travel compacts so I can touch up my makeup at my desk. I've never tried the Silk Finish lipsticks from Wet n Wild, but they were $.98, so I kept my expectations low and grabbed two.
(Picture taken with flash.)

I chose 552A (Just Garnet), which is a berry red, and 525D (Retro Pink) which is a cool-toned medium pink. Both lipsticks applied a little sheer at first, but you can build the color intensity up as you apply. They actually felt very moisturizing, and they didn't seem to sit on top of my lip like some other lipsticks do. 552A is a little brighter than it appears in the tube, but it's a really nice berry color for fall without being too dark. I love the vampy look, and this shade gives a bit of the vampy effect without making me feel too conspicuous. 525D is a little too cool for me, but if you generally like cooler pinks, then I'd definitely check it out. I do like that it's bright but not too light. The best part about these lipsticks is that they're less than a dollar, and you can experiment with tons of different colors without worrying about wasting your money if you don't like a shade.
Rating: 4/5They're not perfect, but the price range more than makes up for it, especially if you find a shade you love.

XOXO, Ally

(PS: I tried to take lip swatches of these but my lips are so chapped that they just looked disgusting, so I'll get the lip swatches up sometime in the next few days!) 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Did you get your Target Beauty Bag?

Cause I did! I checked my mail this morning and practically ran back to my dorm room to open it.
First thing I noticed was how cute the actual bag was! I actually use the Sonia Kashuk one from last year a lot, because when I travel to/from college I only need makeup for a couple of days and that little bag is a perfect size. But I really love the colors of this one - the gold and the magenta together are just so gorgeous! Anyway, the actual samples are the important parts, so I'll stop gushing about the darn bag...
As soon as I opened the bag I was like 'oh hey shampoo!' There were a lot of shampoo and conditioner samples in there - and it's not that I dislike shampoo samples, but I'm a college kid and I don't normally spend that much time experimenting with different shampoos. That being said, a college kid would never turn down free shampoo. xD

 So the three shampoo and conditioner samples were Tresemme Naturals, Garnier Fructis Pure Clean, and John Frieda Full Repair (with a $2.00 off coupon attached)! I'm definitely the most interested in the Garnier Fructis Pure Clean set - I'll admit it, I'm kinda a sucker for anything "green." The shampoo claims to be 94% biodegradable, while the conditioner is 92%, and it seems like the earth-friendly aspect of these would be their biggest selling point (which is not necessarily something you'd see reflected in your hair).

The bag also included a sample of L'Oreal Youth Code cream, which probably won't be too effective on me since I'm pretty youthful already, but hopefully it'll have some sort of effect. Finally it included a pack of 5 Pond's Cleansing Towelettes, which definitely appeal to the lazy side of me. I also really like that they're safe for contact lens wearers and that they remove waterproof mascara.
The bag also came with it's signature pack of coupons, which are not of too much use to me since there's not a single Target store anywhere near my college, but if you have a Target nearby, then you'll definitely be able to find some good deals in there!

XOXO, Ally

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wet n Wild Enter a New Realm Palette - Review & Swatches (& Comparison!)

When I saw the Wet n Wild Dream Weavers collection online, I knew that I'd have to go drugstore hunting until I found it. Luckily I stopped into a Rite Aid while I was vacationing in Maine, and they had a new display with these little palettes all set up.
Enter a New Realm was one of my biggest must-haves from this collection, mostly because of the red shade. Red eyeshadow is pretty hard to find in drugstores, so to be able to get a palette with a red shade for $2.99 is pretty crazy. And I love the quality of Wet n Wild products, so I was all over this new collection.
The palette has three shades in it - an eyelid, crease, and browbone shade. You obviously don't have to just wear the colors like the palette says, but you definitely could! I swatched the three shades over Too Faced Shadow Insurance and they all seemed vibrant and really pigmented. The browbone color is a metallic, shimmery silver color, the crease color is a matte black (with a tiny bit of shimmer if you squint and look really hard) and the eyelid color is a shimmery red. The colors stayed on really well (I had to scrub hard to get the swatches off my hand) and they blend nicely, as most Wet n Wild shadows do.
When I saw this palette, it instantly reminded me of another Wet n Wild trio that I own - Spoiled Brat. When I swatched them next to each other they definitely have the same concept, although the actual formulas seem different. The silver in Spoiled Brat seemed brighter, the black contains some glitter, and the pink ... is pink instead of red. But without a doubt, they share some similarities. I think they're both great to have in your collection - for only $2.99, you can definitely afford to pick up both.
Rating: 5/5
The quality is great for the price, and finding such a unique color in a drugstore is pretty exceptional!

XOXO, Ally

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Stila One Step PrimeColor - Review & Swatches

Stila One Step PrimeColor is described as a "primer, eye shadow, highlighter, lip color, cheek color, and bronzer," and while I suppose you could use the product for all of those things, I personally found that it only worked well for me on my face. The texture is very thick and creamy, so it felt too heavy for my lips and was hard to work with on my eyes. But as a blush or bronzer (or a highlighter, with the appropriate shades), I actually liked this product a lot. I wore it on my cheeks and set it with powder, and it lasted longer than my blush normally does on its own. It does take a little bit of work to blend, but it lasts a long time and I like the soft texture a lot. Both the shades that I received samples of with my order were very natural, but they could be made more exciting by layering a brighter blush over them.

The problem I have with these is that they're marketed as a lip color, eye shadow, blush...and they're really only useful as a face product. So while I really do like them on my cheeks and face, the fact of the matter is that they don't really work as promised. They're not a bad product if you want to spend the money on a nice, long-lasting cream blush, but don't expect them to do anything more.

 Rating: 3/5
The product isn't bad, but it doesn't live up to half of the claims that it makes.

XOXO, Ally

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Free Target Beauty Bag!

Don't miss out on the new Target Beauty Bag - I mean, what's better than a free makeup bag with a ton of samples and coupons? Almost nothing! You can sign up at http://samples.target.com to request one, but don't wait because these go fast!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Massive Urban Decay sale!

The Urban Decay website is having a gigantic sale right now - some of their matte eyeshadows are $3, cream shadows are $3, and their loose pigments are $1 - plus, they have a bunch of palettes and sets on sale as well! And there's free shipping on orders over $50, so if you're planning a big haul now might be the time to go for it. But things are selling out quickly, so get there soon if you want to snatch anything up!

XOXO, Ally

Sunday, August 14, 2011

POP Beauty Lid Neon Palette - Review & Swatches

Even though I don't wear bright colors as much as I do neutrals, I literally cannot resist palettes with crazy neon colors. And POP Beauty's Lid Neon Palette literally has the word neon in it's name, so when I saw it on HauteLook I knew I had to have it.

The colors in this palette are all really pretty and super pigmented, and there are some really nice colors you don't normally see like orange and yellow. While the shadows are all bright, they're not exactly what I'd call neon, particularly when compared to something like Sleek's Acid Palette (which I sadly don't own, but would literally sell a body part for). In a way that's a good thing, because it makes these colors slightly more wearable; a matte bright green is still more wearable than a matte neon green, after all. I also really enjoy the fact that they give little tips about how to wear the color, and that's not the same "lid, crease, browbone" deal that we usually get. Those tips are useful, but sometimes I like other inspiration as well. The formula of these shadows is pretty good - they're nice and smooth and blend well, especially for matte shades. And just look at the packaging - too cute!
Rating: 4/5
The shadows are bright and smooth and blend easily, but for a palette with "neon" in it's name, the shades weren't quite as bright as I would have expected.

Buy it at popbeauty.co.uk for £15.00!

XOXO, Ally

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Products from NYX - Haute Jersey Leopard Couture Palette

Every time I get an email from a cosmetics company that talks about new products, I freak out a little. I drool over makeup online so much that it's always exciting to have something new to lust over. Today, I got an email about a bunch of new NYX products, and the one that immediately caught my attention was this palette.

I live in New Jersey, so a jersey-guidette-themed palette seriously cracks me up. That being said, the more I look at this thing the more I'm intrigued. The shadows seem nice, if not terribly unique, and I love the leopard-print bronzer! I know it probably gets all messed up after you use it for a while, but it's still seriously cute! The other thing that I adore about this palette is the lip glosses - when I noticed that it included lip gloss, I wasn't too thrilled - I'm not a fan of lip gloss in pans, and I figured this would be another palette that comes with a couple of glosses in little pans that will get gunked up with powder and ignored. But that's not the case - the glosses are in tubes, thank goodness!

At $25 this is definitely a palette I can afford to put on my wishlist. And hey, anything to rep Jersey once I get back to school in Pennsylvania, right?

Check it out here!

XOXO, Ally

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Whatever Wednesday: PandAmonium!

Ok, so Wednesday's name sucks. It reminds me of trying to talk to some middle schooler who keeps going "whatEVER!" But it gets the point across nicely - I couldn't think of anything cool for Wednesdays, so I decided to just make it a day for anything. This Wednesday, I decided to base my look off of the album I was listening to at the time - Pandamonium by The White Panda. (It has some wonderful mash-ups, check it out guys!) So I went with a simple black and white lid, then added a pop of color by lining the top with bright green and the bottom with bright pink!

Products Used:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Cottage Cheese
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Black Bean
e.l.f. Brightening Eye Color Quad in Drama (matte white shade)
Purple/black e.l.f. Eyeshadow Duo from the Smoky Eye Kit (black glitter shade)
Urban Decay's Gunmetal
Urban Decay's Chronic
Rock & Republic Eye Colour in Spy
wet N wild Color Icon Trio in Spoiled Brat (neon pink shade)
NYX Glitter Cream Palette in Paradise (pink glitter)
CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara

Liplicious Blue Colada Lip Gloss

So for this look, I primed my eyes and then applied the black jumbo eye pencil to the outer corner and the white one to the inner corner. I patted the black e.l.f. shadow over the black pencil and slightly into the crease, and the white shadow over the white pencil and brought it down to the inner corner, and then used Gunmetal to blend the two together. I then took Spy and used it to soften the edges and brought it up to my brow bone. After blending out the shadows, I lined my upper lashes with Chronic wet, and used the pink wet N wild shade on the bottom lash line (wet as well). With a liner brush, I pressed some of the pink glitter cream over the pink liner, then tight-lined my eyes with black and applied mascara and a clear gloss. And then I went to visit my high school marching band! <3

 XOXO, Ally