Thursday, March 27, 2014

Impulse Cosmetics haul with swatches

I have been on the hunt for some unusual lip colors for a while. My coworker and I trade brands and watch sales and have been lusting after blue, lavender, mint and all colors in between lipstick. I have came pretty close to buying some but have had a hard time dropping the cash. Most brands I found were a little pricey for a lipstick and we all know that I'm working with a small budget.

I am so glad I never pulled the trigger on any of those other brands because I found the perfect fit for me. 

I came across Lit from within's post on Impulse cosmetics and immediately got hearts-for-eyes when I saw the metallic green. It was late at night and I rushed over to the Impulse Cosmetics Etsy and swooned when I saw all the color options! SO. many. lipsticks! The best part? The price! $6.99 for a full lipstick and just $2.45 for a sample jar!! Now THAT is a price I could afford- especially since I wanted to try every color!

In addition to getting 5 sample jars of lipstick (with a lip brush to apply), I also got 2 samples of eyeshadows, a sample of the mattifying lip powder (to make lipstick truly matte), and a sample of their glam glue eyeshadow base. I got all that for $21 including shipping so I though that was a really fair price! I mean I got to try so much!

I ordered on the 10th and it got delivered at my house on the 21st. Those days took foreeever. I almost splurged for express shipping because I wanted it so bad. But their site states their turnaround time is 5-7 business days and it fell in that time frame, but that doesn't include shipping time.

SO now on to the best part, the products! I'm going to put everything under a read more cut because there are a lot of pictures and a lot of information!

Monday, March 24, 2014

February IPSY glam bag

{Chandler Bing voice} Could I BE any more behind?!

Well, enjoy looking at my Ipsy glam bag for February. The theme for Feb was ~The look of love~ which, of course makes sense since february is often seen as the love month since it contains Valentine's day. 

The bag itself is definitely one of my favorites I have ever gotten. The outside is just a simple bright pink with white zipper detail...but the real shine is on the inside!

Leopard print interior! I love it. 

Usually I tend to talk about the products in order either from most favorite to least OR vice versa. But this time I pretty much like all items equally except for the obvious star of the bag, the Zoya polish. 

However first I'll talk about the only item I am less than impressed with. Another Pop beauty product. I have received a few items from this brand in my Ipsy bags and can say I've never really been impressed with either of them.

This is a mini version of the Plump Pout lipgloss...I read online that there was a problem with one of the batches that went out that had an awful taste and smell and even went so far as to burn those with sensitive skin. MEGA yikes!! Luckily mine wasn't effected by this. 

I got the shade Peony Petal which reminds me of a dusty rose type color.

Now, I'm not a fan of lipgloss in general so this wasn't a win for me.

Here's the lipgloss in more bright lighting (with my daylight bulbs shining) it's a nice pink, and I'm not normally a pink person. But I rather like this color. 

Here is the color again in different lighting as you can see it is actually a bit darker than the picture above would lead you to believe. I think it looks rather nice on my lips but like I said I really hate lip gloss. One positive point was that it wasn't 'tingly' which most products that are 'plumping' tend to make your lips feel a bit strange. 

Like I said this is a mini version of the product however there are NO sizes on the POP beauty website so I have no idea how to calculate how much this is worth. In addition, there is no mini size to buy from the website so I am just going to say the full price, even though this is NOT the full price item. 

This product can be bought here for $16
Would I buy it again? No, as you might have guessed since I said 5 times that I don't like lip gloss. I would certainly never pay $16 for it. 

A product that I feel neither here nor there about is this pair of false eyelashes from Again I have gotten a product in a past Ipsy bag and was defintiely NOT impressed. But I am always down for fake eyelashes. They are the type of product that I like having on hand but wouldn't necessarily go out and buy them (except for special occasions). Honestly I still haven't used the first pair I got in my IPSY bag but I am still glad that I got them both!

These are in the style EL 213 and come with lash glue which is always a plus.

They look pretty typical for me, if a little cheap looking. 

This product retails for a typical $3.99 on their website here
I can't say if I would repurchase this since I have yet to use them. However I am more inclined to buy lashes that I can get ahold of easily at the drug store, vs ones that I have to buy online. 

The next product is from a brand I have never tried, City Color. I was very intrigued by a matte blush, though!
I am not a blush person. I have literally bought one in the past 3 years. I don't know how to shop for blush and the one I've been using looks okay so I just haven't looked for alternatives! I do however want to try NARS Orgasm but that's a story for another day

I got the shade Fresh Melon which is a pinky coral. After looking at some of the other shades other IPSY bags got, I'm very pleased with this shade.

On the left is a straight swipe or two and on the right is a more blended out look. Interestingly enough it seems to look more orange/coral once you blend it out. Do you see that too, or is it just me? Either way this is a pretty straightforward blush.

This retails for only $2.99 on their website here
Whether or not I would repurchase really depends on how well it wears and if it looks good on my face. I have yet to swatch it on my cheeks but I like the quality and color other than that and the price is RIGHT. So, there's a strong possibility I would repurchase.

I also got a Mally waterproof eyeliner. 

The shade is Starshine (the IPSY website says Starlight which is interesting since that is wrong.) which as you can see is silver. I like this silver eyeliner much better than the last one as it's way easier to apply and supposed to be waterproof (although I must admit I didn't test it!) But I am a little perplexed as to why they would include silver eyeliner twice in such a small period of time. I mean, I will definitely use this one, a LOT more than the other one, but it seems a little much.

This product is a full size and sells for $15 over at Mally beauty's website
I would think about repurchasing this product if it weren't for the price. There are lots of great eyeliners for less than that and ones that are even better at the same price point. So I would buy one of those instead. However, I am going to use this up for sure! 

Last but certainly not least is my Zoya nail polish.

I got the shade Odette which is part of the Natural Collection. I don't see how purple is Natural but who am I to say? I am just happy to have received my second Zoya polish without actually purchasing them ;)

Here is Odette after just one coat. As you can see it's not very opaque and definitely needs more coats. 

Here is Odette built up to full opacity. The only complaint I would have about this polish is that it's not that great at self leveling. But a great top coat would fix that. 

This full size product is $9 on the Zoya website
I of course would not repurchase this shade (I have never needed to buy two of a nail polish shade and don't know anyone who has) but I would purchase Zoya again for sure since they are well known for being one of the best brands. I would personally wait for a sale though or buy them used if I could because the price is a little steep for my taste. 

My february glam bag was valued at $46.98 which is pretty impressive considering two of the items were under $5. Of course I only spent $10 so once again I am walking away with a steal!
I mean think of it this way, this is like if I bought the Zoya polish, paid $1 shipping, and then got ALL the other stuff as a free bonus. When you look at it that way it really highlights what a great deal IPSY is!

If you're interested in signing up for IPSY yourself you can do so using my referral link here if you want to help give me some points. 

So that was my february glam bag, check back soon for the March glam bag. I am determined to have it up before April ;)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Steampunk Ball

Back in September I got invited to go with my friends to The Castle for a Steampunk Ball.
The Castle is a club in Ybor that caters to the alternative crowd. name it and it's normal there. I had been wanting to go there for a while but had never been.
I didn't have anything to wear for the steampunk theme but people were dressed up as all SORTS of things and I wasn't out of place at all.
I'm so glad I went! It was so fun to dress up and check out a place for the first time. It was a blast!

So I never posted about the makeup and outfit I put together to wear there.

I wanted to dress up a little, and exaggerate what I normally wear. so I got to pick through my friend's closet and borrow her dread falls and shirt to wear. I tied my hair back and attached the dread falls to them. I matched my eyebrows to the pink dreads. Then I wore her purple studded shirt and matched the lipstick to it.

I wanted to do a dark look so I did a really dramatic black smokey eye and pink eyebrows.

We got to the club and had VIP tickets so we got to go in the VIP lounge, which was lots of fun. We also took absinthe shots and they do it the old fashioned way there. They have sugar cubes on the bar and they light them on fire and do a whole presentation so that was really neat!

There is a downstairs, upstairs, and outside area. And each is split up into a bunch of rooms. Each one was like you were in a different club, so it was fun spending time in different areas. My favorite part was that upstairs there was a burlesque show. That was so fun to watch! The best part though was that later the performer was talking to my friend (they knew each other) and she complimented my dreadfalls.

Above you can see that the look didn't end up as bold as I wanted it but I was running out of time and had to deal with what I could do. In reality it was a dark club anyway so it didn't matter in the end.

All in all, I'm really glad I went that night. It was a fun night with friends and a step outside of our normal routine. The night ended with me walking back to the car barefoot so I think that should sum up the night nicely. I haven't been back to The Castle yet, because I hardly go out to Ybor anymore (it's 45 minutes away). I could honestly write so much more about the wonderful time I had that night, it was a really great night out on the town with some of my closest friends.

So, I figured this was a good TBT post since it's now been so long in the past so I couldn't exactly feature it anymore but I still wanted to post the look. I hope you enjoyed it!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Wet n Wild Idol Eyes eyeliner (Startling eyes gift set) : review & swatches

So if you saw my Big lots haul post you saw that I got a pack of eyeliners from Wet n Wild.

As you can see they are packaged together...but right away you can tell that they seem a little mismatched. The labels are in different places on each one, to start. And what's with that random green one in the middle? Hmmm. Things like this are what clues me in to how it ended up at Big Lots to begin with.
The pack itself is called Startling eyes but these are the Wet n Wild Idol eyes eyeliner

But when the price is only $3.50 for 6 eyeliners, I couldn't pass it up.

Right away out of the package you can see the differences between all of them. In this picture I had already taken off all the plastic which, let me tell you, was quite the task. Some of them came off easily because they had perforated plastic wrap. Others took lots and LOTS of effort. Like, I'm legit embarrassed how much effort it took. But that was a huge annoyance to me and I had to remind myself that for the price I got it at, it's expected that it won't be great.

L->R  black (self explanatory), charcoal (gray), navy blue, dark brown, mink brown, & sky lights (the most random...a sparkly blue-green)

On the bottom of each eyeliner is one of those smudger sponges and a plastic tip that indicates what color it is. I know looking at the picture above doesn't look like they are that different. Also, under neath the plastic tip is a sharpener.

The colors are in the same order as above. As you can see, the black is not very dark or black. It looks pretty similar to charcoal. Dark and mink brown are similar too, but distinguishable. I am just not a very brown eyeliner kinda person. The sky lights is a great color and I'd say it's my favorite. All these swatches (minus the navy blue) are the same amount of swipes.

The eyeliner formula itself was nothing to write home about. These were dry and sort of tugged at the skin. It wasn't a great application.

Unfortunately my favorite of this set is the navy blue's a GREAT, perfect even, color. However this one was the WORST. It was somehow softer than the others and when you tried to apply it it just bent against the top of the pencil and broke. It was SO difficult to even get this swatch!
Because I like it so much I want to find a way to salvage it. Maybe I can depot it into a jar and apply it with a brush. That seems like that might work.

Anyway do I think these were worth $3.50? It's hard to say. That's such a low price so it's pretty hard for a brand to miss that low expectation. I would say that if you like at least two of these colors, or even one color a lot, it makes the price of all of them worth it.

If I can salvage the blue, these would definitely be worth it. It's also nice to have the brown eyeliners even though I don't think I will use them. I know I won't use the black.

Have you tried these eyeliners? Do you think they are worth the $3.50 price tag?
Check back soon to see the review and comparison of the other Wet n Wild eyeliner gift set!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Celebrate and reflect

Today is an important day to me. It's International Women's Day.

I like to take today to celebrate by uplifting other women, praising other women, educating myself about other women, spend time with other women, and basically anything that I find to be empowering.

But it's also an important day to reflect. There are times that standing up for myself and what I believe in gets really exhausting, and I'm wondering why I even bother. Things would be easier if I just gave up and went with the flow. But something always happens that reminds me that I can't and I won't do that. This year it was IWD being right around the corner. Seeing other women band together for this day and look back on what women, all women, have been through.

And more so, what so many are still going through. It's easy to get wrapped up in your privilege and forget about the struggles happening to other women right now. Both here and all over the world. Many women are still fighting for basic rights. Here in the US, we still don't have equal pay. There is still sex slavery all over the world, in addition to other forms of slavery. And almost everywhere we fight rampant sexism and racism. The obvious kind and the kind that some people refuse to see because it's too ingrained in what they've been taught. I believe the two are very intertwined and you can't be aware and fighting for feminism unless you acknowledge racism that exists even within feminism.

Today is a celebration for all we have accomplished but its also a reminder that we have so much more worth fighting for, and we're not giving up.

Do not forget what you are worth. Do not base your value on society's opinion of you, or any male's opinion of you for that matter. Do not put other women down in an attempt to empower yourself, lift each other up instead. Do not let anyone tell you how a 'lady' behaves. Do not forget the women all over the world of all cultures, races, and sexuality. Do not give up. Do not give up.

I hope you spend your time today helping out a woman in need, or spreading positivity between women, or dedicating your time or money to women's shelters. I hope you remember the strength of a woman today and never forget it.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Big Lots Haul (lots of Sephora by OPI!)

So I have documented my attempts at finding good nail polishes at Big Lots before, but I have never had too much luck. 
But this past weekend when I went I got some pretty good scores!

I heard a while back that Sephora by OPI polishes would be making their way to Big Lots because they were discontinued. I didn't get a chance to look for them for quite a while so I didn't have my hopes up when I went. But as you can see, I got a handful of great ones!

Plus they were all $1.80 which is an insanely great price, especially for OPI polishes/something that was sold at Sephora.

From left to right I got-Thyme for a Mani ; Meet Me at the Disco ; Frankly, I don't give a-dam ; It's Bouquet with Me ; Give Peach a Chance ; Spark-tacular ; Already Famous

I got almost an exact mix of cremes (all neutral colors) and glitter bombs.

It's nice cause some of these are from limited edition collections.

The one I am most excited about is, of course, Meet Me At the Disco. Holographic glitters top coat! Yes please. I can't wait to see what this looks like on the nail, and I will definitely post pictures when I use it.

The second thing I got was this set of eyeliners from Wet n Wild. These were only $3.50 for 6 eyeliners so I couldn't pass up that deal. It reminds me a lot of another set of Wet n Wild eyeliners I got during the holidays so I will be posting swatches and reviews of them both to compare and contrast them!

Above is a great example of how I'm sure this ended up at Big Lots. The caps are all different! They come in the same set yet they all seem like different products. So strange. I will talk about this more when I review the set as a whole!

So that's the small, but successful, haul I had from Big Lots this weekend. Have you found any Sephora by OPI polishes at your local big lots?

Stay tunes for reviews of these products, coming soon!