Monday: Sephora VIB Perks (Custom Makeover Review)

I caved and bought the Dyson Hairdryer during the last VIB sale at Sephora, and it tipped me into uncharged VIB Rouge territory.  I feel both proud of this (and also ashamed because I really did spend $1k at Sephora this year–some of this was gifts but yep, selfishly the majority of it was all for me.  Here’s more justification for my sake:  I was really surprised that it was covered under the sale because I feel like anywhere else, it would be one of those…exempt items (One because its an electric and two because it’s a Dyson).

I REALLY LOVE IT, GUYS, but that’s another story.  This one is about one of the perks about being a VIB (and VIB Rouge) member–custom makeovers!  VIBs ($350 spent in one year) get one a year and VIB Rouges ($1000 spent in one year) get unlimited makeovers.

B had a holiday party and I felt like this was a great excuse to exercise my VIB perk for the first time.  I’m going to tell you guys up front to avoid disappointment that in all the commotion, I totally forgot to take a selfie (I KNOW HOW COULD I) but I’ll do the next best thing and tell you guys what it’s like.

**45 Minutes (but schedule more time)
Appointments are booked online, once you’re logged into Sephora’s website.  It’s a pretty good scheduling tool because it shows you ALL of the available appointments so you can schedule accordingly.  I’d book ASAP once you know your event just to ensure that you get a time that works well for you, especially because the scheduler says these appointments are about 45 minutes…but really, it could be longer!  My appointment was at 230PM.  It started on time and I didn’t leave Sephora till about 4PM.  I’m not complaining at all (the girl who did my makeup was AMAZING and I loved my look), this is just FYI so you can plan ahead.  I just had enough time to get home, change, then we shooed Zuko in the car and we were off!  I didn’t have enough time to curl my hair–next time, I’ll schedule appointment earlier in the day.

**Lash Application
…is free, included in the service, BUT you do have to pay for the lashes separately.  I’m not sure if they charge you if you bring your own lashes–I ended up buying a pair of Huda Beauty amazingly awesome whispy lashes that I already had at home.  Good thing I loved them enough to buy a duplicate.

**Product Application
My makeover was like this: skincare/prep and then makeup application (foundation, eyes, lashes, lips).  The makeup artist takes a little basket thing and goes ‘shopping’ around the store to pick up items she thinks will work best with your skin/skintone/look-that-you’re-going-for.  I really liked that there’s a skincare aspect to it first–makeup has to have a great base, first off, right?  BUT YES, this is the part that might not go well for everyone–if you didn’t assume so already, the products that they apply on you is from all the testers.  Sometimes, they open fresh products (thankfully, I believe I had a fresh tube of mascara and liquid lipstick, oh thank goodness) but I believe the majority of the other products were open stock.  I’m SURE they must spritz alcohol over things first, but my eyes were closed so I didn’t see it.  I feel like when you swatch a tester, say foundation, for example, it’s not so bad because you wipe it off right after… but this makeup will stay on you all night and they used the same eyeshadow palette that lots of people may have rubbed their fingers in.

**Lots to Learn
The best part about getting my makeup professionally done was her explanations on what she was doing, why she picked these shades, the best way to apply products like these, which brushes to use, etc.  Her explanations were great and she was really easy to talk to–I felt like I was starring in my own makeup tutorial and it would be posted on Youtube afterwards!

**OVERALL
Totally great experience, despite my germaphobe radar going off (I didn’t get sick or breakout afterwards so that’s a plus), I’d definitely do it again because my makeup was AMAZING.  I like that they listen to what you’re looking for and also give you options, encouraging you to try something new that you probably wouldn’t/couldn’t do yourself.  I asked for typical Holiday Party makeup and I ended up with a red smokey eye, accented with gold glitter, with a bold lip (which is something that I never do, ever).  It was PERFECT for the holidays.  I would have thought it was way too much if I was doing my own makeup but when my pro applied it, it all worked together in the end and I got tons of compliments!  If I go in again, I might bring some of my own products (I’m thinking eyeliner and mascara and for sure lipstick) so that I can learn how to apply the things I have more effectively (and also to lessen worrying about bacteria).  I’ll be sure to double-save my selfie, next time!

 

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Cute Christmas Sweater, Mele Kalikimaka!

Hi everyone!  I just saw this at H&M and I had to share–if you need a Christmas sweater and you live near one of their stores, you have just enough time to get it in time for Christmas!  (Does this count as an ugly Christmas sweater, even if it’s extremely cute?)

It says:

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But when you sweep the sequins up, it says:screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-2-31-38-pmIsn’t that neat?  And here’s the best part–it’s only $9.99.  In the store, they may have additional styles–the one I went to had one that said, “Sleigh/Sleep All Day” and I think there’s a Christmas tree print also.  Good luck and Mele Kalikimaka, everyone!

PopSugar Limited Edition Holiday Box 2016

PopSugar and I are officially back together.  *SHOCK* I feel very guilty (I took a really hard stance after their CFDA fiasco a couple years ago) but at the same time, I’ve been really happy with PS lately!  I haven’t been posting reviews for their regular, monthly box but it’s been a GREAT deal–I got one of their Black Friday deals that brings the cost of the box down to about $20 a box and I’ve been pretty pleased with whatever they’ve sent me.

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I got the holiday box last year and I thought it was put-together well but it didn’t really have a wow factor.  (I don’t think people really cared for the candlestick holders but I really liked them!)  This year, I decided to splurge (the $100) on this Holiday box due to the spoiler–this really beautiful throw by Pehr (see below).

In a random order, here’s what I thought about the [pretty wonderful] items in this year’s limited edition holiday box:

BEAUTY ITEMS:

Cargo Cosmetics, Around the World Palette
I wonder if PS has a deal with Cargo–they sent out one of their blushes in a previous box.  I was pretty excited to see that we get a full-size palette with matte AND shimmer shades!  Selfishly, I’m secretly glad that there are no ‘adventurous’ shades like a cobalt blue or a bright magenta because although they seem really fun, I’d probably never use them (I feel so boring).  The full retail price for this product is $34.

 

R+Co Tinsel Smoothing Oil
This is so appropriate!  I like to smooth a little hair oil on my ends to tame them because they tend to get a little frizzy and this R+Co one is perfect for that!  R+Co is one of my favorite brands and this is a full-size item worth $XX.

 

FASHION ITEM:

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Cambridge Satchel
Rachel Zoe sent out a Cambridge Satchel in the first year of her Box of Style so I’m familiar with the brand.  The quality of these satchels are amazing!  Real leather and made in the U.K….*swoon*  I love the black and white colors of this bag and I definitely feel like I can use it often.  The only thing is that it is TINY.  The R+Co Oil is a typical spritzer size bottle and you can see it here, compared to this mini bag.  I know RZ is sending a leather business card case and I’m thinking that it will fit PERFECTLY into this tiny tiny bag, along with my phone, keys, hand sanitizer, and a lip balm!  Perfect for hands-free shopping/traveling/out-and-about-everything.

HOME ITEMS:

Pehr Throw
In Hawaii, I feel like we don’t use throws really often but when we do need to use one, it’s nice to have a soft, fluffy one (like this!) on hand.  I opened it, wrapped myself up in it, and felt instantly like I had to drink hot chocolate or something–this was about 4PM in the afternoon and it was still about 80 degrees outside, haha.  I think I might have to battle Zuko for this–I caught him taking a nap on it this morning.

Simpatico Snow Scented Oil Diffuser
This is so cute!  The glass bottle is textured and it comes with a little tag that you slip around the neck with the name of the fragrance.  They give you enough oil so that it fills it all the way up while still keeping about an inch from the top for ventilation.  I like that it’s got a nice pleasant, vanilla holiday scent without being too overpowering.

Louis Sherry New York Chocolate Truffles
I’ve always wanted to get real, fancy truffles in one of these super quality tins.  This would have been the perfect item to regift but I really wanted the container to keep my calligraphy nibs!  There are 6 truffles in here and there’s a really cute little illustrated card that lists which one is which.  I had the coffee one last night and the chocolate is so smooth…. I have no regrets on being selfish with this one, haha.
THE TRUTH:…..I was selfish and I kept everything for myself.  I kind of wish that I bought two, one with the sole purpose of regifting!  I would have given the oil diffuser + palette to my sister, the throw to B’s grandmother, the smoothing oil to my girlfriend, and the satchel + truffles to my mom.  5 gifts for $100!  Not bad!

 

 

 

 

Monday: Glitter Nail Polish Application (the correct way)

Mondays are the worst days.  No explanation needed.  To help brighten our mornings on this day that always tends to…suckidk, I’ll off-and-on start post a mood-lifter-quick random thing that’ll hopefully make you smile.  🙂

This one caught my eye because Christmas is ALMOST HERE OMG and after that is the New Year…which pretty much means lots and lots and lots of glitter.  Don’t you think so?  I know glitter has been very prominent in makeup lately, from everything from eye shadow to lipstick.  I’m not brave enough for those so I’ll probably stick to glitter nail polish.

While you drink your coffee this morning, check out this video from Kelli Marissa–she’s got an amazing way to apply glitter nail polish so that it actually looks like how it does in the bottle.  AMAZING!

Have a good day, everyone!

November and December Birchbox 2016

Sorry guys–I’ve haven’t been keeping up with my Birchboxes.  I’ve picked the curated box for the past two months –November (The Finishing Touch) and December (Shine On)–so there haven’t been any surprises.  These might be the last two I ever receive!  I won’t be renewing my annual subscription.  I’ll miss the fun little boxes (I mean the box itself) every month but the majority of my BBs have felt rather blah and unexciting.  The shipping also took FOREVER–I feel like I would get a notice about mailing and then it would take maybe a month or more before I received any items.  Free, quick shipping for ACEs?  Maybe last year it was okay but this year, idk (this is for ALL orders–the box, the add-ons, and/or a regular order with full-size items).  Gosh, this feels so weird because I’ve been subscribing for 5 years!

November’s box was interesting because it included the ‘They’re Real’ mascara from Benefit (which is something I’ve received multiple times from Birchbox and is something that I actually really like).  I received a good, dependable black but I wish they sent out blue or brown just for something DIFFERENT.  The Juliette has a gun fragrance was just okay but I enjoyed receiving black eyeliner because I LOVE black eyeliner, the eye cream was just alright, and that smoothing balm was nice enough as a sample but nothing that I’d fall enough in love with to buy.

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December’s box is actually really nice! I say ‘is’ because I probably won’t get mine in until the end of January…oh well.  Nothing out of the ballpark but yep, definitely nice.  There was a French shampoo and conditioner, a primer with SPF15, a face cream, and one of Birchbox’s own LOC shadow sticks.

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I started to feel like my love of my Birchbox subscription started to fade once they nixed all of those mini little extras–I always felt that BB put some extra care in sending something to make the boxes pop with their theme of the month.  Once it was a cookie, another time it was a set of BB printed, travel-themed postcards…now, it kind of seems like most of their money went to making the actual box itself fancier.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the fancy boxes (Rifle Paper Co, *swoon*) but it would have been nice to see the company invest more in higher-end and/or a larger variety of samples instead.  Fancy boxes once a quarter would have been okay.  I kind of miss receiving my regular, plain brown boxes cause they were the most reusable!

I also think that before, BB was all about discovery and trying new things.  For a while, I’d get totally new brands and old brands in new shades/products (which was really fun), but then it felt like they were trying to force us all to love Harvey Prince things.  The samples didn’t seem to match anyone’s profile anymore, and when the best thing in a box was a product that you’re already received at least three times, I think it’s time to step away.

Oh Birchbox.  I’ll miss you–it was really fun while it lasted.  Breakups are hard!  😦