Haulin’: Small Ulta Haul – June

Hi guys!

 

My mom and I went to do some exchanges at Ulta today, so I thought I would show you what I picked up while we were there!

 

I did get one item at a local hair salon and NOT at Ulta, but I included it in this post so that I wouldn’t have to do a separate one for that too!

I returned a lip liner that was Ulta brand, a glitter top coat Ulta brand eyeshadow, and my Stila BB Trio that I reviewed recently. Instead, I grabbed:

 

 

Bliss Facial in a Box – $12

Ulta Eyeshadow in Lustre -$4 on sale

NYX Chunky Dunk in Pink Bikini-$5.99

NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Natural -$6.99 (then had a coupon for 20% off one item, so came down to $5.59)

 

At the hair salon, I got the Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Trial Kit -$15

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This is a swatch of the Chunky Dunk Lipie (is it just me who can’t stand that word? lol)

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This is the Ulta shadow is Lustre. It’s very pretty and subtle for an all over wash of color when I want a quick easy and effortless look. I’ve had great luck with Ulta shadows in the past. I only returned the one mentioned above because the description was off from the actual product (I bought that one online).

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The Bliss Facial in a Box kit was an impulse purchase at the register. It has a mask, Peel and a treatment all in small sizes to try. The exact contents are: Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask, That’s Incredi-‘peel’, and Triple Oxygen Ex-‘glow’-sion. I’ll let you know how I like these once I take them for a test run!

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Here is the NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Natural. It’s very creamy and easy to blend. I also like that it is pigmented enough to show up easily, but not so much so that it’s going to look crazy on my extra-pale skin.

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This is the stuff I grabbed for the salon. I have heard great things about the pillow proof system, but I didn’t want to pay 15-20 apiece and then have it potentially not work for me. These should give me just a couple uses, but I’d gladly pay $15 to try them out than almost invest almost $40 to hate them, and not be able to return them because this is a small business.

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Have you had any luck with this system? Any great finds at your local Ulta lately? Let me know in the comments!

Haulin’: ELF -March 2014

Hey guys!

I went a little bit crazy on the ELF website and thought I would share what I grabbed, which things I’m loving, and which I would pass on next time!

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They always send your loot in a cute little drawstring bag.

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I couldn’t wait to sort it so I just dumped it on my makeup desk.

 

First item up is the Shimmering Facial Whip.

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It makes for a great little highlighter and is only a buck!! The shade I bought is Golden Peach.

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I have just a touch on my hand (the goldish color in the middle of the back of my hand). It catches the light nicely and is just glowy versus having to much shimmer. It can also be sheered out with a bit more blending, but I wanted to leave it a bit stronger so the camera could still pick it up.

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These are the Natural and Dramatic lash sets. Natural is on the left. Each set is only $1 and comes with glue (although I have not tried their glue before and have my own as backup).

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I love ELF’s brushes. They’re so soft for the price and I can get as many of them as I want for only $1 each.

 

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This Blending Eye Brush is soft and not too stiff. The bristles are fairly tightly packed and have a lot of movement to them.

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The Essential Defining Eye Brush is another one I picked up. I got this for washes of color or using in the crease. Again a soft brush for how cheap it is!

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The Essential Crease Brush has more of a dome shape to it than the other two. It’s good for smudging and defining. Soft but a bit stiffer than the other two.

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Next I picked up some of the Glitter Primer. I’ve heard good things about it and since it was only $2 I figure why not go ahead and give it a shot.

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It may be harder to see in the photo, but when swatching it, it had the look and consistency of glue.

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I do like the applicator and how nicely it comes out of the tube. (I didn’t clean it off on purpose so that you could see the glue-like texture on the applicator sides). I haven’t use it yet, but I’ll report on how well it holds glitter on when i get a chance to use it on a night out!

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I got an Eyebrow Kit for $3 and chose the medium kit.

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From just a first impression, the packaging looks eerily similar to NARS (though they do feel different). I also think the product inside looks close to Benefit’s BrowZings, but I haven’t tried that yet.

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The darker side is a wax, and then the lighter side is a powder that you apply over the wax to help it set and appear more natural. DSC_0048

It does come with a little brush, but I think I will be using one of my own brushes instead.

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Tinted Moisturizer for $3? Sign me up. I got this is Porcelain.

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Unfortunately as you can see from the streak in the middle of my hand, Porcelain is way too dark on my skin (how sad is that sentence? haha). It’s not so much the depth as it is the MUCH too yellow shade for my skin tone. I will use this up by sheering it out with some of my daily moisturizer (even though this is moisturizer I will mix it with one that does not have a tint) and then dusting ELF’s HD Powder over it. The powder usually has a lightening effect which should help in this situation.

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The HD Blush was a complete impulse buy for $3. I got it in Superstar which is one of the lightest shades available.

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It may not look like much, but it is one full pump of product…

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This is it when stippled all over my hand. It is SO MUCH product! For both cheeks I’m assuming I will need about half a pump which means this stuff should last me ages.

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So after the initial over-application, I wiped some off and blended the remaining blush. It’s a pretty rosy color with an almost purple iridescent shift to it.

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Here it is again in a different light so you can see how much more intense it can look in some lighting compared to others. It also acted almost as a stain and set immediately upon application. I do wish it had a little more give time, but it did not actually stain and came off very easily with a makeup wipe.

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The Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder duo was my next purchase at a whopping $3.DSC_0061

Again the packaging has a striking resemblance to NARS in look but not in feel. It feels much more hard and smooth than the NARS cases.

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I’m assuming ELF made this as a way to dupe NARS Blush/Bronzer Duo of Orgasm and Laguna. DSC_0063

The bronzer is very pigmented so I will have to use a very light hand and a lot of blending since I am so pale, but again that means a little will go a long way. I’m interested to see how the blush compares in wear time to NARS Orgasm since I didn’t have the greatest luck with that. The only other  downside I see is that the bronzer has shimmer to it, which is not the best idea if you are looking to do natural looking contouring (as the kit’s name suggests).

My take though is even for the smaller, cheaper size of the NARS product, you can get 7 of the ELF version. That’s right -7 OF THEM. It’s worth the $3 risk and investment if you could potentially save a ton of $ if you do like it!!

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Probably one of my favorite things out of the whole haul is this Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick in Summer Nights. I was put off when I opened it by how dark it looked (I had specifically chosen a lighter shade out of the options available when I ordered). I was hoping this $2 stick would fair better than I got from my recent Ulta haul.

 

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This one did not disappoint! It is much more moisturizing than the Ulta brand one, cheaper (I can get 4 of these for the price of one of Ulta’s!), and it went on more sheer to show a really pretty pink color with a gold shimmer to it. It looks like Orgasm for you lips! On my next order I will be adding about 6 of these to my cart so that I can stash them all over my house, in my purse, at work, etc.

 

So far I would say overall I am happy with everything I got (especially for the price!) except for maybe the moisturizer. Again, it was worth the investment for me to get all of this stuff for so cheap and only end up with one item that I’m not crazy about. Even if I didn’t use it, I would only be out $3!

 

Do you have a favorite product from ELF or another brand that you get great steals and deals from? Let me know in the comments!

Haulin’: Ulta -March 2014

Hi there guys! Hope you are all enjoying your St. Patrick’s Day! I made this haul at the beginning in the month and thought I’d share now since ULTA is having some great deals right now! They also have their 21 Days of Beauty that is currently going on with a new promo every day for 3 weeks, so make sure you check that out!

 

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OPI TXTure Effect -$9.99

This set comes with a limited edition liquid sand polish in My Current Crush and a base coat. Liquid Sand and other texture polishes are meant to be worn without a top coat. The liquid sand is a really pretty purple shade with a hint of glitter that will peek out from the texture. It was $14.95, but I got it on sale for $9.99 which I thought was pretty good since they are 2 full sized bottles.

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Stila Color Me Glossy -$28

This set was not technically on sale, but is a huge bang for your buck! It comes with 9 click pen glosses that are a little smaller than the ones you would buy individually (.05 oz vs .08) but the individual ones run $2 EACH, so this set is a steal. Inside it also has the pens packaged in smaller sets of 3 so you can give a set or two as a gift and keep a few for yourself if you wanted to! The colors are a nice range too of shimmers, sheers, and bold colors.

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NYX Glam Eye Shadow in Sable- $2.49

This is a really pretty dark chocolatey brown shade with a bunch of silver glitter. Originally $4.99 but purchased for  $2.49, Sable is a great and inexpensive addition to my makeup bag! I always forget how much I really like NYX especially considering how much I can get for so cheap!!

 

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The New Black Demi Lavato Studded 3 Piece Kit – $9.99

I picked this up because it was on sale (originally $14) and I wanted to see how it compares to the Ciate set that I bought that is very similar. They both come with silver balls to cover your nail in after you put on some polish, but the ones in the Ciate kit appear to be a bigger size than the tiny ones in this kit. I’m interested to see how the size affects the wear time of each.

 

 

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NYX BB Cream in Light -$12.99 

I had to include this picture of my cat, G (aka G Lady) trying to assist me with my photos for the blog :). Below is a cat-less photo. I just purchased a $40 BB cream from another brand at Sephora literally minutes before I  went to Ulta and found this (I know, I have a problem). This is a very similar texture and when using the tester it seemed like their light shade would be light enough for me which is usually impossible to do. If it is a tad darker in other lights, I can also just sheer it out if I’m looking for less coverage, or I can add a powder over it.

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Here it is without the box. The product inside is very big for only being about $13!

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ULTA Nail Polish in Love Fern -$6

In person, this polish looks like shamrock green and turquoise had a baby. I love that I can’t quite tell if it’s one or the other (or neither for that matter). It’s glitter in a clear base, so I like that it’s a bit different than anything else that I own (and I have a LOT of nail polish!).

ULTA Blush in Afterglow -$7

I’m assuming that this is Ulta’s version of NARS Orgasm and is meant to be a dupe. I have not used this long enough yet but it seems very similar and with the MUCH higher price-point on the NARS, this might be a better option even if you do need to build the color a bit more!

ULTA Lip Crayon in Coral Kiss -$8

I was hoping that this would be more nourishing on my lips than it actually is. I like the color and I would wear this over a balm, but I really would prefer to get a tinted lip butter next time in a similar packaging since I like the ease of putting this on and the twist up style. (Clinique has nice ones)

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China Glaze in Whirled Away -$4.99 

I was much more excited about this when I bought it than when I actually used it. I’m hoping it will grow on me. I really like the hex glitter in white and black, but there are also long skinny bar like glitters in black that I did not see int he bottle that I am really not a fan of. I’m hoping to find a color that this will look really nice over, but again I was much more excited about it when I thought it was just 2 different colors of hex glitter.

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BONUS: Ulta Spring GWP (retail of $88)

Now I would never pay $88 for the bag and its contents, but I did think this was a very nice (and generous) GWP. I got it for spending $15+ on Ulta brand items.

You get the bag itself along with all kinds of items inside. The brushes that are shown wrapped in plastic in the picture are honestly throw away brushes. I will probably give these to one of my cousins to use with their kid’s play makeup.

The super shiny lip gloss in Illusion is a smaller tube but a very pretty, girly color.

Next is a dual ended liner in Deep Brown and Black. This liner is a little smaller as well and would be great for travelling when you don’t want to being both a brown and black full sized liner.

A full sized Voluptuous Volume mascara is next. While I have not yet tried this, it looks on the outside like the packaging for Covergirl’s Lash Blast, but thinner. I’m wondering if this is on purpose and therefore if they have similar formulas (and results).

Sweet Cheeks cheek color comes in the set and it is a cooler toned pink blush with a lot of silver shimmer to it. I’m excited to try this because while I like the shimmer in Orgasm and After Glow, I like silver much better on my cool toned skin!

Super Shiny Lip Butter in Vienna is not my favorite color, but more what I was looking for in terms of nourishing to my lips. It’s still not as effective as a balm would be, but it is much better than the crayon. I really wish they would have included a color like Rome instead, but free is free so I’m not complaining!

Flawless Prime primer and a small polish in Fuchsiamania are in the bag but these are pretty self explanatory and nothing too crazy.

3 eyeshadow quads were included as well:

-Chic Quad – Sahara Sand, Sunkissed, Mosaic, and Glittering Sand – a mix bolder primary colors and one taupey neutral

-Classic Quad – Seashell, In the Buff, Silk, Social Climber – shimmery and satiny champagnes and browns

-Dramatic Quad – Iceland, Twilight, Lock & Key, After Hours – shimmery purple, grey, and white with a matte grey to pull the quad together

 

 

I hope you enjoyed my little haul and don’t forget to checkout the 21 Days of Beauty at Ulta and share what you are hauling this month!

Haulin’/ Rant: LUSH

Hello lovelies!

I tried LUSH for the first time this weekend and it was a LOT to take in all at once!

LUSH is a cosmetics brand that focuses on vegetarian, vegan, and cruelty free products! A lot of them have very, very minimal packaging which I really like as a consumer.

I was a bit overwhelmed by everything going on in the store when I walked in. My local LUSH is very narrow and has a few tables in the middle. On a busy day, it’s hard to move around and get to everything when you are a first-timer and don’t know where anything is right away.

The smell of the store is overwhelming too when you first go in but you quickly get used to it. This is due to the lack of packaging on most of the items, which allows their smells to waft into the air.

Once I got over the initial smell and massive amount of people, I started looking at the walls of endless products. Many look very similar because they all have minimalist black packaging.

I took awhile walking around the edges and checking out each thing carefully. Some of the products were being demo’d on customers at the tables,others are kept in mini-fridges. The face masks for instance have such fresh ingredients in them that they have to be kept cold or they will go bad! They also put use by dates on the bottoms to make sure you use your products while they are fresh.

The items I ended up leaving with were:

-The Hair Doctor- This is a hair and scalp treatment from their refrigerated section that I grabbed because it looked interesting.

-Tea Tree Toner Tab= These are used to steam open your pores and help oily skin. You can also save the leftover water and use it as a toner for two days.

-Dream Steam Tabs- These are similar to the Tea Tree ones, but lavender based.

-Cupcake Face Mask-A mud mask for oily skin. It has chocolate and mint and smells amaaaazing!

 

I was looking on their website later too and found No Drought which I will grab next time I am in the store, but I must have missed because of how chaotic things were in my mind there!

I do really like you you can bring in 5 clean empty packaging pots and they will give you a face mask for free. It helps reinforce their commitment to recycling and gives the consumer an incentive!

 

Overall, I love the idea of the store and the products, but I think I have to either shop online or go into the retail stores sparingly as I just get way too overwhelmed, Do you have a store that you feel like this when you visit?

(Don’t forget, it’s the last day to enter the Sample Bag contest!)

 

Haulin’: Sephora VIB Sale

Hello lovelies!

Thank you for bearing with me while I was gone for awhile there! We moved to a new place so my haul, camera, chargers, etc have been scattered everywhere the past few weeks!

I will wait a bit to do swatches and reviews, but let me show you all of the goodies that I got!

So I know this is very overdue, but I had to share the deals I got! Everything was 20% off! The prices that are after each item are the usual price though and do not include the 20% off.

Sephora Favorites Lash Stash – All kinds of amazing mascaras to try out for only $45? Sign me up! $45.00

Clarisonic Mia2 Detox kit – This is the Clarisonic Mia 2 with an added kit of small detox items from Glam Glow, Boscia, and more. I love the color of the Mia2 in this kit and the small size fits perfectly in my little baby hands. haha $150.00

Urban Decay Ocho Loco 2- I was torn between this and the UD Black Market set but I’m really happy I went with this. There’s a reason why these liners have hit cult status. $59.00

YSL Touche Eclat – I got the Luminous Radiance which is the original color that they came out with. This is the one that meshes best with my skin tone. This is one of the only items I’m still a bit unsure about but I had nothing to lose so why not give it a shot? $40.00
Urban Decay Vic 2 Palette- This thing is so pretty that I didn’t even use it at first. I just sat and looked at it in all of its glory. A bit bolder than my usual taste, this palette will be great to mesh with some neutrals to create a little more exciting looks! $59.00

I also later grabbed the  Sephora Favorites Fragrance Sampler for Her which is an AMAZING deal! It’s got a bunch of fragrance samples for you to try and a voucher so that once you find your favorite you can get a full size! Amazing value since some of the voucher sprays alone are worth over $65. The clutch that comes with it is also surprisingly cute.  $65

Freebies from all of the orders:

Stila Favorites – 500 point perk

-Eye Shadow in Kitten
-Lip Glaze in Apricot
-Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso
-Convertible Color in Peony
-Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Lionfish

Philosophy Miracle Worker Sample

Murad Clarifying Wipes Sample

Dolce & Gabbana The One Sample

Lacoste Eau de Lacoste Sample

Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture Sample

VIB lips tote

I will write some followups for these for more detail and with swatches! In the meantime thank you for reading even when things get really crazy for me here!

*Disclaimer/Disclosure – All of the photos above are from Sephora.com . I will replace with my own photos once I am able to get some of of my camera!

Haul/Rave: How I Got Tons of Free Stuff at Sephora!

Hey guys!

So the day before the big VIB Sale at Sephora, I placed an order for other items so that I could maximize my deal codes/points/GWP’s. Here’s what I grabbed!

Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer

For starters, I bought Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer. I got the lightest color available, but it is still a bit dark on my skin. I tried it out in store though and it covered the black in my tattoos and was resistant to fading. I will just put some lighter powder over it and blend it out to get it to match my skintone. This was $25 but qualified me for the bag and samples below.

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This was a bag that I found a code for when looking on the Sephora website. You can choose from 4 different bags which all contain different items (As of the date of this post, the 3 other options are still available with $25 purchase. Just enter code BLITZ at checkout!)

The samples are listed below and came in a cute black makeup bag:

  • Living proof. frizz nourishing styling cream 1 fl. oz.
  • CLEAN Original Eau de Parfum 0.03 fl. oz.
  • Too Faced Beauty Balm in Nude Glow 0.17 oz.
  • Living proof. prime style extender 0.33 fl. oz.
  • BUXOM Lash Mascara in Blackest Black 0.2 fl. oz.
  • Origins Plantscription Anti-aging Cream SPF 25 0.5 oz.
  • fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Petal 0.07 oz
  • Urban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray 0.5 fl. oz.

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With every purchase on Sephora.com, you get to choose 3 free samples. For these I got Marc Jacobs Daisy, Burberry Brit Rhythm for him, and YSL L’Homme Libre.

Then I also used some of my Beauty Insider points that I have been saving (for nothing in particular, I just kept them because I hadn’t found anything worth using them on). It seemed like a lot of the good stuff all came around at once, so I cashed in!

I snatched up a Lancome Energie De Vie Dullness Relief & Energy Recharge Daily Cream for 100 points. This is a really big sample compared to the size I thought it was going to be!

My other 100 point reward was a Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Color Balm in Mightiest Maraschino. This is a vibrant classic red that I can’t wait to find an excuse to wear!
Then came the 500 point freebie from Urban Decay!

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This came with deluxe samples of the B6 Vitamin Infused Complexion Prep Spray, All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, Eyeshadow Primer Potion – Anti Aging, and Eyeshadow in Mushroom which is a gorgeous grey shimmer.

Finally, because it was my birthday month, I got the free birthday samples with this order from benefit.

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Benefit Samples shown with Deluxe Lancome 100 Point Sample

The birthday items are They’re Real! mascara which I am absolutely in love with, and Watt’s Up! highlighter. This little guy is a cream to powder with the exact right balance of brightening and shimmer.

So if you add up each free item that I got, it totals 20! Amazing for only buying one thing, right? I will say that the way that i was able to do this was by saving up points and waiting to get the concealer for over a month before I found the right time. I found an amazing online code to put on top of my points, as well as my free birthday items and the samples that come with every order. I love when I can place an order online and feel like I robbed the place!!

Anyone else have as good of luck (or even better)?

Haulin’: E.L.F.

Hey guys!

Awhile back,  ELF had an online sale where everything on their website was half off! Pretty amazing when everything’s already so cheap, right? I’m doing this haul now because online they have 50% off holiday gifts!

Most of my ELF online haul!

Okay so the picture above is most of what I got, but not all of it. By now I have some of the items scattered around my apartment, but I’ll make sure I mention and do a quick review on them all! Prices mentioned below are what I actually paid, so retail is double that for each!

Glitter Mascaras in Silver and Plum- $1 each – I was expecting a brush for an applicator on this but to my surprise it is a ridged hard plastic applicator with no bristles. It works just fine for application though and the glitter is something fun I grabbed for occasional use (I used one when I went back to my alma mater’s homecoming).

Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in Plum- $1 each- This didn’t have the color payout that I was hoping for at all. I would recommend skipping this one. The felt tip is nice for application, this just isn’t dark enough.

Shimmer Eyeliner Pencil in Twinkle Teal, Plum Passion, and Black Bandit- $.50 each!!- Again I was hoping for a little more pigment than I actually ended up with, but for 50 cents I can’t complain. These will work just fine in a pinch or when I’m going for a softer look, but don’t grab these if you are going for a dramatic look.

Mascara Primer-$1.50- I actually REALLY love this! I grabbed it on a whim, but I layer it under my Benefit They’re Real! mascara on an almost daily basis. It doesn’t clump my lashes but helps to condition them and makes them look long and luscious.

Eye Refresh-$1.50- This is another product that is just ok. The main thing that I am not a fan of is the added glitter in it. It looked like any other caffeine or antioxidant roller, but this has some fine glitter in it (I’m assuming to “brighten”). Pass.

Lip Exfoliator-$1.50- I LOVE this one! See the full review HERE.

Stipple Brush- $1.50- I haven’t used this one much but it’s very soft and I think the whole line of these brushes would be great for someone who is just starting to use makeup. Not too expensive either!

Mascara and Shadow Shield-$1.50- This is great in theory but I don’t use it much just because it’s more difficult than I thought to use both of my hands and the shield and mascara etc. This would be great for someone who is slightly more coordinated though!

Makeup Mist and Set-$1.50- Ok. The packaging is kind of bulky but other than that I don’t have much to say on this one. I am pretty partial to my MAC facial sprays.

Makeup Remover Pen-$1.50- This is another great item to grab. I use it under my eyes to clean up any smudged out of place liner.

 

Overall ELF products are a great deal anyway, and for half off I couldn’t resist! It’s the perfect brand to try out for beginners because of how small of an investment it is as well!