Rave: ELF Stepping Up Their Game

Hi lovelies!

 

I was in Walmart the other day shopping for a few odds and ends. I usually buy more prestige makeup and don’t venture down the beauty aisles here too much, but I noticed an ELF display that caught my eye. If you ask me, they are stepping their game up big time!

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The display that caught my attention was a freestanding rack that was black and plexiglass. It spun (much like a jewelry rack so that you can rotate it to see things on each side) and had different displays set on each side organized by price range and type (face, lips, etc). I walked through aisles and couldn’t find ANY other ELF makeup, so it seemed that this smallish display was their entire product line at that specific store, but I am still very impressed compared to the boring look that I usually see if I am perusing the Target aisles near me.

This is what I ended up grabbing:

Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick in (L to R ) In The Nude, Pink Umbrellas, and Movie Star  I chose a variety of colors with varying pigmentation so that I could play around with them a bit and switch things up. These go on more like a lip butter than a glass, but have the same slickness to them that a gloss has when you apply it. I have had these before, but my last one snapped off and broke inside the packaging, but I like the formula and for $2 I repurchased them. I’ve had lip butters 8x that much do the same thing, so I’m going with the cheaper ones that I can reach for on a daily basis!

 

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Translucent Matifying Powder- This powder does have a slight color to it in the pan, but is barely noticeable when applied. My first impression was that it was a tad chalky, but i will have to play with it some more. It comes with a sponge that is absolute TRASH. It smells horribly like chemicals or something, and I recoiled when I went to use it. The smell also stayed on my face after I used it. This wouldn’t be bad with a brush, but the package is pretty bulky for the amount of product you get (The pan covers half, the spot for the sponge is the other half of the case). For only a couple bucks I’m not too upset, but I won’t be repurchasing this.

 

If you are thinking about grabbing some ELF to try, or stocking up, NOW is the time! They have a half off sale at eyeslipsface.com  going on that is on your entire purchase over $35! That is a TON of stuff considering how cheap their makeup runs even ticket price! Enjoy the sale, I’ll be drooling over my computer but sticking to my July No Buy!

*I am in no way affiliate with or compensated by ELF. I got an email about the sale and all products purchased in this posts (and all posts unless stated otherwise) are purchased by me!

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)?

Raves: Lancome GWPs

Who doesn’t love a great Gift With Purchase? Now I’ll admit, occasionally I get suckered into buying things I wasn’t planning on getting at all just because they come with some great GWP’s.

Sometimes though, I hit the mother load, by finding a GWP on something I was already planning to buy. To REALLY hit the big time though is to buy something you’re out of, that you routinely use, get a GWP with it, AND have a  coupon for! SCORE!

I hit the jackpot on this one guys!

Lancome GWPs

Lancome GWPs

I stopped by the Lancome counter in my local Boston Store and went to grab the foundation that I was out of. I switch between a few, but I really like their Teint Idole Ultra 24H Makeup in 110 Ivoire (C). I had a 20% off which brought this from $45 to $34. Awesome already right? about $10 off one of my go to products.

When I walked in there were the usual over the top displays and marketing showing that I had picked a great time to stop in: they were doing GWPs! I walked over and grabbed the shade I needed with some help of the girl at the counter. Then the saleswoman walked me through all of the free things I would get with my foundation! There were a few options for colors or different issues you want to focus on, so these weren’t the only options available.

Here’s what they threw in for free:

-Bienfait Multi-Vital Night Cream- This moisturizer is more acidy smelling than some of the other Lancome moisturizers that I have used in the past, but I don’t mind it. I think it smells more of the ingredients, whereas the others have always had an added floral fragrance that honestly was neither here nor there for me, but I know may irritate other people’s skin. It is also a little lighter than some of the other night creams I’ve used, but I feel like it helps my skin to breathe a bit better.

-Genifique Eye- I have some of this from awhile back as another GWP, but i love it! I was running out so I’m glad they included this in the bag. Other brands seem to not only be less effective, but they make the skin around my eyes feel weighed down or leave the corners kind of goopy (I know I’m sorry!), but this one is sheer and seems to soak in better than most.

-Genifique Advanced Youth Activating Concentrate- I have been wanting to try this as well for awhile now, but it’s fairly expensive. An ounce will set you back $82 and I didn’t have that lying around at the moment. I did the math and the small .27 oz sample I got alone is worth $22! I figured it’s a great way to see if it’ll be worth buying the larger size after actually trying it, So far I love how quickly the serum absorbs into my skin. A little bit goes a LOOOONG way so if I do get a large bottle, I’m sure that I will have it forever.

I’ll do a followup post on how it does over time on the promises it makes. Lancome says that it helps with these 10 skin issues to improve them for an overall better complexion: texture, resiliency, elasticity, firmness, sagginess, fine lines, wrinkles, radiance, clarity, and skintone

-Color Design Lipstick in Vintage Rose- This lipstick is creamy, longlasting, and a perfect shade to wear during the day from the office to a coffee date. It has a little bit of shimmer to it as well which I really like.

-CILS Booster XL Mascara Base-I love this for adding length to my lashes, you jst have to be careful about any extra fibers as they can add bulk to your lashes and make them look a bit clumpy if you aren’t careful.

-Hypnose Drama Volume Mascara in Excessive Black- To be honest, I’m saving this little baby for a rainy day. As most of you know, full size mascaras last less than 6 months after you open them. Samples will dry out even faster, so i try to demo only one or two at a time until I am done with them and then move on to my next ones. If it works miracles, I’ll let you know, but I usually look for lengthening formulas over volume.

All of the items also came in your choice of a pink or black makeup bag with the Lancome flower logo in velvet on one side. I actually really like the bag and chose the black one since i have so many pink or bright bags already.

Rave: Sephora Custom Makeup Application Service (Plus Skin and Color IQ)

Recently I bought a Dior Foundation online that I had been looking at for awhile. I got it in the mail and was very excited. When I went to use it however, I found out that unfortunately the shade was too dark for my skin. This in combination with the fact that it wasn’t as full of coverage as I like, lead me to make the decision to go to Sephora to exchange it.

While I was online I happened to see about the service they offer in store for Custom makeup applications, as well as a Personal Beauty Advisor option and Skin and Color IQ. I figured I’d make an outing of it and drive to Madison to make the exchange instead of just returning it online and possibly getting another incorrect shade.

First I made an appointment online to do the CMA online. It is very easy to do and makes for an easy way to not only secure your appointment, but also get additional information all in one place.

I was also able to look up the differences in the CMA and PBA options. They both require a minimum purchase, and the PBA seems much more involved. The PBA is a complete overview and overhaul of your beauty routine. It includes everything from your skincare and fragrances to your makeup for multiple looks.

I opted to go with the CMA option which is a $50 minimum purchase (as opposed to a $125 min for the PBA) because I didn’t need anything quite THAT involved and extensive. I put on my online reservation that during my appointment I would also like to use the Skin and Color IQ services.

I made it to the store 5 minutes before my appointment and went to do my return. I mentioned at the counter that I had an appointment and they let me know it would be a few minutes so I found my way over to the Skin IQ screen.

 

Skin IQ:

I loved this! Theres  a big touchscreen on the wall and you can narrow things down by what issue you would like to tackle, type of product, etc. I started messing with the screen on my own and then the Color Consultant who was doing my CMA (named Bao) came over and helped me out. She was able to more quickly narrow the product results for me than I could’ve been able to do on my own. Once we got a few good products chosen, we saved them to a list and printed it. She then lead me to each item in the store to try. I ended up choosing one that I liked to purchase that day and on the print out from the machine there is a barcode below each item. Right now there is a deal where if you buy an item from your Skin IQ list, you get 100 beauty insider points which is pretty amazing since you could buy a $20 item and get 100 points!

 

Color IQ:

After the Skin IQ screen, Bao used the Color IQ system on me as well. Pantone helped create a chart and scanner where they scan 3 areas on your face (the three that could vary most in color) and come out with a number that you can use to get your exact foundation match! I really liked this because there are so many brands, shades, etc that I didn’t have to worry about potentially missing a great matching product! She wrote down my number and brought samples of the foundations for my skin color.

We did the scanner once and my skin showed as being very red. She rescanned me because they have you use a makeup wipe first (even though I had nothing on) and she said that the rubbing can cause your skin to appear more red if you don’t give it enough time. Sure enough the second time my skin was less red, so just be aware of this if you use this service!

 

Custom Makeup Application: 

We did a foundation application (to test drive my Color IQ choice), different smokey eye, contouring, and just finished off the look with the cheeks and eyes. I went in mostly to just try some different products and techniques. Bao helped me to tweak my contouring a bit for how pale I am (by using darker colors in a lighter stroke vs lighter colors packed on a bit more heavily).

Bao was amazing. She listened to any concerns, my daily routine, the products I typically use, etc and seemed genuinely interested. She was also extremely knowledgeable and friendly.  She offered product tips and tricks, tweaks to my routine that would make it faster or easier, and helped my try on any of the products I was looking at. She also made my face look much thinner than when I usually contour myself with lighter color but more of it, and what woman wouldn’t love that??  They aren’t working on commission so I feel like they are giving you more honest feedback than if they were (obviously they’re still trying to make a sale but aren’t crazy aggressive about it).

Overall, I decided I’ll make the hour trip to Sephora more often than just shopping online, mainly because of the experience I had with Bao. I’ll still shop mainly online because of the convenience, but I’ll come in a few times a year. One thing that meant a lot to me was that the whole appointment was supposed to be 45 minutes. She spent almost 2 hours helping me. I was worried at first when we had only done my eyes and the IQ services at the 45 minute mark, but was relieved that I did not once feel rushed. She took her time to address anything and everything that I wanted too. The hour and a half service is supposed to cost $125 for a minimum purchase, but she had no idea how much i was spending when she spent all that time assisting me. I definitely made sure to send in a survey saying how much I loved her service.

 

Have you ever used any of these services? How satisfied were you? Would you do it again? Let me know in the comments section!!