Rant: Why I Left Sephora During My Time MIA

Hello loves,

It has been awhile, but I’m back! A lot happened during this last year that kept me VERY busy. I got promoted twice, moved, and am in progress f getting my anxiety and depression back on track. That was honestly a major reason for my hiatus. I enjoy reviewing for you all and I love makeup… but my anxiety about feeling like I HAD to post or I was failing took a lot of the enjoyment out of it for me to be blunt.

Now I’m back on track and LOVING it again, and I hope that my renewed love will show through my reviews even though tone is hard to convey through writing!

NOW THAT THAT IS OUT OF THE WAY, let’s get to what you all are here for: Why Ulta is awesome and why I’m over Sephora.

There was no single incident that made me go,’Hmm I think I’m going to switch over’. It seemed to be a more gradual shift in my shopping habits. I used to be a die hard Sephora customer. I posted raves like this.

Part of the issue is the attitudes of the sales associates at each given store. While Sephora is nice enough, they always seem to have this elitist attitude and look at me like I don’t belong there. Ulta associates aren’t as knowledgeable in general about the product features and benefits, but I usually know what I want and they are more than willing to help me locate it.

I started to realize that if I could buy items at either store (my favorite brand is Urban Decay which is available at both stores), that I switched to Ulta for their rewards program. At Sephora, you save up points to get deluxe samples… I finally figured out that I either A) was never excited by the samples that were available B) Could have gotten those samples for free from stopping in the store in person and asking or C) had to spend $150 to get a tiny mini thing that usually gets me two uses.

At Ulta, they reward my obsession with money off… meaning more FULL SIZE, ACTUAL product to obsess over. They drive my addiction, but they also reward me for loyalty to them when I am planning on buying everything anyway. As a Platinum member, they are constantly sending me emails for 5x or 3x points, and at a minimum its 1.25 points per dollar that I spend. I also visit the Salon at Ult, and get points for this as well.

They also reward me for being a hoarder. I currently have hoarded enough points for $70 off… A few more points and I get $125 off a purchase! The more you save your points, the more cah value they end up having!

The other main thing that I realized is that it seems like Ulta has worked out partnerships with brands that benefit the consumer more. For instance, I almost ALWAYS get additional free samples when I order UD from Ulta, unlike Sephora where I just get what I paid for.

I will post an example in the next few days of one instance where I got a HUGE bag of free stuff from Ulta, and money off and how it kicked my Sephora free stuff haul in the ass.

Til next time,

A

Review: Naked 2 Basics

Hello lovelies!

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I am ordering the Naked on the Run palette from Urban Decay today, but thought I would also do a post on the Naked 2 Basics for comparison when I get my order in!

I got the Naked 2 Basics because I was looking for something that was more portable than the full sized Naked palettes. I liked that the Basics are neutral still, with this one being more cool toned than the original Naked Basics palette.

The mirror is a nice size for a travel palette as it takes up the entire top portion of the palette. I was hoping the whole thing would be slightly more compact as I have a pretty small makeup bag. It is hard to open, but I actually like that a little bit since that means it doesn’t randomly pop open when being tousled around in my makeup bag on a daily basis.

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The shades are Skimp, Stark, Frisk, Cover, Primal, and Undone.

I swatched them in order on my hand below. These are done with my finger using one pass, no primer. IMG_2478.JPG

As you can see, Skimp and Stark are barely visible on my pale skin. Skimp does give a bit of a sheen and both would be pretty highlights on darker complexions.

Swatching with a finger, the colors came out chalky and dragged horribly which left a splotchy application.  I did go back and redo 2 of them with brushes so you can see the difference. The swatch on the bottom toward my wrist is Primal, and Undone is the vertical swatch on the left. You can see them compared to the original swatches done with fingers (Undone with finger is top swatch, Primal with finger is 2nd swatch from top).IMG_2479.JPG

As you can see, the use of brushes made a HUGE difference in the way that these applied, so I would make sure you have a set of quality travel sized brushes available to use with this palette.

The fallout though is pretty bad on these. I took a photo of Cover’s fallout after I swiped a brush through it twice to do my eyes one morning. No bueno. That is a lot of wasted product over the life of the palette and if I were using this on the go as I had intended, chances are I would be getting this all over my clothes, car, etc. IMG_2480.JPG

If I would have known at the time that Naked on the Run was going to be coming out, I would have saved my cash and just held out for that. Here’s to hoping that I have better luck with that one as the travel palette I’ve been hoping for!

Did anyone else have better luck with the Naked 2 Basics shadows than I did? Let me know in the comments below!

Review: MAC Rocky Horror Picture Show Collection

Hey guys!

 

A few weeks ago, I stayed up in great anticipation to grab some items from the MAC Rocky Horror Picture Show collection!

 

I changed my mind about 15 times as to what items I was going to grab. It didn’t help too that the launch was plague with issues. MAC was supposed to release this collection on Sept 29th. Then word on the internet was that it wouldn’t be out until the 30th (so some people wound up staying up 2 nights in a row). Then MAC tweeted a statement saying it would be out around noon. They missed this deadline as well and when the collection finally launched, they were missing one of the most anticipated items – Frank-N-Furter lipstick. Rumor on the street is that there was a problem with one of the FNF batches, which is why the entire collection was delayed.

Anyway, once I was FINALLY able to place my order, I went as quickly as I could. This was no time to look around. I felt like I was that crazy person during Black Friday that just throws EVERYTHING in their cart and runs to the register. lol.

 

The packaging on all of the items that I got is amazing! The picture below is of the inside of the blush box, but they all have this image of the characters inside!

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I grabbed the Crazed Imagination limited edition blush because it was a pretty purpley-bronze shade on my monitor. When I swatched this, I was VERY disappointed. I was aware that it was sheertone but there is literally almost NO coor payoff on these, even though I am super pale. It was also more on the brown/bronze side than I had been hoping for.

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My sister and I happened to stop at a MAC store the day of the in-store release and while I was there I showed her how poor the pigmentation was. The sales woman snarkily told me (because I had just swatched it with my finger and got nothing as far as color payoff) that since people had been rubbing their fingers all over it all day that of course it wouldn’t have any payoff since the oils from everyones hands were all over it. I understand this may be somewhat true, but I replied back that even my BRAND NEW item that I was shipped had poor payoff as well and I walked away. I was a bit irked by it however.

Moving on, the next item was the pigment. This shade was another limited edition shade called ‘It’s Not Easy Having a Good Time’. Again, I’m not sure if I have a monitor issue or not, but this looked like a beautiful plum with a bronze shift. This turned out to be a bronze with a reddish shift. Not bad, but also not something   I was crazy for or would use all the time like I would have had it been the shade I thought it was!

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I grabbed some of the blue base red lipsticks since I have pink undertones. The first is ‘Oblivion’ which is very bright and has an almost satiny finish.

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Next is ‘Frank-N-Furter’ which is the one that was much waited on and had the potentially botched batch haha.

This one is a pretty matte and looks like a great go-to fall blue red.

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The Formidable nail polish was the one item that I got because the histeria, lack of sleep, and the craziness of the sale got the best of me. I paniched and picked the shade I liked better, only to find out right after I placed my order that this color in particular is part of their permanent collection and was just shown in the fancu packaging. The only other polish shade was one that was a repromote or limited edition so Bad Fairy is the one that I left behind in the chaos.

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The products are all the same quality that we have come to know and love from MAC. I also love that the RHPS graphics on the packaging are on there really well. They aren’t like a cheap sticker that is very easy to scratch off.

Below are some swatches of a few of the items. We have Frank-N-Furter at the top, Oblivion in the middle, and then the Crazed Imagination blush at the bottom. The top photo is in direct sunlight. The one below is the same swatches but in indoor lighting.IMG_2395

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Rave: One of my favorite brands lately…

Hi guys!

 

Just a quick post to rave about a brand that I’ve been using more and more of lately! I’ve been LOVING philosophy!

 

I switched to the Hope in a Jar for my daily moisturizer. If you are looking for something light for something, I highly recommend it! It’s light in feel and fragrance, and soaks right into my skin. I have oily skin, so this is nice because it really packs int he moisture to my few dry patches without making the rest of my face crazy oily!

The Hope in a Jar Night is nice too, but a bit heavier. I just switched to that and the Eye Hope eye cream for my nightly routine so I will let you know the results/ changes that I see in my skin.

Probably my overall philosophy favorite though is the Resurface 2 step peel. It’s citrusy and warming when you add the activating gel in the second step. It’s one of the only products in my life that I’ve ever seen IMMEDIATE results right after I used it the first time!

 

Do you have a favorite product from philosophy? Or does another brand blow you away? Let me know below!

Review: Bumble and Bumble Pret a Powder

Hey guys,

Since I was MIA for a bit, I’m going to give you some EXTRA love these next few days!

 

I had a haul a little while back from Sephora’s Chic Week. I had been waiting to grab this until then since B and B never goes on sale.

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It is touted as a 3 in one styler, adding volume, soaking up oil, and giving you grittier texture. I figured this could be an edgier alternative to use than my regular dry shampoo on occasion.

 

No. Just no.

Here are the main reasons I HATE Pret a Powder and will be returning it immediately:

1. The packaging. It comes in a cute little pearly bottle with a twist off cap. Main issue? Underneath that cap there is exactly ONE hole for product to come out of. If you apply it directly to your roots and have darker hair (like yours truly), it will leave a white cast. This is not a normal white cast though, as this one is awkwardly spotted all over our head wherever you shook the product. It’s also a pain in the ass to try to rub in (worse than most dry shampoos I’ve tried) which is a major turn off for me. I also attempted to apply it by first putting it in my palms and then rubbing it into my roots. I felt like this was messy and I had to layer tons of it in. Not my preferred application method.

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The hole is so tiny.. can you even see it in this photo?

2. So knowing this is not just meant as dry shampoo I left it on all day to see about the volume and texture. I do not need volume, but it did seem to deliver on that promise so I will give it that. The grit I felt in my hair I did like, but it was gone after just a couple hours.

3. The grit was gone but the oil came back in its place. It worked well at first as a dry shampoo, but after a few hours was worthless.

4. The price and size. For the amount of this stuff I have to use to get results, plus then the reapplication to keep it up throughout the day, I’d rather spend my money on something that’s cheaper, larger, works all day (take your pick). It would be a good deal if I didn’t have to use so much. I have to use so much per application that I feel like it’d be gone in no time. Most other bumble products are just as small and expensive, but with the tiny amount that I need to use to see results, I gladly shell out the cash.

 

Have you tried Pret a Powder with better results? Let me know!

Spring Cleaning: Blog Sale!!

Hello lovelies!

I’ve been going through my makeup because it is getting a bit out of control with some hauls I’ve had lately, so I thought that it would be a great time for a blog sale! That way I can help my makeup find a new home and you guys can get a good deal!

Here are the rules:

1. All items are first come, first served.

2. US only. Sorry!

3. Paypal only.

4. I will hold items for up to 48 hours for payment and then will go down the line for that item to the next person that wanted it.

5. No Returns or exchanges.

6. All items are authentic and I will send additional photos upon request.

7. I will send items within 3 days of cleared payment (usually much sooner) and will provide tracking info. I will also sterilize all items before shipping.

8. For shipping, I will add $3 to each order, no matter how many items. This will help me cover the Paypal charge as well as shipping costs.

 

How:

If you see something you like, email me at ClosetBeautyJunkie@gmail.com.

I will use the email time stamp to keep track of who wanted what items first. I will then send you a paypal invoice and you will have 48 hours to fulfill the payment, otherwise I will move to the next person on the list.

Happy shopping!

 

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ULTA Lip Butter in Vienna – new in packaging -$4

Bath and Body Works Liplicious in Marshmallow Cream – new in packaging  $4

Lancome Juicy Tubes in Coral Rush – trial size never used -$3

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Stila Lip Glazes – all .05 fl oz (so slightly smaller than the full size) From a set, never used. No packaging. -$8 each

From Left to right and top to bottom- Cranberry, Amaretto, Strawberry Cream, Persimmon, Passion Fruit

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Sephora Flashy Liner Waterproof in flashy violet – new in package, never used-$3 (top)

ULTA Automatic Waterproof Liner in Raisin – new in package, never used – $3 (bottom)

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Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils (these vary in price and condition)-From Left to Right:

  • Perversion-Never Used
  • Oil Slick – Swatched Once
  • Smoke – Swatched Once
  • Whiskey – Swatched Once
  • Roach – Never Used
  • Smog – Swatched Once
  • Scorch – Swatched Once
  • Goldmine – Swatched Once
  • Stash – Swatched Once
  • Freak – Swatched Once
  • Deep End – Never Used
  • Electric – Swatched Once
  • Chaos – Swatched Once  SOLD
  • Invasion -Swatched Once
  • Abyss – Swatched Once
  • Ultraviolet – Swatched Once
  • Lust – Swatched Once SOLD
  • Tornado – Swatched Once
  • Asphyxia – Swatched Once
  • 1999 – Used 2x, sharpened once
  • Woodstock – Swatched Once

$12.50 each for any New Unused

$11 for any Swatched or Used

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NYX Smokey Eyes Palette -Never Used, Still Sealed-$4  SOLD

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Clinique Shadow Duo and Blush Trial- Blush never used, Shadows swatched – $3

Victoria’s Secret Luminous Eye Shadow in Smolder – swatched – $5

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Bath and Body Works Forever Red Vanilla Rum 2.5 oz Eau de Parfum – Used once (sprayed 3x) -$20

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Lancome Color Design Lipstick GWP in Vintage Rose -swatched -$5

Clinique Long Last Lipstick Trial Size in Sugared Maple – swatched -$5

Model Co Party Proof Matte Lipstick in Red Velvet – Swatched, writing is smearing/rubbing off on case – $3  SOLD

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ELF Tinted Moisturizer in Porcelain -Swatched – $1.50

MAC Cosmetics Select SPF 15 Foundation in NW15 -swatched -$18

Dr Jart BB 2 Trial Sizes -one swatched, other never used. Both come together. Does not say shade but it’s the generic medium shade that they send when something isn’t customized… -$2 for both

 

**Any that say swatched have only been swatched ONCE!!

If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask in a comment below!!

Review: WEN Haircare

hey guys!

At the request of a friend, I tried Wen haircare. I’m going to give my first impression now, but I may write another one after trying it for another week or so. Let’s jump right into it.

I used the sweet almond cleansing conditioner from a starter kit I bought from Sephora. Basically, instead of using shampoo and conditioner, you use this instead. You put 10-15 pumps (yes you read that right!) into your hands and rub them together. Then massage it into your scalp vigorously, add a little water to have it foam and keep going for 1-3 minutes. Then you comb your fingers through your hair and leave it in for 3-5 more minutes. Then rinse it out thoroughly.

First off, 10-15 pumps is for normal hair. If you have long hair or hair that’s thick like mine you are supposed to use MORE. Really? That seems like a LOT of product to be using to me, so I used 7 pumps for my first go around. It doesn’t suds up like a normal shampoo which is strange to me while using it, but I assumed had something to do with it being gentler on your hair in general. The smell also reminds me a bit of Vick’s, but it does come in other scents as well (sweet almond mint is the original).

Right after my hair felt pretty clean, but felt like it had this strange waxiness to it, like I had added some type of styling cream or gel in already. I thought maybe this was an effect that would help tame the frizz.

About an hour later (I let my hair air dry) while I was at work i checked my hair in the mirror. While it is a bit less frizzy than normal, that’s because it’s greasy. Right after I type this I am going to go shower again, even though I just showered this morning. That to me is super disappointing as I am looking to be able to be gentler on my hair, not have to wash it more often. Maybe the greasiness will go away after more use. I also heard that using less may help get rid of that factor, but I already started out using less that the recommended amount.

Personally, I’ll be trying it for a bit longer, but more than likely returning it after that. i like the idea of getting rid of steps in my routine and being kinder to my hair but this is NOT the way to do it!

If you are thinking of buying some, I would suggest getting the starter kit from the Wen website. They have a basic kit for $30 or a deluxe kit for $40 and both come with more items than the one I got from Sephora for $42.50 (more products but they are different ones than included in the kit I got).

I do still have to try the other items from my kit, but the cleansing conditioner seems to be the staple product in every kit, aka the brand’s HG.

If you DO like Wen or know someone else who loves it please let me know in the comments, cuz it’s not me.