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

Advertisements

Review: Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Palette

Hey guys!

IMG_1986

The Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Palette just dropped in price, so I thought I’d review it for any of you who may be debating purchasing it.

The packaging on the palette is very in theme with the movie. The inside of the box is red with white blood-like spatter. It is a sturdy cardboard with a decent sized mirror inside.  The palette design is well presented, although I feel it is VERY bulky for the size of the small shadows inside.

 

 

IMG_1987

IMG_1991

It also comes with a look card and a small brush as seen above. I love to color of the brush as it again keeps with the Pulp Fiction theme.

 

I swatched this and was not thoroughly impressed. Some shades lack any kind of pigmentation, while the others just looked so… plain on my skin. Don’t get me wrong, they might be nice, matte browns but for the $32 I spent at the time, I was looking for something with a little more to it.

IMG_2347

 

I do have all 5 shades swatched on my hand above… but can you even see them? I know I’m pale but come on now!

 

Overall, I like the movie and the theme of the packaging. I would use this as some daily neutrals to pair with some of my other UD shadows, but I wouldn’t pay $32 for this again. I think the $16 price tag that it is on sale for now is much more reasonable. I would pick one up still at that price!

 

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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

20140605-184553-67553182.jpg

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

20140605-184554-67554085.jpg

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).

20140605-184944-67784370.jpg

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!

20140605-185330-68010098.jpg

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.

20140605-185329-68009171.jpg

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.

20140605-185455-68095881.jpg

 

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

Review: Stila BB Trio

Hi guys!

  • Leaves a silky, powdery finish
  • Reduces pore size and provides oil and blemish control
  • Contains micro spheres, to hide skin imperfections and reduce wrinkle depth
  • Reduces redness and skin irritation
  • Diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Increase anti-oxidant activity
  • Provides seamless, smooth coverage
  • Ideal for all skin types and skin tones
  • Oil-free, paraben-free and dermatologist tested

 

I personally really like BB’s when I’m looking for more sheer-medium coverage. I use them on my day off, while I’m running errands, etc.

 

Most true BB creams come in one shade that are meant to be blended and buffed into the skin until it matches with your skin tone. I was not able to do that with any of these. They were just too dark for my ridiculously pale skin.

I thought that maybe I could use the bronzing to contour, but it had too much of a sheen to it for me to be able to use it for that purpose. The original formula also didn’t have the buildable coverage that some of my favorite BBs have without giving me a weird orangey glow. It also did not have the wear time of many of my other BBs. I see this as more of a tinted moisturizer where I usually go for heavy duty BBs.

If I was going to purchase one, I would get the illuminating, but I tend to favor a more matte look since I have oily skin, so these will be going back to the store sadly. I much prefer NYX’s BB formula or Benefit’s Big Easy which I will review later.

 

I have one more concern that I can’t seem to find additional info on. I have been reading up on micro beads and micro spheres and how bad they are for the environment. Most are made from plastic and are so small they get into our water, but I can’t find if the spheres in this product are plastic or just something just used to market the product as innovative (or both).

 

L to R: Original, Illuminating, and Bronzing.

 062
This second photo is when I just started to blend them into my skin.
 064
Please let me know if you have any info on the micro-spheres in this product as well!

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!

 

078

 

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

081

080

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

083

 

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)

140  139

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

082

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

072

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

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

070

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

069

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

079

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!!

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!

DSC_0002

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

DSC_0004

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

 

First item up is the Shimmering Facial Whip.

DSC_0007

 

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

DSC_0011

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.

DSC_0013

 

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).

DSC_0014

 

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.

 

DSC_0016

 

 

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

DSC_0018

 

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!

DSC_0034

 

 

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.

DSC_0036

 

 

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.

DSC_0038

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

DSC_0042

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!

DSC_0045

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

DSC_0046

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.

DSC_0047

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.

DSC_0049

 

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

DSC_0052

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.

DSC_0054

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

DSC_0055

 

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

DSC_0056

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.

DSC_0058

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.

DSC_0059

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.

DSC_0060

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.

DSC_0062

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!!

DSC_0064

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.

 

DSC_0066

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!

Review: bareMinerals Lash Domination Mascara

Hey guys!

I am always trying new mascaras out (even thought I refuse to have more than 2 open at once!) and I tried Lash Domination out recently.

I thought this would be a great time to review this since it is part of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty Steals. It is a one day only deal (on Saturday March 29th) and you can get it online or in stores for only $9; it’s usually $18 for the full size! Half off is pretty good!

Photo property of bareMinerals.com

Photo property of bareMinerals.com

First off the brush is a little strange to me. It is a spiral shape and claims to help you coat every lash. It seems kind of like a cheap trick to get people to buy it and try it out since it claims to be different. If anything, I found it to be less effective. I usually apply my mascara by wiggling the wand back and forth at the base of the lash and then brushing through. This is not effective with Lash Domination. Then I tried just brushing through and some other ways, but to no avail.

I also really do not care for the formula itself. One of my favorites is Benefit’s They’re Real! and I was hoping this would be an easier to remove alternative. This is the opposite. This smears EVERYWHERE. Especially upon removal this will smudge all over to give you the ultimate raccoon look. I have had to use makeup wipes, then face wash, and then face wash AGAIN with a Clarisonic when I used more than one coat of Lash Domination! It’s like nothing can help to remove it, it just smears over a wider area of skin to become diluted in color if that all makes sense.

Now, with all of that being said, I do like this for a bit more natural look. If I am only going to use one coat of mascara for just a subtle hint of darker, fuller lashes, then I would use this so it isn’t a total loss. But I find that I like other mascaras and formulas much more and I guess I don’t see the point of using a mascara if you are going to go very subtle.

This would be good for someone who already has long, full, thick lashes who just wants that touch of a tint and a slight definition, but for me this was a dud.

If you want to give Lash Domination a shot still, it’ll be available for $9 (half price) on Saturday 3/29 ONLY at Ulta and Ulta.com!