Let's first state how adorable Leopold is. I was trying to get a photo of my nails in the sunlight, and he was just like... mom, give me love. I did. I had to put the pause on my photos to give him hugs and kisses and scratch his cute little face. He's the most loving cat. Also the most handsome (sorry, other cats!)
Back to the polish, I got this new Pacifica nail polish shade at Ulta during one of my recent trips and I was really excited to try it. I don't follow the whole, light in the warmer months, darker in the cooler months color trends. I wear white after Labor Day. I wear black constantly. I don't care about fashion faux pas. Do what makes you happy; that's what I always say.
Kevin thinks this color looks plum. I see it as a blackened red; vampy and gothy. I love it so so much. It's SO pretty! I naturally tend to wear dark colors anyway because I think they look better with my skin tone.
You know how some colors look better on your fingers, others look better on your toes, and vice versa? This shade is great on both.
Pacifica's nail polishes are $9, and most of the time, if you're signed up for Ulta emails, you can get a $3.50 off $15 coupon, and you can get 2 shades for $14.50.. that's $7.25 per polish. My Ulta has a great collection of colors. If you don't have an Ulta near you, they have plenty of polishes online too! Plus, the coupons are usable online too! Check them out!
So, I actually got a sample of the original BeautyBlender brand with a recent foundation purchase I made at Sephora. I have never used a blender, ever. When I was a young one, I used liquid and power foundation, packed it on like crazy, plus white eyeliner and ice blue eyeshadow, tons of body glitter, 47 rubber bracelets from Hot Topic on each wrist, and those incredibly popular chokers.. because I am a late 90s/early 00s teen. Then, at 19, my Aunt introduced me to BareMinerals, and bought me the starter kit for my birthday. Now, at 30, my makeup routine has certainly changed. While my disease causes hormonal imbalances, which means I break out occasionally, plus I scar easier than most, and I’m a picker- I have some scarring I like to cover. Fortunately, none of them are ice pick scars, and eventually, the scarring does goes away on its own. I’ve tried a bagillion products to help that and literally nothing works.. except time, patience, and coverup.
My foundation routine now consists of Illuminare liquid mineral foundation, some Jane Iredale power foundation on top, and a setting powder (I have literally 4 of them, so which one I use it depends on my mood.) I do prefer a full coverage face, simply because of my scarring. It’s not fun at 30 to deal with something I should’ve been done with as a teen, and really, I’d love to not have to wear so much, but my disease is here to stay, and I just have to make the most of it.
I’ve been using brushes FOR YEARS, never using anything else. Illuminare has its own pad for applying their foundation, which I’ve been using since I started with their products. But I feel like it doesn’t provide the finish I want. Just because I have a full face of foundation doesn’t mean I want you to know it! That’s the whole point! So, I used this sample Beauty Blender I got, and I figured I would just see if I liked the finish with it, and if I did, I’d buy it.
Well, as it turns out, I didn’t like the finish it provided, I loved it. As soon as I got paid, I got this Ecotools Blender for $3.99 on sale at Ulta and I am LOVING it, by the way, MUCH BETTER than the OG Beauty Blender brand, which I simply used because it was a sample. They say they’re cruelty free, but I couldn’t find the materials the blender was made out of. I can always rely on Ecotools to provide cruelty free and vegan beauty products at a fraction of the cost. The OG Beauty Blender brand is $20 and ambiguous; this was $4 and certified vegan and cruelty free. You do the math.
Essentially what I do is: wet the blender, squeeze out the excess so it’s only damp, and apply small amounts of my Illuminare foundation to the angled side of the blender, and I blend, inward then outward. Blending, I’m convinced, is a layer of Hell. It is much more time consuming that my usual way, but the results are so much better, so the extra time is worth it. I get dry skin easily, also related to my disease, and this application never leaves my skin flaky. It just leaves an airbrushed effect, with full coverage. I use my Illuminare foundation as my concealer too, and I just blend a little extra over those areas and it really does cover well.
Here's some before and after photos. Check each description for which photo is which.
I literally scar from everything (thanks Hashimoto's!) The picking certainly doesn't help either (thanks anxiety and OCD!), and it does make me very self-conscious, so I need a full face of makeup. I will go to great lengths to buy expensive products to make my face look as good as I can. Truthfully, you can't go wrong for $4, and even if you don't like it, it was $4! Give it a try! I got mine online at Ulta, but I'm sure they have them in the stores too!
Since I'm about 1000% behind on life, I wanted to share my like over a month ago Sephora haul lol. Leopold was really excited for my haul too. Here's what in this messy pile:
1) Wanderlust Power Foundation in shade Medium ($40)
2) Deborah Lippmann "The World Is Your Oyster" Nail Polish Duo ($10.50)
Let me stop here for a second because that's literally all I bought; everything else was free.
3) Beauty Blender sample size (free with foundation purchase)
4) COOLA Mineral Face SPF in Matte Tint (free sample)
5) Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner packets (free sample)
6) Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer packet (free sample)
7) Nest Fragrance Cocoa Woods sample (Beauty Insider, 100 points)
8) Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss deluxe sample in St. Tropez (Beauty Insider, 100 points)
All of that was free or used with Beauty Insider points. That's a pretty sweet deal.
I've used mostly everything, but I don't have photos to show them, but I'll still be doing some reviews and recommendations for yous anyway!
These were the first products I used, mainly because it was a hair wash day. The smell is natural, not incredibly pleasant, but also not awful. You could literally smell the oils, which shows me the quality of the products. Also, the price for the shampoo is $34 and the price for the conditioner is $36 for 9.3 ounces, which also illustrates the quality of the product. The shampoo is golden in color and the conditioner is a creamy, luxurious off white color. Both of these products really felt luxurious to use, and made my hair 0oh so soft. I'm tempted to buy the full size of these, especially for the winter with dry hair season coming up. I'm a fan, and definitely recommend the sample size first, or a mini size if you can find it. Sephora has the shampoo in a 2 oz. size for $9, but not the conditioner, that I saw at least. Either way, two big thumbs up for these products!
The Hourglass Veil primer is what dreams are made of. Expensive dreams, but dreams nonetheless. I'm glad I got to try the sample because the sample was enough to tell me that I need the full size version. The mini size, which is 1/3 of an ounce, is $19. The regular size, which is 1 ounce, is $54. The value size, which is 2 ounces, is $75. I know, take a minute to collect yourself. I can't imagine what they would charge for this sample size, if they charged for it. But it really works SO well. It's silky smooth, and does make your makeup application look better and last longer. There's no greasy after feel, and it literally absorbs in an instant. It claims to help with pores and fine lines, and with more uses, I imagine that would be true.
Nest Fragrance had me a little confused on their cruelty free and vegan status from their FAQs, so I just reached out directly. This was their response:
Believe it or not, based off this description, this should be my favorite scent. It's warm and spicy gourmand, with the key notes being: bittersweet cocoa, sequoia wood, white sandalwood, tiara blossom, and Thai ginger. What an intoxicating combo, am I right? In all honestly, I do love the scent. It's strong when you first apply it, and as it settles into my skin, it gets lighter and less bold, but still smells great. I'm using the sample I got, which will last awhile, because the fragrance itself lasts awhile.
However, I went to Sephora on my birthday and tried two other scents. Black Tulip I sprayed first and was surprised by how much I liked it, even more surprised by the fact it has PATCHOULI in it, and that's my least favorite scent ever. But the jasmine, black amber plum, and pink pepper mask it, and leave a fragrance that's simply alluring. Another surprise was Midnight Fleur, which is a bold and sensual blend of exotic wood, black amber, jasmine, vanilla orchid, and again, PATCHOULI! I'm so surprised by how these scents blended with my natural oils to offer really wonderful scents. Sephora has a sample rollerball pack, the same size at this sample, of all their fragrances for $38- that's 7 fragrances total. Considering the bottles are $74 each, I would really test them out before committing to a full size bottle. I'm looking into getting the sample set myself sometime soon. My whole world's been flipped upside down finding scents with patchouli and florals that I actually really like. Time to explore! I recommend you do too!
I've worn this, and I owe you a photo, because my description will not do it justice. It is SO pretty on. The color is St. Tropez, is a pink/color with gold metallic finish. This gloss actually packs in color and high shine, while being moisturizing at the same time. It lasts long, but isn't food and drink proof, but lasts much better than almost any other lip gloss I've tried. It's not sticky like most glosses are either. This would be good over a matte lipstick to add shine and hydration. I'm so impressed by it, and even more impressed I didn't have to pay for it. Thanks Beauty Insider points! I suggest checking these out. There's a lot of colors, and I'm sure you'll find one that suits your skin tone!
I haven't tried this yet, primarily because my foundation has SPF in it and also summer is over. But, I'm going to use it anyway just to get an idea on the formula and how it is under makeup. I'll keep you posted!
So, I've been wanting to try this for awhile and with there only be so few shades, and after reading the color descriptions, I figured medium would work best. Again, I owe you a photo, but it's pretty good foundation. They say it's buildable, but too much would be cakey in my opinion. It has a poof (they call it a rubicell applicator, I'll stick with poof) with it, so I keep it in my bag for touch ups, and I love that. It applies incredibly smoothly, and it does cover well. But, it doesn't cover acne marks as well as they market it too, but really, nothing does. It does provide a matte finish and helps with excess oil. I really do like it, but I use it over my other foundation as a finishing touch kinda deal, and of course, for touch ups throughout the day.
I don't have a photo of the BeautyBlender, aside from in the beginning, but I've now been converted to the blender side. I usually use brushes, and an applicator pad specially for my Illuminare foundation, but I'm getting myself a blender. It makes applying foundation much smoother. So, that's on my radar as well.
I also haven't used the nail polish yet, but it is incredibly cute. I love mermaids, so I needed it,
Yes, those are my Little Mermaid PJ shorts in the background, thank you for noticing! The two colors are Chantilly Lace and I Put A Spell On You. Not typical Ashley colors, but it's always good to switch it up. For $10.50 too, you can't beat it. Their polishes are vegan and cruelty free!
So, I owe you some photos, but overall, great haul, and great samples! I think my samples were the most exciting part honestly lol. I'll do a new post with some photos soon!
I'm thinking I need a support group for all the KVD lovers out there that just can't seem to get enough of her beauty products! I placed an order for some new lippies and eyeliner, and I want to review them with you! I ordered the mini versions of her newest eyeliner, Dagger, and Tattoo Liner, which I already have and love. Additionally, I finally purchased Sinner, which is a midnight plum, and Haze, one of her brought new beautiful shades, Haze, which is a romantic warm gray beige. I've got some photos from my birthday weekend, which will hopefully help you to get an idea of the colors.
For the record, I have medium-light skin with neutral undertones. Undertones make all the difference in color choices, for basically everything. Being neutral, either cool or warm tones flatter my skin tone. Sinner leans cool, and Haze is warm.
I love this color so dearly. It's a beautiful shade, true to its color description, and looks really pretty on. I wore this to my surprise birthday dinner. FYI: Everlasting Lipstick doesn't last through eating, just so you know.
Additionally, you can see the Dagger liner on my lids, which I only did a small wing. The angled tip does definitely help to achieve the right kind of angle for your wings; big or small. I used to be a pro at wings but I'm a little rusty, so this should help. It's the same fantastic formula as her Tattoo liner, and I'm excited to buy the full size when this runs out.
Now, for Haze, on a recently 30 year old me! (My birthday was yesterday, September 3rd!)
Would I call this color warm toned? Yes. Would I call it romantic? Absolutely. Would I call it gray beige? Not at all. It's rather pink, but with a beige base so it's not an in your face pink. Do I love it? I absolutely do. There's a Haze II, which is a cool version of this, that looks much more gray. It also looks really light, and I don't love light colors on me. But, it looks so pretty on the computer screen.
Do I recommend everything you see here? Yes I do, buy away!