My first Glam VoxBox!

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I’m excited to have been chosen for my first ever VoxBox from Influenster! If you’re not familiar with Influenster, it is a website/app where you can review and find reviews on everyday products, and based upon your social media influence, you can become eligible to test products for free. I’ve become eligible for two campaigns now, and one of those involved me receiving the Glam VoxBox which contained six products. All products I received are available at local drugstores, Target and Walmart. I thought I would share my thoughts on VoxBox and the products I received, so please keep reading!

Disclaimer: I received each of these products for free based on my social media influence. I do not receive any monetary compensation for this review; anything I say only influences my account on Influenster in regards to my eligibility to receive more products. Everything seen here reflects solely my own opinions.

Gillette Venus Swirl Razor and Venus with a Touch of Olay Violet Swirl Shave Gel
MSRP $8.49-$13.59, $2.99-$3.99
Rating: 8.5/10 for razor, 9/10 for shave gel

Each box came with a different Venus razor and a travel size can of the shave gel. I received the Venus Swirl razor, which was super exciting as I had been wanting to try this particular razor for a while! I honestly almost bought the men’s version for myself. As someone with quite a bit of muscular definition on my legs these days due to strength training, the swivel head is really nice for getting around the contours of my muscles and doing a good job around my knees. I was able to use it on my legs and armpits, but didn’t have as much luck with the bikini area, which is not a big deal. My biggest qualm is I wish that I could have this razor in sturdier material instead of standard disposable plastic, but I’m very happy to have finally tried this. I’ve tried the shave gel before and liked it; it is a really nice, creamy formula, good if you’re worried about a moisturizing shaving product. The Violet Swirl scent is nice but very potent, so if you’re not big on heavy fragrances (or fragrances as all), I would steer clear of this particular scent.

Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads
MSRP: $1.49-$3.99
Rating: 10/10

I really loved this little travel-sized pack of nail pads. The box claims that one pad can clean off 10 nails, and it lived up to that claim when I used them the other evening. I had a basic nude nail polish on (one of the new Wet n Wild gel polishes) and it all came clear off. Perhaps you’d have to work a little harder to get more heavy-duty/glitter polish off, but I think these are great to have on hand. They also didn’t leave my nails feeling dry, which of course I worry about with using acetone-based removers, so they live up to their “Advanced Revival” name as well. I’m definitely considering purchasing these to have around!

Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo, Unscented
MSRP: $3 travel-size ($7 full-size)
Rating: 6/10

This was honestly the most disappointing product of the bunch. I swear by Batiste dry shampoo, but I know a lot of people swear by this brand, so I was interested to see if it could unseat Batiste as my favorite. Not even close. For starters, I was not a fan of this Unscented variety; to me, it had a very weird smell, which was probably a general compressed-product smell but I did not enjoy it. The product claims to give you volume, which I can see, but for someone like me with thicker hair, it wasn’t anything extraordinary. I also had to use a lot of product to notice any difference in oiliness, and even when I did, I was again disappointed. It didn’t really look like it made much difference, and even if it had, again, I had to use a lot of product to get to that point. For just a dollar or so more, I can buy my Batiste and get the results this product claims with less product.

Q-Tips Cotton Swabs, 30ct
MSRP: $1.29
Rating: 10/10

This may seem like a pointless review because, well, these are just normal Q-Tips in a travel-size container. So why a perfect rating? Because I love these little containers! Easy to refill for on the go, but there are other uses for them besides holding your cotton swabs. My best friend showed me that she uses these empty containers for her bobby pins and hair ties for travel or just to throw in her purse. Something so simple, and yet I was honestly mind-blown. No more losing loose bobby pins and hair ties in my bag!

SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Facial Skin Care Collection (Face Wash & Scrub, Moisturizer, Face Mask) sample trio
MSRP: $9.99-$11.99
Rating: Face Wash & Scrub: 9/10; Moisturizer: 9/10; Face Mask: 8.5/10

I’ve always been interested by the SheaMoisture line and was happy to receive some samples in this box. The particular samples I received were the anti-aging samples, shea butter based with frankincense and myrrh extracts. Each item is very moisturizing and all feel very calming to the skin as well as creamy. I would definitely recommend the moisturizer for those in drier climates and/or for the winter time, and perhaps more for the night time, as it may be a bit heavy for the day. I did enjoy the face wash & scrub in comparison to most scrubs I’ve used. It likely won’t be a repurchase as I don’t use scrubs on a daily basis because I own a Clarisonic and use scrub masks. The face mask was comfortable, and did leave my skin feeling softer after, but I don’t think it impressed me enough to replace my First Aid Beauty Oatmeal Mask anytime soon. However, if you’re looking for an affordable line that’s good for dry skin, I would definitely recommended considering the SheaMoisture line!

Overall Box Rating: 8.75/10

This Glam VoxBox was definitely the perfect exposure to products I’d seen at the drugstore but had never picked up! I would love to keep receiving these boxes and testing out products, as I think they’re of great value. As long as you’re comfortable posting reviews on social media, signing up for Influenster is definitely a worthwhile venture for those who love testing out products.

Have you ever received a VoxBox? What did you receive?

Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful xx

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Bite Beauty Lip Lab Limited Release Crème Deluxe Lipstick #001 Review

If you haven’t heard yet, on the first Wednesday of every month for the rest of the year, Bite Beauty will be releasing a new shade in their Lip Lab Limited Release Crème Deluxe Lipstick series. Being a huge fan of Bite lip products–and having seen a preview swatch of January’s shade on their Instagram–I had to snag the first shade of the year. Keep reading for my thoughts on January’s shade, #001!

Overall: 7.4/10

Packaging: 8.5/10 – Pretty standard for Bite lip products, with the matte grey packaging. I also really liked the box it came in, with the special “001 01/15” label on it. I’ve never been disappointed by their packaging, and I really like their unique bullet shapes.

Pigmentation: 8/10 – The shade is described as a “deep burgundy with a red undertone”, and I definitely got the red undertone to it when I applied it. It also took a couple swipes to build the color to full opacity, but it’s a beautiful color in my opinion when you get it there.

Texture: 7.5/10 – The lipstick isn’t particularly drying but I didn’t find it as moisturizing as other Bite lip products, and it is a bit waxy but that isn’t something that bothers me much.  I also found the product to be a bit slippery, which brings us to…

Application: 6/10 – Not gonna lie, this lipstick is a bitch to work with. Because it is slippery, even using a lip brush took work, which is rough considering that the product needs to be built up for full opacity, and using a lip brush sort of got me this watercolor-like result so I had to modify my technique a bit. You’re definitely going to want a good lip pencil with this one, but even that may not be enough. On top of that, it also applies rather patchy.

Longevity: 7/10 – I know not to expect super longevity in Bite’s products that are on the creamier side like this one, but with eating and drinking I got a solid two hours of good wear time out of it before it started to fade in the center of my lip (away from the lip line). I’d say between two and four hours, with eating a drinking, is a good range for the longevity.

The Bite Beauty limited release lipsticks retail solely on Sephora.com and are $36 for 0.15oz of product. I was able to have purchasing access to the lipstick a minute or two before 11am CST, which makes sense because Sephora operates on PST, and 11am where I live would be 9am there, making the release hit at the start of the normal 9-5 workday out there. These lipsticks are limited edition; as soon as they’re sold out, they’re gone. The hype of this product combined with the hefty pricetag (their standard lip products range from $22-$24, with a few others being no more than $30) only fuels my disappointment that this product under-performed in comparison to my expectations.

Looking at it in the tube, the shade looks beautiful, and I’m a sucker for dark shades. I’m not pale pale–I’m about NW20–but I’m pale enough where I can really appreciate the contrast of a deep, dark lipstick and it gives me LIFE. I was already a bit disappointed when this shade pulled more red than I expected on my hand swatch, but I thought, eh, once it builds up on my lips it’ll probably get darker.

I wasn’t completely off base with that hope, but my goodness gracious, was this terrible to work with. The struggle was very, very real. Not only did trying to place the product with a lip brush cause it to make the product more sheer than just going straight at it from the tube, but the product slides and slips that it makes it difficult to create nice, clean lines around the mouth or just get it to settle. You’ll notice even in the hand swatch that straight-from-the-tube application is a bit patchy. Even with the use of a lip liner and then blotting and setting the lipstick, I still ended up getting feathering after a while, I’d say around the one and a half to two hour mark which is when I first looked at it in a mirror post-application.

Lip swatch done using NYX lip liner in Auburn (closest I had on hand) and cleaning up with concealer.

However, I will say that I was surprised by the fact that once it did more or less dry, I didn’t notice any transfer while I was sipping wine all night. If there was any, it was minimal. This may have been a result of me blotting and setting it properly rather than anything on the lipstick’s part, so I’m not going to label this transfer-proof because certainly with this formula that would be highly inaccurate (and when I bumped my lips with my hand a couple times, I definitely got some transfer), but it’s still something I noticed. More surprisingly, because this is such a dark color, I didn’t have any staining; it came clean off my lips when I took off my makeup at the end of the night.

So, I’m torn. While I look Bite Beauty products and really do love this shade even though it’s not quite what I expected, it is such a hassle to work with that in the end it won’t be the first thing I reach for unless I have the time to sit and work with it. Even then, I have such little patience that I’ll probably opt for something else in my collection. This was such a letdown that it makes me hesitant to go after another of the Lip Lab Limited Releases. At $36 a pop–which is reaching high end pricepoint–I’d rather invest my money elsewhere if this formula is consistently going to be a disappointment.

Did you purchase this lipstick? What are your thoughts? What Bite products do you love, if you own any? Be sure to share in the comments below!

Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful xx

December Favorites

Happy 2015 y’all! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday (including those that celebrated Orthodox Christmas last night!) and have enjoyed the new year so far. It’s business as usual for me, and with a new year I’d like to start a new tradition on the blog: sharing my monthly favorites! I know, right, so original, no other blogger has done this before…

December is the perfect month to begin with because I did a lot of product purchasing Black Friday onward, as you saw well in my haul post. I’m still getting through all of those products but that means plenty for me to cover for at least a few months! Without further ado, here are my favorite products from the month of December:

Tartelette Palette: When it doubt for a look, this has been my go-to palette to start if not complete an entire look with. I’ve loved it since I got it. I have no trouble complementing my other palettes with this one, and I love using it in combination as well as all on its own! If you haven’t seen my review yet, click here.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream: It took a while for winter to truly rear its ugly head but eventually it did here in Wisconsin and my skin has been in turmoil ever since. This lotion is my saving grace and I don’t know what I would do without it. It’s a nice, thick cream that dries to a matte finish in relatively little time. I use it during the day underneath my moisturizer with sunscreen, and certainly before bed either on its own or under a thin later of Vaseline when I feel that my skin is particularly dehydrated. I personally get the 16oz tub which will last you forever but it also comes in a 12oz pump version if you’re worried about keeping it sanitary.

IT Brushes for Ulta: Remember how I mentioned that I skipped out on Sigma’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale? These were the reason why. It started simple, with their Airbrush Blending Crease Brush #105, and that’s all it took to get me hooked. In total I now own the You’re Easy On The Eyes Dual-Ended Eye Shadow Brush set, the Live Beauty Fully All Over Powder Brush #211, the Velvet Luxe Soft Focus Sculpting Brush #315, the Velvet Luxe Buffing Foundation Brush #301 and the Velvet Luxe Plush Powder Brush #313. I’m planning on making a separate post about these soon but I just have to say that all these brushes are just so incredibly soft. I mean, the Velvet Luxe part of the line is just divine. I encourage each and every one of you to go to Ulta and just feel these up, I mean it.

theBalm Overshadow in No Money, No Honey. Swatched over bare skin.

theBalm Overshadow in No Money, No Honey: I received this as a “glam” prize on r/RandomActsofMakeup and it really lives up to the hype. It’s a beautiful shimmering gold color that I love using as an inner corner highlight as well as a face highlight. It’s my first product from theBalm and I’m already itching for more!

Swatch of NARS Audacious Lipstick in Audrey.

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Audrey: I had to have this color as soon as I saw it because a) it’s named Audrey, like Audrey Hepburn, so duh, and b) the color is gorgeous and unlike any red I had yet in collection. The shade is described as “red currant”, and is a muted red-plum color that I just fell in love with. It was an easy choice for my Christmas lip color pick. I’ll also be doing another post on this one later, along with the NARS Audacious Lipstick in Grace.

As far as food favorites, I gotta give some shoutouts to…

Seroogy’s Chocolates: Straight out of De Pere, WI, these are some of my favorite chocolates, and they hold a special place in my heart because they too are from Wisconsin but also because one of my fundraisers in elementary school was selling their chocolate bars. At the time, my family lived in an apartment building where my parents worked as maintenance managers, and I made serious bank selling these candy bars to all the elderly people in the building. My boyfriend got me a whole box of assorted truffles for Christmas as well as a package of their chocolate dipped potato chips. I just… he knows me so well, you guys. They’re giving my comfort while he’s all the way out in San Francisco for the next couple of months.

Anything packed with protein: I slacked a lot on my diet over the holidays (shocking, I mean who does that?!) but have thankfully kept up with my new weight lifting regimen. At the end of November, I started the program from The New Rules of Lifting for Women and just recently started Stage 2. After having done so much cardio for so long, it is so nice to fall in love with lifting, and I’m slowly seeing results! The biggest thing that’s going to help, along with maintaining a clean diet, is packing my diet with protein. Whey protein, things like Quest bars, chicken and eggs are some of my besties right now, and peanut butter is my one and only, forever and ever. I’m sure I will slowly gather plenty of protein-enriched recipes that will make their way here to the blog. If you have any to share, please do!

What are some of your favorites from the month? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful xx

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Haul

It’s that time of year again! No, I’m not referring to Christmastime exactly. More specifically, I’m referring to the several weeks where your inbox is bombarded with the endless onslaught of emails advertising this BOGO or X% off or free shipping or whatever sale companies have concocted up for the holiday season. Black Friday alone I had upwards of 100 emails, and that was just on Friday.

Doesn’t mean I didn’t still take advantage of a few of them. 😛

As I’ve pointed out in the past in my post “A Frugal Beauty’s Guide to Not Making Your Wallet Cry”, sales, unlike Santa, don’t only come once a year. This is something I definitely had to remind myself of when I was in “BUY ALL THE THINGS!!!” mode. I didn’t even take advantage of all the sales I had initially looked at going into Friday (this includes Sigma, which you’ll see soon in an upcoming post why I chose to skip that one), and plenty of those were brands that were having great sales but on products that I didn’t need quite right this second. However, this is a great time of year for sales on particular brands that typically don’t offer as great of deals at any other point in the year, and taking that into account as well helped me pare down where it was best to put my money.

Without further adieu, here’s my haul!

*This is solely the products I got from the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend. As many of you know, Sephora also had their sale shortly after where Beauty Insiders, VIB and Rouges got a certain dollar amount off a $50 purchase. Those I’m saving for future posts.

Target – Rise by Beyoncé

I would like to welcome you into my bedroom. That is indeed a stuffed animal Golden Retriever in the background. His name is Doug, like the dog from Up! He says hello.

I fell in love with this scent as soon as I smelled it in the Target display over a month ago. What I wasn’t in love with? The price tag. $30 for 1oz. Luckily I waited on it. Target was taking 40% off their celebrity fragrances, and that was all I needed to snag this immediately. From the description: “Top notes: Italian bergamot, golden apricot, ice basil sorbet. Heart notes: gold symphony orchid, freesia blossom, natural jasmine sambac. Bottom notes: autumn woods accord, cashmere musk, vetiver extract.” It’s a really great all-day scent but is really perfect for a night out. And the bottle is awesome.

How this perfume makes me feel:

Urban Decay – Electric Palette and 24/7 Liner

I could not resist this. I had gone back and forth so long on this palette because it is truly beautiful but the price point kept me from picking it up right away. Even with 20% off at Ulta or Sephora, it was still $40, and at the time of those sales I didn’t see myself using it until spring or summer so I couldn’t justify the purchase. Then UD put it at $35 and I said f*** it, it’s now or never. Then, thanks to Nouveau Cheap’s Instagram, I saw the code for an extra 20% off, putting this baby at just under $30! Now that I could justify, plus having this little liner on hand will be great for doing some smokey eye looks in the future. I’m excited! It’s so pretty and I’m happy to finally call it mine.

Black Velvet swatch

Ulta – LORAC Champagne Dreams palette and NYX Wicked Lippies

I had already settled on getting the palette when Ulta sent an email saying their Cyber Monday deals were live and that they were giving 3X points on purchases. That only sweetened the deal! I love my LORAC Pro and this little baby was calling my name as colors in the champagne range suit me very well.

I can’t say that I was totally wowed by the pigmentation of these on bare skin without any base but I went into this knowing that this would be a good palette for creating neutral looks for myself so I’m not in the least disappointed, and as well as they perform over a base as well as their Pro big sisters, I’m content. Plus it was only $15, so no regrets here.

Wrath, Sinful, Power

The NYX Wicked Lippies were a welcome addition to my order to round it out to $25 for the free shipping. I’ve fawned over this collection for a good long while and am so ecstatic to play around with these three babies!

Wrath, Sinful, Power

Coastal Scents – 252 Ultimate Palette and Pro Blending Fluff Brush

Technically I placed this order on Tuesday when Coastal Scents extended their sale for one more day but I’m still including it here.

I had gone back and forth on the 252 Ultimate Palette for months as a way to add color to my collection after seeing so many rave reviews about it. It has been on sale for 50% off a couple times during my deliberation but I bit the bullet and have happily not looked back. It may seem silly considering I also bought the Electric palette yet this gives me even more variety on top of that for a bargain price. It was also a better way to see what colors I actually like on myself without overspending on single shadows that I never get to try until I have them in my hands, which is kind of what I was doing before and certainly wasn’t effective.

The pots are small, which I know is one of the complaints about the collection, however you’re getting 252 of them–and in my case I got them all for about $13 before shipping–and many only differ slightly in shade that if you run out of one, you’ll no doubt find something close nearby. I love the simple black packaging with the three different palettes, and while it certainly isn’t the most travel friendly collection, that’s not what I’m looking to do with it, and I can always build my own palette in the future once I see what I like from here. That is my only complaint is that there’s no key or names to the shadows for if I do find something I like, as Coastal Scents does sell their individual “hot pots” or making it easier to be led to a dupe in another brand. Oh well, I think I can manage.

I also picked up the Pro Blending Fluff Brush which has been touted as a cheap alternative to the Mac 217. It was a little over $2 with the discount so it really didn’t hurt to add this guy on. I’ll see how it holds up to the Mac 217 but for now it’s a nice soft brush that will be welcome amongst my blending eye brushes. You really can’t have too many of those in my opinion!

Lastly, CS sent along a four shadow sample of their Revealed palette with a $5 off coupon code on the back. I’m pretty impressed with the swatches from this little sampler, and while I passed on both the Revealed palettes for now I may have to reconsider in the future!

Quest Nutrition – Bars, Chips and Pasta

This is also a food blog after all, and even among my beauty goodies I could not wait for this Cyber Monday sale most of all!! I have had a lack of Quest Protein Bars in my life and this was the perfect time to restock. Seriously, I love these. They’re my favorite protein bar. If you’ve never understood the saying “Cheat Clean”, try one of these and you will. Quest Nutrition was giving 25% off orders between $39.99 and $250.00. With a box of my faves costing $25, it was easy to meet the minimum. Ugh, babies, I’ve missed youuuu.

Quest has also expanded their line to include Protein Chips and Quest Pasta. I’m intrigued. And a little scared. Thus why I only bought a bag of each to start. I plan to taste and review these, so be on the lookout!

Whew, that’s it for the big sale weekend haul! I’m really excited to get around to playing with all my goodies after the holidays when life slows done a bit. I hope you all got some great deals as well! Please feel free to share your Black Friday/Cyber Monday experiences in the comments below 🙂

Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful, Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!  xx

Kat Von D + Sephora 24-Hour Charity Challenge

KVD+Sephora 24-Hour Charity Challenge

I’ve made it a recent goal in my life to be more charitable, including contributing more to charity organizations, as I want to leave a better mark on the world and help it the best I can. Now, when you combine that goal with something like I’m very passionate about, such as beauty/the arts in general, how can I pass it up?

Kat Von D is celebrating the launch of her new site today, KatVonDBeauty.com, and coupling it with a charity challenge in collaboration with Sephora. From December 18-19, for 24 hours (I’m assuming starting from the site’s official 8am PST launch time), for every unique email signup on the website, KVD+Sephora will donate $1 to The Art of Elysium. They are a non-profit organization that encourages working actors, artists and musicians to volunteer their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions. They provide workshops in the following disciplines: fashion design, fine arts, music, theatre/media arts and arts based self-esteem. To find out more about their organization and programs, please click here.

Some of you may remember back in 2011 when Kat released two palettes, Kimberly and Evelyn, in collaboration with The Art of Elysium, so this is clearly an organization she is very passionate about. And helping out is so simple. Click this link, fill out the form with your name and email, and that’s it! If you’re a KVD fan and want to receive emails about product updates, sales, specials, etc., from the website anyway, then this is a no-brainer for you. Even if not, I still encourage you to check out this charity challenge and at least check out this organization anyway. It could be as simple as you signing up now and unsubscribing after the first email, all to help make a difference in a child’s life.

Their goal is to raise $10,000 for the organization and they’re already 10% of the way there! Come on makeup addicts, I know there are millions of you out there, we can crush that goal easily 😉

Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful! xx

Tarte Cosmetics Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette Review

Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette

Since I gained my serious interest in makeup beginning earlier this year, I’ve learned a lot about myself, primarily from a beauty standpoint. A couple of the finer points were that I have neutral-leaning-cool toned skin and semi-hooded eyes. While I do love my shimmer shades, I find myself, because of my semi-hoodedness, reaching more for matte shades, and ones on the more cool side of things. That’s why when Tarte Cosmetics introduced their Tartelette palette, I could not resist.

The Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette ($44.00 USD) was released for a special week-long “presale” of sorts and will be rereleased to the public in Spring 2015 (the exact date has not been announced, but Temptalia has said January 2015, which I don’t consider spring, but that may be my Wisconsin bias). It is an all matte palette that remains rather neutral, with some shades leaning warm and some leaning cool. Some may see this as being in the same vein as the Be MATTEnificent palette (which is back in stock at that link, in case you missed out on it last year!). When I found out about that palette, that was the all-matte palette I really wanted but had been too late to the game to get, which is why I grabbed the Tartelette immediately. I can’t confirm whether the shades in the Be MATTEnificent appear exactly in this palette but looking at them side-by-side I’d say at the very least there are dupe shades in the Tartelette, and obviously no blush.

The Be MATTEnificent and Tartelette appear to be similar in size though, and the size is one of the things I like about this palette. It just feels a little more compact than my rectangular palettes. Plus it’s slim in thickness too, which I also like because then it doesn’t feel bulky, a total plus. I mean, don’t even get me started on the original packaging of Too Faced’s Chocolate Bar palette…

L to R – free spirit, force of nature, dreamer, multi-tasker, caregiver, natural beauty

L to R – free spirit, force of nature, dreamer, multi-tasker, caregiver, natural beauty

L to R – best friend, bombshell, super mom, wanderer, power player, fashionista

L to R – best friend, bombshell, super mom, wanderer, power player, fashionista

Now to the shadows themselves. I took a risk purchasing a palette that no one else had gotten their hands on yet and while I was excited for the prospect of this palette, I was also equally terrified that I may have made a mistake. I had also never used Tarte shadows or any of their products up to this point so I was making quite an investment in a new brand for me. I did not come out disappointed. The shadows are soft to the touch and for the most part feel buttery or silky with a few that are perhaps a bit more powdery.

All the swatches you see above were done on bare skin, no primer/base to them. I’ll just get it out of the way now: fashionista is superrrrr pigmented and I love it. The rest have good pigmentation as well. free spirit, caregiver, super mom, wanderer and power player were all shades that I did have to go in for a second swipe just because they are on the lighter side, but these are shades that I would be using as a base shadow on the lid, highlights and/or transition shades, so they perform as I would expect and do not disappoint. The rest speak for themselves, though sadly I feel my this-is-the-last-light-I’ll-get-for-the-day-because-it’s-winter post-work photos don’t do them enough justice. When it gets dark by 5pm these days, there’s only so much you can do.

There’s also this handy little guide that is included with the palette.

Sadly my experience wearing the palette has been limited due to a hectic holiday, but I did create two simple neutral looks for Thanksgiving with my family and the day after. Both looks held up well through the eight hours that I wore them, even as I was getting increasingly sleepy at the end of both nights, which is when my eyes start to water and everything generally becomes a mess on my face! There wasn’t any creasing that I could notice, and perhaps the worse thing to happen was the colors beginning to fade. Bottomline, if you use a primer or some other base underneath, these should play nice for you.

I know many people are bored to death with neutrals at this point but I still feel that this is a welcome player to the game, especially as an all-matte palette. There are of course other options out there that are less expensive, for example the Sonia Kashuk Eye On Neutral Matte palette for $19.99 USD or theBalm’s Meet Matt(e) Nude which is $42.00 USD but can often be found on sale for half off, just to name two. However, most all-matte palettes I’ve seen up to now have always felt a bit more warm-leaning on the whole than I’d like, and I embrace my cool side more often (oh girrrlll, give me all the silver jewelry!). With the Tartelette having such a nice variety that works for both cool and warm tones, I have that flexibility to choose which way I want to lean with a look on a particular day. I get the feeling I’ll be reaching for this palette quite a bit on its own or in combination with my other palettes and shadows as it is a great complement to my current collection.

What are your thoughts on this palette? Did you pick it up during the limited pre-release? Will you pick it up in the spring during the general sale? Let me know! Feel free to ask questions about the palette as well.

I’ve got some Black Friday-Cyber Monday haul fun coming your way so be sure to stay tuned! 😀 Until then, stay well, stay beautiful! xx

Update 12/9/14: If you’re a VIB or VIB Rouge at Sephora, you can now pick up this palette at the link here! I will add another link when this palette becomes available to non-VIB customers.

My Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale picks

Happy Thanksgiving morning to my US readership, and Happy Holiday Sales Weekend to everyone else! No more where you are, I hope that you have a wonderful day and that you take some time to be grateful for friends, family and others in your life as well as the abundance of things, material and otherwise, in your life. While we excitedly make grabby hands at all the products we wish to buy, we must first remember what we already own and be grateful that we have the means to make these purchases. I must also say that I’m grateful for all of you. My readership may be small yet, but the fact that you guys keep coming back makes this all worthwhile 🙂

I’m not going to list every sale that’s going on mainly because someone else has already done that! For the most comprehensive list of what’s going down this weekend, check out this post on Nouveau Cheap’s blog. G is hard at work keeping that list as updated as possible, and that’s another thing for which to be grateful! And when I say comprehensive, I mean comprehensive. Go check it out!

I’ve already shared the Coastal Scents sale with you which started yesterday, and if you haven’t already checked out the website, get on that! The following are some of my other top choices for sales that you should be aware of and definitely check out over the next few days:

Anastasia Beverly Hills
loooove my Dipbrow. I was fortunate enough that when I started makeup was around the same time as the release of the Dipbrow Pomades. The SA at Sephora recommended it in Blonde to me and I have never looked back. Her brow products are truly my favorites, and starting tomorrow, 11/28, her brow products are all 25% off on the Anastasia website. Also on the Anastasia website starting 12/1 the Contour Kit is 25% off. From what I can tell, that only applies to the original Contour Kit, not the custom ones you can build.

theBalm
From 7am PST 12/1 to 7am PST 12/2, the entire theBalm website will be 50% off. I’m hoping to finally pick up their Mary-Lou Manizer and their Overshadow in No Money, No Honey that I keep seeing everywhere on everyone. I’ve also seen their Meet Matt(e) Nude palette recommended quite often to those looking for a good, affordable all-matte palette. I also just love their packaging!

e.l.f.
One of my favorite inexpensive brands. Valid now through 11/30, they’re having a BOGO 50% off sitewide sale with a free Limited Edition Kabuki Brush and free shipping on orders $35+ using code BLACKFRIDAY on their website. They will also be having a deal on 12/1 using code CYBERMONDAY for 50% off orders $30+ plus free shipping on orders $35+. This means that you order needs to be $30 before the discount to get 50% off but needs to be $35 after discount for free shipping, therefore your best bet is to get at least $70 worth of product to get both deals.

LORAC
This deal is great if you haven’t picked up either of the Pro palettes yet, have one Pro palette and not the other, or want to send these out as gifts. I highly recommend any of these above options because I adore my Pro palette. Starting at 8am PST on 12/1, the original Pro and Pro 2 palette will each be 25% off (down to $31.50 each from $42 each) on the LORAC website. All orders will also receive a free red eyelash curler. LORAC also does every day free shipping, no code required. BONUS! LORAC has two special Black Friday palettes, the Sultry Starlet Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette and the Vintage Vixen Matte Eyeshadow Palette for $12 each in Ulta stores and on the Ulta Website. AND they will have a Cyber Monday palette, the Champagne Dreams Eyeshadow Palette, for $15 on the website. If the Pro palettes are still out of your budget but you want to try out LORAC shadows, I highly recommend snagging one of these little guys.

Sigma
It may finally be time to treat myself to some Sigma brushes and up my brush collection game. Valid 11/27-11/28, Sigma is offering free worldwide shipping on all orders with code BF2014 on their website. Then on 12/1, they’re doing 20% off sitewide with code CM2014 once again on their website. There’s a lot of recommendations out there for plenty of their individual brushes but particularly their Mr. Bunny and Mrs. Bunny Travel Kits if you’re looking for a quality brush set.

Too Faced
Oh, Chocolate Bar Palette, how I love thee, how I want to each thee… Between that and the Melted lipsticks, Too Faced has a good place in my collection. On 11/28, if you buy 1 Better Than Sex mascara, you get one item of your choice 50% off on the Too Faced website. From 11/29 to 12/1, all sale items are 50% off on their website, plus get $10 off of any $60 purchase, $15 off of any $75 purchase and $20 off any $100 purchase. Then on 12/1, get a mystery grab bag for $35 on the Too Faced website. I’m excited to see what ends up in the grab bags!

Urban Decay
UD has a handful of specials up its sleeve starting 11/27 and rounding out on 12/1 on their website that I’m going to bullet point for you now:

  • 11/27 – 12/1: Free shipping on all orders
  • 11/27: 6-Piece Badass Lip Set $90 (Revolution Lipsticks in shades Anarchy, Catfight, F-Bomb, Naked, Native and Turn On)
  • 11/28: Ammo Palette $10, Smoked Palette $20; buy BOTH for $30 and receive a free deluxe sample of Perversion Mascara
  • 11/29: Any 2 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils for $20
  • 11/30: Any 3 eyeshadow singles for $36
  • 12/1: Electric Palette + travel size Black Velvet 24/7 Velvet Eye Pencil for $36

I’m already setting a a reminder for that Cyber Monday deal because I’ve been lusting after that palette for a long, long time. From what I can tell, the deals go live at 10pm PST the night prior (so 1am EST the day of the deal) so take that into account if you’re setting reminders!

Indie companies are also doing their own deals this weekend, and a comprehensive list of those can be found here on the Indiemakeupandmore subreddit.

Remember, this isn’t a comprehensive list, just my own personal picks based on my wishlist or brands I’ve used and loved. There are plenty more out there, including other major brands, superstores, department stores and drug stores, and they all be found at that link I provided to Nouveau Cheap’s blog post.

And don’t forget to use Ebates wherever it applies!!! Seriously, you’ll thank me after the holiday season when you get that cash back.

What holiday deals and steals are you looking to take advantage of over the next couple days? Are there any that you know of that you haven’t seen get enough love yet? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy shopping, my dears! I love forward to spending this holiday season with all of you 🙂 Stay well, stay beautiful! xx