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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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

PSA: Coastal Scents 50% off sale starts NOW!

Source: CoastalScents.com

Congratulations on making it to Thanksgiving-eve everyone! Or, for my non-Americans, congratulations on making it to Wednesday–the weekend is in sight! I’m anticipating compiling a large list of my choices for Black Friday beauty and makeup deals before stuffing myself like a turkey tomorrow evening but right now I want to give you a head’s up on a sale that’s definitely one of my top picks.

Coastal Scents has begun their 50% off site wide sale now through Monday, December 1st. Yes, the entire website is reduced to half-off! Makeup, brushes, natural products, all are 50% off their original price. If you’re just getting into makeup or looking to experiment with inexpensive but quality products to expand your collection, I highly encourage taking a look at this company. Their 252 UItimate Palette is a favorite for those looking to expand their collection without breaking the bank, and it’s now down to $12.48. This is an especially great deal for beginners because it gives you tons and tons of shadows to play around with. Looking for some Naked palette dupes? The Revealed and Revealed 2 palettes have both brought in great reviews, and both are now reduced to $9.98! Need some new brushes and want to stay on a budget? Then perhaps their 22 Piece Brush Set for $17.48 may catch your eye.

There’s plenty of other products to choose from as well. I’ve built my own custom palette choosing from their pressed shadow “Hot Pots” which are currently all $0.98 and I think they’re a great option for adding variety to your eyeshadow collection. You can add these to any current existing magnetic palettes you may own or CS sells their own, which are also reduced in price. Skincare addicts who are into using oils in their skincare may want to check out their Oils that are on sale.

Have you tried Coastal Scent products before? What other products would you suggest grabbing during the sale? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful! xx

PSA: Free shipping today on ANY Ulta order!

Good morning beauties and foodies and Happy Friday! We’ve made it through another exciting week, and as we dive on in to the holiday season, I know I’m going to have plenty to report on! Today is absolutely no exception.

Source: Ulta.com

Today only, Ulta has free shipping on any order. That’s right, any order! No code, no minimum, just place your order and away you go! As an added bonus, there’s currently a $5 off of any $10 purchase coupon*. Have an item that’s ~$10 that you’ve been wanting to try? Use the coupon, enjoy the free shipping, and then just worry about tax! This is a great deal for picking up some stocking stuffers and other gifts, or something for yourself.

And Ebates users can enjoy 8% cash back from their order!

This is a great deal, especially for lovers of NYX. I know how hard it can be to find certain items in store sometimes from the brand, or how terribly picked-over the display gets. It’s also a great deal if you’re looking to pick up from the drugstore-brand side of things, or for any orders you’ve had in your queue that you were waiting to be large enough for free shipping.

I’ll keep updating you with my choice holiday picks and deals on top of the other things I’m working on. If you’re looking to stay completely up to date on deals at Ulta, Sephora, Target, etc., I would definitely recommend following Nouveau Cheap. Gianna is always on her game finding deals, and I found out about this deal through her Instagram. Her mission is saving you (and herself haha) money on the products you love, and if you’re a drugstore product super fan, you definitely cannot live without her.

Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful! xx

* Exclusions do apply. Please see the coupon for more details.

Edit: I almost forgot one last added bonus – through tomorrow, ULTAmate Rewards members get 2X points on purchases, and Platinum members get 3X points. Make sure you have this offer activated if you decide to order today! To check if you already have it activated, log into your rewards account on Ulta’s website, click on My Rewards and at the bottom of that page will be your Bonus Offers. Happy shopping!

PSA: tartelette Amazonian clay matte palette exclusive limited release!

I told myself for so long that with my UD Naked 3, Lorac Pro 1 and Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette that I was all set as far as palettes go, and then this beauty popped up in my inbox today…

Source: tartecosmetics.com

Behold, the tartelette Amazonian clay matte palette. That’s right, matte. palette. 12 matte shades. In one palette. My restraint was non-existent.

Now granted, the three big palettes I have are great and I like them for each their own reasons. I haven’t had trouble creating looks from them, and my life would probably be fine with just those three. However, I have neutral-leaning-cool skin, and while I can pull off warmer shades, I typically avoid them, and sometimes (aside from maybe my Naked 3) my palettes can feel too warm for what I’m feeling on a particular day. Plus, with semi-hooded eyes and a tendency for more “natural” looks as opposed to bolder eye makeup, mattes tend to call my name more often than shimmer shades. I look at this and I had this instant feeling that yes, this is the one. I did hesitate as I do not own any tarte products yet and, of course, being one of the first to purchase something before there’s any swatches or option to swatch it yourself is a risky venture, but I feel confident about this product. Fingers crossed! You’ll be the first ones to know no matter which way things go. 🙂

If you’d like to take the jump with me yourselves, click the link above. Starting today, the palette is only available for limited release for five days and then will be released to the public in Spring 2015. The palette ships free, you’ll get a free sample and if you use Ebates remember to get that 4% cash back!

Just looking at it, what are your first impressions of this palette? Will you grab it now or wait until it’s general release? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful! xx

Stila Fall Fling Sale – 25% off plus Free Shipping! + Last day Too Faced Sale

Hello loyal readers! I do apologize for my absence. I’ve been working on an online course that I’ve been falling behind on as well as taking care of some personal life events. But rest assured, I have some great content coming your way soon, including several reviews and hopefully some more recipes!

But for now, I’ve got a great deal to tell you about – Stila Cosmetics is currently holding their Fall Fling Sale! Now through Monday, all items (excluding sale items and Holiday 2014 sets) are 25% off plus you get free shipping. No minimum purchase required and no code! This is a great time to pick up some Stila products that you’ve had your eye on or pick up more of your favorites. My personal recommendations would be their Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner and Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks. Their eyeliner is my go-to liquid liner right now, and the liquid lipsticks are just fantastic and stay in place for so long. Beso is more often than not my red of choice, it’s so great. I’ve also heard good things about their “in the ____” shadow palettes and their Magnificent Metals shadows.

Plus, if you’re an Ebates user (which, if you’re not already and do a lot of online shopping, you should be!) you can currently get 8% cash back on the website.

One last bonus bit for you – Today is the last day of Too Faced’s Friends & Family sale where you can take 20% off your order (excluding sale items) with code TAKE20, with free shipping on orders over $50. Been eyeing up that Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Palette for your holiday gift? Do it. Get it. Now’s your chance! Speaking from personal experience, you won’t be disappointed. Plus it smells delightful. And you can get 4% cash back from Ebates.

I know a lot of us are still recovering from Ulta and Sephora having their 20% off offers, but if you happened to miss anything during those sales or need to keep tackling that holiday list, these are both great opportunities to take advantage of.

Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful! xx