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. ūüėõ

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 РRise 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 ūüôā

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

Target Beauty Box Fall 2014 Available NOW!

Source: Target.com

Merry Monday everyone! I reported here a few weeks ago about Walmart’s Beauty Box Program¬†(review coming soon!) and mentioned that Target does a very similar beauty box. Well, the new season is upon us, which means a new Target beauty box has arrived! Here are the details:

Hello BEAUTIFUL! We’ve rounded up our favorite beauty products (so you stay in-the-know), individually these items are valued at up to 28 but as part of the Target Beauty Box they can be yours for just 7. Try them, tote them, take them with you were sure youll love them as much as we do. Find out more about these products and others like them at Target.com/TheLatest.Beauty Box Includes: Elnett Extra Strong Hold Hairspray (2.2 oz): A favorite of runway stylists, this massive-hold spray adds brilliant shine and brushes out in a flash, leaving hair with a clean, satin finish. Fekkai Professional Blowout Hair Refresher Dry Shampoo (1.7 oz): Revive your blowout instantly with an airy mist that absorbs dirt and oil leaving hair clean, fresh and lively. Laneige BB Cushion Sample (Target Exclusive): Pat and press your way to perfect skin with revolutionary 5-in-1 cushion technology that brightens, protects, cools, covers and prevents shine. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil (.18 oz): Glide-on glam. A velvety blend of mineral oil and powder, this creamy pencil does double beauty duty as a radiant eyeshadow. LOr√©al Colour Riche Extraordinaire Lipstick (.18 fl oz): Knockout hues meet conditioning care in a gorgeous formula infused with precious micro-oils that intensify color, smooth lips and add shine. Colors will vary. Due to wanting to get you the best price, well pay to ship it to you, but please allow up to two weeks for delivery.

The price for this box is $7 + tax, coming out to $7.39 for me here in Wisconsin. This price includes shipping and handling. You do not need any code or to be a Target Reed Card holder to receive free shipping.

I’ve purchased one other Target Beauty Box in the past and for the price, I really liked it. For a minimal fee, I think you get a good variety of products to try out that are worth it. I mean, the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil alone is great (can’t guarantee the one you receive will be Milk like in the photo, but here’s hoping!), and there’s usually a coupon for your next Target beauty purchase.

If you want to snag yours, click the link. Hurry and get yours while supplies last!

Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful! xx

The Wayne Goss Method + Happy Easter!

Hello everyone! Let me start off by wishing those who celebrate this holiday a Happy and Blessed Easter to you and yours. If you don’t celebrate, that’s okay, just remember that all the candy goes on sale tomorrow so treat yoself!

If you’re yet unfamiliar with what I mean by the “Wayne Goss Method”, quick check out the video below:

The beauties of MakeupAddiction (and I’m sure other beauty subreddits) have been going nuts over this for the past few weeks, and I decided to give it a shot.

It’s a Saturday morning and I’m going into work yayyyyy

Products used:
– Mosturizer: Whatever Target’s version of Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Mosturizer is because I’m cheap
– Primer: Monistat Chafing Relief Powder -Gel*
– Powder: NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder
– Foundation: Urban Decay Naked Skin Shade 3.5
– Concealer: Neutrogena Skinclearing Blemish Concealer in shade Buff (09)
– Mascara: Revlon Lash Potion
*Before you get weirded out that I’m using a Monistat product on my skin, first, IT’S NOT A VAGINA CREAM (even though it’s in the vag care aisle). It’s meant for the inner thigh and bikini area, for chafing, just like it says in the name. Second, it’s been thrown out there as a dupe for Smashbox Photo Finish Primer because the ingredients between the two are almost identical. I’ve never used Smashbox but I was willing to give this a shot because I’m playing around with primers. You may continue.

This is how I started off the day. Had to go into work to help someone feed their cells. Not the best quality photo since it’s the front-facing camera on my phone but I was pretty happy with the results overall. You’ll be able to tell in a photo I post at the end of this that I have some blemishes on my forehead and cheeks. You barely notice them here. I’m still dealing with dry skin recovery from this brutal winter so my foundation isn’t always perfect and I’m struggling with that, but whatever, this looked pretty damn good in comparison to the usual.

A few hours later…

More products:
– Eyeliner: NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker in Carbon Black
– Blush: NARS Orgasm
– Bronzer: NARS Laguna
– Brows: Wet n’ Wild Color Icon brow pencil in Taupe & Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Blonde
– Lips: NYX Butter Lipstick in… Fireball? I think this was Fireball, not Hot Tamale. Still NYX regardless. And then Urban Decay Naked Lipgloss in Streak on top.

I worked for three hours, got lunch at Culver’s with the coworker I helped out, then went to the mall when my dad called me asking hey, want me to bring you home for Easter then take you back tomorrow? The man can’t stand not having his little girl home for the holidays. In total, I was gone for about 5 1/2 hours before I got home and added on all the other stuff. So this photo was taken approximately 7 hours after initial foundation application.

Hey sexy

Ohhh dem brows. Dat wing.

A moment to appreciate my stupid, oily hooded lids

The brows are still a work in progress, ladies and gents. Give them time.

You can probably notice in the eye closeup photos the lovely areas of dry skin I have. And the freaking patches of blonde-white hairs I have all over my face. Overall, though, I’m still pretty satisfied with how my foundation has held up, and my skin still feels nice and not oily, other than my eyelids which I didn’t put anything on since I opted against eyeshadow. (For reference, I have normal to dry skin, with maybe some oilyness in my T-zone. I swept on a little extra powder in that area after putting on foundation just in case.)

And then I went on a motorcycle ride.

Post-dinner, it-was-a-freaking-frigid-ride face.

Post-dinner, it-was-a-freaking-frigid-ride face.

Again, I apologize for the horrible front-facing camera photo. There was no natural light left outside and I was too freaking cold to care. Wind sucks.

Anyway, obviously the lipstick has faded off which I totally expected it to, but even after my face was battered by the wind for over an hour and a half, things look not all that bad. The foundation did look a little patchy upon closer mirror inspection, but seriously, I was whipped in the face by the wind for almost two hours, what do you expect?

I’m a pretty big fan of this method of application if I’m looking for my makeup to last extended periods of time, albeit through less-extreme conditions. If you haven’t tried it yet, definitely give it a go. I’m looking forward to testing this out more myself.

"That is some really bright lipstick." THAT WAS THE POINT, MOM.

“That is some really bright lipstick.” THAT WAS THE POINT, MOM.

And finally, for your viewing pleasure, a nice pre-church selfie featuring Revlon Lash Potion mascara, Covergirl Clean Pressed Powder in Buff Beige, and NYX Butter Lipstick in Little Susie for some festive color. Since we were on the motorcycle, I had a to pack a small bag to take home with me, so I only brought a couple products back to use. I cared 0% about impressing anyone at church anyway.

My hair also sucks because I showered the night before and then slept on slightly damp hair. Again, 0% caring. Deal with it.

I did a little mini Ulta haul on Saturday since they were doing 40% off some drugtstore brands that included Revlon and Maybelline, so those products may be introduced soon. I also picked up the¬†Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge¬†which I’ve been dying to try! I currently use their Expert Face Brush¬†as well as a Beautyblender¬†for applying my foundation. I’ve heard the RT Sponge is as good if not better than the Beautyblender, so I’m super excited to give it a go.

I’m probably going to wait a bit before posting anything. I just ordered a new makeup mirror that will hopefully make practice much easier (I’m currently doing stuff in my bathroom, which works but isn’t the most practical) so I’ll probably wait until that arrives in the mail to do anything. I’m also participating in the Crazylegs Classic 8K¬†next Saturday so this week is all about making sure I’m prepped and ready for that. I’ve only really gotten into running in these past six or seven months so this’ll be my first race and I’m super excited!

Now if you excuse me, there are some chocolate bunnies calling my name.

Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful!

So… Where do we start?

Photo from nyxcosmetics.com

Today I received the email for NYX’s Bakeoff Promotion¬†for their Baked and Butter products.¬†Yes, I thought,¬†this is exactly the sign that I was looking for to finally start my blog!

Just kidding. I had already decided on this blog before even seeing that email.

Regardless, I did take it as the perfect sign for the kind of blog that I’ll be creating here. A quick background about myself: I am a 23-year-old graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BS in Genetics and Spanish currently working in a laboratory in my college town. Other than the mass of bills and loan payments I’ve begun drowning in¬†suddenly had to keep track of, what I’ve discovered about this new transition into post-school life is I have a lot of free time. Like, more than I know what to do with, actually. So I’ve been searching for other activities to occupy my time other than constant Netflix binges (she says as she marathons¬†Archer while writing this). My boyfriend suggested that I finally go about creating all those Pinterest recipes that I have saved and review the cooking/baking experience on a blog.

I contemplated this for a long time. In the meantime, I was introduced to /r/makeupaddiction¬†and it was all downhill from there.. for my wallet. For me, though, I fell in love with the community and makeup in general. I never did much more than mascara and maybe some eyeliner on occasion, but suddenly I found myself yearning to replicate the artistry I saw in front of me. These beauties were incredible and I wanted to be like them. Since beginning to lurk there back in late January/early February, I have amassed quite the collection of cosmetics that sadly sit there most days. I wake up at 5:30am every day to make a 6:30am bus for my job that starts at 7am, and even if I did forsake more sleep¬†and get my butt out of bed right away, I’m a laboratory technician, I don’t have the ideal job for a full face of makeup.

Wanting to actually use these products outside of weekends, I figured the best way would be to create something that would force me to spend more nights out of my week playing around with makeup for a purpose, and a blog seemed like the right answer. But I still liked my boyfriend’s suggestion about creating the food blog, however I didn’t want to have two new blogs plus my personal blog. Then I thought, why not do both in the same place? No matter which medium, I’ll be creating something that I want to showcase, and recipes are just like makeup tutorials, right? Sort of? Pretty close?

And that is how Palates and Palettes was born. (Hehe, get it? Like, the palate of your mouth, and then makeup palettes? I am so witty, you guys)

It’s going to be weird since I’ll be catering (no pun intended) to two different kinds of audiences for the most part. Some of you will be here for makeup, some for cooking. My hope is that it won’t get in the way of your enjoyment of this blog and that perhaps you can appreciate both sides even if you’re partial to one! Heck, maybe I can even create some food-inspired looks based on what I’m cooking. Products like Too Faced’s Chocolate Bar do exist, after all, so food and makeup totally go together!

This is going to be an experiment in many ways, from combining both hobbies into one blog to actually creating food and makeup looks on a regular basis when I’m still quite new to doing both seriously. But I’m a scientist, my whole life is about experiments. And damn it all if I don’t have fun doing it.

So here we go. It’s time to begin the wild ride. I don’t yet know quite what my schedule will look like for posting to this blog, I’ll figure that out as I go online. Both of these hobbies will not only be a time investment but a financial one as well, so it’s inevitable that things may get hindered at points due to money, but as of this moment, I’m in it and I can’t get out.

Until next time!

This post has been brought to you by tea, post-workout grunge, power brows¬†and NYX’s Hunk Butter Lipstick.