Friday, December 6, 2013

An awesome Target find: NYX Eyes set!

I've had my eye on the NYX Love in Paris eyeshadow palettes for a few weeks now, which normally retail for $9.99 each. I missed an Ulta sale, so I decided to wait for a good deal.

And what did I find one night, while hunting for vegan food at Target?
An awesome NYX set, with the palette I was after included!

This NYX set includes two long eye pencils (black and brown), a Boudoir mascara, and one of two eyeshadow palettes (the one that I got was Madeleines and Macaroons, but you can also get Je Ne Sais Quoi) for a total of $9.99.

Yup. That's the same price as if you were to buy the palette by itself. I wanted the palette anyway, so hey, why not give some of their other products a try at the same time?

(This was located at the end of the aisle in a display with a few other NYX lip sets in nude and pink)

I'm waiting to try the mascara, but I've swatched/used the other products in the kit. The eyeshadows are very pigmented; the lightest shade and the pink shade are both matte; it looks as though there are only three shimmer shades (the top left two and the very middle shade). I tried the liners, and while they're pigmented, I find it hard to use them on the eyes as they're quite hard and pull the eyelid. I guess you might need to try the hit-with-a-blowdryer-for-a-few-seconds trick with these ones.

The other palette you could get in this set (but they didn't have at my Target) was the Je Ne Sais Quoi palette. I purchased this one from Ulta at full price (no other items included)

The only matte shades in the Je Ne Sais Quoi palette are a chocolate brown and a charcoal black. These are also very pigmented.

Swatches will be coming soon, but I figured I'd let you know now so you could snag one at your local Target before the holiday frenzy happens! :) All products are full sized, and NYX is a cruelty free company!

What's your favorite product by NYX? Any recommendations? Let me know in the comments below :)

Another LUSH Christmas haul!

A few weeks ago I visited the LUSH store in search of the new limited edition lip scrub (Santa's lip scrub). While they had practically everything else from the Christmas collection, they were sold out of this. So to the internet I went!

I picked up a Santa's lip scrub, along with another Mint Julips scrub (a gift for someone, since I love it so much!)

Mint Julips is vegan, while Santa's lip scrub is classified as non-vegan. If you take a look at the ingredients list, it doesn't have any non-vegan ingredients on it. According to the Q&A section, it's listed as non-vegan due to the coconut milk powder being manufactured in a facility that also works with milk products (hence, better to say no than get complaints).

Santa's lip scrub is an edible red sugar scrub that smells of cola and cherries.

I've included some pictures of the scrub; there are little red (edible!) hearts on top of the scrub.

And then I got an awesome product.
I had gotten an email about one of their LUSH talks and just passed it off as being a theory product, but not an actual product.

And I'm so glad that I went online for that lip scrub, or I wouldn't have known that it was true. It's...

Yup. That's right, you heard me.
It's a snowcake scented perfume.
That delicious, sweet almond marzipan smell that you get in a soap every year and cherish until the last lather is now in a perfume form.

I immediately spritzed this when I got it, and I can say that it smells exactly like Snowcake soap. It has a good lasting power as well. It's also suitable for vegans! :)

So what are you waiting for? GO GET SOME OF THIS DELICIOUS STUFF.

Snowcake perfume is an online only, limited edition product.

And I absolutely love it <3

Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab system (...failure)

If you're a fan of nail polish, you're probably familiar with Deborah Lippmann's polishes and treatments. She's known for having some of the best, most unique glitters out there. I have tried some of her polishes previously (see this post).

I was in the market for a new base and top coat as the ones I had were simply not doing their job anymore. I saw this kit at nordstrom, accompanied by a little slip of paper that claimed there was a gift with purchase.

The Gel Lab base and top coat kit, $45

The polish that was the gift with purchase was "I kissed a girl", mini sized

This topcoat and basecoat system claims to give gel-like results with healthier consequences for your nails. For those of you who have not had gel manicures, it basically seals the polish to your nails so that you have to remove it with abrasives (scraping the nail and soaking in pure acetone for several minutes). This process is also expensive, but lasts a few weeks with superior shine, no smudges, and no chips. Gel nails are slightly more expensive than regular manicures, and take slightly more time to have done.

When I saw this claim for "gel-like" results, I decided to give this set a try. It boasts that the topcoat dries with "ultra quick" time.

I applied the basecoat to freshly cleaned nails, waited, applied a coat of Butter London's Cake-Hole, waited, applied another, and waited again. I then applied the topcoat from the set. As you can see in the picture above, the immediate results are quite good; very shiny.

The bad news, however, is that this system does NOT dry quickly. I gave it an hour or so to dry, and this substantial smudge above appeared when I washed my hands. I was definitely not impressed, given that this system is $45. A gel mani certainly would not smudge after this amount of time.

And it wasn't only that nail that smudged. The same thing happened to my other nail on my right hand shortly after. 

To me, dry time is a very important quality of a topcoat and basecoat system. If I can't have a durable manicure an hour after I do my nails, then it's pointless to do them in the first place. I absolutely loathe smudges and have to redo my nails with smudges this bad. For a $45 dollar system, this is unacceptable, especially when you take the time to follow the directions and let everything dry in between coats. 

The Deborah Lippman Gel lab system was a failure for me. It'll be heading back to Nordstrom as soon as I get the chance.

What's your favorite top and basecoat? Do you think gel nails are worth it?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Basin gift haul

Basin is a bath and body care store similar to LUSH, but with different categories of scents. They are cruelty-free and do not test their products on animals, but vegans should note that not all of their products are vegan-friendly. Currently there are four stores: two in Orlando at Disneyworld and two in Las Vegas. My mom was kind enough to bring me home a little gift from her travels in Orlando, and here it is! :)

This is a Basin haircare barrel. It retails for $25 and contains 4 haircare products that you choose yourself.

The first product in the barrel is the "Hair Nut" shampoo bar. It contains almond oil for moisturizing your locks and is scented of coconut and almonds :)

The second product is the "Scalp Soother" shampoo bar. This contains coconut oil and cocoa butter for soothing irritated scalps. It is scented with pineapple, so those sensitive to fragrance should be aware. 

The last two products in the barrel were the matching conditioner bars: "Hair Nut" and "Scalp Soother". These have coconut oil, cocoa butter, olive oil, and other oils for moisturizing your locks. 

My mom also picked up some almond soaps for me, as it's my favorite scent type (I'm looking at you, Snowcake by LUSH!). She picked up this almond honey bar that smells delicious and just like almond! :)

They also had this "Almond Delight" bar that smells just like marzipan (a mixture of sugar and almond paste). This is an oil based soap with ground almonds.

I never knew that this brand existed until my mom brought me some goodies! I wish there was one nearby, as she says that it's "just like LUSH, but with more variety of scents". Having multiple almond-scented products really seals the deal for me! :) I'm excited to try these out, and hopefully my sensitive scalp will agree with the haircare products. 

Have you heard of Basin? Check them out here!

Sugarpill Eyeshadow in "Tako" review

Sugarpill cosmetics is a cruelty-free brand that is known for their pigmented eyeshadows and loose pigments. I had a $10 voucher from signing up for Luvocracy that was about to expire, so I went ahead and ordered one of their pressed eyeshadows in the color "Tako" ($12).

Tako is a pure white shadow that also happens to be vegan (it'll say so on the box/their website). It's not as pigmented as I was expecting, but it does build up to a nice white wash. I'm very fair so this shade actually helps me build lighter colors more accurately. I apply a wash of Tako all over the lid and then apply my desired shadows on top of it; because I'm so fair, most shades that are "light" on other people just blend into my skin tone, but with Tako they can show up as they do in the pan on my skin. I also like to blend a little of Tako into the brow bone and right at the inner corner of the eyes as a matte highlight.

Overall, I was expecting Tako to be a bit more pigmented, but it serves its purpose of being a white shade for layering color on. You can find it online at Sugarpill Cosmetics :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Glossybox November Unboxing

So this is my second month out of 3 for Glossybox. It's a makeup/skincare subscription service that sends you a few goodies a month for $20. I was disappointed with the inclusion of brands that test on animals last time so let's see how they did this time :)

1st item: Nicka K eyeshadow brush.
Made of pony hair. Because I'm vegan, this is going straight to my mom. Do not want. The brand, however, does not test their makeup products on animals :)

2nd product: Mastey Paris Color Protecting Leave-in Oil Treatment 
This product is vegan and there isn't any animal testing! Score!

3rd product: Emite Makeup eyeshadow in Dams
This brand is cruelty free! Swatch below.

4th product: The Aloe Source Jojoba Radiance Cleansing Polish
This cleansing polish is cruelty free! :)

Last product: Jelly Pong Pong 2-In-1 Eyeliner and Shadow stick in Plum
Jelly Pong Pong is cruelty free! No animal testing :)

A swatch of the plum liner next to Emite's DAMS.
The liner is surprisingly creamy for being a wooden pencil.

All the brands were cruelty free this time around (no animal testing!). It was kind of a disappointment to get a pony hair brush, but I guess the normal audience of this subscription wouldn't mind it. I'll be giving the brush to my mom, but the rest I'm okay with using :)

What do you think? Would you get this subscription?