Sunday, January 15, 2012

{Haul} Miscellaneous

So this final haul is just a mix of things I got before and during my NYC trip. I stopped by an outlet, TJ Maxx, the dollar store, and Ocean State Job Lot.

1. Tommy Hilfiger

While in NY, I made my way into New Jersey to see some family and stopped by the Tommy Hilfiger outlet looking for some good deals on clothes. Instead, I ended up getting a couple of makeup bags on sale. They were around $11 each and are nice and sturdy and roomy. I've been using one from Sonia Kashuk I got for free in a Target Beauty is my Bag Sampler (reviewed here), but it's just a tad too small. I really hate it when I've got makeup rolling around in my bag cause I'm afraid it's going to crack/burst and ruin it. These bags are a good size, large enough to fit my touch up makeup and even my Vaseline and hand lotion.

And how pretty is the pattern and logo?

I've got my Vaseline in there, makeup, hand cream, etc, and there is still a lot of room!!

2. TJ Maxx

The TJ Maxx I went to was also in New Jersey. I've gotta say, they had some awesome stuff there. I saw a lot more stuff on sale than at the one near where I live. I got the Arnaud Micellar Beauty Water for $9.99. I've been wanting to try a micellar water for a while now, but all of the ones I've seen are upwards of $30. This one is much cheaper and I absolutely love the dispenser. It's like the ones at Sephora where you just push down on the top and the product is dispensed right onto the cotton pad. The second thing I got was the Ultraceuticals Revitalising Body Treatment Oil. It was on clearance for only $3 so I got it to try in my hair, even though it is technically a body product. I had read some reviews online and several people said it works great as a treatment oil for dry hair. Definitely looking forward to giving it a try. And at $3 a total steal!

3. Ocean State Job Lot

Can I just say that if you've never been to an Ocean State Job Lot, you have not lived yet. Not kidding. You never know what kind of goodies pop up there and the prices can't be beat. I found a brush roll from Posh that comes with 5 brushes and a brush cleaner for only $3.99!

It includes a concealer brush, large shadow brush (similar to MAC's 227), brow/lash comb, large foundation brush, and what I was most excited about, a small powder brush that is very very soft. I've yet to test the brush cleaner or the other brushes in depth, but I can already say that I'm absolutely in love with the powder brush!

4-5. Amazon and the Dollar Store

I picked up the Sea Breeze Astringent online. I'd read a lot of good things about this astringent online, how it helps get rid of acne without drying out the skin too bad and decided to try it out.

If you look at the ingredients label you'll notice that it contains alcohol. Honestly, I know a lot of people steer clear of toners that contain alcohol, but honestly I've never had that big of an issue with them. I've been using this for almost two weeks at night after cleansing and my skin feels great. Not dry, thanks to all of the oils in the astringent, but clear and fresh.

I also stopped by the dollar store in the mall and picked up some more cotton pads because I'm running low (or was before I stocked up on the big ones in NY lol). I really love the ones this dollar store carries. They are square, but very thick and plush. They hold up really well when removing nail polish. I know this seems like such a trivial thing, cotton pads, but a good one at this low a price ($1 for 100) is hard to find. This is my second time buying these. I stopped by the store on Black Friday and I saw women buying ten packs at a time! I guess I'm not the only one who loves these. Definitely gonna buy them as long as the store stocks them.

This is it for hauls! Reviews coming soon!

{Haul} CCO

This stuff I actually hauled before I left for NYC. I had visited a CCO at an outlet mall. I don't go there often because it is more than an hour away from where I live, but I needed a few key things and really didn't mind the drive for the savings. And I only got three things, so barely a haul anyway haha!

The first thing I got is something I actually need, which is a new bronzer. I finally finished my Calvin Klein Summer Affair bronzer and was looking for a good replacement. I wanted something with a bit more shimmer this time as well. I picked up MAC's Bronzing Powder in Refined Deeper Bronze. It is a very dark bronzer, but I'm really just going to use it with a very light hand just under the cheek to bring some color into my face. I've also used it a couple of times as a shadow, just with some black liner and mascara and it really looks stunning! It brings out my blue eyes so well! And it was only $16.50, which is a good price for MAC. They did have some lighter shades of bronzer from MAC, but they were from the Surf, Baby! collection and honestly, the packaging really put me off.

The next thing I got I didn't really need, but I really really wanted! This is the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Shadow Creme in 26, Midnight Kohl. It's a black cream shadow, similar to MAC's Paint Pots, that is shot through with silver and gold shimmer. It is sooo pretty! I didn't get it to use as a shadow, but rather as a liner. I find that darker cream shadows are easier to smudge and get a smoky line with than the actual gel liners, which can look a bit harsh on my fair skin. I've just been loving this one! Can't wait to review it for you guys! And it was $12.25, by the way.

The last thing I got really was a three in one kind of product. It's a travel exclusive from Estee Lauder, two of their MagnaScopic Maximum Volume mascaras and one lash primer sample. I got these three items for $29.99, a great deal! I haven't tried them yet, but I've heard great things about the MagnaScopic mascara. I'm not gonna review them for a while as I'm still working on finishing my Sephora Atomic Volume mascara.

One more little miscellaneous haul to come and then onto reviews!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

{Haul} The Face Shop

Another haul! This one from The Face Shop. I've wanted to try some of their products for a long long time, but as they are a Korean brand, getting your hands on it in the US is difficult, especially since although they have a US website, they don't actually sell their products online. You can find some of them on eBay, but not all of them, and not at as low a price. I finally stopped by the shop in NYC and got a few goodies!

The first thing I got was the Oil Specialist Fresh Cleansing Oil with Cherry Blossom. That's actually what I mainly wanted to try out, a cleansing oil. I've wanted to try the Shu Umeura ones or the one from MAC or Josie Maran, but they just cost so much money, with the Shu ones being over $50. This one was only $20. I had actually intended to purchase a the cleansing oil from their brightening rice line, but I liked that although this one costs $5 more it had more in it and the packaging looked nicer in my opinion.

I'd tell you a bit about the active ingredients, but I can't read Korean lol!

I've also been hearing a lot about their masks so I piked up a hyaluronic acid one for $1.50, just to test out. And I picked up a pack of 8 plain masks to use with stuff I've already got at home. It cost me $2 for 8, so not bad at all.

And finally, I got another item I've been hearing a lot about. This is the White Mud Nose Pack, basically you put it anywhere you get black heads, it hardens, and you pull it (and the black heads) off.

I don't have too bad of a problem with black heads, but I figured I'd give the ones on my nose a try to see how it works. I've used the Biore ones before, but never got the results that people post online. And this one is cheaper too, only $6.

They were definitely generous with samples too! Can't wait to try the BB cream. Never tried them before!

And I signed up for a reward card, which gives me if I remember correctly, 5% of my current purchase credit towards my next purchase. It was just over a buck, but every little bit helps, right?

The total haul:

Total spent: $31. Definitely got my moneys worth! Another mini haul coming soon!

If you're interested in stopping by The Face Shop in NYC, here's the address:

35 W 32nd St #2
New York, NY 10001-3230

It's right next to a book store. I read some reviews online and people complained that the staff isn't friendly with non Koreans. I did not find that to be an issue at all. The women were very nice, answered any questions I had and were more than helpful! Don't let that stop you from going! Definitely a good experience!

{Haul} Cosmetic Market (NYC)

Hi everyone! I'm been on vaca in NYC these past few days and I did a bit of shopping. One of the places I stopped by was the Cosmetic Market. Prior to leaving, I'd scouted a few places that I wanted to check out, places that I can't at home. One of these places was this Cosmetic Market. If you are unfamiliar, it's like a discount makeup and skincare store. They had a mix of products from the drugstore to the high end, ranging from discontinued items to samples (those little GWP ones) to overstock inventory. I was really surprised by the selection they had. I saw Shiseido, StriVectin, and Borghese skincare for well under half price. They had almost the entire line of Borghese there, with most of it under $10. Makeup wise they had more drugstore than high end, but still a lot of high end. I saw a lot of the discontinued Calvin Klein line, straight from Sephora. Prices ranged from $8.99 for single shadows to around $13.99 for foundation, both liquid and pan cake. They had a lot of Lip Fusion plumpers for $10, when they are usually almost $40. All in all, I was very happy with what I found, even a few mac products.

That being said, I do feel I need to warn you about some of the cons with this place as well. For one, given that a lot of these products are discontinued, checking expiration dates is a must!! Even if not expired, I would be very careful buying things like hair removal creams and anti-wrinkle products because you simply cannot know if they are still good unless you call the company with the lot number on the box. Also, they do have perfumes, but again I would be careful. They range from around $30 to $50, but the fact that some of them are unboxed made me nervous. Also, they do have testers for most of the products, but I wouldn't put hem anywhere near your face. They are gross. Finally, if you see something you like, get it in bulk now because you're probably not gonna see it there again as their stock varies.

My greatest complaint however, is not with the products, but how they sell them. They must have a huge theft problem because everything is taped up ridiculously and tagged with those security stickers. Example: I bought a fusion lipgloss and both ends of the box were taped shut and there was a security sticker on the outside of the box. I opened the box, and there was a second security sticker around the gloss itself, connecting the applicator wand to the tube. Now, I'm happy that I have a guarantee no one has used or swatched that product (a big concern I have with TJ Maxx and Marshalls), but that sucker took me a good half hour to rub off. I mean, that thing would not come off. It seemed a bit over the top to me. Not that big of a deal for me because I saved a lot of money, but it may really tick off a lot of people.

Before I show you what I got, let me give you the numbers. Not counting tax I payed around $69. The retail value of what I got is around $275, meaning I saved around $206!!!

If you are interested, here is the address of the place in NYC:

The first thing I got was a bunch of these large cotton pads for makeup/nail polish removal. I got these for $1.49 each, when in Target a similar product would cost me around $4, so I stocked up and got 4.

They are very soft, very thick and heavy duty. One side is smooth and one side has these ridges on it. I used one last night, took off all my face makeup and still had room left over on the pad.

I was probably most excited to see Stila products there!!! They had three different foundations, two powder types, and most of their lip glosses, plumpers, liners, stains etc. Also saw some of their eye kohl liners and some of there shadow liner smudger trios. They also had just about all of their single pan shadows ranging from $2.99 to $3.99! I got 3 of these powders because they are my favorite!!!

The Sheer Pressed Powder from Stila is just so smooth and fine it gives me a very natural flawless look. Mattifies very well, and almost never looks cakey. I was so happy I found it because I haven't purchased it in a while because it's just gotten too expensive.

It comes with a puff, but I throw it out and uses a brush.

I got three of these at $6.99 each, much less than what I've paid at the drugstore for Revlon powders and definitely less than the $28 retail.

I got two cans of Stila One Step makeup. I had gotten a sample at Sephora when it first came out and really loved it. It gives me a very good medium coverage, but looks so natural you can't really tell I'm wearing makeup. It feels very light, almost like a mousse texture, but also has a silicone feel which, given I have oily skin, I actually really like. This foundation I'm pretty sure has been discontinued in the past year I think.

I got it for $5.99, but it's worth $44!! I was so happy because at the drugstore I rarely pay less than $10 for foundation.

I also got the Stila Plumping Lip Glaze in Cherry Mint. It's a thick lip plumper that is very very shiny and cool feeling on the lips. They had the entire line. I already own one (can't remember the name) and love it!

I got it for $5.99, while they usually sell for around $24.

The thing I was next most excited about was the Lip Fusion gloss I got. I got the shade Fresh (which was actually on sale at Sephora a few months ago). They had around 15 different shades to choose from, several of them from a limited edition collection. I've been wanting to try these cause I've heard good things about them, but I just could not justify spending so much on one gloss.

These plumpers retail for $38 each, and I got mine for $10!!!

Finally picked up a few drugstore items. Savings on these weren't as high, but still under retail. I was most exited about the Ponds makeup remover. Got it for $4.99, retail is $8.99. The Biore Cooling Eye Gel was $5.99. I got it cause I'm almost done with my current eye cream. Finally, got a pair of Revlon Platinum Tweezers for $2.99, when they are around $8-$10 at the drugstore.

The entire haul:

Phew that was a long one. Anyway, I've got two more hauls coming, so stay tuned!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Review: MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork

This review is for something that I'm absolutely in love with! The Groundwork Paint Pot from MAC. This is a permanent product that was repromoted with the Pret-a-Papier collection a while back. I had bought Coral Crepe because it was limited edition, but kept kicking myself cause this color is one I would get more wear out of, as it is a neutral. I ended up going back a few months ago and finally getting it. I did go back and forth between Groundwork and Constructivist, but ended up picking Groundwork because for me it's the more versatile choice. And I love it!

MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork

Groundwork is described on MAC's website as a "mid-tone neutral taupe" that has a satin finish. That's pretty much it. I know a lot of people prefer Painterly for their neutral base, but think that this color does a bit better job if you're going to be working with browns, unless of course you are very very pale. I'm NC15-20, and this color works well for me. On me it shows up slightly darker than my skin tone, but on someone who is deeper than 30 in MAC, this may look a lot more natural than Painterly or Ochre, which may look too ashy or yellow.

MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork

It looks a bit dark in the pot, but it really does go on a lot lighter. And if you open the full size pic you can see quite a bit of very fine shimmer as well, but it doesn't translate when you actually use it, which you can see on the swatch below. It looks matte, but not dry like Painterly sometimes makes the skin around my eyes look. It just catches the light a bit, which I really like.

A swatch:
MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork

I love this color. Not because it's a new unique shade, but rather because it is very functional. I can use this with just about any look and it simplifies my daily makeup. When I do a neutral eye all I have to do is use this color, a deeper shade along the lash line and in the crease, some mascara and I'm done. Very quick, simple, and easy, and I don't have to worry all day about my eye makeup going anywhere. This stuff doesn't budge.

As a primer, this shadow works very well. I use it under club makeup going out and by the end of the night, my eyeshadows looks neat and fresh. I have very oily eyelids, so eyeshadow sans primer doesn't work for me, even just day to day. This stuff grips and shadow and keeps it there till you take it off with a makeup remover. That being said, when applying you have to work quick. I do one eye at a time because if I wait to blend the shadow will have already set and then getting the edges to soften is next to impossible. Also, sometimes blending shadows over primers like UDPP can be difficult, but I found no such problem with this shadow. Anything I apply over does not look patchy at all.

My only complaint with the actual product is drying. I've never used a cream shadow that didn't start drying in the pot from first use, but it's still disappointing. I've been using it for several months and I can sense a slight change in the formula. It's not as creamy as it first was, and it's starting to separate from the glass. Not a big deal now, but I think a year from now I might not feel the same. In addition, the price when up a full dollar. These used to be $16.50, they are now $17.50. It's still cheaper than cream shadows from Estee Lauder or Shiseido, but now that drugstore brands are finally starting to sell decent cream shadows (Maybelline has their Tattoo shadows--so exited to try them!!) I'm not sure how much longer I'll keep buying them from high end brands. Other than that the shade is great, very versatile and lasting, and I highly recommend, especially if you have deeper skin and find Painterly too light for a base!


Price: $17.50

Ingredients: Isodocecane, dimethicone, polyethylene, hydrogenated polyisobutene, quaternium-90 bentonite, dimethicone silylate, octyldodecanol, silica, trihydroxystearin, retinyl palmitate, tocopheryl acetate, lecithin, carnauba wax, propylene carbonate, triethoxycaprylylsilane. May contain: mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, bismuth oxychloride, blue 1 lake, carmine, chromium hydroxide green, chromium oxide greens ferric ferroxyanide, manganese violet, ultramarines, yellow 5 lake

I'm Back :)

Hi everyone! Sorry for abandoning the blog for pretty much all of fall, but last semester was absolutely brutal. I just could not find the time, working and studying as much as I have been. I'm gonna blog everyday for the rest of my break and then about once or twice a week after that during the spring semester. I would love to do more, but I just honestly don't think I will have the time. Thanks to everyone who has been checking the blog out while I've been on hiatus. I'll try to respond to all of your comments as soon as possible! I hope all of you had an awesome holiday break and I wish you all the best of luck in 2012!!