Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 2013 Favorites

September Favorites video is up now!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What's the Deal: Breaking Down the Value of Tarte's Holiday 2013 Gift Sets

This month, tarte released their Holiday Gift Sets in a collection called The Tarte of Giving. Most of these sets contain a LOT of makeup, which had me wondering, just what exactly is the value of these sets?

I did the math for you!

(All prices are calculated using the price of a full size item and scaling it down to the size you are given in the set. Also, this post does not include the sets with the eyeshadow or blush palettes.)

#1: Thoughtful Treasures Best-Sellers Set

"A limited-edition, deluxe-sized collection of tarte’s best-selling favorites.
The limited-edition set features: 
• deluxe maracuja oil
• deluxe Amazonian clay 12-hour blush in limited edition thankful (golden pink)
• deluxe LipSurgence™ skintuitive lip tint in energy"

Deluxe blush - $6.89
Deluxe Maracuja oil - $6.40
Deluxe LipSurgence - $14.40

Total value: $27.78
Actual price: $19

You save $8.78.

#2: Leave Her Blushing - Set of 3 Deluxe Amazonian Clay Blushes & Blush Brush

"Get cheeky this season with a dashing wardrobe of three limited-edition deluxe Amazonian clay 12-hour blushes and a supremely soft blush brush.
Includes 3 deluxe Amazonian clay 12-hour blushes in this season’s hottest new limited-edition shades: 
  • honored, a nude rose shade
  • imagined, a candy pink shade
  • treasured, a melon shade
  • blush brush"
Deluxe blush - $6.89
Deluxe blush - $6.89
Deluxe blush - $6.89
Full-size blush brush - $28

Total value: $48.67
Actual price: $34

You save $14.67.

#3: Pure Delights 8-Piece LipSurgence Set

"A limited-edition 8-piece deluxe LipSurgence™ lip set.
Includes 8 deluxe LipSurgences™ in this season’s hottest new shades:

• 4 LipSurgence™ matte lip tints: glee (watermelon), cheerful (coral), destined (raspberry), generous (pinkish nude)
• 4 LipSurgence™ lip tints: believe (warm pink), grateful (nude), lovely (mauve pink), enamored (cool red)"

Deluxe LipSurgence - $14.40
Deluxe LipSurgence - $14.40
Deluxe LipSurgence - $14.40
Deluxe LipSurgence - $14.40
Deluxe LipSurgence - $14.40
Deluxe LipSurgence - $14.40
Deluxe LipSurgence - $14.40
Deluxe LipSurgence - $14.40

Total value: $115.20
Actual price: $34

You save $81.20.

#4: Rare Gem Limited Edition Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler

"A limited-edition, rhinestone picture perfect™ eyelash curler  with a deluxe lights, camera, lashes™ 4-in-1 mascara.
The limited-edition set features:
• rhinestone picture perfect™ eyelash curler
• deluxe lights, camera, lashes™ 4-in-1 mascara"

Deluxe mascara - $7.92
Eyelash curler - $8.08?

*This one was tricky, because the only other place they sell an eyelash curler is in a set with mascara like this one, so I estimated. Total value is the cost of the non-bedazzled curler.

Total value: $16
Actual cost: $19

You save $-3.00.

#5: The Best For Lash 4-Piece Deluxe Eye Set

"A limited-edition, travel-friendly eye and lash set.
This limited-edition set features:
  • deluxe multiplEYE™ lash enhancing primer
  • deluxe lights, camera, lashes™ 4-in-1 mascara
  • deluxe lights, camera, flashes™ statement mascara
  • deluxe lights, camera, lashes™ waterproof 12-hr inner rim liner"

Deluxe mascara - $12.67
Deluxe mascara - $12.67
Deluxe eyeliner - $0.45
Deluxe lash primer - $9.63

Total value: $35.42
Actual cost: $25

You save $10.42.

#6: Brushed By Beauty 5-Piece Brush Collection

"Brush your way to flawless beauty with tarte’s exclusive 5 piece bamboo brush set and travel-friendly makeup bag.
Includes 5 supremely soft brushes inside a purple makeup bag:
  • bamboo cream shadow brush
  • undercover lover™ bamboo concealer brush
  • the buffer™ airbrush finish bamboo foundation brush
  • double-ended bamboo blush & highlighter brush
  • double-ended bamboo eyeliner & shadow brush
  • purple makeup bag"
*This one is all estimated. Tarte does not sell brushes like these, so I had to estimate with the closest thing they sold for each brush. I believe each brush is full sized.

The Buffer Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush - $32
Double-Ended Bamboo Blush & Highlighter Brush - $36
Undercover Lover Bamboo Concealer Brush - $25
Bamboo Cream Shadow Brush - $25
Double-Ended Bamboo Eyeliner & Shadow Brush - $22

Total value: $115
Actual price: $59

You save $56.

#7: Stop & Stare SmolderEYES 6-Piece Liner & Lash Set

"A limited-edition liner & lash set featuring a variety of versatile liners and tarte’s latest mascara innovation, lights, camera, flashes™ statement mascara!
The limited-edition set includes:
• 3 full size skinny smolderEYES™ Amazonian clay waterproof liners: best-selling onyx, new purple garnet & azurite green.
• 2 full size smolderEYES™ Amazonian clay waterproof liners in new taupe & rose gold
• Deluxe lights, camera, flashes™ statement mascara"

Full Size Skinny SmolderEYES Liner - $19
Full Size Skinny SmolderEYES Liner - $19
Full Size Skinny SmolderEYES Liner - $19
Full Size SmolderEYES Liner - $22
Full Size SmolderEYES Liner - $22
Deluxe mascara - $12.67

Total value: $113.67
Actual price: $39

You save $74.67.

#7: Full Set

Total value: $471.74
Actual price: $229

You save $242.74.

So what should I get?

First, let's rank them by largest value:

#1: Full Set ($242.74 saved)
#2: Pure Delights 8-Piece LipSurgence Set ($81.20 saved)
#3: Stop & Stare SmolderEYES 6-Piece Liner & Lash Set ($74.67 saved)
#4: Brushed By Beauty 5-Piece Brush Collection ($56 saved)
#5: Leave Her Blushing - Set of 3 Deluxe Amazonian Clay Blushes & Blush Brush ($14.67 saved)
#6: Thoughtful Treasures Best-Sellers Set ($8.78 saved)
#4: Rare Gem Limited Edition Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler (-$3.00 saved)

The best values would have to be the full collection, the LipSurgence set, the liner & lash set, and the brushes. 

The blush set and the best-sellers are also good deals, but sub-par. 

The lash curler is pure fluff. You can get the same set with the deluxe mascara and purple lash curler for $16, which is $3 cheaper than the rhinestone'd curler. 

I just purchased the LipSurgence set myself! I've always balked at the price of a normal LipSurgence ($24 each). However, if you're like me, this is a perfect set if you've been wanting to try them out with a good amount of mattes and glosses.

You can purchase these all on Tarte's website, and a select few on Ulta or Sephora. Not sure if they're in stores yet. Get your Holiday 2013 goodies soon!

Till next time!

PS: Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty sale of the day is 50% off Anastasia Clear Brow Gel, so I suggest you pick that up right here! (I did!)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Review: Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

Yet again, Leesha of xsparkage has persuaded me to buy something!

Seriously though. This is a limited edition, all-matte eyeshadow palette from Sigma. I am in love. First, let's bask in this glorious packaging:

This little card comes inside listing the "flavors" of the macaron-inspired eyeshadows:

The back also displays the color names. The whole thing is made of a very sturdy cardboard with a top that lifts off, but stays secure.

These are sorted by what I guess would be color families. The top ones have pink tones, the next row is fall-ish (and then bright blue...), then purples, then teals. The shadows are a bit smaller than I thought they would be for the price - about the size of a bh Cosmetics eyeshadow, but it's not a problem to me. As one of my favorite bloggers, Brightest Bulb In the Box, says, "Using this eyeshadow palette has soul-lifting effects akin to nuzzling a kitten."

I feel you, man.


I have begun to use Scotch tape for precise lines and I put my swatches over Too Faced Shadow Insurance, seeing as I wouldn't wear these unprimed anyway.

Redberry Rose is described as "a vibrantly fresh hot pink." I'll have to compare this one to Sugarpill's Dollipop, but the two are very similar. This one is a bit more purple-toned. Nonetheless, this is definitely one of the Barbie colors of the Palette!

Apricot Flower is described as "a delicate whip of peach crisp." Can't really describe this in any other way than the fact that it's a "mom color," but I still like it. It's a mauve/brown-toned peach. This is one of the more fall-ish colors, and will probably work well with Cafe Au Lait and Passion Fruit.

Passion Fruit is described as "a rich tropical icing." Some of these descriptions aren't color-related at all, but hang in there, because I'll give you my own! That sounds super sarcastic. Anyway, this is another subdued color. It's another peachy brown, but with a lot more brown.

Cherry Blossom is described as "a light and airy cherry bloom." This color makes me think of the trees that are their namesake. I love cherry blossom trees, due to the rigorous anime fan training I received as a child, and I love this color! It actually makes a really nice eyebrow highlight and I'm not upset there isn't a cream color for that purpose at all, because this has it covered! Lovely light baby pink and smooth as buttah.

(My dermatographia kicked in, oops)

Meyer Lemon is described as "a zesty sweet golden glow." This is a very light yellow that makes quite the nice inner corner highlight. This color makes me use colors in much more creative ways, which I love!

Ginger Pumpkin sounds delicious is described as "an earthy spiced orange cake." (I thought they were macarons?) This is a true bright orange, but not too bright. It's orange, but way more wearable. I'm never one for wearable, but, just saying, this might not bother your mother!

Cafe au Lait is described as "a buttery, warm mocha cookie." I'm now hungry. As much as I adore chocolate macarons, this color seems a bit out of place in this palette. It's a nice, deep, chocolatey brown, but as someone who owns both Naked Palettes, I was not looking for brown.

Blueberry Cream is described as "a milky blue velvet cream filling." I've tried to use this as a lid color, but, indeed, the pigmentation wants it to be a filling. This is the only one I had pigmentation issues with, honestly. It's a baby blue, but much brighter than Blue Chocolat. It's such a beautiful color, however, that I'm willing to use the crap out of my NYX Jumbo Pencil and pack it on until it looks opaque!

Violet Whip is described as "an airy pastel lilac highlight." This, indeed, looks beautiful as a highlight in the inner corner, but I haven't tried it on the browbone. It's a very light pastel lavender, but it's so pigmented, as are the majority of the colors.

Lavender Honey is described as "a subtle hint of pansy purple glaze." This looks amazing blended into the blues. I've been looking for this particular color for so long. In my head, I called it "sick purple" - you know, the purple that emits from poisonous things in cartoons? Kind of the color from Koffing and Weezing, the Pokemon. It's a very pinky lavender color.

Cassis is describes as "a shot of bold & creamy berry." I had no idea what this word even meant. Google told me it implies a blackcurrant flavored macaron. It's a bright blue-based purple. I had issues with the camera picking it up as bright-blue, actually. Such a lovely color.

Elderberry is described as "a luscious concord for smokey depth." This is a dark purple with slight reddish undertones. I use this to darken up the look, in the crease, most of the times I use this palette. It also has a bit of pigmentation problems like Blueberry Cream, but it's the darkest color in the palette, so, naturally, I use it quite a lot.

Blue Chocolat is described as "a melt-in-your-mouth light aqua cream." This is a light, pastel baby blue. Very pretty color, but I haven't got much use of it yet.

Almond Pear is described as "a sweet mint celadon marmalade." If you look up what celadon is (because you don't know what it is, like I didn't), that's a spot-on accurate description. It's a light mint green, used for silk robes and Asian ceramics. Lovely color, especially with the mint trend lately.

Creme de Menthe is described as "a delicate & milky sea green." This is basically my favorite color of anything, so I was drawn to this eyeshadow over almost all the others. It's a blue-green minty color, with a beautiful color payoff. This looks like a lighter version of China Glaze's Turned Up Turquoise polish, which I was rocking on my toes last month.

Citron Pistachio is described as "a vividly bright lime meringue." This is a neon-ish lime green. This color sits in the pan among all the others and waits for you to realize it's amazingly gorgeous. This is the wallflower of your high school pressed into a pan. (So many weird metaphors in this post.) I didn't think this color was gonna rule half as hard as it did when I applied it, and it's probably now my favorite color in the whole palette.

In general, I would recommend using NYX's Milk and Shadow Insurance for maximum brightness.

A few looks:

Above: used Blueberry Cream, Elderberry, Cherry Blossom, Lavender Honey, and Meyer Lemon.

Above: Citron Pistachio, Cassis, Meyer Lemon, Lavender Honey, Cherry Blossom, and Violet Whip. Tutorial coming soon.

Roundup time!
(all ratings are out of 5)

Staying Power: ♫♫♫♫
These do fade after a few hours, but nothing too dramatic.

Value: ♫♫♫♫♫
These shadows calculate to $2 per shadow when you buy this palette. Big sticker price, but I consider that a deal!

Quality: ♫♫♫♫
Though a few are chalky, these are generally smooth and lovely to apply.

Pigmentation: ♫♫♫♫
Majority of them are lovely on this front!

Would I buy it again?: If it wasn't limited edition :( :( :( :( :(

You can pick this up on Sigma's website or in their brick and mortar store in Mall of America. This is limited edition, so get yours soon!

-<3 Angie

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ulta 21 Days of Beauty - Fall 2013, 9/8-9/28

Ulta is starting their Fall 21 Days of Beauty event in just 3 days! Here are the sales going on during this event, online and in-store:

1. Sunday, Sept. 8:
bareMinerals Foundation Primer - $14, regularly $23
Urban Decay Stardust Sparkling Lip Gloss - $9, regularly $19

2. Monday, Sept. 9:
Clairsonic Single Brush Heads - Buy 3, get 1 free, regularly $25 each

3. Tuesday, Sept. 10:
Strivectin Youthful Skin Trio Kit - $14.50, regularly $29

4. Wednesday, Sept. 11
Too Faced Shadow Insurance - $10, regularly $20

5. Thursday, Sept. 12
Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner - Buy 1, get 1 free, regularly $20 each

6. Friday, Sept. 13
Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara - $10, regularly $19.50

7. Saturday, Sept. 14
Butter London Nail Lacquer - $10, regularly $15
Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleansing Cloths, 30 ct. - $10, regularly $15

8. Sunday, Sept. 15
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara - $10, regularly $19
Pur Minerals CC Cream - $20, regularly $38

9. Monday, Sept. 16
Lorac Lips With Benefits Lip Gloss - $9, regularly $18

10. Tuesday, Sept. 17
Napoleon Perdis Devine Goddess Lipsticks & Luminous Lip Veils - $11.50-12, regularly $23-$24

11. Wednesday, Sept. 18
Philsophy 3-in-1 Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath, 16 oz - Buy one, get one 50% off, regularly $16.50 each

12. Thursday, Sept. 19
Too Faced Primed & Poreless Face Primer - $15, regularly $30

13. Friday, Sept. 20
Urban Decay Vintage Grindhouse Double Barrel Sharpener - $5, regularly $10

14. Saturday, Sept. 21
All bareMinerals Blush/All Over Face Color - $10, regularly $19
Benefit The Sexy Steal - $18, $54 value

15. Sunday, Sept. 22
Laura Geller Beauty Balance-n-Brighten in Medium & Brush - $20, $48 value
Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener - $10, regularly $20

16. Monday, Sept. 23
Strivectin-TL Tightening Neck Cream, 1.7 oz - $69, regularly $89

17. Tuesday, Sept. 24
Ck One Color Mascara - $10, regularly $18

18. Wednesday, Sept. 25
Anastasia Clear Brow Gel - $11, regularly $22

19. Thursday, Sept. 26
Cargo Vintage Escape Fall Eye Shadow Palette - $20, regularly $39

20. Friday, Sept. 27
Stila Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm Original - $20, regularly $38

21. Saturday, Sept. 28
Philosophy Lip Shines - Buy 1, get 1 free, regularly $10 each
Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil - $25, regularly $46

Other specials:
-25% off all Redken Color Services
-50% MicroZone Targeted Skin Treatment (w/ color)
-$20 Pro Sculpted Arches at Benefit Brow Bar
-Secret beauty steal on 9/27
-Demos in-store (call local Ulta)

And that's all! Personally, I would definitely suggest you pick up the Shadow Insurance on day 4 - holy grail primer! I also suggest the mascara on day 6, which I'm using currently, and the brow gel on day 18. I sampled a tinted kind in store and just might pick this up! I'm not sure about what else I want to try, but I'll have to look at reviews... Endlessly... Like I always do... ;)

Have fun shopping my dears!

-<3 Angie

Monday, September 2, 2013

Review: Too Faced Smokey Eye Shadow Collection

Just a quick note; do you have a preferred spelling for smoky? I prefer smoky. The extra "e" annoys me quite a bit. But this palette is beautiful. I'll ignore it.

This is the first big purchase I've made from the Ulta down the street from my work. It just opened. I've been there endless times. Help.

My first visit happened to be when I was looking for the ultimate all-in-one smoky palette. Sorry, UD Smoked palette, this is what you lost out to...

The box is relatively compact, with a... Well, a smoky eye on the cover! It's a magnetized closure that you pull up with a little ribbon.

My mother also got this (and returned it; not really the makeup lover like I am) and was annoyed with the large highlight shade pans. I agree, but it's not a biggie for me. I interchange White Lie with Urban Decay's Virgin daily, and I use the other two as lid colors anyway, so it's cool.


(As you'll begin to notice, these colors are much stronger over Shadow Insurance, but I wanted to show them on their own. I may edit in primed swatches.)

Firefly is described as a "silvery taupe." I don't know, it just makes me happy cause it makes me think of Baby Firefly.  I use this as a lid shade usually w/ Cloves and Up In Smoke and it's lovely. More of a beigey color than taupe. This is the only color you can get outside of the palette.

White Lie is described as "sugar white." This is the most pigmented pearlescent white shade I've ever owned. It's so shimmery and just looks gorgeous in the inner corners of the eyes. Pure, sparkly white.

In a Flash is described as "silver shimmer." I somewhat disagree. I think it leans towards a metallic baby blue. It's silvery, but definitely is overpowered with blue tones.

Cloves is described as "bronzey brown." It's a nice mid-tone brown, and goes well with Firefly and Up In Smoke.

Up In Smoke is described as "black brown." This is one of 3 matte shades in the palette, which I just realized are the right column... Dur. It's a great brown for darkening up the crease.

Nice Ash is described as "charcoal." It's kind of out of focus here and doesn't look all that great, but it's a beautiful, shimmery charcoal gray.

Smokin' Hot is described as "matte black" and is exactly that. It's a great black, but you have to be extremely careful with it (I tap my brush in it delicately to use it) because it's a super dark black. I love it!

Smoking Jacket is described as "black plum." This is one of the prettiest shades in the palette, with a blackened purple tone and a hell of a lot of shimmer. This is probably one of my favorites; it looks lovely with almost any of the other colors.

Smolder is described as "matte navy" and, again, is exactly that. It's a good darkener, but on its own doesn't look very pigmented. However, I'd never use it on its own, so it performs the purpose I want out of it well! Also, holla at my 5000th arm birthmark.

-Versatile colors
-Lots of different looks
-Variety of matte & shimmery shades

-Most colors are shimmery (I don't mind)
-Some shades can be hard to work with due to extreme pigmentation (I love that though!)

Roundup time!
(all ratings are out of 5)

Staying Power: ♫♫♫♫♫
This is, again, probably the fault of the Shadow Insurance, but it's still rad.

Value: ♫♫♫♫♫
An individual 1.7 g Too Faced Exotic Color eyeshadow is $18.  The highlights are 2g and the smaller shadows are 0.9g each.  This contains about the amount of 5 individual eyeshadows for the cost of only two. Incredible.

Quality: ♫♫♫♫1/2
The mattes can chalk up a bit, but this makes it harder to over-darken your eyes.

Pigmentation: ♫♫♫♫♫

Would I buy it again?: May or may not be prowling the Vintage Sale as we speak...

Speaking of which, check out the Vintage Sale on their website! Plenty of great things are on sale, including lipsticks, eyeshadow palettes, and more! You can also pick up this palette there for $36, as well as on Sephora and Ulta!

Until next time!

-<3 Angie