Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pressing Mineral Eye Shadows - Part II

Disclaimer: There is nothing to report.

I'm finally back with Part II to actually show you how to press your mineral eye shadows. If you missed Part I, you can find it here. Also please don't forget to enter my giveaway!

My information is a combination of information I've picked up on the internet. One of my favorite videos on how to press was made my a friend of mine from Mineral Makeup Forum (it's a private board, so you have to register to view the whole thing). Her name is Oxana, and you can find her video about pressing shadows here (she also has a blog that you can find here). I also made sure to read TKBTrading's information about pressing shadows that came with their starter kit.

Let's get started pressing!

The first thing to do is gather all of your materials and get your pressing station set up. This can be a messy and time-consuming process, so plan accordingly. I like to cover my work area with paper towels because it makes cleanup that much easier when I'm done.

The first thing I do is lay out several pans and spray them down with alcohol to sanitize them before I start, and I let them dry (it doesn't take long).

Side note: Please excuse the picture quality. Since I wasn't using my normal setup, the colors are really off. I didn't feel the need to try and retake them since I'm not trying to show the colors, just the process.

 After the pans I dry, I take one and place a drop of MyMix on the bottom of the pan and spread it around with a cotton swab. I believe this step is done to help the shadow stick to the bottom of the pan.

MyMix in shadow - about 4 drops
The next step is to open up your mineral shadow and add the MyMix (or your choice of mixing medium). I typically use about 4 drops for a 5g jar of shadow. That being said, this is the trickiest part of the process. If you use too much MyMix, your eye shadow will be too hard and won't have any color payoff, and there is also no way to remove MyMix once it is in the shadow. When in doubt, use less. If your shadow ends up too powdery, you can always remix it with more MyMix and repress it. It is also important to note that matte shadows require a lot less MyMix.

Shadow with MyMix and rubbing alcohol
I usually give the shadow and MyMix a quick stir with a toothpick before I add the rubbing alcohol. I aim to add enough alcohol to the shadow to make it clump together and make it easier to pour into the shadow pan. I just add a little at a time and stir until I get the consistency I want. Thankfully, since the alcohol evaporates, even if you over-do it, it isn't going to actually hurt the shadow. You'll just have a harder time getting it out of the jar (you'll have to scrape more) and will have to press out more liquid.

Shadow in the pan before pressing

Pour the wet shadow into your pan and spread it out to fill the bottom. TKBTrading suggests pressing in 3 layers, but I don't normally bother with that. I haven't had any issues with not doing layers, but experiment and do what works for you.

Tamping tool over plastic wrap, paper towel, and shadow pan
Now it's actually time to press. Here I have a layer of paper towel and a layer of plastic wrap between the pan and the tamping tool. I don't think you actually need the saran wrap. I used it because TKBTrading's instructions said to wrap the tamping tool with saran wrap, but I realized that they also don't use the paper towel, so the tamping tool would come in direct contact with the shadow.

The paper towel is there to absorb some of the alcohol as you press. I usually move the paper towel and use the paper towel 2-3 times for each pan to get out as much alcohol as possible and get the shadow pressed down as much as I can.

Labeled shadow
 At this point, your shadow is pretty much done. It might need to dry a little bit longer, but since most of the alcohol is pressed out, it doesn't take long. I make sure to label all of my shadows because I want to know what they are later.

Finished shadow in a palette
That's it! Your newly pressed shadow is done and in its new home. Since I use tin pans, they automatically stick into magnetized palettes like this one.

Palette full of self-pressed shadows

Just for a quick recap/reminder, aside from accidentally dumping your shadow, the only way I know of to really screw up this process beyond repair is to add too much MyMix (or whatever mixing medium you choose). Use less to start. You can always break the shadow apart, add more, and repress it if you need to.

Let me know if you try pressing your own shadows! It's a relatively easy and fun process. I love how much space it saves me and how it's a lot easier to see what shadows I have.

 Disclaimer: There is nothing to report.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Deal Alert at Pacifica!

Disclaimer: I will be using a referral link in this post that will earn me a $10 credit if you create an account and place an order through my link. You will also earn a $10 credit when your first order ships. Beyond that, I am not sponsored by the company in any way.

I don't know about all of you, but I get tons of emails from beauty companies advertising sales, new products,'s one of the hazards of being a beauty product junkie.

Yesterday, I got an email from Ipsy (formerly MyGlam). I haven't been subscribed to this service in over a year (and was only subscribed for three bags). I still get emails though and sometimes debate signing back up. Well...yesterday's email included their beauty deals for this month's bag. Inside were several coupon codes for different brands, including a 20% off code for Pacifica (referral link). The code is Beauty20. 

If you aren't familiar with the brand, Pacifica, it's a brand that primarily sells perfumes in spray, rollerball, and solid forms. They also sell some bath and body products and have recently branched out into cosmetics and skincare.

I haven't tried much from the brand myself, but I was always tempted by them when they were carried by Sephora. I picked up their Island Vanilla Take Me There set once, which included a rollerball perfume, a body butter, and a Color Quench Natural Moisture Lip Tint. I like the perfume and the body butter. I like the scent/taste and feel of the lip tint, but the color made me look dead because it was too milky for my pale skin.

With the 20% off code, I figured I would go play with a cart. I wasn't planning on actually buying anything because I've been on a shopping binge recently. When I got to the site, I saw that you can get a free gift if you sign up for their emails, so I signed up for their emails. The free gift is a Sugared Color Quench Lip Tint with a $25 purchase ($7 value).

I played with my cart, and I think I even got to the point of entering credit card information (it's a bad sign when I know my credit card number by heart and don't need to get the card), but I closed out the window and wandered off to make dinner.

When I returned to my computer and checked my email, I had another email from Pacifica offering me 10% off if I place my order (with a one-time use code). This no longer seems to be the case. I played with a new cart, and got a reminder email about checking out, but I didn't get a discount code.

At this point you are probably thinking, "What's the big deal? You can only use one code, right?" That's where you would be wrong. Pacifica accepts multiple codes! I was able to use all three to place an order!

Here was my order:

Quantity Product Unit Price Total Price
1 0057122 - Mediterranean Fig Solid Perfume - .1 oz Sample $2.00 $2.00
1 0030114 - Wanderlust Beauty Set $22.00 $22.00
1 0057127 - Tuscan Blood Orange Solid Perfume - .1 oz Sample $2.00 $2.00
1 0062622 - Color Quench Lip Tint - Sugared Fig $7.00 $7.00
1 0057104 - Mexican Cocoa Solid Perfume - .1 oz Sample $0.00 $0.00
Products Subtotal:  $33.00
IPSY you got 20% off your order!: -$4.54
Free Lip Quench with Purchase: -$7.00
10% Off for Completing Order: -$3.30
5-7 Day Ground Shipping: $5.95
Total: $24.11

Not bad, right?

I mentioned it in my disclaimer, but I'm going to explain it again. If you use my referral link, create an account, and place an order, I get a $10 credit to my account.  When you're first order ships, you also get a $10 credit (so it benefits you as well!). For reference, think of them as ExtraBucks from CVS, you have to pay out up front, but you get "money" to spend later.

So...I don't know if you could get the 10% code and still get the $10 credit for using a referral link, but they are both nice options.

I'm also going to point out that they have sample sizes of their solid perfumes. Their samples are .1 oz and sell for $2, and their full sizes are .33 oz and sell for $9. If you just order 5 samples, you can get them shipped to you for $2.95, bringing your total (before discounts) to $12.95. Not bad!

AND...this morning I got an email that they have 25% off Brook's favorites (I'm assuming Brook is the founder of the company). The discount codes should work on those items as well. I'm actually tempted to place another order.

Last piece of information - you can get free shipping with orders over $50, but that only counts after all of your discounts are applied. If you put $50 of product in your cart and apply discounts, you still have to pay shipping.

Okay...I think that's all the information I have. If you place an order, let me know what you got and how the discounts worked for you. Also please let me know if you used my referral link so I can thank you personally.

I hope this all makes sense, I typed this really quickly because I have to run out the door soon. I'll fix things later if it's needed.

Have you tried Pacifica products? What are your favorites? Will you be taking advantage of these deals?

  Disclaimer: I used a referral link in this post that will earn me a $10 credit if you create an account and place an order through my link. You will also earn a $10 credit when your first order ships.
Beyond that, I am not sponsored by the company in any way.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pressing Mineral Eye Shadows - Part I

Disclaimer: This post is not being sponsored by anyone. I purchased all of the materials used myself. I will be including links where you can purchase items, but they are not affiliate links. 

Hi ladies!

If you haven't noticed, I'm having a giveaway right now that you can check out here! I have to say that I'm thrilled with the turnout I've had so far. I hope all of my new followers stick around even after the giveaway is over.

I went on a pressing spree over the weekend and took some pictures to share with you. I love mineral eye shadows. The colors can be so unique, and if you shop indie, the prices are phenomenal. However, having tons of little individual jars takes up a lot of room. That's where pressing has been a great space saver for me.

If you want to try pressing your eye shadows, here's what you'll need:

  1. Paper towels (and lots of them)
  2. Toothpicks (or some other small stirring tool)
  3. Pressing medium
  4. Rubbing alcohol (the higher percentage of alcohol the better)
  5. Loose mineral shadows
  6. Pans to press the shadow into
  7. Tamping tool and pressing tiles (not necessary, but they make things a lot easier)
  8. Labels for the bottom of pans (also optional)
  9. Someplace to put your pressed shadows (you can see a few different options here)

I ordered the special pressing items that I needed (like the pressing medium and pans) from TKBTrading because their prices seem to be the best. I got the 2 oz bottle of the MyMix Press-It Binder, which is huge. Unless you have a ton of shadows to press, stick with the 1/2 oz bottle. I think I was able to press around 100 shadows with the 1/2 oz size. Another benefit of the smaller size is that it comes in a dropper bottle. I had to decant my MyMix into a smaller bottle that I had on hand (the second bottle from the left - it looks yellow because there is a old label on the back). The third picture is another dropper bottle that I decanted my rubbing alcohol into. I like the dropper bottles because they make it a lot easier to control the amount of liquid coming out.

Left to right: 15mm pans, 36mm pans, 52mm square pans

This is a look at the pan sizes that I have. For reference, I purchased the 15 mm size for my stash of Silk Naturals gift with purchase shades that come in 3g jars. Darling Girl petite sizes also fit in this pan size. The 36mm size is what I would consider the standard size. They are the size of Mac shadows. I use these for pressing 5g jars of shadow, which is the standard size for full size mineral eye shadows. The 52mm square pans were purchased to press some Everyday Minerals blushes that come in 20g jars. They are huge and aren't necessary for most projects.

Note: Nearly all of the pans that TKB sells are tin (there's one set that has aluminum pans), which means that they will stick to a palette with a magnetic base (like a Z Palette); aluminum pans will not. Tin pans are also sturdier than aluminum. If you order from someplace else, you might want to pay attention to the material of the pans. The benefit of aluminum pans is that they don't rust, and tin pans can if you aren't careful.

Pictured directly above the pans are the pressing tiles. The pressing tiles are pieces of acrylic that are cut to fit perfectly inside the pans. The ones in the picture above still have the brown paper covering they come with. TKB recommends removing the paper before you begin pressing, but I find it hard to get off, and I don't think it affects the process, so it stays on until it decides to peel off on its own. For the larger pan sizes, I didn't feel the need to use the pressing tiles. The tamping tool works well on its own. For the 15mm pans, using the pressing tile and just my finger for pressure felt the most stable for the initial pressing.

The tamping tools are at the top of the picture. They are essentially a pressing tile glued to a handle. As I just mentioned above, for the larger pans, I just used the tamping tools to do my pressing. Basically, use whichever method you feel more comfortable with.

TKB sells "press packs" that include a tamping tool, two pressing tiles, and 9 tin pans in a variety of sizes all for around $3-$4 dollars. I'm going to link you to their page that includes all of their pressing supplies here. If you scroll down, the press packs are some of the last items listed.

I'm also going to draw your attention to their Press Your Own Makeup: Beginner Kit. This is what I originally purchased when I wanted to see if I liked pressing my mineral shadows. It costs $14.95 (shipping for just this kit is $3.50) and comes with:
  • Two 4-well magnetic palette made of eco-friendly cardboard yet with good, durable finish (pick from nine colors!)
  • Eight 26mm round tins which fit inside the palettes
  • One Tamper Tool and one press tile for pressing your powders
  • 1/2 fl oz TKB PressIt Binder with preservative added
  • Pressing Ribbon
  • 8 zip lock baggies
  • TKB MyMix Press Base (this is intended for if you are making your own shadows, not just pressing them)
  • 2 scoops and 1 spatula
  • Pair of latex gloves
It gives you everything you need to try out pressing without being a huge commitment.Once you decide whether pressing will work for you, you can buy in larger amounts.

Stay tuned for Part II where I'll walk you through the steps for pressing.

Have you pressed any of your mineral eye shadows or blushes?

Disclaimer: This post is not being sponsored by anyone. I purchased all of the materials used myself. I have included links where you can purchase items, but they are not affiliate links. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Giveaway! Real Techniques, Urban Decay, and More!!!

Disclaimer: All of the items in this giveaway were purchased by me. This giveaway is not sponsored in any way. Please read the terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter widget for more details.

I've been plotting a giveaway for a while now, and I'm finally getting around to doing it. Hooray!

I've picked up lots of random goodies that I hope you'll all be excited about.

Ready to see the prizes? Of course you are!

Real Techniques Duo-Fiber Collection (Limited Edition) - This is a picture of my set. The prize set is brand new and unopened. You can see my review and more pictures here.

Urban Decay Pocket Rocket Lip Gloss in David - This was one of my favorite kinds of lip glosses (and not because of the men in underwear on the caps), so I was really sad when they were discontinued. I picked up a couple when they were on clearance, and I'm sharing one with one of you.

Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Clash - This was from the mini shadow pencil set that UD had a while back. The color is really pretty, but it isn't one that I would wear, so I figured I would pass it on to someone else.

Urban Decay Eye Shadow in X - Another clearance item I snagged up for one of you. UD describes it as a peach with gold shift. I personally think it is an underrated UD shadow. I never hear anyone talk about it, and it's absolutely gorgeous!

You can tell this giveaway has been in the works for a LONG time since these were items I picked up last spring at Big Lots.

Philosophy The Supernatural Coloring Book - You can see my review and swatches of this palette here. This is a nice little palette with two eye shadows, a blush, a bronzer, a cream blush, and two lip colors all in really wearable shades.

Philosophy Windows to the Soul Eye Shadow Palette in Plum Delicious - You can see my review and swatches of this palette here. It's a purple-toned eye shadow quad that has three matte shades.

Philosophy Angel Kiss Lip Gloss in Pretty Please - You can see my review and swatch of this product here.

Meow Eye Shadow in Beach - Meow describes this as a "sophisticated soft fawn with satiny metallic gold finish." It's a gorgeous neutral. 

Silk Naturals Eye Shadow in Flourish - Silk Naturals describes this as a pale golden shimmer. It's got tons of fine, multi-colored shimmer that makes it absolutely gorgeous. 

I'll probably also throw in some other smaller, random goodies as well. :-)


Use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter the giveaway. This giveaway is open internationally. If you are under the age of 18, please get your parents' permission before you enter since the winner will have to supply me with her mailing address. This giveaway will run for two weeks. After it is over, I will contact the winner via email. You will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. (Please let me know if there are any details I forgot! This is only my second giveaway, so it's entirely possible.)

Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Disclaimer: All of the items in this giveaway were purchased by me. This giveaway is not sponsored in any way. Please read the terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter widget for more details. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Geek Speaks Giveaway - 15 Winners!!!

My friend Amber over at Book Geek Speaks is having another giveaway.

She reviews the book The Enlightened Ones by Lacey Reah and is giving away 10 digital copies of the book and 5 paperback copies. She also has a post where she interviews the author.

Here's the book description for The Enlightened Ones pulled from

Taken aback by the generous and caring “Enlightened Ones,” Maggi is convinced to leave her dysfunctional home for what will now be her true family. Led by their enigmatic leader, John Cronus, the Enlightened Ones believe they are building towards a beautiful utopia; one they feel will be the dawning of a new way of life.
The past lives of all involved begin to unravel as they give up all their worldly possessions to build paradise on a remote island. Have the Enlightened Ones taken the road less traveled, or have they sealed their fate with a madman?
Enlightened Ones are required to feel a great sense of trust, love, and freedom, but what happens when the rules change? What will they do when they realize paradise isn’t ready? How will they handle it when their sense of trust is questioned? In a society where betrayal is not an option, what will they stoop to in order to escape, and who will take the blame when their plans mistakenly lead to one of the greatest tragedies of their time?

Please check out Amber's giveaway here! You could potentially win what Amber says is a fantastic book to read this summer. I've certainly got my fingers crossed that I get a copy. :-)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Finished It!!! Volume 9

Disclaimer: All of the products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own. brief blog hiatus allowed me to really build up a pile of used up products. Even I was surprised with everything I'd used up when I was taking pictures yesterday. For reference, I haven't done one of these posts since March 5, so it really has been a while. Products with a * are ones that were on my list of products that wanted to use up.

I'm going to start with a product that isn't pictured.

Heritage Store Rose Petals Rosewater (8 fl oz size) - This didn't get pictured because I already reused the bottle to make a homemade brush cleanser, so it wasn't in my pile o' stuff. I enjoy using this rosewater as a face spritz to get rid of the powdery look after I've finished my makeup. I have a setting spray, but I know those aren't good to use every day, so this is a nice substitute. I've already repurchased it.

HerStyler Nourishing & Moisturizing Conditioner - You know those obnoxious kiosks in the mall where you get sucked in and they won't let you leave. Well...I got trapped by one of those last summer. She was trying to sell me a hair straightener. I caved when she dropped the offer down to the straightening serum, shampoo, and conditioner. I finally used up the conditioner. I'm sure they normally charge an arm and a leg for it. I'll never buy it again.

Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo - I love my Nature's Gate Tea Tree Shampoo, but it just wasn't cutting it for keeping flakes at bay, so I went back to my old stand-by for a while.

got2b Guardian Angel Flat Iron Balm - This is a regular item for me. I've gone through a bunch of bottles of this. I've got a travel bottle left, and I'll probably stock up again when it's on sale at CVS.

got2b Guardian Angel Flat Iron Balm - No, I didn't screw up and take two pictures of the same bottle. I emptied this one out into the small travel bottle I mentioned. I didn't even realize that I had another one in my finished products pile.

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Conditioner - I picked this up because a box of hair dye that I bought had a coupon for a free bottle of conditioner. I liked it well enough. I'm happy with my Nature's Gate conditioners, so I won't buy this again unless there is a fantastic sale or another coupon.

Organix Smooth Hydration Argan Oil & Shea Butter Moisture Restore Mask - I'm trying to take better care of my hair, so I picked up a couple of Organix deep conditioners. I haven't tried the other one yet, but I really liked this one. The texture was like a really thick pudding. I felt like it did do some serious conditioning. I'm not running out to repurchase this now because I have the other one to use first, but I can see myself repurchasing this in the future.

The Body Shop Chocomania Shower Cream - This smelled exactly like devil's food cake. Yum! Sadly, I'm not impressed with the slip that these Body Shop shower gels have. I don't use a shave cream, so I really need a shower gel that helps my razor glide. This one didn't do that.

The Body Shop Vanilla Bliss Shower Gel - Again, this smell on this one was fantastic. The slip on this shower gel seemed to be a bit better than the Chocomania one. I still don't think I'll repurchase it.

Bath & Body Works Coconut Vanilla Body Wash - Bath & Body Works body washes are some of my favorites. Fantastic lather and enough slip to make shaving easy. I really liked this scent too, but it is sadly discontinued.

Softsoap Scentsations Lemonade Berry Splash Body Wash - I really didn't like this body wash. The scent was great, but I think it was missing the slip that I need. I stopped using it in the shower a long time ago. I tried using it to wash brushes, and I didn't like it for that either. My last ditch effort was putting it in a hand soap container and using it that way. It's still hanging around, but it will be used up as a hand soap. I just want rid of the bottle.

Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Hemp Almond Pure-Castile Soap - I heard so many raves about this soap that I had to pick some up to try it. I use it as a hand soap in my main bathroom. The fantastic thing is that it is so concentrated that it can be watered down. I bought a bottle of foaming soap and continue to use the foaming bottle for this soap (even not watered down, this soap has a thin consistency). I've already repurchased this and will continue to repurchase it and use it.

Taylor Swift Wonderstruck Scented Bath Gel - This came on a Christmas gift set that I purchased on clearance after Christmas. I got a small bottle of Wonderstruck, the bath gel, and a lotion for $10. I like the Wonderstruck scent, but I didn't like it in a shower gel. It was just overpowering. I prefer food scents for shower gels.

EcoTools Body Lotion* - This wasn't anything special, and I didn't particularly care for the scent. I won't repurchase.

Bath & Body Works Cashmere Glow Body Lotion - I LOVE this scent. According the Bath & Body Works website, the notes of this scent are shimmering vanilla, golden peach, and cashmere musk. It's just a gorgeous warm, sweet scent. I will likely purchase more items in this scent at some point.

The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector - This was part of this massive bag 'o stuff that I got with their Black Friday sale. It was really moisturizing, but I still didn't like it. The metal tube kept squirting out more lotion than I wanted. If I tried to squeeze the product towards the cap when the tube was closed, it squirted out when I took the cap off. I also didn't care for the scent.

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter - Yum! This was a super creamy body butter that I kept in my purse throughout the winter months to keep my hands from getting dry and cracked. I've got a full size of another scent in my stash that I'll probably start using when it gets cold again.

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate - I love this stuff. It is both a physical and chemical exfoliator. It leaves my skin feeling really soft and smooth when I use it. I think some people might be bothered by the scent. To me, it smells like cloves. I don't love the scent, but I don't mind it either. I used to have friends in college who smoked clove cigarettes, so it reminds me of them (yes, I realize that sounds a little weird). I already have another mini bottle in my stash.

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask - I got this is a Sephora Favorites skincare set a couple of summers ago. I know there are people who love it, but I just didn't. I've decided that I just need to stay away from peel-off masks. I don't like them because they hurt to pull off.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster - This is the second mini bottle of this serum that I've used. I got this bottle through a swap. I like it, and I know vitamin C is good for evening out skintone. I don't know that I liked it enough to pay full price for it, but I would be happy to use it again if it was in a great value set.

Sephora Daily Makeup Brush Cleanser - I bought this a long time ago to do quick brush cleaning, but it didn't dry as quickly as I was expecting. If I'm going to be an emergency brush cleaning, I'm just going to use rubbing alcohol. I don't plan to buy a brush cleaner again.

Yankee Candle Lip Balm in Root Beer Float* - I've already finished a couple of these lip balms. I like them, but I don't love them, and they are hard to find. I might grab one again if I come across them, but I'm not going to hunt them down.

Simply Lip Balms in Vanilla Mint and Pomegranate - Clearly, I like these balms. I bought a ton of them last summer, and I've still got a few left. I'll be on the hunt for more this summer when I travel to visit family because I found them at Walgreens, and I don't have a Walgreens near me. The only real negative with these is that they melt somewhat easily. Definitely don't leave them in a hot car and be careful if you keep them in your pocket and are out in the heat - they'll be really soft.

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss in Midnight Cowboy* - This was a really easy color to slick on without a mirror. Sometimes the formula felt a little too sticky for me, but most of the time I didn't mind it. I wouldn't repurchase it, but if I happened to get another mini, I would use it.

Tarte Clean Slate Flawless 12-Hour Brightening Primer* - This was in the $9 primer trio that Tarte released (I don't know if it is still available). This particular formula is meant for dry skin, and it did make me feel oily part way through the day. I used it up by using it on days when I was just running a couple of errands and not on busy work days. I won't repurchase this formula.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive - This is a fantastic exfoliating mask. Even though this mask says "peel," it isn't a peel off mask. I'd be curious to try the full strength version of this, but a full size is somewhere around $45, and I haven't been willing to spend that much.

Physicians Formula Black Liner from the Nude Eyes Set* - I'm so excited to finish this liner off. I have so many black liners in my stash, so I'm glad to see one leave my collection. I did like this liner. It isn't as soft as an Urban Decay liner, but there are times when I don't mind that because it gives me a little more control about how intense it applies.

ELF Zit Zapper* - I didn't care for this. It's a salicylic acid treatment in a roller ball form. It didn't always dispense well out of the roller ball because it was a thicker gel-like formula. I won't repurchase it.

Meow Equilibrium Finishing Powder - I had this for a long time. It was a white finishing powder that was supposed to balance out your skin, similar to Tarte's claims about Amazonian clay. I ended up mixing this in with my Meow foundation powder because I've been preferring to use mineral foundation as my setting powder. This is a good powder, but I don't plan on repurchasing it.

Urban Decay Primer Potion* - This is my favorite eye primer. I have a jumbo and a full size of the old style bottle to work through. I will continue to repurchase it.

Silk Naturals Lovelace Blush sample* - This was a pretty light peach blush sample. I love their blushes, but this isn't a color I use often, so I won't be repurchasing it.

Silk Naturals Sleep in a Jar Light Peach - I use this product every day I do my makeup. It is a fantastic corrector.

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme* - I've had this for way too long. It's an okay product. It's really thick, so I would only really use it at night when I was sitting in front of the TV. I don't plan on repurchasing it. If you have any good cuticle cream recommendations, please let me know!

L'Oreal Revitalift Deep-Acting Moisturizer - Nothing special.

Fekkai Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner - Nothing special.

Meow Ballerina blush sample - This was a really soft pink blush shade. It probably wouldn't show up on anything deeper than fair to light skintones. I have another sample of this, and I have too many other blushes to think about repurchasing it.

Silk Naturals Nekkid eye shadow sample - This is Silk Naturals version of MAC's Naked Lunch eye shadow. It was too peachy/orange for my taste. The formula was good, but I won't repurchase this color.

Sephora Creamy Body Wash pods in Strawberry, Coconut, and Vanilla - I bought these as fillers to get free shipping. They were handy to have and the scents were decent, but I don't plan on purchasing more (unless I need another filler product in the future).

That's it! You've made it to the end of my marathon empties post. Thanks for reading!

Disclaimer: All of the products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I'm alive! I swear! + a Haul

Disclaimer: The items from PHAMExpo and Luxury Lane Soap were sent to me. Everything else was purchased by me. I have also included my referral link for HauteLook. I would receive a $10 credit if you use that link and make your first HauteLook purchase. All opinions are my own.

Things went a bit crazy here over the past few weeks, and, clearly, blogging fell to the wayside. Sorry about that.

Over the past few weeks, I've been super busy working and preparing for teaching summer school. On top of that, I've been dealing with an ingrown hair that got so infected that it has required several trips to the doctor (enough that the receptionist today didn't even ask for my name because she already knew) and antibiotics. Oh of those antibiotics also gave me a rash all over my body this week. *sigh*

Thankfully, the infection is clearing up, the regular school year has finished, and summer school doesn't start for a couple of weeks. Now is the time to play catch-up around the house and with blogging.

Today, I thought I would keep things really simple and just show you a few items that I've gotten somewhat recently.

I'll start with a package that was sent to me by PHAMExpo (Professional Hair and Makeup Exposition), which is an event being held June 29-30 at the Pasadena Convention Center.

I had entered a contest PHAMExpo was hosting on Facebook where they asked for people to send in pictures of how they use their Z Palettes. Although I don't think they officially reached the number of ZPalette fans on Facebook needed to conclude the contest, Cheryl emailed me and said she would like to send me a couple of Z Palettes for my collection. Needless to say, I was really excited. I love the Z Palettes that I already have. Things have been so busy though that I haven't put anything in my new ones yet. I think I want to play with my current ones first and come up with a better organization system for them before I depot more items. I'm looking forward to being able to depot some more things soon though.

The other items that were sent to me were from the company Luxury Lane Soap. I while back, I found out that the company was looking for product testers, and I filled out the application. I was really excited when I received my first tester box from them.

When I received the email stating that I was part of the testing team, I was asked to choose two products I would be interested in trying out of a list of six. I chose the Nourishing Body Lotion and the Whipped Up Sugar Scrub. Both came in the scent Blackberry Tea. Kylee also included two mini bars of soap, and yes, the bar on the left is R2-D2. :-)

I'll probably do a full review of the lotion and scrub later, but I'll tell you now that I love both of them. There was a 15% off coupon in my box as well, and I used it today. I ordered another mini lotion, a full size of the scrub, a hemp body wash, and a candle.

Aside from getting items sent to me, I made some purchases recently too because there were deals that were just too good to pass up.

theBalm Cosmetics launched their new website a few weeks ago, and they had a 24-hour sale where everything on the site was 50% off. I couldn't help myself!

I picked up the Balm Jovi Palette, two of their new InStain blushes (Argyle and Toile), Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter, and Cabana Boy blush.

Then, HauteLook (referral link) had a Spring Beauty Bag deal. They advertised it as $200 worth of product for $25 (with tax and shipping, my bag cost $35).

Here's a list of the contents (taken from the original posting for the bag):

  • Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil Travel Size in Demolition-- deep brown with matte finish (0.03 oz., Imported)
  • LORAC Full-Size Eyeshadow in Celebutante-- aquamarine with shimmer (0.06 oz., Made in USA)
  • Crown Brush Pro Blending Fluff: This professional style Blending Fluff is perfect for blending and shading both powder and cream shadows.
  • LORAC Full-Size Multiplex 3D Lashes Mascara in Black (0.143 oz., Made in USA)
  • NYX Cosmetics Full-Size Lipstick in Shiva-- blue-toned fuchsia (pearl) (0.14 oz., Made in USA)
  • Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer Packettes in Pink, Rose Gold, and Bronze Shimmers (0.03 fl. oz. each, Made in USA)
  • Laura Geller Mini Blush-n-Brighten in Berry (0.06 oz., Made in USA
  • suki skincare full-size exfoliate foaming cleanser (4.0 fl. oz., Scent: Lemongrass and Natural Sugar)
  • La Fresh Beauty Wipes -- 5-Pack of Bestsellers - 2 Oil-Free Face Cleansers (6" x 7.75" each, Scents: Refreshing [Natural Yuzu Aromatherapy] and Fragrance-Free), Waterproof Makeup Remover for Eyes and Lips (5" x 4", Unscented), Anti-Aging Face Cleanser (6" x 7.75", Scent: Maqui Berry), and Instant Body Soother (6" x 7.75", Scent: Natural Peppermint) (Made in USA): This 5-pack set includes 1 wipe from each of La Fresh's bestsellers.
  • Jessica Simpson Vintage Bloom Fragrance Sampler Vial (0.19 fl. oz.)
  • Smile Sciences $50 Gift Certificate: This gift certificate gives you $50 towards Smile Sciences' Rx Strength Teeth Whitening Pen. It is not redeemable for cash value, does not expire, and is to be exclusively used towards the Rx Strength Whitening Pen in any quantity. (Not pictured) 
  • Cosmetics Bag (10.5" W x 7.75" H x 3" D): Transport your makeup must-haves in this charming striped beauty bag. (Not pictured) 
The last purchase I'm going to feature in this post is from Stila Cosmetics. They had a 50% off flash sale (I think it lasted less than 24 hours. Again, the bargain was just too good to resist.

I picked up an eyeshadow palette in In the Moment, a Smudge Pot in Kitten, a Color Balm Lipstick in Amelia, the Positively Pink Set for Breast Cancer Awareness, and the Mini Smudge Crayon Try-Me-Set. 

So...I've had quite a few new things to play with lately, but I haven't tried everything yet. I haven't even had time to take individual pictures of everything. That's on my goal for the next few days.

What have you been hauling lately? Have you gotten any really good deals? Is there anything in particular you would like to see a review on?

Disclaimer: The items from PHAMExpo and Luxury Lane Soap were sent to me. Everything else was purchased by me. I have also included my referral link for HauteLook. I would receive a $10 credit if you use that link and make your first HauteLook purchase. All opinions are my own.