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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sephora 2015 Winter VIB Sale Haul

The cloud of chaos from Black Friday has barely settled, and we're already gearing up for Cyber Monday sales. Although Sephora's 20% off sale has already come and gone, they often offer up smaller steals, and amped up gifts with purchase on the major post-Thanksgiving shopping days. To help you gear up know what to snag and what to skip, I'm sharing some of the latest finds from my Sephora VIB Haul. If you're looking for a review on something in particular, you can use the search function in the side bar to learn more! In the mean time, take a peek at the swatches below, and learn all about everything mentioned in the video above!

Products Mentioned:

See more pictures after the jump!


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hot Holiday Finds for Beauty Lovers

As a recent Babbleboxx recipeint, I've had the opportunity to try some of the latest from top-notch beauty brands. While some products were already mainstays in my beauty arsenal, all are worthy of a spot in your holiday wish list - or even your psrty look lineup. Let's dig in:

1. A Rockin' Base. Whether that someone special on your list is looking for a flawless foundation, or you're looking for a base that will outlast the liveliest of holiday shindigs, MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Foundation is the perfect place to start. The line has 40 shades - so every skin tone is covered, and offers natural, buildable coverage.

The brand offers application tips to suit every skin type, but I find the technique that makes Ultra HD absolutely bulletproof on my combination skin is to prep with MAKE UP FOR EVER's Mattifying Primer. Sound familiar? It might be because I've raved about its game-changing status ever since it landed at my doorstep and found a way into my monthly favorites. Check out my video to see how I like to apply!

2. Lips (and cheeks) to Love. Nailing the perfect holiday lip will put anyone in a festive mood. LAQA AND CO.'s Lip Lube (shown in shade Golly Gee Whiz below) will give you a punch of color that moisturizes - so you're not caught off guard under the mistletoe. The peppermint scent is a holiday bonus!

If, on the other hand, you're all about bold color, look to their Cheeky Lips - shown in Mixtape (bright berry) and Humble Brag (light pink). The beauty behind these is that they not only function as long-wear matte lip colors, but they double as cheek stains! Whether you're buying for you, or your beauty-loving BFF, get 30% off all things LAQA AND CO. with code HOLIDAYLOVE. Check out my video for application tips!

3. A Festive Fragrance. Fragrances are often at the high on holiday wish lists, and Jessica Simpson's TEN deserves a spot at the top. It's no secret that I'm a sucker for rich fragrances grounded in scents like sandalwood, but TEN manages to marry sultry scents like vanilla, white chocolate bean accord, and driftwood with light floral and fruity aromas for an enticing balance.

4. A Holiday Glow. While it might be tempting to carry around twinkle lights to maintain your festive radiance, it's really inconvenient, and kind of a fire hazard. Way Too Tan Dark Hybrid Tanning Silicone is here to tackle the problem from every angle. If you like to bronze up with sun time in the sun, their tanning silicone will keep skin hydrated and nourished while encouraging a deeper, faster tan. If, on the other hand, you're sun shy (like me), you can layer this under your normal daily SPF for super silky skin that develops a natural looking sunless tan. Their airless pump bottle is a great counter staple for those truly devoted to their glow, but they also make .5 oz packets that are perfect stocking stuffers.

What beauty products are on your hot holiday list?

Humble Brag, Golly Gee Whiz, Mixtape

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media.

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

CIRCA Precious Metal Collection

I'm totally new to the CIRCA beauty scene, but recently got a chance to try some of the latest from the line in their new, limited-edition Precious Metals Collection. Now available at Walgreens (displays are often right in front of the beauty counter), the products are paired together for a seasonal look, but they're also available individually in case one product in particular catches your eye.

Color Saturated Eye Crayon - Always a sucker for a one-and-done eye product, I was most excited to try these - especially the velveteen blue shade called Regal Sapphire. Chocolate Diamond and Sparkling Citrine are beautiful as well, but deep blue done with such rich pigmentation is a rarity in the drugstore. These not work well worn under shadows as an all-over color base, but also worn alone. Prep with a primer for fool-proof lasting power, but I also experience crease and fade-free wear without one. Check out the look below for a combo of all three worn on the lid!
Optical Illusion Lash Lengthening Mascara - True to its name, this mascara offers length and definition that lasts steadfast throughout the day - just take a look at the before and after below! The very plain looking want took me by surprise with how it transformed my lashes. Combined with the latin power, and this mascara is quickly making it's way to the top of my favorites pile.
Vivid Vinyl Eyeliner Fluid (Blue Topaz) - For a little hint of sparkle in your eyeliner, this is one way to go. While I'm not typically a fan of the long brush applicator for eyeliner, I'm impressed with how pigmented this liner is given how prevalent diluted shimmery drugstore formulas are out there.
Fade to Black Precision Eye Ink - This is easily the most precise eyeliner pen I've ever tried from the drugstore. The pigmentation is inky black and flows smoothly during application - no pulling or tugging. It dries to a luxe-looking matte black that lasts until it's time to remove.

Overall, I'm impressed with my first experience with what's a relatively uncharted drugstore brand!

What are your favorites from CIRCA?

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dupe or Dud: Urban Decay Naked2 Palette vs. Makeup Revolution Icon 2 Palette

Although not a new brand, Makeup Revolution is fresh on ULTA's shelves and offers a TON of products that are seemingly dupes for high-end cult classics. Case in point: the Makeup Revolution Icon 2 and Urban Decay Naked2. Visually, the two are identical, but I wanted to put them to the test to really find out. 

Let's break it down:

  • 12 shadows
  • Each shadow closely corresponds to a shade in the Naked2 Palette
  • Smooth textures
  • Mix of finishes
  • Broad range of shades - from light to dark
  • MUR's shadows are slightly more powdery
  • Some MUR shadows are slightly more shiny and metallic than UD's
Bottom line: Save your money, and snag the Icon 2. Makeup Revolution also has palettes to dupe the Naked and Naked3 palettes, but without trying them I can't completely recommend them. If you've given them a try, let me know what you think in the comments!

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Makeup Wars: Holiday Gift Sets

On this week's Makeup Wars, we're diving into holiday makeup sets - just in time for the flurry of holiday shopping. I have been shockingly negligent in trying holiday sets this year, so I only have two recommendations to make this year - but they're a strong two! Both of them are shadow palettes that utilize the brand's permanent eyeshadow formula, so the quality is a guarantee.

First up: Urban Decay Vice4 Palette ($60)

As the most recent in a long line of Vice Palettes, Vice4 has a reputation to live up to. Previous releases have had a perfect mix of color, neutrals, textures, and offer the same stellar shadow quality you can count on from cult classics like the Naked Palettes. Luckily, Vice4 lives up to it all with a new combination of purples, pinks, teals, and neutrals. That being said, if you're considering giving this palette as a gift, the recipient should definitely be interested in playing with color. If you're looking for something that's a better fit for a neutral-lover (who's looking for a pop of color in their life), this next palette is for you.

The MAKE UP FOR EVER 15 Artist Shadow Palette ($59) offers 15 shadows from the permanent collection in a glitzy holiday palette. MUFE's shadow formula is one of the most unique I've ever tried. They're somewhere between a powder and gel, and offer crazy-good color payoff. Although you can use the shadows in any way you want, this palette was specifically designed to create 5 unique looks using each column of coordinated shadows and comes with a booklet that illustrates how to create each. In short, it's a great gift for the makeup beginner and pro alike!

What holiday sets have you set your sites on?

Urban Decay Vice4 Palette

Urban Decay Vice4 Palette

Urban Decay Vice4 Palette | Row 1

Urban Decay Vice4 Palette | Row 2

Urban Decay Vice4 Palette | Row 3

Urban Decay Vice4 Palette | Row 4

MAKE UP FOR EVER 15 Artist Shadow Palette

MAKE UP FOR EVER 15 Artist Shadow Palette

MAKE UP FOR EVER 15 Artist Shadow Palette | Row 1

MAKE UP FOR EVER 15 Artist Shadow Palette | Row 2

MAKE UP FOR EVER 15 Artist Shadow Palette | Row 3


Saturday, November 7, 2015

LOC (Love of Color): Tati + Birchbox Review

When Tati announced her makeup partnership with Birchbox, I knew I needed to see what the Glam Life Guru would come up with. Flash forward to the launch of an entirely new brand call LOC (Love of Color), and I was first in line to buy when it launched on the Birchbox site. The collection consists of 5 One-And-Done eye crayons ($10 a piece) and 3 lip crayons ($8 a piece) - all of which can be purchased both individually and in various sets. 

Because I couldn't help myself, I bought The Ultimate Collection which, as you might have guessed, includes all of the products in the collection. Let's start with the eye pencils. Given the name, these are supposed to be pencils you can swipe across the lid, pat to blend, and be on your way. I'm happy to say these didn't disappoint! Each shade is shimmery, and in some cases verging on metallic, so they're very multifaceted. They apply smoothly and evenly, and once they dry down, they don't budge. The before and after photos at the bottom of the post show a full day's wear without using a primer underneath! A+ to all shades - there isn't a dud in the bunch.

The lips are a slightly different story. For the most part each shade glides on effortlessly with complete opacity, and has surprising lasting power given that they don't dry completely down. As a result, they aren't completely transfer proof, but will last through minor eating and drinking events. I found I needed a complete reapplication after lunch - as is the case for me with nearly every traditional lipstick formula. Both bold shades, Wildest Dreams and Glam Life, were the top performers when it came to wear. First Kiss left a little to be desired in the pigmentation department - it's definitely not a universal nude. Because it lacks complete opacity, it took my natural lip color down to a cooler chalky hue. Those with cooler undertones might find it works for them, but it made me look a little, ummm, dead. Still, two out of three ain't bad!

Overall, this is a fantastic collection for the beauty lover looking for a simple, but glam look that gets you out the door in less than 5 minutes and lasts all day.

Wearing: Impress Me and Glam Life

Wearing: Day Trip and Wildest Dreams