I Need Your Help! Ipsy vs. Birchbox: May

Hi Beauties!

For this post I need your help!  I have decided that I want to explore more environmentally and animal friendly beauty products, and therefore I am going to sign up for a vegan beauty box.  I looked at a few, and the one I think I have decided on is Petit Vour.  BUT, I can’t really afford to have three beauty boxes every month!  Much as I would love that, it seems a bit excessive when trying to stay on a budget. SO, based on this month (and previous months), I need your help deciding which box (or boxes) to drop when a subscription to Petit Vour becomes available!  I just took quick photos of everything in each box for you to compare, but if you want to see and hear more about each item be sure to check out my video here!

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First off: Birchbox comes in its standard brown box, and Ipsy comes in a cute re-usable bag every month.

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Here are the goods!

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Birchbox – May, 2013

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Coola – Classic Sunscreen

First up is a sunscreen from Coola.  This is their classic sunscreen moisturizer with SPF 30, a cucumber scent and organic anti-aging ingredients.  The card says that it is a mineral sunblock, but the active ingredients are avobenzone (2%) and octinoxate (2.1%), which means that it is actually a chemical sunscreen.  Avobenzone is inherently unstable, and it breaks down into unknown chemicals when it absorbs UV light, this is what protects the skin.  I have a physical sunscreen from Coola that uses titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which I love, so I do really like this brand!  They are environmentally friendly and cruelty free, so big thumbs up there!  This sample is 7mL; full size is 50mL and retails for $32.

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Beauty Protector – Protect & Detangle

Next up is a detangling leave in conditioner from Beauty Protector.  I have never heard of this brand before.  It comes in a rubbery bottle, and is a perfect size for travel, it would even be fine for a carry-on!  On the back of the bottle it says that it is a: Instant detangler, thermal protector, UV protector, that it seals cuticle, smoothes hair, locks in colour, adds shine, conditions, and is weightless, non-greasy and ideal for every day use on all hair types.  That’s a lot of claims!  I do need to use a spray in conditioner most days after the shower, as my hair gets super tangled.  I don’t often use heat, but a UV protector is nice!  I don’t have coloured hair, but I might this summer…  If it does all that it promises this will be quite the little product!  I can’t find a size on this anywhere to know how big the sample is, but full size is 8oz (maybe 4x the size of this?) and retails for $21.95.

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Joie – Folle de Joie eau de parfum

And here we have yet another perfume sample from Birchbox.  Enough already!  They all smell the same to me, floral and not my taste.  This one was one of the better ones that I  have received I do have to say though.  “For its debut scent, the chic fashion brand created this carefree mix of mandarin, rose and sandalwood”.  I probably like it better because it has some fruit but is also grounded with the sandalwood.  The small sizes are handy to carry in your purse, but I often find that without a cap these just spray whenever they want to and get all over everything…  This sample is 0.06fl oz, full size is 3.4 fl oz and retails for $98.  I’d have to REALLY love this to spend that much…

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Sumita – Colour Contrast Eyeliner

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Sumita – Colour Contrast Eyeliner

Next is an eyeliner from a brand called Sumita, another that I have never heard of…  “Inspired by traditional Indian formulas, this velvety liner glides on easily and lasts for hours”.  The colour is a really beautiful midnight blue, and the pencil did glide on really smoothly.  I often have worries about the staying power of such soft pencils on my eyelids as they get oily.  I find the UD 24/7 pencil liners go on great, but fade after a few hours.  I rubbed at this swatch after letting it dry for a few minutes, and I did see a bit of colour transfer, but I would never be rubbing my eyelids that hard!  The full size of this is a set of 4 minis (the same size) and I am assuming they                                    come in 4 different colours.  That set retails for $21.

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Pilot – Acroball Pen

Last and very least, we have a pen.  Really?  A pen?  Thanks Birchbox, but I don’t pay $10 for office supply samples.  It writes in pink ink, and came with a $1 off coupon for any 3, 4, or 5 pack.

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Ipsy Glam Bag – May, 2013

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Pacifica – Island Vanilla Perfume Roll-On

This smells so amazing!!  Like sugar cookies or vanilla icing.  Very sweet and delicious.  Not usually my type of fragrance, but I am loving this one =) “Inspired by the unique magic of Tahitian vanilla, this sensual blend sets sweet and sultry vanilla absolute, with honey-jasmine notes and a touch of fruitiness, against a deep and beautiful base of tea.”  This is 0.33 fl oz (10mL), which is full size!  And it retails for $12.  The Ipsy discount for this month is 20% off any purchase from Pacifica.  A portion of all of the sales from the Island Vanilla fragrance line goes to the Ocean Futures Society, a non-profit marine conservation organization, and it is 100% vegan.  How amazing is that!?

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Pacifica – Coconut Crushed Pearl luminizing body butter

Next is another product from Pacifica, the luminizing body butter.  This smells so delicious.  I am not usually a fan of fake coconut smell, but this one is actually really good.  It gives just a slight glow to the skin, so it would be really nice on your legs or just on your décolletage for a night out.  It is cruelty free and contains coconut oil, pearls and sea minerals.  “Shimmer and glow from the inside out with luminescent crushed pearls and ultra-nourishing tropical phytonutrients”.  This is a 2oz tube, which is their mini size, and retails for $7.  The full size is 8oz and retails for $24.  Again, the Ipsy discount is 20% off.

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Juice Beauty – Reflecting Gloss in “Fig”

This product is an exclusive pre-launch through Ipsy!  It is an organic lip gloss that smells delicious.  Fruity and sweet!  It has great pigmentation, as you can tell from the swatch, and has a doe-foot applicator.  It is made with acai and goji berries for antioxidants, as well as minerals and agave nectar (that’s what the smell is!).  I haven’t used this on my lips yet, but I’m sure I will love it!  I have loved everything else I’ve gotten from Juice Beauty so far =)  This is a full size sample, and it retails for $15.

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Juice Beauty – Reflecting Gloss in “Fig”

The discount is also 20% for Juice Beauty.

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Yaby – Concealer in “Buff”

The yaby concealer is actually not too bad of a match for my skin tone, kind of crazy for a beauty box sample!  I haven’t tried it on my face yet, but it seems to be quite thick and high coverage, so for me it would be a blemish and redness concealer, not for under my eyes.  I will have to let you know!  It is a full size refill, which has a value of $5.06.  The discount code for this is actually for camerareadycosmetics.com, and it is 20% off.

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Zoya – Nail Polish in “Neely”

The final product is a full size Zoya nail polish!  It is a really pretty colour called “Neely”.  To me this is more of a true minty green than Essie’s “Mint Candy Apple”.  I actually used it in the manicure that I put on yesterday, so keep an eye out for an Instagram photo!  The first coat goes on streaky, but the second really packs on the colour.  I love my Zoya polishes, so I am really excited to get a new one!  It looks like this could have come in any 1 of 6 pastel colours.  I’m happy with mine =).  The discount code for this is buy two get one free, plus a free 1oz Remove+ (their polish remover) and $5 shipping, pretty good deal!  Zoya polishes retail for $8 on their website.

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Zoya – Nail Polish in “Neely”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to let me know in the comments below which bag is your favourite and which one you think I should drop!  I can’t wait to show you the goodies I will be getting in my new boxes =)

xoxo

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Open With Me: March Glam Bag!

Hey Beauties!

I’m going rapid-fire with these because I need to get caught-up (as usual) before I can post my April boxes!  My April Glam Bag has arrived a few days ago, and it sitting there in it’s pretty pink packaging taunting me!  I’m not letting myself open it until these posts are finished!

First off, how adorable is the theme this month!  It is called “The Great Escape” and has a sailor-themed bag!  So cute.DSC07778

Anyways, here are the goodies!

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First we have La Fresh makeup remover wipes.  I love having these in handy travel sized pouches.  I use them all the time and they are so much more portable than makeup remover!  This package contains 8 wipes, so it is perfect for a weeks’ vacation.  They are a moisturizing formula with vitamin e, and they smell a bit like baby powder (which I really hope doesn’t stick around).  The package claims that “Travel-saavy women around the glove rave about La Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes.  That’s because they instantly dissolve even heavy-duty makeup with a silky, lite-touch formula.  Perfectly portable, La Fresh makes beauty a breeze when you’re on-the-go.”  Well, if they can really get off all of my makeup without me having to scrub (I’m looking at you waterproof mascara!) then I will be sold.

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Next up is a product that I tried (see video for awkwardness…) and I can’t tell if it really did anything beneficial for my skin, but it smelled and felt amazing!  It is the Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist that “tones and refreshes”.  “Tone with this refreshing blend of rosehip, ylang ylang, resveratrol, grapeseed oil and antioxidant-rich organic juices for a fresh, radiant complexion”.  Sounds pretty amazing!  It is certified organic (contains a minimum of 95% organic ingredients) and I do recognize a lot of the ingredients from my work in the natural health care industry.  Who knows if it will do anything amazing for my skin, but I know it will be a great pick-me-up on those hot summer days =).  It is 30mL, which is a hefty sample!  Full size is 200mL and retails for $20 on their website.

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Next we have a handy little magnetic travel palette from GlamRX.  It looks red in the photo, but it is really a nice bright pink!  I realize that I didn’t take any photos for a size comparison, but it is a little bit bigger than the palm of my (quite small) hands.  I would say that it is the perfect size to fit in one of the phone pockets in your purse.  It has a magnetic closure (I would put an elastic band around it if you are going to throw it in your purse, it’s not the strongest) and also a magnetic pan inside.DSC07782

Inside you can see the last two products that were in the bag: yaby eyeshadows!  I have never tried yaby before.  I ALMOST bought some of their eyeshadows a couple of years ago, but that was back when I balked at the shipping costs when shopping online…  The two colours that I got are “Sand Dune” (L) and “So Vein” (R).  They are both matte finish, which is nice and seem to be decently pigmented.  Sand Dune is a little bit dark for me to use as a match for my skin tone, but it might work nicely to blend out darker crease colours.  So Vein (I love that name!) is less pigmented, which I really like, because I don’t usually wear those insane crazy colours on my eyes.  This will be easy to blend out for a subtle pop of colour!  It is a beautiful green-leaning teal colour.DSC07783

As you can see they fit nicely in this palette, but I would try to fill it up a bit more, because I do find that they slide around and they might crack.

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I hope you enjoyed this post!  Be sure to follow for more like this =)

What did you guys get in your bag that is different?  Did you get different eyeshadows?  A different coloured palette?

xoxo

Recent Nail Polish Purchases

Hey Beauties!

Here is a quick recap of a few of my recent nail polish acquisitions =)

First off, I took advantage of the promotion that Zoya ran a couple of months ago, where you could buy three of their polishes, and only pay $10 shipping.  Of course I couldn’t resist!  I had never tried any Zoya polishes before this, so I figured it was the perfect time to try them out.  And I picked up an extra as well of course =)

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This is the extra polish that I bought that wasn’t included in the promo because it is one of their new “Pixie Dust” polishes called “Vespa”.  It is a mossy green kind of colour with a hint of grey to it, but the really unique bit is the texture.  These are the new textured polishes that everyone is coming out with this spring.  They are gritty, matte and sparkly all at once.  They do have a nice matte finish, and the glitter is really pretty, but boy the texture is weird!  It took me a full day to get even a little bit used to having it on my fingers.  I kept getting shivers down my spine whenever they would brush against anything.  (I’m getting them now thinking about my nails brushing against my wool peacoat!).  I did like it though, and I think next time I’m going to try it with my OCC Flatline matte topcoat to smooth it out a little bit.  Here is a swatch.

What about you guys, have you tried the textured trend?  What do you think?

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“Meadow” is actually what I have on my nails right now.  I’ll link my NOTD post here.  I bought this one because it is so different from anything else that I have in my collection.  It looks pale pink with beautiful golden shimmer running through it.  I thought it would be perfect for a light spring look.  It seems to apply a bit darker on the nail, but when I hold them up to the bottle it looks the same, so I don’t know what the trick is!  It comes off as a bit more of a dusty rose colour, but the shimmer really glows.  It is a beautiful polish that I think will be more versatile now and be wearable all through the year!

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This one I obviously had to get.  It’s my namesake polish! DSC07795 For those who don’t know, Zoya has a lot of polishes that are girls’ names, and it’s really fun to find the one that has your name.  I was really happy to find my polish is this gorgeous sparkly red =D.  In the bottle it is a rich red base with golden-orange chunkier shimmer (almost glitter, but not), running through it.  On the nail the golden-orange doesn’t show very strongly.  It comes off as a multi-dimensional red, and I am in love =D.  You can see it on my nails here in my Valentines Day NOTD.

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The last Zoya polish that I picked up was “Kimber”.  My camera had trouble handling this one because it is so bright!  It is a really vibrant pink, again with the nice gold shimmer running through it.  This is what I could consider “Barbie Pink”.  It is so amazing!  I haven’t worn it yet, but I have a feeling it will be on my nails a lot this summer =)

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Here are the polishes that I picked up at Sally’s and Walgreens:

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First is Orly “Rage”.  I can’t believe how long it took me to get this polish!  It has been EVERYWHERE in the beauty world for probably the past year.  I finally wound up getting it because they changed their packaging (boo!  the new stuff looks cheap) and so Sally’s was having a promo where if you spent $3 you got an Orly polish in the old packaging for free!  I rooted around in the basket until I found this one, and I was so happy it was there =)  It is beautiful!  A true rose gold metallic polish.  You can see it on my nails here.

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Here is the polish that I bought to get the Orly for free.  It is China Glaze “Graffiti Glitter” from the Bitz ‘N Pieces collection.  It drew me in with the rich green and black glitter.  I have to say I was disappointed when I swatched it on my nail wheel to think of St. Patrick’s Day Ideas.  I thought it was a black base packed with glitter, but it turns out it is a clear base with sparse green hexagonal glitter, smaller black hexagonal glitter, and black bar glitter.  I’m sure I’ll find something that will make this great, but I’m not inspired as of yet.

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This is another polish that I had been wanting, but not for quite as long.  This is Essie’s “Beyond Cozy” from their latest holiday collection.  I made myself be good and resisted buying it when it first came out, and then I regretted that as soon as it was sold out!  So when I found it in my local Walgreens I wasn’t about to let it get away again!  I can’t wait to try this one =)

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Finally; here is a nail art kit that I bought from Nasty Nails.  You can see the look I did with it here, as well as a review of the kit and the website!

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What are your recent purchases?  Have you been weak like me?  haha.

xoxo

Haul: HauteLook – Pixi and Pop Beauty

Hey Beauties!

Today’s post is a haul from HauteLook of Pixi and Pop Beauty products =)  If you’ve never heard of HauteLook before, be sure to check it out here, it is totally free and a great place to find awesome deals!  Quick note: they are back on HauteLook today until Friday at 8AM!

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=D My Haul!

First up are the nail polishes.  Pop Beauty polishes are non-occlusive (won’t stain your nails) and “Three Free”, which means they contain no Toluene, Formaldehyde or DBP.  They are amazing polishes!  I was shopping with a friend once back in Canada, and we stumbled upon some of these nail polishes in a shop in Vancouver.  They were so pretty we couldn’t help ourselves!  20 minutes later we had painted every nail a different colour with the tester shades, and my friend was buying 2, at $20 each!  Now that was too steep for me to swallow on nail polish, so I passed.  But I did borrow hers to paint my nails that night, and loved it!  The formula is great, and they last ages on the nails.  You can find these at Ulta, POPBeauty, Beauty.com, or Amazon for $10 each.  I picked these up for $3 each on HauteLook!  These are the colours that I purchased:

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Pop Beauty nail polish: Foggy

The most beautiful mid-tone grey with subtle blue and pink shimmer running through it.  I had wanted this colour ever since I tried it in the store.  It was my absolute favourite!  So excited to have this for the winter =)

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Pop Beauty nail polish: Denim Metal

A brilliant metallic blue with blue shimmer.

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Pop Beauty nail polish in Ocean

A stunning royal blue with slightly purple shimmer running through it.

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Pop Beauty nail polish: Brave

I can’t wait to wear this one in the summer!  It is a vibrant turquoise with subtle shimmer.  Hello mermaid nails!

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Pop Beauty nail polish: Black

Just a nice, opaque creme black polish.

Next, I also picked up a few items from Pixi.  I know they are available at Target, but they are pricey for a drugstore brand, so I have never picked anything up to try.  I have heard great things about their products though, so when I saw them on HauteLook I decided to give them a shot!  Each of these products was $6.

The Endless Silky Eye Pens are pencil eyeliners described as “Waterproof.  Gives the intense colour of a liquid liner in an easy to apply gel pencil.  No retouching required all day.”  I haven’t worn these on my eyes, but I have swatched them on my hands.  They glide on SO nicely, soft and creamy.  You can work with them right after you apply to blend out for a softer look, or smudge them to use as a base.  However, once they set, they are not going anywhere!  I rubbed and rubbed at the swatch on my hand, and it even took some good scrubbing to get it off when I washed my hands.  Definitely water and smudge proof!  Just what I need in an eyeliner =)

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Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in Cafe Gold

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Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in Cafe Gold

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Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in Cafe Gold

Cafe Gold is a beautiful warm brown with subtle gold shimmer running through it.  This is my ideal every day shade of eyeliner.

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Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in Black Tulip

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Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in Black Tulip

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Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in Black Tulip

Black Tulip looks like it is going to be a midnight blue based on the packaging, but it really isn’t too far off from black.  As far as I could tell it just looked like a softer black.  Kind of disappointed about that =(

The Succulent Lip Twin is a multi-use lip & cheek duo.  “Natural oils & extracts condition and protect while adding a tint of awakening colour”.  This is a neat two in one product.  In the tube portion there is a lip balm with vitamin E, jojoba oil and lavender extract.  It is a nice silky coloured balm.  In the cap is the lip & cheek cream with shea butter and aloe vera.  This can just be rubbed on to the lips (kind of like a eos lip balm) or on the cheeks and then blended.  Both are very moisturizing!  It has cute packaging, great colour payoff, and I think it is the perfect idea to throw in your purse and always have on you!

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Succulent Lip Twin in Poppy Red

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Succulent Lip Twin in Poppy Red
Bottom – Lip balm from the tube
Top – A swatch of the lip & cheek cream from the cap

The final product I picked up was a Tinted Brilliance Balm.  I have been wanting one of the Tarte lip pencils like this for a while, and this was a fraction of the price, so I figured I’d give it a shot first!  “This balm provides hydration, sheer colour & lip stain.  With shea butter & lip-plumping hyaluronic acid, it will keep your lips in optimum condition.”  I didn’t even realize it had hyaluronic acid, bonus!  This is a chubby pencil lip balm/stain.  I figured I would try the berry colour since it is getting into fall/winter!

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Tinted Brilliance Balm in Bitten Berry

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Tinted Brilliance Balm in Bitten Berry

Um, a little bit of a difference between the packaging and the product!!!  I got so scared when I opened it for the first time, lol.  I was filming and got my reaction, or so I thought until I found out my camera had died =(

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Tinted Brilliance Balm in Bitten Berry

As you can see, it glides on to give a beautiful, sheer “bitten” stain of colour.  I think the name “Bitten Berry” describes this perfectly.  It is very hydrating and comfortable to wear on the lips.  I haven’t tested the longevity of this yet, but will let you know when I do!  I have a feeling it isn’t super long lasting, just because of how silky it is, but maybe the stain penetrates and lasts longer?

Based on these products I will be trying more Pixi in the future for sure!  Do you have any favourite products you would recommend?

Hope you enjoyed this!

xoxo

Catching Up: USA Haul

Hey beauties, This one is from May 6, 2012:

This is going to be a big one…  I spent most of Jan-March in the United States (Maryland) with my fiancee!  First I was just visiting, and then I wound up going back to do an internship with an equine veterinarian.  Such an amazing experience.  It is my goal to one day be a veterinarian =).

Anyways, while I was down there I (of course) did a bit of shopping!  I love shopping in Deleware…  no sales tax!  I did some online shopping too.  Here’s what I bought:

A set of NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams in (L to R): Amsterdam – bright true red, Addis Ababa – bright fuchsia pink, Milan – soft nudish pink, London – mocha brown, Istanbul – soft baby pink.  I will do a full review on these, I love them!!

These were my first ever Hautelook purchase =D

OCC: Matte nail polish topcoat and Lip Tar!  From http://www.occmakeup.com/

MAC Eyeshadow in Humid, from Cosmetic Company Outlet – such an amazing store!!

The Balm Eyeshadow in Luscious Lani out of a My Glam bag  http://www.myglam.com/

This is a shimmery champagne colour similar to Sin by Urban Decay.

Sheer Cover concealer from My Glam bag as well.  LOVE this stuff!

Urban Decay Ink For Eyes gel eyeliner in Zero, Urban Decay Primer Potion Minis, and Urban Decay 24/7  Eyeshadow Pencils from a Hautelook purchase!

Neutrogena Healthy Skin makeup from drugstores, I will do reviews on all of the products I have from this line.

Julep cuticle oil from a Julep Maven box

Napoleon Perdis colour disk in 27 (matte grey) from a Hautelook purchase

Lorac goodies!!  A sheer lipstick in Just Kissed, two Co-Stars (lip glosses) in First Kiss (pink) and Steamy Kiss (red), and two lip pencils in 09 (peachy brown) and 03 (burgundy red).

I found this little gem in Urban Outfitters at the mall, for $5!!

Sadly it got a little bit destroyed on the way home, but I will do a post showing you the damage and how I fixed it =)

And finally…  all of my new nailpolish!! <3<3  Can you tell that I love nail polish? =D

I will do a post of my entire nailpolish collection in detail and tell you guys my favourites.

Hope you enjoyed this haul!  I know they’re not quite the same on blogs as they are on youtube…

xoxo