Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Nail polish haul


A quick post on the nail polishes that I picked up! On a Facebook group for selling things at my university, there were a couple of girls selling nail polish. I received these three, which was really the main reason that I bought them (both girls threw in a couple of extra polishes, like some "Dior" (I put it in quotes because from the quality, I am not sure how authentic it was) and a random off-brand polish. 

All in all, I got these three polishes and three other polishes, as well as a bonus costume necklace, for $10. Considering that these three alone would retail for around $24, I definitely think it was a steal! Plus, none of these polishes have been used that much, they were basically full. 

I know people who don't like to buy used polishes, but I don't think it's a big deal. If it's thickened, as old nail polish that hasn't been used in awhile often does, Seche makes a great restoring product. If you're really concerned, you could always clean the brushes in Acetone before using it (I have never done that, so don't take my word for it). 

From left to right: Essie Luxeffects in Stroke of Brilliance, OPI All That Razz-Berry, and OPI Tutti Frutti Tonga. 

I'm not sure how I feel about the All That Razz-Berry because I'm not a huge fan of deep purple-reds like that, but the Tutti Frutti Tonga and Stroke of Brilliance are just my type. Expect to see a design with them soon! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

December 2014: Target Beauty Box--For Her

Target has beauty boxes that go on sale every once in a while (monthly or bimonthly?), and this time I managed to snag a couple! The boxes differ from subscription services like Ipsy or Birchbox because you have to order them when they go on sale on target.com; they're not automatically sent to you. This December box was $10, limited edition, and is currently out of stock online. This was my first Target Beauty Box, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The website said that it has a value of $50. We shall see! 

The packaging. Very pretty and holiday themed, but in the end, it's just a cardboard box. 

The two cards included in the box. The white one on the left has a list and description of the 7 (!) full-sized products included,as well as two coupons: One for 20% off Women's Apparel on Target.com, and one for $3 off a Beauty purchase of $15+, either online or off. The red one on the right is another coupon, this one for $10 off a purchase of any size on Dermstore.com. I've never ordered from there before, but a free $10? Hard to resist. 


The products! The eyeshadow was flashed out, which I didn't realize until after I had already unpacked everything in the box. But this box had 8 products, most of them full-sized as I mentioned earlier. Most of these are drugstore products or products from Target's beauty section, but just from looking at it (without adding up any of the value yet), it looks like a much better value than the Ipsy glambag or Birchboxes (I say this having been a long-time subscriber to both of them). 

COVERGIRL Eye Enhancers in 286 smokey nudes. The website does not list the price since it's not sold online, but at my local Target, it was $5.99. It seems to run between $4.99-$5.99, but we'll just go with the local Target price. Value: $5.99
ChapStick Total Hydration 3-in-1 Lip Care in Sweet Peach. This is a Target exclusive. It smells incredible, and it actually works on my lips to moisturize, which is surprising because I have only ever found one chapstick that works. Value: $2.99
Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum. This is a .1 fl oz sample, so it rings in at about: Value: $2.99
Clairol Hair Food Moisturizing Hair Mask in Apricot Honey. This has an awesome smell and it left my hair feeling incredibly soft and smooth, even more so than my conditioner and previous Aveda hair mask. I will definitely re-purchase this in the future, if I ever run out. It's a 6.3 oz bottle and you don't need that much, even with my thick and long hair. Value: $11.99 
Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. My picture makes it look much bigger than it is, it's actually 20 mL whereas the full-size bottle for sale is 80 mL. Even this small size has a lot in it, and I can't wait to try it. Laneige is a very popular South Korean brand, and I love Korean skincare products, so it's neat to see that Target carries it. Value: $5.75


L'Oreal Butterfly Intenza Mascara in Black Noir. I have not tried this out yet, so no idea on how it is, but it claims to "[give] instantly glamorous lashes with a formula that stretches and lengthens to create the perfect winged-out look." Value: $7.99

Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer in Strawberry Topaz. I actually already own a couple of these glosses, so I was happy to add this to my collection. It has a beautiful red color that I love in my lip products, and it's not overly sticky. Plus it's beautiful and shimmery in the tube. Value: $7.99

Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in Black Noir. This eyeliner is incredible. I tried it on when I got it, and it stayed almost the whole day, even when I rubbed at my eyes (the pain of wearing contacts). It's a crayon liner, but thinner than most other ones. The color is very intense. Value: $6.10

All in all, this box was amazing. I'm glad that I was able to grab one before it went out of stock! Although the products were not super incredibly high-end stuff, and it didn't include any nail polish, it was still a great value: worth $61.79, much more than they had advertised! I also bought the Target Beauty Box For Her Natural Version, so I will post a review of that soon!

(This box was purchased by me, and all thoughts and opinions are my own. The links lead to the Target site, as that is where the box was purchased, but none of the links are affiliate.) 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Black Friday Haul: Sephora Part 2


Part 2 of my Sephora haul from Black Friday shopping! (Part 1 is here). Sephora has the most incredibly makeup deals during Black Friday, usually involving awesome samples. This order was much smaller than the first one that I posted, but it still wasn't a bad haul. Here is what I ordered:


Anna Sui Mini Coffret. I have the Anna Sui Forbidden Affair rollerball that I actually ordered last Black Friday. I love Anna Sui's scents, so I had to get this set, which includes .14oz sizes of Flight of Fancy, Fairy Dance, La Vie de Boheme, Secret Wish, and Forbidden Affair. The bottles are glass and the toppers are plastic. Behind the bottles is the packaging that it came in; this is another one of the gift-ready sets that Sephora offers! It was $50, which I think was a good price for owning samples of Anna Sui perfumes, in a form that looks fancier than the tiny samples or rollerballs. 

The three free samples that come with every order. I chose Lancôme NUDE MIRACLEMarc Jacobs Daisy, and KP Duty Body Scrub. I always try to test out all of their perfume samples but they sadly did not have many at the time. 

They had a code for different grab bags, but by the time that I placed the order, a lot of the Black Friday specials were out or the codes had disappeared. Since I am obsessed with manicure and nail polish, I figured I would try the Manicure Bag they were offering. I probably would go for one like I ordered with the other package instead, this one was a disappointment. 

Actually, I take that back. It wasn't bad, I just would not order it again. I always carry around different beauty bags (since I can never remember to switch the bag, and I have so many products that it doesn't matter too much), so these are the perfect size to toss in your bag. I might re-order on the nail remover wipes, they're just so handy. I remember having to keep a full-size bottle of acetone and a bag of cotton balls in my locker at school because colored nail polish was against the school's uniform policy, but it was hard to resist (and I was already blogging at that time). This would solve that problem! Plus, if your nail polish is chipping (like mine currently is) and it bothers you when you don't have a bottle of remover handy, this is a quick fix. 

So that is that for makeup splurges! I paid $53 with tax and (free) shipping, so I think that overall it was not a bad deal. 

(No affiliate links are included in this post, I just wanted to provide an easy way for you guys to check out the products. All products listed were paid for by me.) 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sephora Black Friday haul: part 1

I am a major shopaholic, especially when it seems like a really good deal. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are some of my favorite things.

I did all of my Black Friday shopping online because a) I'm not crazy enough to go to crowded malls and b) I like to overthink my purchases. 

I order a lot of Christmas gifts at this time, but since I'll be living alone next year, I also bought a lot of kitchen essentials. I have made it a tradition to splurge on makeup from Sephora every year though! 



This is the haul that I was most excited for (I made two orders). 

A quick list of everything, with small descriptions and also the value (not the price I paid), starting with the ones that I paid for: 


  • Hello Kitty The Red Bow Beauty Diaries ($49 value). If you know me at all, you'll know that I am a huge Hello Kitty fan. It was listing at $49 on the site which I wasn't very eager to pay, but it suddenly changed to $25 when I added it to the cart! Lucky day. It comes in a gorgeous box, and would be a perfect gift for a Hello Kitty lover!
  • Tocca Beauty A Touch of Luxury Gift Set. (~$22 value) This was a special gift set that was being sold on Black Friday, which is now permanently out of stock. It includes two 1 fl oz. hand creams and 2 0.10 fl oz fragrance rollerballs, one in Giulietta and one in Stella. Although the gift set is out of stock, you can buy the hand creams here and the perfume rollerballs here
  • Shiseido Honey Cake in Green ($9.50) My mom uses the Shiseido brand, so it was very common to see the products in my house. I actually just needed something to push me over the free shipping minimum, and since I am planning a spa care-esque gift for her, this did the trick nicely. 
The three free samples that I ordered:


  • Prada Luna Rossa ($2 value) They actually accidentally sent me two, which was a nice surprise. I love perfume samples, and some reviewers on Sephora had actually said that this scent seemed more unisex than "pour homme." 
  • Agave Oil Treatment ($1 value) Because if you're not helping your hair, you're hurting it. 
And then finally, the freebies that came with my order: 

  • DKNY MYNY Rollerball ($2 value) This was because I had finally reached 100 points! I basically only order once a year, so thankfully they accumulate... otherwise I would never know what the Beauty Insider prizes are like. 

  • 2014 Make Up For Ever Birthday Set that includes their Smoky Extravagant Mascara and Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick. You receive this if you are a Beauty Insider and it is around your birthday. My birthday was actually at the beginning of November and I did not want to go pick up my gift myself, but I did not expect that the time still had not passed. So yay! 


I think that Sephora has the best Black Friday deals, because who doesn't love bags full of makeup samples (which is why I subscribe to different beauty subscription services). I paid $54.59 after tax, for a box that was worth around $127, give or take. Not bad! 

By the way, none of these links are affiliate links. I just wanted you to be able to find out about the product quickly, instead of having to search yourself. Stay tuned for the second haul (which was much smaller, but still quite awesome). I usually take my time going through beauty products when I buy them new, so if you want to see how something works out for me, just ask! 

And yes, the layout changed! I am working on re-vamping the blog and making it into something portfolio-worthy, which I just have not had the energy for since school started. Now that the semester is winding down (I have finals next week!), I will be posting more regularly. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Product Review: Swipe single-use deodorant wipe


I received a new product to try last week, and it is amazing. It's Swipe, a "pocket-sized, biodegradable, single-use deodorant wipe." Since school started just two months ago, it is super convenient to toss in your bag or to use before or after sports practice or gym when you don't have time to shower before moving on. It smells incredible, because it has tea tree extract in it, and it does not leave your skin feeling sticky like some other wipes do. 

The back of the box. 
It's affordable, too. You can buy it at Swipe's website for $2.99 for a pack of 3, $6.99 for a pack of 10, and $14.99 for a pack of 25. 

It's much more portable and discreet than carrying around a stick of deodorant, body spray, or any of those other packs of body wipes. Plus, since they're in individual packages, you don't have to worry about it smashing (like deodorant) or filling up your bag with the scent. 

I don't usually gush, but I seriously love these. It's so easy to use, fresh smelling, and inexpensive. Seriously perfect for the random hot fall weather we've been having. Slip it in your kids bags, or add it in your gym bags now that sports have started up again, or add it to late start-of-the-school-year gifts! 

(This product was sent to me for review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own). 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ipsy glambag Review: July 2014

Not sure how I'm feeling about Ipsy Glambag. I have been getting it for almost a year, and I love the cosmetic bag and most of the products, but there's a lot of repeats. Birchbox, even though they ended up giving me a lot of cheap products towards the end, had a lot of different brands working with them. I think it's time to try a new beauty subscription service. I would prefer one around $10 like Birchbox and Ipsy, any suggestions? 



This month's bag. So cute, a pink square bag with a scalloped edge. 

This month, there were five products. Nail polish, lip product, hair product, tanning oil (???), and concealer/liquid eyeshadow. I don't really use hair product (and I've put that on my ipsy profile), and I 100% do not use tanning oil, so both of those products are kind of useless. But I am always game for lip products, nail polish, and concealer. 

Pixi Beauty Mini Tinted Brilliance Balm in Unique Pink. I like the color of this, and I always love lip pencil balms like this. The website says that it is $14 for a full-size crayon, I can't find specifics online, but it appears to be about half the size of one from the site, so value: $7. 


Whet nail polish in Facetious. A dark blue, very pretty, just my kind. Very nice, I tested it on one nail and it lasted for 3 days without chipping, and before I took it off, there was only minor tip wear. Value: $15 on the website. 

Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil SPF 08. I don't use Tanning Oil, mostly because I hate being tan and also I don't like going outside in the sun. I'll probably trade it off or give it away to someone. To me, this is worthless, but on the website the value: about $2. 

Marrakesh Endz by Marrakesh Hair Care. Split ends drive me nuts, so something that claims to repair split ends is a golden product for me. No promises on whether it actually works or not just yet, though. But it smells incredible and makes my hair soft. Value: $5.99 

Bare Minerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow in Barely Nude. Not a huge fan of cream eyeshadow because it usually smears a lot, but I tried this one and it's not too bad so far. Value: about $6. 

Verdict: The overall value of the bag was about $36, which is pretty good considering that it only cost $10. I think I will be waiting another month to see how the next bag is before I consider cancelling and switching to a new service; I feel like Ipsy is really limited, they seem to only have a few companies working with them; I've gotten Pixi products so many times in the past year. Any suggestions? Or recommendations for a bigger beauty service, preferably around the same cost? 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sunflower nail art!

I have some new nail art! It's been ages, but I had a ton of down time today and I was in the mood to do some nail art! I browsed Pinterest (Pinterest.com/rakuzen) and found a cute sunflower ish nail art.

The cast of characters: 
From left: China Glaze Agent Lavendar, Zoya Arizona, Zoya Wednesday, Zoya Shelby, Revlon Dreamer, OPI DS Illuminate, and a Sinful Colors yellow striper. 


First step, two coats of each color. These colors show up on my blog a lot because they're basically the only spring/summery ones that I have. Most are dark and more suitable for fall. 


Then using the brown color, paint a small circle in the corner. Using a yellow striper (it was yellow, although it did turn green on the middle finger), draw petals around the brown circle. Finish with top coat and voila!

Super simple design, but I love it! Has just enough sparkle for me. It was nice to get back into nail art too, I haven't had much time or energy lately with working and taking classes all summer.