let’s talk about in store makeovers

Greetings all! Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. You are shopping around at Ulta or Sephora most likely, and inevitably some salesperson or another wrangles you into trying their products right there in the store. You have to remove any makeup you are already wearing (sometimes copious amount) and cross your fingers and pray to whatever gods are yours that they know what they are doing.

I have gotten a little brave with this. I had a really good experience a few months ago in Ulta with the Napoleon Perdis salesperson (do a quick search on my NP posts and you will find the makeover and all the NP love I’ve found since!) so I don’t tend to turn these down.

My first mistake was letting someone approach me in The Body Shop. Yes their lipliner is silky smooth and their BB cream is divine, but let’s face it: what they really know is bathtime. Shower gels, skincare, lotions, scrubs, soaks. No one’s first thought is “mascara!” Secondly, the person was nowhere near my age, nor did we have anything in common skinwise.

I could go on but I will let pictures speak for themselves.

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My eyeshadow got extended at least half an inch past the end of my eyebrows. It’s hard to tell that, though, because she didnt fill them and my ends are a little thin. Also, she put mascara on TOP of my lashes? that was a wierd sensation, to say the least.

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I feel as if I look tired and dirty.

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same problem as the other eye. I’m pretty sure the mascara on top application made my lashes straighter >.< also…blush. look at it all.

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seriously look at my lashes. If you are at all familiar with my blog and thereby my face, you know i have long, thick lashes and she somehow succeeded in making them look stringy and sparse.

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OK I DO like this color. SHe mixed 2 lipsticks to get this great fall orange/brown shade. but she didnt line, and she didnt prep them with balm or anything first.

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These are the colors she used–The Body Shop numbers colors instead of naming them. I bought them because I liked how the color looked.

 

Do you have any horror stories about in store makeovers? Best and worst experiences? Let me know!

Nail Art Catchup

Good evening readers! I’ve been posting a lot of box reviews lately, so here are some manicures to catch you up on what my nails have been sporting over the last few weeks…months? It might be months now. I’m probably the world’s worst beauty blogger 🙂

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This was my birthday manicure! I used two Zoyas–Zoya Sailor from the fall cashmere line, and Zoya Sunshine, their similarly colored fall Pixiedust. On the middle finger is Happy Birthday by Deborah Lippman.
I love the ease of application and full coverage of Zoya polish. These pictures do not do it justice!

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Here we have some stripe tape art, featuring butter London British Racing Green over Color Club Silver Lake. The “accent nails” are where I screwed up the taping >.< I dressed them up with Zoya Opal flake effect topcoat. I had been coveting this color green for a very very long time and finally snagged it for $10 during Ulta’s promotion in September.

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I tried out two more of the Zoya fall cashmere line–Louise (brown) and Pepper (red). These colors are scrumptious. I won the full cashmere set at the end of september at a fundraiser and i couldnt be more thrilled.

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Another new butter London–Scuppered. Incredibly hard to photograph. This polish is actually comprised of gold, green and red glitters and has amazingly full coverage.

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You got a sneak peek of this one in last week’s Birchbox reviews! This is Zoya Flynn, of the cashmeres, and Ruffian’s Hedge Fund, from Birchbox. This was also my first attempt at interlocking dots…BE GENTLE.

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Getting closer…HOMECOMING! This was from a few weekends ago. I went back to good old MoCo to march with the alumni band and did an accompanying mani. I honestly can’t remember what the blue and grey were that I used. The glitter was from the Sephora OPI Cinderella set.

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This mani is….action packed. I know I used Sonia Kashuk Fatigued and Sally Hansen Sugar Coat in Candy Corn. with striping tape. and rhinestones. Honestly I STILL can’t decide if i liked it or not.

Believe it or not, I have even MORE manicures to show you since I last uploaded pictures, as well as some very special manicures I created for charity. But more on that another time!

Do you all love Zoya and butter london as much as I do? What do you think about my quilted bedazzled manicure? Hit me up!

New box for readers! Beauty Box 5–October

I mentioned a little while ago that my OCD internet shopping kicked in and I signed up for 3 new beauty subs. OOPS #sorrynotsorry.

I don’t feel bad because Goodies.co just ended. Nevermind the fact that Goodies was a snack box and only $7….SHUT UP.

Beauty Box 5 was one that I saw got pretty good reviews, so I decided to add it to our review repertoire. Here’s what I got:

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You know me and my love for good packaging. This logo is just ADORABLE.

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Take it easy? Don’t have to tell me twice! Now if only they had sent me one of those cute polka dot mugs and some fingerless gloves….

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Breakdown of the included items for October.

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The Nubar polish is SMACK full of glitter 🙂 and I always stretch out my toe separators with my big fat toes so these are nice. I’ve gotten La Fresh in other bags and loved them as well, and Aveeno is a well known, reputable brand for sensitive skin–I am drowning in lotion right now so I haven’t tried THIS one yet.

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Let’s not forget the lipstick. I have seen Model Co popping up in boxes for MONTHS but somehow never seem to get it! I was excited to finally get some–and check out the built in mirror on the tube!

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The shade is sunset and its an ever-so-slightly orange neutral.

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Here it is on! I think it’s more of a summer color for me, but the formula is creamy and smooth.

So there’s something a little new for ya. At $12/month, it is only slightly more expensive than Ipsy and Birchbox. That being said, this box appears to be somewhat in infancy, with no referral program or rewards system YET in place. For more information, visit their website.

Do you subscribe? Tell me about your experiences!

Misikko Beauty HanaAIR Dryer Review & Giveaway!!

I teased this a few weeks back and then pranked you all by giving away an ebook. The day is finally arrived!

I was presented with the opportunity by Misikko Beauty to review one of their hair tools–either a dryer or a flatiron. I have a CHI ceramic flat iron I am happy with, so I opted to try the HanaAir Professional hair dryer.

Here’s a look at the package I received:

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Seriously, look at all those goodies! The packaging was well done and a nice touch.

 

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‘Tis the season! I go through nail files like water and the hand sanitizer will be useful while I am out volunteering.

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Beautiful purple bath roses!

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This is a heat safe case for my flatiron!

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But wait, there’s more!

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Like this cute little guy! He is SO. SUPER. SOFT.

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A brand new brush, and eyelash curler.

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Here it is! This is the hair dryer. Besides it being shiny and new, it is much more up to date than the dryer I was using previously.

Down to brass tacks:

There are 3 buttons on the handle. One turns it on low, on high, or Off. The 2nd button is 3 heat settings. The top button toggles Cool Air–This was the BEST feature for me because my previous dryer required you to HOLD IN THE BUTTON. you know, because your hands aren’t busy doing other stuff.

This dryer is powerful! It dries my hair really quickly and evenly–with hair as thick and long as mine, that’s really saying something. I should also point out my hair is not color treated and hadn’t been cut since LAST September.  I also was able to get two perspectives–I did my hair with the dryer both before and after my recent haircut.

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This is my hair, pre-haircut, with nothing but the HanaAIR and my hands. My hair is shiny, completely dry, and looks healthy. The first time (left) it actually did over-dry it a bit; the 2nd time I made sure to use a heat-protection product, which I normally do, and this alleviated any excessive dryness in my hair.

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I apologize for the lesser quality of this picture–this was actually taken with my cell phone the day of my haircut. My hair gets cut in my kitchen by my neighbor (a professional, I swear!) but his dryer broke and I ended up having to dry my own.  You can see I didn’t take off much in the way of length, however; I was still incredibly satisfied with the use of the new dryer.

I also tested out the eyelash curler; this was less than stellar and I will not be switching. My one hiccup with the dryer itself was that the nozzle attachment was difficult to put on. Once it was on it worked like a dream 🙂

I know what you are thinking. But Keri, how can I get one of these amazing hair dryers?! Well, if you are impatient and refuse to wait, you can find them on their website under Best Professional Hair Dryer.   Misikko also posts giveaways and beauty advice on their Facebook page. 

You can also go to a Rafflecopter giveaway !!

Earn entries by following, liking, and commenting! Also, huge shout out to Nicole, who really made this giveaway possible when I was accidentally sent two products and for providing me all the links I needed to send you all the right places 🙂

While Misikko provided me these products to review and giveaway, all pictures and opinions expressed are my own, and I will be paying for prize shipping out of pocket.

Butter London’s Giddy Kipper–purchased solely based on name.

As the title suggests, I bought this color because it shares a name with a very special individual in my life. 

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This is my furbaby Kipper. My family is VERY english and my little brother (half english, quarter dane) named him when he was found last summer. Naturally when I discovered that butter london had combined two of my loves, I snagged it during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty Sale. 

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These are the tools i used. The sally hansen hardener and topcoat are supposed to be a DIY hack for gel nails.

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Two coats of Giddy Kipper with Essie SOTT over top.

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Giddy Kipper is a gorgeous creme blue-toned purple. I probably could have gotten away with one coat, honestly.

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an angle shot to show off some of the SOTT goodness!

I only have 3 butters (the others are British Racing Green and Shambolic) and this is the first manicure using ANY of them. I was thrilled with how this turned out!

as for the Sally hack, i’ve done several manis like this and my nails are definitely flaking less. The topcoat delivers when it says it gives you a rock hard finish, and its definitely high gloss too. One caveat–this is not a base/topcoat combination if you are going to do more than 2-3 total coats of polish or art. I recommend Seche Vite for nail art. but for basic colors and small touches like flakies, its perfect for a durable polish with a nice finish.

What’s your favorite Butter?!

arbonne re9 advanced skincare regimen review

Dig back into the recesses of your memory, to the early days of this blog you are reading. You may have a vague recollection of me, your writer, throwing an insanely incredible princess themed party–at which one of the princesses in attendance was an Arbonne independent consultant.

Danielle Swiss (who has allowed me to publish her name and Arbonne FB page) is a friend of mine from college. She almost got me killed during freshman orientation weekend but could always be counted on to harmonize with me singing “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” on the streets. She also gave us all makeovers and facials and gave me two sample sets of the RE9 Advanced Skincare regimen: one for me, and one for my wicked stepmother. (Hey, that’s not a dig….she signs my birthday cards like that)

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The samples came in these neat little packets with step-by-step instructions. luckily, since Danielle also used these products at the party, I knew that you only needed a teensy little bit of each step to cover your whole face. This little kit lasted over a week!

There are 5 steps included: Cleanser, Toner, Serum, Eye Cream, and Moisturizer. The sample kit included 2 different day creams (regular spf25 and one for super intense moisture spf25, for dry skin) and a night cream.

My favorite aspect of this set is that the thing smells like an orange grove! They don’t have that fake orange soda orange smell–legit, fresh squeeze oranges in every bottle. The product page on the Arbonne website has more information about the botanicals and its appropriate-ness for sensitive skin. Let me give you a little break-down of what I thought of each of the products.

Cleanser: This product worked really well and smelled delicious. It foams just the right amount and like I said, a little dab goes a long way. Personally I will be sticking to my philosophy and my suki foaming exfoliator, but if I ever need a change this is where I’ll turn.

Toner: This is one of the only things that doesn’t smell of oranges. It has a slightly floral smell. I could visibly see a difference in the regions around some of my clogged pore areas (ee, yucky!). I have found a drugstore dupe as far as I’m concerned–Boots Botanicals brightening toner smells identical and has similar effects. The ingredients probably differ slightly but it works for me.

Serum: I am seriously considering this. I am currently product testing several other serums (philosophy, Murad, etc) but this was exquisite. This took the tightened skin of the toner and added firmness. Again, I took a squirt about the size of a pencil eraser and it took care of my whole face.

Day Creams: The one for drier skin was too much for me, and made me feel oily. Even with the regular I had to be careful not to use too much or I would be shiny. Would be great for older skin but I think I’m a little under the age cut-off for this.

Night Cream: The cat did NOT like this one. Every night I came to bed after using this he looked at me like I had just punished him for something. Which he probably deserved. This did put good moisture in my skin. I might get this too, but I am also testing other night creams and moisturizers to make sure.

Danielle will correct me if I am making this up, but I am pretty sure that she told us that Arbonne bottles automatically dispense a face-sized amount of product. i.e, you would pump once and have the right amount for each step. I think that is a really cool feature–especially for more fluid products such as serum where it is far too easy to over-squeeze.

As for the stepmonster, she said ‘I am loving this!” so there’s a ringing endorsement if ever I heard one.

Go here to view the RE9 line.

Have any of you tried this? what are your favorite Arbonne products? I do have some cosmetic samples to try as well 😀

August 2013 Ipsy: Makeup Academy

I hadn’t anticipated time to blog this weekend. Most of you are probably too cool to know, but early access to FFXIV:ARR began yesterday. For those of you who are WAY too cool…it’s a video game. And I get to play it before everyone else. However it’s been really buggy and error-ful, so while it is down for the 4th emergency maintenance, I thought I would show you all what I got in this month’s Ipsy!

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I love the bag! Different from all the month’s prior. Also, since I never got shipping notification (DHL…..*shakes fist*.) I didn’t know I was getting another referral bonus! THANK YOU! The UD Moondust shadow is an older bonus that I thought they were out of–I was wrong!

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Everything laid out so you could see. I already knew what I was getting from my glam room, but I was still ecstatic to see it all in front of me!

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Referall eyeshadow. It is the Diamond Dog shade, which is perfect bc I have the diamond dog Stardust shadow–MATCHY MATCHY!!

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swatches. The glitter is very fine, in contrast to the stardust line’s chunkier glitter–both of which i love and appreciate.

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Urban Decay revolution lipstick mini in Anarchy! This little beauty caused quite a stir for Ipsy, because the alternate item was a lip balm. While it cannot compare to UD, this is still a monthly grab bag and you still get items worth more than you paid.

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Swatched! It’s a brilliant color.

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Chella eyebrow pencil. This actually turned out to be a great shade for me! The pencil itself is so thin, it feels very fragile but so far it has actually worked out quite well.

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Swatched. It’s perfectly dark and blends well with my black brows.

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MIca beauty shimmer powder. I got this product in a previous month, but in a different color! It all worked out and the shade from this month, Bronze, goes well with the slightly pink shade, Earth, I received before.

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Swatched!

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Pixi lash booster mascara. I was excited to try this because so far I have really enjoyed the pixi products I have tried. This one, however, was not meant to be. That’s the risk you take with an Ipsy sub though!

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Wand. You can see the packaging also isnt great–the black insert lifts away from the green tube every time I pull the wand out.

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MIchael Todd charcoal face scrub. I was leery about rubbing charcoal on my face. Yes, it turns your face black, but then grey as it suds up, and then you are left with smooth clean skin. I use this a couple times a week in lieu of my other cleansers, just to mix it up!

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Yup. Smear it ALL OVER.

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Did a look with Ipsy samples only!

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The two shadows from this month, plus my other Mica shadow. Unfortunately the Pixi mascara makes my lashes horrendously straight 😦

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Brilliance of Anarchy. I wish there was more of summer left so i could keep rocking this lipstick!

If you havent tried Ipsy yet and like what you see, sign up here. For those of you already subscribed, what did you get? Were any of you stuck with lip balm? I’m also interested to see if anyone actually liked this mascara. Let me know!

Crown Brush Hautelook Bag, and a Palette Observation.

I am going to go backwards and start with my observation. I am in an eyeshadow RUT. Which is just fucking ridiculous because i have about fifty palettes, not to mention trios, quads, duos, and singles. I have come up with a simple solution–I am just going to limit myself to ONE palette for an entire week at a time! I hope this will force me to be creative and get to know my palettes more intimately and form longer stronger bonds with them. God, that sounds like relationship advice..”you need to spend more time together as a couple”.

It’s true though–your makeup IS like being in a longterm committed relationship. You have committed yourself to look fabulous and to use these tools and products to do so. Sometimes it’s love/hate–those days when you just can’t get your wings to work, your foundation is for the wrong season and doesn’t match, you sneeze during mascara application. Sometimes, you neglect your makeup partner–you might go a day (or twenty) without touching it at all. Your relationship could be abusive–left to melt in a hot car, dropped, smashed, unwashed brushes, cracked lids.  But at the end of the day you love them and they have the capacity to make you your best you.

THus I am going to introduce you to the palette this week. I am actually already on Day 2 of this palette. A month or two ago Hautelook had a beauty bag from Crown Brush for sale, and I am a sucker for beauty boxes and bags.

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Everything was stuffed into this bag. I don’t understand the white cosmetic bag obsession. I got one from Ipsy too, and it was filthy within a week. I might try and decorate it somehow–aka i will draw on it with Sharpie.

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4 pack of Kabuki brushes, brush roll and set, eyeliner with sharpening lid, cosmetic wedges, and the leopard is the top of the palette. The wedges will probably get used for manicures. The brushes are soft but shed easily so they are my spares when my regular brushes are being washed.

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The palette! The quality surprised me, but there is a bit of fallout. The colors are nice and bold though, and show up nicely without a primer (but obviously better with, since my greasy creases would make short work of it). I will be posting swatches with my looks at the end of the week!

Hopefully I can make this a Sunday thing…summarize the looks of a palette and show the flexibility and variety of which each is capable. Maybe I will be able to pick favorites! HA.

Did any of you grab this Hautelook bargain? Or does anyone else want to do my palette challenge?!

Wantable Makeup Box! Courtesy of Reddit :)

A few weeks ago, Stuart at Wantable posted on Reddit saying he wanted to give back to the Reddit community, and sent us a link to 20% off our first box! Of course I hopped on that! I never signed up for Wantable before because it’s more expensive than the others and I couldn’t justify the expense.

Wantable (if you are interested) is either a one-time purchase or monthly subscription. They have both a cosmetic box and a jewelry box, which I think is a neat feature! I opted for makeup, as you probably guessed, and I seriously love everything I got!

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The packaging is very professional, and I’ve mentioned before I love when my purchases compliment me!

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The contents, arranged artistically.

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THe package comes with an insert to describe the items to you, as well as including little beauty tips!

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Rainbow Honey, The Kraken. LOVE this color! I am a sucker for glitter, plus nautical and mermaid polishes and makeup are very popular this summer…as if I needed an excuse!

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Susan Posnick, COLOREYEDESIGN. This double ended pencil has a slant-tip eyeliner pencil and a sponge end on the other, with purple shimmer eyeshadow in the cap. I thought the idea was innovative! It took a while to get used to using the shape of the eyeliner, but the colors go well together and I will definitely use this a lot!

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29 Cosmetics D’Vine Mascara. This mascara has vitamins and conditioning substances in it. It is a chocolate brown color, which is good for more subtle, natural days. I try to alternate this with my go-to Clump Crusher to keep my lashes healthy! I tried to layer it, one layer this and one layer CC but it didn’t look as awesome so I use it by itself.

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3 Custom Color, Simply Beautiful Cheek Tint. This didn’t show up in swatch but it was lovely and subtle on my face. It’s sweating a bit in the picture because the box was delivered while I was at work and it’s been hot this summer.

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This is a pretty standard lip brush. I always prefer retractable for lip brushes, since it keeps gunk from getting in it if you are out and can’t wash it or used a sticky gloss.

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Using the eye pencil/shadow combo, blush, and mascara! It’s a nice, subtle use of color and definitely works for a work day!

The last item included was an Apothederm Firming Serum, for anti-aging. I haven’t tested it yet as I am currently testing other skincare samples. I am still young but am starting to think about preventative measures against aging so this will definitely get tested!

According to the insert in the box, the retail value for the products is over $90! I paid $32 after the discount we were given by Stuart. Everything was a full-sized product except the Apothederm serum, which was a  sample. I am incredibly pleased and while I can’t afford a monthly subscription, I will definitely be back for more when I have birthday or Christmas money:)

THANKS, STUART!

Did anyone else nab that offer on Reddit??