October Starlooks Starbox

I am so far behind in box posts it isn’t even funny. Here is my Starlooks box from October. Starlooks has been popping up all over the place in other boxes too–Ipsy, Wantables, to name a few–and so far I have liked all the products.

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I always love how professional and classy their packaging is.

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The breakdown: lipstick, eyeliner, and 3 blushes.

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You can gift a subscription too–the December box has already been revealed to include a full eyeshadow palette!

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Cutepackagingception. Cute boxes within a cute box.

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Everything opened!

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The blush palette and eyeliner swatched! The middle blush is more summery on my skin but the other two will be great now! and The silver will be a nice touch of glam for holiday parties.

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The lipstick swatch. It goes on very smooth and is a sheer pink tint.

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The crystal was tucked in the box underneath the tissue paper!

Do you subscribe to Starbox? How about now? 😛

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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!

Palette Wars: Urban Decay Ammo Palette (original)

Welcome back! I am on a virtual roll this week, posting every day! I even managed to remember my giveaway was ending (congratulations Natalie!) and replace my old, tearing paper blinds with real grown-up person curtains (even if the rods are spring loaded instead of mounted). When my life goes to pot, work goes really well, so the fact that my home life is fine should tell you a little about the source of my stress the past week or so. ugh. But I didn’t make this post to vent about my life or have a therapy session about arrogant jerks who can dish it but can’t take it.

You are due for another palette review! I picked up the Ammo palette on sale before UD released the new updated version. I ended up not being able to use it for a whole week–not enough variety for a work week. I need spice in my life–just ask my wardrobe about all the articles of clothing I own with union jacks.

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Here’s a reminder of the palette. I have swatched it before and there are swatches all over so I didnt waste time and eyeshadow swatching again. sorry, ladies.

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Day one went for a more neutral look. I look really tired here (more tired than normal) but honestly i did this so long ago i can’t even remember why.

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I played a bit with the pinks & purples here.

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I am looking much more awake here. This was my birthday! You know, 7…weeks…ago. haha. So this was a Sunday, which explains my bright eyes (and bushy tail?) and also why i was able to use brighter colors.

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back to work appropriate makeup and tired eyes! thank goodness for glasses. I used the black in the outer corners here and i really like how it turned out.

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Final round with earth tone shades from the palette.

 

By the by, did you notice how this post might as well have been called “Evolution of Kerianne’s Eyebrows”? Yikes!

I would be interested to see how the new formula of UD Ammo compares to this version. Anybody have insight? Which version do you have?

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!

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.

September: My first Starlooks Starbox & Birthday Starbox

I can’t recall if I mentioned before, but I just added several new boxes to my subscriptions for your reading pleasure! One of them is the Starbox by Starlooks. I first heard of Starlooks when I received a lip liner in one of my Ipsy bags–I remember that on the forums people thought it odd that they would share items with a subscription service when they have their own. Here is a look at my first box.

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I was a bit surprised that it came in a mailer and not a sturdy box like the majority of my subscriptions (ipsy excluded). However, it is 1 of only 2 that marks them as fragile (Bondi also does so)

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If you couldnt tell by now, I’m a sucker for cute packaging.

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Glitter wax seal. I am finding the materials for this and sealing all my future letters this way.

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Free month of Ooberluxe was included. The FAQs are confusing and I will probably never use this.

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Info card. because this is how real women apply their makeup 😛

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Item descriptions of everything included.

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all the items in their packaging!

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Falsies! I am just starting to experiment with falsies so I am looking forward to trying these!

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I wonder if they made this lip gloss an innuendo on purpose…

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The bottle for the lipgloss is cool! It’s like it is faceted but when they were setting the glass they twisted it. that makes sense, right?

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Gloss swatch. It’s sparkly and I know this will be going over other lip colors to add some shine!

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The eye liner/cream pot–Milky Way.

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It looks pretty much like my other gel liner pots.

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The package states you can use it as liner, eyeshadow, or a base for either of those two things so I swatched it in a line and blended out. It’s very shimmery and I can definitely see myself getting use out of this.

I was happy with the items I got and I can’t wait to use them!

The day after this arrived, I got another shipping notification from Starlooks. I didnt get charged twice and I was really confused. I had no idea that they would be sending a whole separate box for my birthday in September!

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i LOVED everything they sent for my birthday! SO GREAT. What have your experiences been with Starlooks?

September Splendies & New Collaboration!

If you’ve been a reader for a while, you know that Splendies is one of my non-cosmetic monthly boxes. Splendies, for $12 a month, sends you 3 pairs of underwear–and if any of you ladies lean towards the curvaceous, they also offer Volupties in plus-sizes which is slightly more expensive.

After my first month, I submitted some generic website feedback via the form on the site. I didn’t really expect a response, but they responded right away and ever since then I have been corresponding with AC at Splendies each month and it has really made for a wonderful experience. For instance, I wear almost exclusively thongs, and now they make sure that each month that is what I get for all three pairs!

September was a great month because  not only did I get my three thongs, but subscribers got a sneak peek at their new brand collaboration–American Apparel!

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Here are my 3 new thongs for September!

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The blue pair is the new addition from American Apparel! This was a really classic cut and was pretty comfortable.

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The red pair is the only one I haven’t tried yet. It’s frilly and sheer so I am saving it for a…ahem….special occasion.

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The lace navy pair is from another wellknown brand, fredericks of hollywood. fredericks is known for lingerie and I have received and enjoyed pairs in previous shipments.

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Closeup of the lace on the fredericks pair. the flowers are very pretty, and the lace is quite soft!

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I am always ecstatic when I receive lace banded thongs like this–this is the style I wear most often due to comfort and also because they are more flattering around my curves 🙂

I won’t model these for you because, let’s face it, this ain’t that kind of blog and i am NOT going down that road. 😛 There’s no referral system yet in place, so if you want to try Splendies or Volupties just head on over to splendies.com!

deborah lippmann–Wicked 10th Anniversary collection

I have another post combining two of my loves! This time, instead of fluffy Kipper, polish is combined with a love born from my childhood: Musicals! This year the Broadway musical Wicked celebrates its 10th anniversary and this limited edition trio of polishes from Deborah Lippmann pays tribute to this incredible story.

For those of you not in the know, Wicked (based on the first book in the Wicked Years series by Gregory Maguire) tells the story (and pre-story) of the familiar Wizard of Oz, from the perspective of the two witches. The 3 polishes in this collection are named after original songs from the musical.

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The adorable packaging! I love the Wicked logo on the bottles, and note Elphaba on the left corner of the box, and Glinda on the right!

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Little note on the back regarding Deborah Lippmann and musicals in general. The three songs the colors are named for are Popular, Defying Gravity, and One Short Day.

 

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One coat of each, L-R Popular, Defying Gravity, & One short day.

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2 coats of each! Popular is still on the sheer side and would make a great jelly sandwich shade. Defying Gravity is now opaque, as is One Short Day.

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Other angle. One Short Day really would fit right in at the Emerald City!

 

I think this trio is a fantastic tribute to both the Wizard of Oz and Wicked. Each polish is completely unique in all its properties as well.

How many of you snagged this trio? Are you going to now? ($29) DO YOU LOVE WICKED LIKE I LOVE WICKED?!?!

 

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 😀

September Julep Maven: CItyscape & Sale Haul

I fully intended on skipping Julep this month. I am really looking forward to some of the items in other September boxes and I have been underimpressed by their customer service. However, when I saw the colors and items this month, I couldn’t resist!

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I do so love having boxes on my doorstep when I get home! Especially when they have that little pink sticker…I opted for 3 add-ons this month!

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OK, so packaging could have been better, Julep. This looks a little messy.

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Here are the add-ons! Great fall colors this month to get me ready for the change in season.

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I got the middle color because it’s my cousin’s name but it’s one of my favorite shades!

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Under the paper are the monthly Bombshell goodies. Again…mail guy must have been driving over cobblestones or something.

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This month’s quote.

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Little goodie. I haven’t quite figured out the point of a single swiper pad of remover but this will get stuck in my emergency kit.

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Oil cleansing is the newest big thing, so I was excited to try this!

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Out of the box. You apply it dry and massage it into the skin, and then rinse with warm water. I wasn’t sure how well it would rinse (being oil) but it actually worked and my skin felt cleansed.

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This month’s colors!

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Karmin is a beautiful fall red-gold, and Daria is grey.

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Everything! The monthly goodies as well as the add-ons.

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Karmen! It was hard to catch the gold flake shimmer but it really reminded me of changing leaves.

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Another shot of beautiful Karmen

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Here’s one of the add-ons, Reece. It is purple, green, silver, and holographic microglitter. It’s like outer space.

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Another view of Reece.

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I also couldn’t help myself and bought a few things on sale. These were ordered and shipped before my monthly box, and didn’t arrive until a few days later. I have to say, I probably won’t shop outside of the monthly boxes anymore because for non-subscription purchases, Julep has switched to DHL. DHL is notoriously outrageous in shipping times, and had a huge fiasco with Ipsy last month in losing bags and not updating tracking.

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5 polishes and 4 lippies!

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Lip swatches! I really like the top one. 2 of the colors are matte, and 2 of them are sparkly.

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Closeup shot of the polishes.

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Shot o the color names

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I had to test one of these out of course! This is Otte from the Fall 2012 Trine Turk collection. I actually just did that this morning!

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Another shot of Otte (hehe….rhymes.)

What did everyone think of their boxes? If you haven’t signed up for Julep yet, you can do so here. Also, if you use the code FBFREE at checkout your first box is free except for shipping.  Happy shopping!