High End Mascara for Cheap?

Been wanting to try some of the high end mascaras but can't justify the price tag on something you might not love? I ran across this website and they have a few high end mascaras on sale for $10.98 each.

Beauty Brands is the website I'm talking about, it has free shipping on orders over $50. You get 3 free samples with every order. Note: There is a limit of 6 per customer, if you order more than 6 in one order, they can and probably will change the order to full price.

Picture below is a screen shot of some of the items on sale.

May 2013 Ipsy Spoiler / Sneak Peek

It's that time again! Ipsy spoilers should be out all of this week.
See bottom of this post for all items in the bag.
Total items in the bag: 5


1) Zoya Nail Polish - Spring 2013 Collection
2) Mirabella Colour Sheer Lipstick OR Juice Beauty lip gloss
 3) Yaby - Concealer
Ipsy posted this spoiler saying that TWO of the remaining goodies that will be in your bag will be from the below picture. PLEASE NOTE - these items will cause variations in everyone's bags.

Items from left to right
1) Pacifica Roll On Perfume - Island Vanilla
2) Arganics by NuMe Argan Oil (?)
3) St. Tropez - One Night Only Instant Glow Body Lotion
4) Pacifica - Coconut Crushed Pearl Luminizing Body Butter Shimmer & Glow
5) Pacifica Roll On Perfume - Tahitian Gardenia
6) Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Treatment - .34oz
7) Anastasia - Brow Gel
8) Pacifica - Coconut Crushed Pearl Bronzing Body Butter 

Items shown: 
Pacifica Roll On Perfume - Island Vanilla
Mirabella Colour Sheer Lipstick (Pixie)
Anastasia - Brow Gel
Zoya Nail Polish - Spring 2013 Collection
Yaby - Concealer

It looks like there might be multiple variations this month. The Pacific perfume and Anastasia brow gel are part of the variations this month. See above for other possible items.

Lysol Touch of Foam - Creamy Vanilla Orchid


I got a bottle of Lysol Touch of Foam - Creamy Vanilla Orchid free as part of another bzzAgent campaign. Here are my findings:

Love this stuff. Foam soap is awesome and this one has the best scent I've found...in ANY soap. That includes the stuff from the Bath and Body Shop. Sometimes I'll leave the kitchen to wash my hands in the bathroom simply because it spells so much better. It cleans my hands wonderfully without drying them so why not make special trips? 

My only point of contention would be if this soap wasn't competitively priced--I haven't looked yet because it's lasting a while. But if I have to pay twice as much as the other foam soaps, I'll have to think twice...

göt2b POWDER’ful


I've been a bzzAgent for a few months but haven't been involved in too many campaigns but I did get into this one for göt2b POWDER’ful.

Here's the box and wow, they sent THREE bottles of this stuff! Plus some coupons for other bottles.

I tried it a few days after I got it.

I have fine, wavy hair that is pretty unruly. So I tame it with a flat iron.

Below are the before and after shots.

Right after flat ironing:

With göt2b POWDER’ful (:

The effect is kind of like blowdrying my hair upside down. There's a little more body but it's nothing like the picture on the box. That may be because I'm not terribly good at styling hair.

It doesn't have an odd smell. It doesn't weigh down my hair. There's a slight sticky texture left behind but it's no where near as bad as gel or hair spray.

Zoya Earth Day Nail Polish Exchange - April 19-26


Just got this e-mail about a 50% discount on Zoya polishes if you send in bottles of your old, environmentally unfriendly polishes.

Julep Sea Salt Mystery Box


Julep sent another email about a mystery box. This one was "Sea Salt Finish" for $24.99. It promised $70-200 worth of product plus a bottle of Julep's new Sea Salt Finish polish. So I decided to give it a try. The box ended up coming with 4 polishes total plus pomegranate body creme.

There's the pomegranate body creme.

Sea Salt Finish "Sadie"

Polishes "Dakota", "Janel", "Sally" (above)

These all covered fairly well in one coat. The colors are nice, especially the the coppery Dakota.
The sea salt finish isn't exactly matte because it has glitter in it but it dries with a gritty/sandy feel.

Häagen-Dazs Black Cherry Amaretto Gelato & Salted Caramel Truffle Ice Cream


I saw these flavors at Walmart Sunday and couldn't resist. "Salted Caramel Truffle" ice cream by Häagen-Dazs and Black Cherry Amaretto Gelato.

As you can see from the lid above, the Salted Caramel truffle is a limited edition flavor.

Here's the interior:

The Salted Caramel Truffle has vanilla ice cream with swirls of salty caramel and what are basically mini rolos as "truffles". It's a sweet treat with a salty kick. But it might be a little too much of sweet and/or salty for some people. I thought it was great on the first serving. The second serving I got a lot of plain ice cream without a lot of other stuff. It was still pretty good but not wonderful.

Here's the container for the Gelato:

This one is NOT limited edition but it's part of their relatively Gelato line from earlier this year. This flavor jumped out at me because I adore amaretto flavored things and MG is a cherry fanatic. This is creamy frozen treat with an understated amaretto flavor and chunks of real cherries. MG told me to hide it or it would all be gone.

I didn't.

Here's a photo of the interior:

This gelato is my new favorite frozen treat! I highly suggest it :)

Mel's April 2013 Birchbox

After all that talk about unsubscribing from Birchbox last month, I forgot to actually unsubscribe. I found out what items I was getting this month by visiting their website and peeking before my box arrived and was really disappointed. Not only am I missing one item, but they were going to send me 3 items from one drugstore brand. I thought Birchbox was all about deluxe sized, high-end cosmetics items? This is directly from their website "Sample top products from high-end brands, get expert advice, buy new favorites and earn points with every purchase."

You be the judge of that - is Yes To _____ a high-end brand? I'm not knocking that it isn't an awesome brand, but this isn't what I paid for. I also love how Birchbox took down the word deluxe sized samples from their website, at least they're being honest now that they're sending foil/blister packets.

Items in my box:
Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle
Caudalie SOS Morning Eye Rescue
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream
Yes To Carrots Lip Butter - Mint
Yes To Cucumber Facial Towelettes (MISSING)
Yes To Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub (blister packets)

The only redeeming quality in this box was the fact that I can either subscribe to Women's Health magazine, or get a refund of $9.99 if I choose not to subscribe.

We had a long run Birchbox, but you've changed way too much since I started my subscription over a year ago.

Red Robin - Salted Caramel Milk Shake



I spied a tweet on Twitter months ago about Red Robin having a salted caramel shake and put it on my To Do list. We finally stopped stopped on the way to the airport in February. We've since been back three times. Above is a photo of the third visit.

MG got the never ending root beer float (pictured as well).

We had the same waitress for our first two visits. Though she didn't put salt on top of my shake like the third time, it was much better without. And for MG's root beer she brought an extra glass of straight root beer with each float.

While I wasn't particularly thrilled with their burgers, fries or...well, anything but the drinks, we will be going back for these babies for sure.

Anya's April Ispy Box - MICA, Sexy Hair, Station, Be a Bombshell


  • Station Nail Lacquer "Love at First Byte"
  • MICA Cosmetics Shimmer Powder 72 "Earth"
  • Sexy Hair Soy Renewal with Argan Oil
  • Be a Bombshell blush "Sweet Cheeks"

Station Nail Lacquer

Above is a swatch of the color. There is one coat on my middle finger, two on my index finger. I lost track of how many were on the others (none on my thumb).

As you can see, this polish requires several coats to cover or a colored base coat beneath it first.

Sexy Hair Soy Renewal with Argan Oil

I've used several hair treatments with argan oil and this one does much the same thing as they do. It promises to cut drying time and/or reduce frizz. It definitely does cut drying time. The odor isn't overpowering.

I haven't tried the other products because I'm pretty sure they're not my thing/colors so I'll probably give them away. I'd rather they be unused in that case...

Nail Striping Tape Mani


Considering I was sobbing through most of this mani, I'm shocked how well it came out. Especially for my first try with nail striping tape.

Why was I sobbing? Two words: Les Miserables. 
I'm SO glad I did not go to the theater for that movie.

In any case, this has:
China Glaze "White on White"
with a pink ombre done with Nina Ultra Pro "Punki Pink"
and ORLY "Liquid Vinyl" on top.

And the nail striping tape I ordered from China...or rather the absence of nail striping tape.

This week's mani - ombre


I've been forgetting to snap photos of my manis in the last few months...mostly because I haven't been doing nice ones or because the nice ones all went to a different blog post.

Here's this week's mani.

This was done with China Glaze "Crimson" as the primary coat
(which ends up looking dark purple in just about every light)

with a little bit of essie "no place like chrome" sponged on the tips
(I did mix the two polishes before I sponged it on)

I love how this one came out. It looks even better in person!

Nicole by OPI Drying Drops


I found this "Drying Drops" from Nicole by OPI at Target for $8. Since I was out of my Julep fast drying drops, I snapped this up.

The bottle claims:
  • Nails are dry to the touch in 60 seconds
  • Nails are completely dry in 5 minutes
  • With soothing Jojoba and antioxidant Vitamin E to treat cuticles

This is a few dollars cheaper than Julep's drying drops but it doesn't provide the speed I'd come to rely on from Julep. That said, it does cut the drying time down on nails. Nails are good to go after five minute but they're not dry to the touch after 60 seconds. It takes more like three minutes and some times I have to do a second application before they're dry to the touch.

And like Julep's drops, this solution makes the nail too slick for stamping. So continue using your fast dry top coats for your nail stamping and leave these babies for when you're all done.

Crazy eyelashes I will probably never wear (Fright Night, Ardell Cirque de Soleil, Katy Perry)

Here's a round-up of the crazy false eyelashes I've bought since October.

You're jealous. I know.

Ardell's Cirque du Soleil collection (Sally's on clearance):

Two lashes by Fright Night (available at Sally's around Halloween):

Katy Perry lashes by eyelure (clearance at Ulta):

up&up eye brush set with case (Target brand)


You may recall from this post that I like Target's house brand "up&up" for make-up brushes.

I've since bought an up&up eyeliner brush and large blush brush and I love both.

I also bought this pack "eye brush set with case" the last time I hit Target (the closest one is an hour drive away). For $6.99 I got five travel-sized eyeshadow tools and a nifty little case for them.

The package says it comes with: large eye brush, detailed crease brush, angled crease brush, foam-tipped smudge brush, foam-tipped applicator and case.

I love the hell out of the detailed crease brush (the one in the middle). The large eye brush also helps slather on the color. (Yes, I said SLATHER, bitches--because I do...slather. The color. Not what you were probably thinking >.<).

I'm scared to try out the foam-tipped smudge brush because I suspect I'd never get it clean again but damn if it doesn't look nifty.

So for $6.99, ladies...this is a GREAT deal. I highly suggest it :)

Sample Society April - Hanskin, Caudalie, Borghese, Jane Tran


Here's the contents of this month's Sample Society Box

  • Jane Tran Hair Accessory Sampler  (sample, full-sized is $12)
  • Caudalie Premier Cru (sample, full-sized is $150)
  • Hanskin Hydro Sheet Mask (sample, full-sized is 5 for $18)
  • Hanskin Premium Perfect Super Magic BB Cream (sample, full-sized is $33)
  • Borghese Gel Delicato Makeup Remover (sample, full-sized is $30.50)
  • Bonus: Cotz Face Natural Skin SPF 40 (sample, full-sized $20)

Hanskin Premium Perfect Super Magic BB Cream

Here's a swatch:

The right half of the picture/my face has it. I was pleasantly surprised with the coverage on this. I'd call it light to medium. I've tried a different B.B. and a C.C. and not had this kind of coverage. And it didn't look artificial--which is great.

One big problem with this B.B, it is NOT mattifying. This stuff shines like a mofo. You're gonna need a loose or pressed setting powder over it.

Also, I have very fair skin. I don't know how the color would work on darker skin, especially considering the tube lists "whitening" as a feature.

Findings: If I run out of foundation I'll probably use the rest of this sample as a base. But the shininess of the finished product it's not the quick solution it could be.

Jane Tran Hair Accessory Sampler

These are cute but I can't see myself wearing them often (mostly because I don't have a matching set). They're also a little younger looking than I can probably pull off, much to my geezer chic dismay.

Findings: If I got these in my Christmas stocking I wouldn't throw them at the gift giver. They might even make it into my hair once in a while.

Caudalie Premier Cru

I have no clue what a Cru is. I know what a crew is. Or ecru but a "Cru"? Beats the shiny off my nose.

In any case, this stuff says to put it on face and neck day and night. Unfortunately they gave me just enough to cover 1/4 of my face once. I decided to put this little baby under my eyes where I have those annoying lines crap gets caked in. I've used it three times. Nothing puffed up the size of a llama. But the wrinkles haven't exactly disappeared either *shakes a fist*

One plus...it has a lovely rose scent. But for $150 I could buy a few bouquets of the real stuff and sleep with petals covering my face. I bet they'd shrink my wrinkles just as well.

Findings: If someone wants to gift me with the full-sized version, I'd use it. But pay $150? No thanks.

Borghese Gel Delicato Makeup Remover

The instructions for this stuff reads: Apply to cotton pad; sweep gently over face and around eye and lip areas. Remove with water or tissue.

I followed the instructions. It does pull off foundation and blush with one sweep. It uses up several cotton pads to do the trick. And then you have to use water to clear it up.

In the end I had to use a make-up remover wipe to get my eye make-up off because this stuff didn't make a dent. The instructions say to go AROUND the eye and lip area, implying you're not supposed to use this to remove eye or lip make-up. Personally that seems like one hell of a cop out for something touting itself as "make-up remover".

Findings: I will not be buying this stuff nor will I use the rest of the sample.

Cotz Face Natural Skin SPF 40

I'm basically a hermit. I rarely go out. And when I do, I forget sunscreen. This will likely never get used.

Hanskin Hydro Sheet Mask -- LONG BIT!

This thing comes in a foreign language with three images on the back of someone doing something questionable with their face. They put the English translation in a little booklet they added to the box. I found it later after I'd stared at the foil packet in horror for a full minute.

By the picture it looks like I'm supposed to open the packet and set the thing to my face. It will apparently mold to my skin. I don't know about you but I'm having flashbacks to the chest-burster scene from Alien. Only...what in the hell will burst from my pores after I use this mask? Maybe those cthulhu microbes found in termites? *shudders*

Needless to say, my terror with the packaging has made me hesitant to try this.

The little booklet has a table of the "Main Ingredients"
  • Squalene
  • Sea Water
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Kelp
  • Brown Algae
  • Agar-agar
  • Gulfweed
In a nutshell, they took a bucket to the beach, soaked cloth in it and packaged it up for my consumption. Clever hobbitses, I'm nearly landlocked and can't do this myself.

The thing is, the full ingredient list has Water, Glycerine, Butylene Glycol and twelve other ingredients before getting to the first "Main Ingredient"

The instructions that go along with these three questionable images are:
  1. After cleanser apply toner to balance skin condition.
  2. Apply the mask sheet onto face and adjust it for fitness.
  3. Remove the mask after 15-20 minutes and pad the rest of the essence onto face for optimal absorption.
Okay, let's talk about these. First of all, I didn't get any stinkin' toner with my mask. So I'm already deviating from the instructions. 

Adjust for fitness? Are my arms going to get so much of a work out adjusting this baby that I can count it as an aerobic workout? (Yes, I'm getting literal. Sue me. I've been through intensive edits and now it's almost ingrained).

Pad the rest of the essence? The essence of WHAT? Chest bursters? Seriously, you guys, I'm SKERRD.

But since I <3 you and I lack that little switch in my head that tells me not to do stupid shit I'll try it anyway.

Here's what the mask looks like when you pull it out of the silver packet. You can't really see it in this picture but there are eye holes in a freaky Hannibal Lecter kind of way.

I put the mask sheet on my face and adjusted it for optimal fit as instructed. I got a few shots of a terrified me waiting on the chest bursters. 

Because I seriously, really love you guys, here's the shot I'm dubbing "Hanskin Terror Mask"

I walked into the living room to show my other half. Here's how the conversation went:
MG: *stares wide-eyed and scared*
Me: "I'm trying out one of the beauty products in my box."
MG: "It didn't work. You look like the Joker, AFTER he fell in the Axis chemical vats."

After about two minutes my skin started to tingle. There was a little burn on my nose. I do have sensitive skin so I chocked that up to sensitivity and kept it on. The burn and tingle subsided after a few more minutes. Despite the horrified appearance, it's fairly comfortable to sit in for fifteen minutes. It still felt cool on my skin after a full thirteen minutes. However the chin bit popped up on me. I had to tap it down again several times.

I pulled it off after fifteen minutes, making sure to pad the rest of the "essence" on my face.

Did my face feel hydrated? Er...no more so than after I put on moisturizer. But my skin felt a little sticky to the touch.

Findings: You need to ask? Even if someone gave me another free one, I probably wouldn't use it. I definitely wouldn't pay.

You had to be pretty bored to make it this far. I solute you! <3