Kaja Beauty Swatches! Launching at Sephora on 9/18

A new K-Beauty launch!

Meet Kaja Beauty, a Korean Beauty brand that’s exclusively launching in Sephora on Tuesday! This line has the cutest packaging and fun product names, like stacked shadows and a highlighter called Mochi Glow! I love all the pastel shades and pops of berries on the outer packaging and the actual formulas are all beautifully pigmented as well. I think they did a wonderful job with the variety of textures too, from bouncy highlighters, pressed glitter eyeshadows, and creamy lip stains to cushion blushes.

I received an incredibly generous package to review, so here are some swatches! In an effort to be less wasteful and pass on products I knew I wouldn’t wear (either because I’m so pale or just from personal preference), I didn’t swatch every shade. So check out the Sephora website because their swatches are great!

These are the adorable Cheeky Stamp Blendable Blushes ($24) in Coy, Bossy, Fiesty, and Saucy (from the open one clockwise). They’re a cushion formula and the top twists off to reveal a heart-shaped applicator. It’s dense and a bit hard, so I wasn’t expecting to like it, but the applicator is actually perfect for tapping the blush into your skin. You can also use it to apply a bit of the color and then easily blend with your fingers since the formula is so liquid.

Here’s my favorite shade, Fiesty. It’s a cool-toned pink that looks like a cute, natural flush on the skin. The bottom swatch is one press with the applicator, while I dotted the top one about five times. The packaging is a bit bulky compared to most slim blushes, but I actually appreciate how the applicator is built right in. Since I love their heart-shaped sponge, I can ditch my blush brush, which saves space and is perfect for travel.

These adorable highlighters make me think of Neapolitan ice cream! They’re too cute! The Mochi Glow Bouncy Highlighter ($19) comes in four shades that should work for any skin tone. Prizm (opened) is a duo-chrome pinky-peach – it’s a really fun shade. Toy Alien (front) is a cool-toned champagne. Luna (left) is a medium gold and Stardust (right) is a bronze shade. I think these have my favorite texture; they’re bouncy and smooth while still being shimmery and reflective. I’m not a big highlighter-wearer, but I think Prizm is a unique option that I’m excited to try out!

Here’s a swatch of the Cushy Vibe High-Pigment Lip Stain in Cashmere. I love that this formula is a true lip stain and not exactly a liquid lipstick; they don’t flake off and instead leave a popsicle like stain as they fade. You can use the doe-foot applicator to apply full on color or dab a tiny amount in with your finger for a pretty flush. You have to be a little more precise with the full on color since these are SO pigmented, but they last a really long time as a stain. Cashmere is a gorgeous berry that’s perfect for fall.

I love the name and packaging on the Beauty Bento Bouncy Shimmer Eyeshadow Trio ($21). They’re a conveniently stacked trio with a mirror in the lid. All of the shades are glittery and highly pigmented; I was really impressed with how reflective they are! There’s a bit of fallout to watch out for since they’re so glittery. I don’t own glitter glue, but that would probably help. Considering how many single shades at Sephora are $20, I think these are a great deal!

Here’s the Orange Blossom trio, which just screams fall to me. The top shade is more rose gold, while the middle is an orangey-gold, and the bottom is a bronze-ish brown. See how well they catch the light? I’m definitely going to be wearing these all over the lid.

While I’m normally drawn to warmer shades, the Rosewater trio is actually my favorite! I think the shadows are all so beautiful and I can see myself traveling with just this and two matte singles, light cream and taupe. The top shade is like a champagne, the middle is a light pink, and the bottom is a stunning burgundy. The way these reflect light is just mesmerizing.

Overall, I’m loving how playful and unique this line is! I would definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you see a shade you like in the eyeshadows or blushes.

New Becca Cosmetics Volcano Goddess Eyeshadow Palette Swatches and First Impressions

Swatches of a gorgeous new launch 

fullsizeoutput_17ef

Becca just dropped a new line of volcano inspired cosmetics and I had to snag the Volcano Goddess Eyeshadow Palette because it’s so beautiful! I’ve actually never purchased a palette sight unseen, but I went for it because I think this one may sell out! I also received 20% off the palette since I’d never purchased anything from the Becca website before. I’m very happy with the free shipping too; I ordered on Wednesday morning and the package showed up this morning (Friday)!

fullsizeoutput_17f1

These shades are absolutely stunning and perfect for creating neutral looks with enough fun pops of color that add a bit more interest. I think it will be great for travel since you have warm and cool toned options as well as those bolder shades. The packaging itself is quite sturdy as well and there’s a nice, large mirror inside too.

fullsizeoutput_17eb

Here are swatches taken indoor in indirect sunlight. I made a tiny circle in each pan and swiped once on my arm (with the exception of diamond dust, which took two passes to show the true color on my pale skin). You can really see the difference between the  finishes with three matte shades, four shimmers, and five pressed pigment/glittery shades. From the left we have: Cloud, Volcanic Sand, Granite, Gilded, Diamond Dust, Haze, Red Rock, Lava, Agate Ash, Crater, Hematite, and Midnight Sapphire.

fullsizeoutput_17ec

Here are swatches with the flash on. It was pretty cloudy this morning and it’s supposed to rain all weekend, but I wanted to get this post up! So I hope it’s helpful if you were interested in this palette but couldn’t find many swatches.

For my first impression, I wore Granite, Haze, and Agate Ash on my eyes today without any primer and I’m pretty impressed with the finish and lasting power so far! The shimmer catches the light beautifully and they haven’t creased yet!

I’ll definitely have a full review up after I’ve worn all of the shades on my eyes. I can note that Diamond Dust does have a bit of fallout as the texture is a bit chunkier than the rest; it’s workable though and doesn’t ruin the palette for me!

Have you heard anything about this collection yet? What’s your current favorite eyeshadow palette?

Rocksbox Jewelry Subscription Box Review!

My favorite discovery from August!

Jewelry is my very favorite accessory; I love how it can completely change up your look, whether a layered necklace can make a plain jeans and tee outfit feel special, or the perfect simple earrings finish off a great dress. I have a lot of sentimental jewelry pieces that I wear daily (story behind my rings here), but I’ve been playing with more fun and trendy pieces lately.

When Rocksbox kindly reached out, it felt like the perfect opportunity! The subscription is such a great way to try out different styles and trends without having to commit. It’s $21 a month for three pieces of jewelry at a time. You can keep any piece you fall in love with and your credit will be applied to the purchase. Then you can get a new set and start again within the same month! If you’d like to try your first box for free, you can use code “jeansandgemsxoxo” at checkout!

As far as personalization, you can note which metals or colors you prefer as well as your ring size and other details. There are helpfully curated shops to browse too, like delicate styles or trending stones. I would definitely recommend making a wishlist; it takes just a few minutes and your Stylist will choose from here first. You can then preview your set and swap out pieces if you’d like. I thought my picks were great and simply swapped out a pair of earrings because I’ve been eyeing something similar to this star and moon style!

My Rocksbox package arrived only three days later! Opening the cute, tied box felt like unwrapping an exciting gift! Inside were three little pouches (each with bubble wrap to protect the jewelry), a care guide (so helpful and thoughtful!), info on prices and how to return my box, and an extra scratch off that turned out to be a $5 credit! I really appreciated the message my Stylist wrote for my box, with more details on each piece and tips for how to wear them.

The three items I received were a Dusk Deja Charm Necklace, Slate Lyra Earrings in Gunmetal, and a Dusk Story Slider Bracelet. I wore the earrings immediately and then again on the weekend – they jazzed up a basic work outfit and were perfect for a night out too. They also weren’t too heavy and felt comfortable all day. The necklace was a great everyday piece since it was so dainty. I liked the gold chain and four charms mixed with rhinestones and labradorite; it’s one of my favorite stones. I loved the slider on the bracelet since it was so easy to put on and added movement to the piece.

After a few wears, I knew my wardrobe wasn’t complete without the Lyra earrings! I was really debating on the necklace too, but I have a lot of dainty pieces and am looking forward to buying more of a layered style. It was so easy to purchase the earrings on the Rocksbox website and I applied the $21 credit from the monthly subscription cost. Then I rated all of my picks and sent the other two back in the original packaging.

I’ve already received three picks for my second set and it should be arriving early next week! I’m so impressed with Rocksbox and I’m definitely going to continue my subscription. It’s an awesome way to shake up my wardrobe and find pieces that I really love after experiencing them for a few days. I think this would make such a fun gift for someone or a wonderful treat for yourself.

Have you ever tried a jewelry subscription box? What’s your favorite accessory or jewelry brand?

Birchbox Sale! Last Summer Friyays 25% off Discount

An even better deal than the Sephora Sale!

looks-1535724155720

Birchbox is having their last Summer Friyay sale with 25% off everything on this page! That’s a pretty great deal for cosmetics – even better than the 20% Sephora Rouge sale. And anyone can use the code SUMMER25 to get the discount! I’ve rounded up my favorites and best recommendations below.

MAKEUP:

  • Benefit Bad Gal Bang! Bigger, Badder, Volumizing Mascara – $18 after discount. This is one of my favorite mascaras because it adds volume and separation without getting spidery or smudging.
  • Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil – $19.50 after discount. Super plush glossy oils in a bunch of pretty tints. The Raspberry is my favorite because it smells so yummy!
  • Coola Tinted Mineral Liplux SPF 30 in Tan Lines – $13.50 after discount. I love a lip balm with SPF and these are reef safe too. Tan Lines is a pretty coral-y nude.
  • Love of Color Liquid Shimmer Shadow in Stardust – $7.50 after discount. Such a steal for this long-wearing cream shadow that catches light beautifully.
  • Milk Makeup Holographic Stick in Stardust – $21 after discount. I just purchased this from the Sephora sale… This is a way better deal! Gorgeous on lips, eyes, and cheeks in duo-chrome pink with purple iridescence.

SKINCARE:

  • NuFace Prep-n-Glow Cloths – $15 after discount. These are perfect for travel since they remove makeup and lightly exfoliate in one step. No need to rinse!
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment – $78.75 after discount. One of two chemical exfoliants that I adore. It smooths and plumps almost immediately and removes dead skin cells and brightens overnight.
  • Too Cool for School Egg Mellow Cream 5-in-1 Firming Moisturizer – $27 after discount. The ultimate multi-tasker, this rich cream acts as an anti-aging serum, moisturizer, eye cream, neck cream, and overnight mask. I’m usually skeptical of x-in-one products, but this one is the best I’ve tried.

HAIR:

  • Davines This is a Sea Salt Spray – $21 after discount. A non-drying sea salt spray that perks up my waves and smells delicious. I spray it in damp hair and air dry.
  • Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo – $15.75 after discount. My favorite dry shampoo ever! Removes all oil without any residue and adds a little volume too.
  • Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray – $31.50 after discount. Another beachy, texture spray, but this one leaves more of a shiny finish when dusted onto dry hair. Still so expensive, but way better than $42.
  • R + Co. High Dive Moisture and Shine Creme – $21.75 after discount. The perfect lightweight cream to add a dose of hydration to my ends or help tame flyaways.

BODY:

  • Sumbody Salt Scrub – $14.21 after discount. This Milky Rich scent is so decadent and feels luxurious. The scrub isn’t too abrasive, but if definitely gets the job done.
  • Juara Candlenut Body Creme – $26.25 after discount. This rich body butter is perfect for after shaving or all-over moisturizing. It also smells delicious – clearly a theme with the scents today.

OTHER:

  • Swell 17 oz. Bottle – $26.25 after discount. These are the best portable bottles I’ve ever tried. They keep drinks cold for 24 hours (really!) and look great while doing it. A desk and gym necessity for me.

Image result for w3ll people contour duoImage result for wander beauty eye masksImage result for georgette klinger coconut facial mist

Here’s my little wishlist too:

  • W3ll People Natural Contour and Highlight Duo – $18.74 after discount. I already love the highlighter in this duo for a natural glow. I’d like to try a cream contour/bronzer (this looks a bit warmer) and this would be great for travel.
  • Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks – $18.75 after discount. I’ve been eyeing this brand since they launched and am trying to step up my eye care game. Plus these just look fun.
  • Georgette Klinger Coconut Facial Mist – $6.75 after discount. Such an affordable facial mist from a clean brand that’s on my wishlist. The coconut and green tea combo sounds lovely, plus there’s aloe and grape extract for even more hydration.

Have you tried any of these products already? What are you snagging from the sale?

Quick Morning Routine (Post-workout skincare)

A fast, effective routine

fullsizeoutput_1776.jpeg

I usually stop at the gym after work or head to a dance class at night, so I have the time to do my full skincare routine afterward. Recently, I’ve been sneaking in a few morning sessions and then have to quickly get ready. So here’s my shorter, simple routine that refreshes my skin after a workout and preps my face for makeup.

First, I use the Bliss Oh My Gommage Cleaning Stick*. I especially love using an exfoliating cleanser after a workout to get rid of excess oil and sweat. This gentle stick makes me feel like I’m getting a thorough cleanse without stripping my skin. Full review here!

Then I squeeze in a quick two minute mask from Clinique. The Pep-start Double Bubble Purifying Mask starts out as a pink gel and then bubbles up as it pulls dirt from your pores. I love the pump packaging and it’s affordable! The mask rinses away really easily too, so you can quickly move to the next step.

Now I start the hydrating part of my routine. I use about one to two pumps of the new Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly to lock in moisture and protect my clean, happy skin from pollution. This sinks in SO quickly without any residue. I then layer First Aid Beauty’s Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer on top. I love the extra bit of hydration this adds while smoothing my pores and adding the subtlest glow. Full review here!

I finish my skincare routine off with the Nooni Applebutter Lip Mask* from Memebox. This is seriously one of my favorite lip products; it’s hydrating without being sticky at all. It leaves a pretty sheen that lasts quite a while too. To finish off my look, I add a bit of my current favorite concealer, mascara, and bronzer. Then I’m running off to work!

What’s your favorite post-workout product? Are you loving a short and sweet routine or all-out ten steps?

Sephora Beauty Insider Appreciation Sale Recommendations (Fall VIB Sale)

Best items to buy with the discount!

looks-1534966949726

 

The Sephora sale is back starting tomorrow for Rouge members! I’m actually not Rouge this year – thumbs up for not spending $1k in the past year, but I am sadly missing the 20% discount. As a VIB member, I get 15% off starting next Thursday, August 30th. Beauty Insiders get 10% starting next week as well. To shop online, use discount codes: YESROUGE, YESVIB, and YESINSIDER.

Here are some of my very favorite products that are worth a haul. I’ve repurchased most of these, including the Caudalie Sorbet, Drunk Elephant Bars, Bite Lip Mask, Josie Maran Body Butter, and Comptoir Sud Pacifique Perfume several times. Others are recent discoveries that have achieved HG status already, like the Isle of Paradise Drops and Herbivore Prism.

In the general, the sale is a great time to pick up high-end brands that are rarely discounted, like Pat McGrath and Tom Ford, and well as fragrances and discovery kits, so you can try more for even less. I’ll pop a wishlist on my Instagram Stories next week, but here are some tried and true recommendations:

Herbivore Botanicals Prism Exfoliating Glow Potion – This is my new favorite exfoliating serum. It has a pretty watery consistency that layers well with other skincare products. I only use this at night and happily wake up the next morning to soft, glowing skin. Full review coming soon, but I highly recommend this.

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet – A wonderful hydrating lotion with clean ingredients. This feels lightweight, helps with redness, and is cruelty-free, vegan, and oil-free. It also smells lovely and the packaging is cute.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil – Another glow-making product! This is a hydrating and anti-aging overnight oil that replaces moisturizer and serum for me. It has retinol for plumping the skin, helping with wrinkles, and smoothing pores. I also love the blue tansy and chamomile ingredients for soothing redness.

Drunk Elephant Baby Pekee Bar and Juju Bar Travel Duo – These are so convenient for travel since they’re smaller and don’t count as a liquid. Even though they’re little, these last about six months or longer, so they’re definitely worth the price. The Pekee bar is amazing for gently removing makeup while Juju lightly exfoliates, making it a great morning or post-workout cleanser.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter – The unscented version is actually my favorite because it smells like whipped cream! This is my favorite body butter ever. It’s so hydrating without being heavy; the whipped formula is definitely light and luxurious. Since you can get a great body butter at Ulta for less than $10, I only splurge on this during the sale. It lasts a few months thankfully.

Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops – I use the Light version of these drops mixed into body lotion before I go to bed. I wake up a shade or two darker with even coverage and no orange tones. I never thought I’d be into self-tanning (it always seemed so time-consuming and hard to get it to look natural), but this has completely changed my mind. Full review here and routine details here!

Ciate London The Pretty Eyeshadow Palette – Out of all of my eyeshadows, this is my ultimate go-to. I use it every. single. day. You can create a very natural-looking matte eye, everyday shimmer look, or add drama for a night out. While it’s a neutral palette, the pop of orange, purple, and gold make it pretty versatile. It’s relatively affordable too and great for travel.

BareMinerals Invisible Bronze Powder Bronzer  – This is another item I use in my daily routine because it couldn’t be faster to apply and it looks so natural. I lightly sweep this along the perimeter of my face in a 3 shape. The Medium shade is perfect for me, even when I’m much more fair, so you may want to swatch this one in store. The texture/finish reminds me of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders; there’s a tiny bit of shimmer that adds a nice, healthy-looking glow with absolutely no detectable glitter particles.

Bite Agave Lip Mask – One of the most moisturizing lip balm products I’ve ever tried. It has a thicker consistency that melts onto the lips for a comfortable, plush feeling; this helps it last for a good few hours on the lips. The finish has some shine, but it’s not terribly glossy. Smashed is my favorite shade, but I’ve tried the clear and Champagne versions too. I really want to try the newer Maple and Lavender shades!

Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray – Amazing if you have dry or damaged hair! I love a lightweight leave-in that takes care of frizz, protects from UV, and adds a good dose of moisture; this spray does it all while smelling nice. I definitely want to explore more from this brand – they’re pretty clean and cruelty-free too.

Verb Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner – Another great fix for dry hair. This duo helped so much with my curls without being heavy. It also smells great, but it isn’t overbearing. I’m currently using the Ghost Line (reviewed here!) which I’m loving and may be better for my newly short hair. Either way, I’ve loved everything I’ve tried from this brand and it’s already affordable thankfully.

Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Coco – This is my favorite warm and sweet scent. It’s not too close to baked goods, but it definitely has some nostalgic vibes in my opinion. Vanilla is my classic winter scent, but the coconut in this adds a tropical vibe that is fun for warm-weather vacations too. Perfume is rarely on sale, so this is a great time to treat yourself or pick up gifts.

There are so many products and brands from Sephora that I love (Tata Harper, Hourglass, and First Aid Beauty to name a few), so I couldn’t include everything, but these products popped into my head right away and are so good I HAD to include them. What are your Sephora Favorites?? Anything new you’re picking up during the sale?

Birchbox August Unboxing and Mini Reviews

Monthly unboxing and review

It has been the busiest summer! I can’t believe we’re 2/3 through August already… Does everyone say that? Summer usually flies by for me, but it’s pretty relaxing.  Between traveling more than usual, having friends and family visit, building a bunch of new furniture for the apartment, getting ready to transition into an exciting new role, and working on a new fitness schedule, I’m feeling pretty stretched. All good things thankfully, but I have to say I’m looking forward to things settling down a touch this fall.

Anyway, here’s my August Birchbox! I chose the curated box this month because I knew I would use every single product. I was really excited to see Amika in this month’s edit as I love their hair-care products; I’ve also never tried a dry shampoo foam and was pretty intrigued. The Phantom Hydrating Dry Shampoo Foam is fun to use, effective at removing oil, and actually adds volume to my strands as well. I dispense about a golf-ball size puff, flip my hair down, and massage it into my roots. It feels almost wet, but it doesn’t leave any residue or dampness behind and (as with all Amika products) smells lovely.

The other hair-care item I received is Oribe’s Featherbalm Weightless Styler. I was definitely looking forward to trying this because Oribe products are so luxurious; their Apres Beach Spray is one of my favorites. This balm provides light hold, nourishes, and protects against UV rays and heat. I think it did a surprisingly great job moisturizing as my hair was nowhere near as frizzy as usual, but I could use a bit more hold for my curls.

For skincare, I have yet to try this Borghese Advanced Fango Active Mud Mask because my skin is currently a bit dry and mud masks tend to dehydrate my skin. It’s a decently sized sample though – I think I will be able to get about three uses from this jar – which makes it perfect for travel. I’m heading to Mexico in a couple months and the humidity there might contribute some oiliness/clogged pores that this mask would be perfect for.

I received two makeup products this month, a cute Kabuki Brush from Birchbox and a Cheek Blush from Doucce. The brush is really soft and would be great for travel since it’s so small. It smelled a tiny bit like vinegar at first, but I washed it before using and that disappeared thankfully. The size and shape of this brush makes it great for setting powder or even bronzer. This RSVP blush is such a pretty, subtle shade of pink. The powder itself is very soft and blendable too. However, I don’t love the packaging as it’s meant to go in a Doucce case or z-palette (neither of which I own).

Box Breakdown

  • Dry Shampoo Foam: .75 oz = $3.54
  • Hair Balm: .5 oz = $6.18
  • Mud Mask: .5 oz = $8.8 (this same mini sells for $12 on the Borghese website, but this is the value of actually product based on the full size)
  • Kabuki Brush: full size = $5
  • Pink Blush: .12 oz = $12 (That’s with the packaging, so I’m docking $2)

For $10, I received $33.50 worth of product. I love the Amika Dry Shampoo Foam and was happy to try another Oribe product. I also received a full size brush and got to try two new-to-me brands.

What did you receive this month? Do you like choosing the Curated box or being surprised? If you’re interested in Birchbox, you can sign up with my link!