Target Beauty Haul

Swatches and first impressions

I usually try to stop at Target when I’m in Chicago because they have so many brands and everything is much more affordable than NYC. Most recently, I wanted to find the new Wet n Wild Not a Basic Peach palette and I really needed a new lip scrub. I also picked up a couple extra items since they currently have a promotion for a $5 gift card when you spend $20.

One of those items was the Up and Up version of the BeautyBlender, which was $3.99. I love the original BeautyBlender and have never tried any of the dupes until now. I’ll have a whole post on this coming soon!

I also happened upon these adorable mini Real Techniques brushes. They’re my favorite drugstore brush brand, so I had to pick up a travel size version of my Expert Face Brush. It blends like a dream and was only $5.99.

I haven’t tried anything from ELF in a while and loved the colors in this duo. It’s the Best Friends eyeshadow palette in Pink Pal. I love this for an everyday eye and I think it would make a great contour and highlight palette for travel too. This swatches beautifully and wears well on the eyes. It lasts about 8 hours without primer and 12 hours with my Sephora Collection Tinted and Cooling Eye Primer. I’ve been using it a ton this week and would highly recommend it, especially for $3!

Wet n Wild recently redid their eyeshadow formula and everyone was raving about these their palettes a couple months ago. The one I picked up is a new color scheme and I love the warm shades with a pop of blue. It’s easy to get different colorful looks from this palette, but you can use it to create a couple basic options as well. It’s very compact and would be perfect to travel with. Full review coming soon!

Lastly, I saw this cute lip scrub from Burt’s bees and decided to give it a try. I had been eyeing the Lush Honey one, and this Conditioning Lip Scrub with Exfoliating Honey Crystals seemed like a similar option for only $8. It has a very soft base that my finger sunk into, to give you a better idea of the texture. It still exfoliates well though and I enjoy the scent. My lips are always dry and I’m happy to have a lip scrub back in my routine. I think I’ll try the Lush scrub or Frank Body one when this runs out.

That’s everything! I’m really happy with this haul and will have to get to Target more often. What have you picked up lately?

Reviewing Minis from Tatcha, La Mer, and First Aid Beauty

Would I buy the full size?

I’m testing out three minis this week and I’ve fallen in love with one, am confused on another, and dislike the last. It’s so interesting how cult favorite products may or may not work out; I’m glad I had smaller sizes of these products to try out before deciding to invest in the full size.

Starting with the one I loved: The Deep Cleanse from Tatcha. I had actually posted about this when I first received it in January (see below for a very old, shadowy picture…) My normal to somewhat dry skin was a lot drier back then and it felt a tiny bit stripping. Which makes sense, because this cleanser is really for normal to oily skin.

Lately, I’ve been using it after a workout, when my skin feels sweaty and oily. I think – true to the name – it’s great for a deep cleanse. My skin feels clean without being squeaky and it’s also a little softer due to the luffa fruit fibers. It doesn’t feel tight or dry thankfully! I’m really happy I gave this a second chance with my skin changing as the weather does too.

I think my skin might be a tiny bit too dry still for the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer. This seems like it’s hard to blend in due to the thicker texture. I’m wondering if it would be better over a hydrating primer or maybe mixed with a facial oil. I’ll have to try it that way and update you, because I really love the natural finish.

It also evens out my skintone a bit (even though Fair is almost too dark for me) and helps with slightly diffusing redness. I love how easy tinted moisturizers are in theory, so I’d love to try out a few more and compare. The SPF 30 in this one was a huge plus for me!

Lastly, the Creme de La Mer moisturizer didn’t work out for me. It doesn’t sink in easily or quickly in my experience and I don’t like tugging at my skin. I also disliked the scent, which almost gave me a headache. It’s reminiscent of powdery rose. So many people rave about this brand, so I’m open to trying their other products. The new bronzer looks stunning.

I like the Tatcha cleanser enough to buy the full size and and I would definitely pass on the La Mer moisturizer. I think the FAB tinted moisturizer will be great with a drop of oil, so I’m still undecided there. Do you guys have any recommendations for tinted moisturizer?

Vapour Organic Beauty – Review and Swatches

Testing a green beauty brand

I’ve been wanting to pick up some Vapour products since swatching them at Credo Beauty a few months ago. I loved the sleek and convenient packaging, clean formulas, and beautiful colors.

Last month I needed to replenish some skincare and decided to try Dermstore. I was so excited when I noticed they carry Vapour! It was the first time I had ever shopped there so I received 20% off my whole purchase. I chose the Illusionist Concealer in 010, the Aura Multi-use Blush in Spark 202, and the Mesmerize Eye Shimmer Treatment in Cinder.

My favorite item is definitely the concealer. I rarely go for concealers in stick form as they’ve been dry and hard to blend in my experience. The Illusionist Concealer is completely different! It’s so creamy and sinks into the skin beautifully and quickly. It looks very natural while having a brightening effect too. I mostly use this under my eyes; there’s not a ton of coverage for spot concealing. It’s the only concealer I’ve been using since I received this package! I would highly recommend checking this out.

I also really enjoyed the blush stick – which I’ve tried on my eyes and lips as well. This color is a pretty darker peach that looks like a natural flush when blended. You just need a small dab on the cheeks and I’ve found it blends in well with my fingers or a BeautyBlender. It didn’t last perfectly all day on my lids, but it’s great as a blush. The stain version of this formula sounds amazing as well.

Lastly, the eye shadow was the only item I didn’t quite like. It was just a bit glittery for me without much color when I blended it. You can see some glitter flecks in this photo – especially at the bottom where it’s blended. I prefer more of a satin or shimmer finish. Love the easy application though and it’s very creamy, so I’m going to try some of the matte shades.

Have you ever tried Vapour? I’m really excited to explore the rest of their line now!

Beauty Haul! Space NK Sample Sale, L’occitane

Haul and experience

Anastasia and I have been picking the worst days to shop lately… we headed to the Space NK Sample Sale this morning and froze while waiting outside for two hours. The things we do for makeup! The doors opened at nine and we arrived at ten, so I knew we would have to wait a bit, but I really wasn’t expecting such a long line!

I had been hoping to pick up some Tata Harper and Sunday Riley skincare (two of my favorites!), or maybe a Diptyque candle, but nearly everything was sold out. Some customers were walking around with three overflowing baskets which was depressing.

There were tons of Malin & Goetz, Lipstick Queen, Kevyn Aucoin, and By Terry products left though and I heard they’re restocking on Thursday. I managed to find a few exciting things thankfully, in the form of these three lip products:

Here are two of the Lipstick Queen Butterfly Ball Shimmer Treatment Lipsticks in Float and Moment. The former is a gorgeous sheer nude while the latter is a pretty berry-ish red. They both have this fine turquoise shimmer running through them which reflects light like a dream and looks surprisingly natural on the lips. I’ve been wearing Float all day and love the look, although it’s definitely not a long wear lipstick. These originally sold for $24, so $5 is an amazing deal. Lipstick Queen discontinued them from their e-commerce site, but you can still find them at QVC.

The top swatch is a Kevyn Aucoin The Lip Gloss in Papavier. It looks patchy on my hand, but it’s evenly sheer and glossy on the lips. It also feels comfortable, almost like a plush lip balm. There were several shades to choose from and Space NK still sells them for $30, so again this is a great deal.

Anastasia (the sweetest) also brought me this body butter which smells like delicious baked goods. It has shea butter, cocoa butter, cinnamon, and marshmallows in it. I love the scent and texture, which feels rich but sunk in quickly. I’m going to have to see where I can find this in the States!

Lastly, I popped by L’occitane to check out their adorable Easter Eggs. I had also received an email for this free gift box. I love their Verbena body products and Almond Shower Oil, so I’m really excited to try these versions and a face cream. I also enjoyed opening this cutely wrapped box. Such a treat!

That’s it for this haul! I’m on a low-buy because I’m trying to finish some of the products I currently have open and my birthday is in a month. This was definitely fun though.

What have you hauled recently? And would you wait two hours for the Space NK Sale??

Reviewing New & EWG Approved Drugstore Items

Affordable hits and misses

I don’t own many drugstore items, but there have been several releases lately that looked promising. I’ve also been looking for a new concealer and mascara that are EWG approved.

The Environmental Working Group has a Skin Deep Database that rates product and ingredient safety. The lower the score is from 1 to 10, the safer the product is for you. I’ve already tried the W3ll People mascara (which I love) and concealer (which I don’t love) that score really low, so I wanted to look into other options. I was surprised to see two drugstore items were on the list!

Let’s start with my favorite find – the Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Concealer + Corrector. I wanted to pick this up because it’s rated a 2 on Skin Deep. This concealer looks very natural on the skin, but it covers the dark veins under my eyes so well. I’m really impressed with the finish and lasting power. I wear 10 Ivory which is the lightest shade.

I also purchased the Physician’s Formula 100% Natural Origin Mascara because it was rated a 2. I wanted to love this because it’s more affordable than the W3ll People mascara, but it didn’t do enough for my lashes. There was some length, but I like more volume and a fanned out effect.

The most disappointing item from the new launches was the Almay Eyeshadow Quad. I picked up the shade 180 Ambition and the matte and satin shades hardly had any pigment at all. The shimmer shade was really pretty, but it faded after just 5 hours of wear. It also creased quite a bit (which was possibly made worse because I had added a bit of the next item on top).

I’ve heard so much hype about these Wet N Wild Megaglo Makeup Sticks. This one is the Highlight version in the shade 208 When the Nude Strikes – it’s a stunning, wearable champagne. The formula is really creamy and blendable as well. It looks amazing and natural on camera, but in person, I found that it has chunky glitter that sits on top of the skin. I like a more subtle highlight that melts into the skin to give it a glow.

Lastly, I tried one of the new Revlon Plumping Lip Cremes in the shade 510 Nude Honey. This formula tingles very, very slightly, so if you hate the Buxom glosses, you might want to try this. It was a little bit hard to smooth onto the lips at first because it’s almost a chunky whipped formula, but after a few minutes it settles quite nicely. Then it looks plush, the color is more even, and it feels like a balm.

If you’re wondering what all of this looks like in action, keep an eye out for a new video on Saturday with swatches and my first impressions!

Have you tried any of these products? What’s your favorite affordable makeup item?