Sephora Beauty Insider Birthday Gift from Make Up For Ever

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My birthday was earlier this month and I stopped into Sephora to do some shopping and picked up my Beauty Insider Birthday Gift from Make Up For Ever.  It is a mini lipstick and mascara set.


The lipstick is the Rouge Artist Natural.  It is a beautiful formula.  It is a creamy with a translucent soft,shiny finish.  This one is a MLBB (my lips but better) shade.  It doesnt specify which shade it is but from comparing the different shade options online it looks like it is N9 Copper Pink.  I think it is a huge hit, perfect for keeping in your pocket or handbag to touch up with throughout the day.

The mascara is the Smoky Extravagant version that has the teardrop shaped brush.  It is a precision mascara that claims to add curl, length, and volume.  It is said to be long-lashing and clump-free.  Using 4D technology, an exclusive microdefining wax complex envelopes the lash surface in ultrablack pigments for far-away impact and up-close precision.  I have used it a couple times and while I think it is good, I wasn’t completely blown away.

I bet you can’t wait for your birthday to get here so you can pick up your sweet gift.  If you can’t wait feel free to use my links to the full-sized product(s).
*Affiliate links.
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L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara

Affiliate links, press sample.

One of my favorite addictions is actually mascara.  There are so many mascara innovations every year and I find it exciting to try them all.  L’Oreal Voluminous was one of the first mascaras I ever tried (if not the very first) and I love that they have come out with new variations of it.  The Butterfly mascara has a crazy brush that does look fairly reminiscent of a butterfly’s wings.  The one I have is the Waterproof version.

This mascara is meant to be used to stretch and extend your lashes like wings!  It’s revolutionary Butterfly Brush with asymmetrical lash line shape extends and lifts outer corner lashes to give you a winged-out effect, instantly volumizing lashes at the roots and stretching lashes outward. The unique Cocoon Fibers instantly wrap lashes in a soft, delicate veil to create silky, spectacular lashes that flutter.

Well, fluttery lashes is exactly what you will get!  My lashes are almost non-existent without mascara on them (as you can see from the photo on the left.  The photo on the right is after 2 coats.  It claims to give 6xs the volume; I feel like this does deliver volume but not as much as the original Voluminous mascara.  My lashes are thicker, but the length reigns supreme.

I didnt find any trouble getting the top lashes coated but when it came to my uber-tiny baby lashes it was a bit hard.  I figured out that I needed to rotate the brush and use the shorter side of the wand to do those and it ended up working out for me fairly well.

Assymetrical brush, bristles that resemble a comb, fibers in the mascara?  No flaking, cluming, or transfering/smudging anywhere?  L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara is definitely a drugstore mascara that is worth checking out.
*Press Sample. Affiliate Links in use.
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It Cosmetics Hello, Beautiful!

It Cosmetics is a brand that I have loved for a long, long time.  I have reviewed items from the brand several times in the past and I am so excited to give you a first look at the Hello, Beautiful! kit that will be airing on QVC at midnight tonight as their March 18th Today’s Special Value.
Hello, Beautiful! is a 5 piece collection that includes a foundation, brush, lip and cheek stain, lash primer, and my favorite mascara of all time!  

The foundation included is the Celebration Foundation and it is pictured below in the shade Light Medium.  Perfect match for me.  I wore it 3-4 times now and only once was the color night right and it was because I applied it over a BB cream and it was still quite emollient so it did disturb the actual quality of the foundation itself.  I really love the coverage it gives, as well as the natural finish.  This full coverage powder also hydrates skin and includes peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, silk, anti-oxidants, grapeseed, olive, hyaluronic acide, rose, aloe, niacin, as well as vitamins A C and E.  
 Of course, I used the Heavenly Luxe Buffing Airbrush Foundation Brush to apply the foundation. There are over 80,000 hairs packed into this brush, which helps you achieve the perfect airbrush application.  

There is a new/improved product that was also included with this kit.  If you remember the Vitality Lip Flush, I want you to meet its more advanced, multi-tasking cousin: Vitality Flush 4-in-1 Reviver Lip and Cheek Stain Stick.  The shade is Je Ne Sais Quoi, which gives you the “perfect long wear flush of naturally pretty color all while providing a boost of hydration infused with a powerful stain that doesn’t dry out your lips and skin.”  

My lips reach a very bright hot pink.  It stains my lips perfectly and it does keep them very hydrated.  This is a color I wear on my lips when I am doing next to nothing else on my face.  It does get bright so I don’t want to risk looking too made up with having a full on eye while I wear this.
The color it reaches on my skin is actually a beautiful pink.  It is quite emollient and I am not a fan of that texture on my skin due to my oily skin.  If you don’t mind then this is the perfect cheek stain, in my opinion.
Another exciting new product in this kit is the Tightline Full Lash Length Black Mascara Primer.  “This gam-changing innovation allows you to actually coat each lash beginning at the root (unlike almost all mascaras where the brush hits your eye before you can ever start coating black at your roots, leaving the bottom 1/3 of each lash uncoated).”  It Cosmetics picked the name Tightline because the skinny wand allows you to achieve a tightlining effect along your upper and lower lash line.  In case you didn’t know or don’t practice tightlining, it gives your eyes definition without taking up eyelid space.  It is something that I frequently practice doing!  My opinion of this primer is actually quite high. It does what it says it will do!  I love products that deliver on their claims.

Hello Lashes 5-in-1 Mascara is one I have previously reviewed.  I actually am using the photos from my original review of this product, which can be found here.  I am a HUGE fan of this mascara, and let me show you why!

My lashes are fairly nice on their own but NOTHING like this!  Hello Lashes is to blame for this amazing length and volume.  I adore this mascara and I vow to never be without it in my arsenal.   

Overall, the Hello, Beautiful! kit from It Cosmetics is quite amazing.  It includes great new products that you are sure to love, and if you have never tried anything from the brand what better of a way to discover it?  It is available one day only (March 18th), and becomes available at midnight TONIGHT!   It will retail for $54.96 +S&H.  It will also have an easy pay option!  I am highly encouraging you to check this kit out.  It is WELL worth the money and the value is sooo great!  In case you can’t gather from my rambling, I LOVE THIS KIT!  ;)
*The products mentioned were sent from the brand for editorial consideration.  All opinions are my own.  The links provided are for your convenience only.

Chanel Le Volume De Chanel Mascara

Chanel recently introduced a great mascara into their brand called Le Volume De Chanel.  With one of my last purchases I got this wonderful mascara as a sample and was completely impressed immediately.
I usually dislike sample mascaras.  A lot of the time you rarely get a lot of product to try.  This mascara had plenty of product that came out on the bristles on the first go.  The actual wand itself is great.  It is a 

rubber bristle type of brush but the pattern in which the bristles sit on the brush are genius.  It will absolutely coat every lash on the first pass.  The formula is great because it is a bit wet but it sets up pretty quickly.  It is supposed to volumize and it does a great job at that.

As far as the sample of this mascara goes, I am in love with it…  The full sized mascara is another story.  I haven’t tried it in the full size (mostly because I have a ton of opened mascaras right now and no need to purchase anything additionally), but if it is like the sample then I am telling you–IT IS TERRIFIC!  

Ellis Faas: Ellis Eyes Mascara

Hi, my name is Laura and I am a mascara junkie.  
Reviewing mascara is fairly difficult because it is so subjective.  What works for me, may not always work for others.  I have a feeling that most people will enjoy the mascara from Ellis Faas.
The missile-like packaging is the same as the majority of their products.  In the same respect, it is one of their more traditional items.  The mascara comes in two shades, Black and Milk Chocolate.  On the flat end of the packaging there is an indicator of the shade, which makes it easy to distinguish.    

I feel like the names are actually perfect descriptions.  Mainstream mascara brands don’t variate much in color.  Even though there is usually a black and a brown, the brown is usually more like dark chocolate thank light and milky.  I like that Ellis Faas has an option for those that want a lighter brown.  Fair haired beauties may not want such a stark contrast to their natural hair color, and this provides a great option.

The brand boasts that the mascara is a creamy texture that perfectly coats, lengthens and separates.  I would have to agree that it does a great job at all three.  I wouldn’t say that this gives you an over the top look but it definitely does a great job for my daily routine.  

My lashes are average in length and I feel the results I get are really great.  I notice when I am looking at the want that it appears there are fibers in the mascara.  I can’t confirm that with the information I have seen on their website but I can say that even with the “fibers” I am seeing I don’t have any sort of reaction to this mascara.  

The Milk Chocolate mascara seems to be slightly different than the formula of the Black.  I don’t notice the appearance of “fibers” in this one and I feel like my lashes don’t look as great with it, although it could be that I just prefer a dark, dramatic color on my lashes.

As you can see below my lashes look coated and separated but the length is lacking.  I even did several coats of the Milk Chocolate and I felt like I really got nowhere with it.  

Ellis Faas Ellis Eyes Mascara retails for $34 and can be purchased at ellisfaas.com.  Overall, I give this mascara a 4 1/2 out of 5.  I adore the Black shade but the Milk Chocolate shade isn’t as impressive.  Most people prefer a black mascara, so that is what I am basing my review on.  I would also like to mention that the packaging gets a lot of attention.  I often do my makeup at work and every time that I have whipped out this mascara it was the enter of attention.  ;)  
I hope you found my review helpful, if you have any questions or I didn’t touch on something you were interested in feel free to tell me in the comments below. 
*The products mentioned in this post were provided for editorial consideration.  I am not being compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

December Beauty FOTD

My Instagram Photo A Day challenge is well underway and I have successfully completed all of the days thus far.  Today I was trying to come up with a FOTD for the challenge of Defined, but I got a little carried away!  I was going to do a simple contoured look but I started playing with some new goodies and I liked the direction in which it was headed.

I have been experiencing some dryness issues lately, as well as having a few breakouts.  It has been a rough road trying to get everything balanced out but I am trying to conceal as much as I treat.  I used the Bare Minerals Ready Foundation and I think that I am in love with this product.  It looks like so much more than a powder and for that I am thankful.

The rest of my face makeup is Bare Minerals Mineral Veil, Josie Maran blush and bronzer (and I don’t know the names).  I am also using the Bare Minerals Secret Radiance as a highlight on my cheekbones.  I am also using a balm to make my lips shiny.  It has no color–the color on my lips is their natural pigment.

On my eye brows I am using the Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express palette.  I love how easy it is to get defined brows with this kit. (First defined feature in this FOTD.)

My eyes are done using the Bare Minerals The Playlist 8.0 palette.  It is a lovely palette and I actually got it last night as a freebie in a grab bag for winning a contest at work.  It is amazing and I should have gotten it way sooner.

The last part in my challenge for Defined is my eyelashes.  I am using a new (to me) mascara and I really like it.  Different from what I would normally do but nice none-the-less.  It is the Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Curl & Lengthen.  I usually don’t go for a mascara that claims to do either of those things, I typically go for volume since my lashes are already long. 

Thanks for having a look at my FOTD.  If you have any questions, ask below.  Also share with me your favorite go-to look for this holiday season.  My looks haven’t really varied so much, always some form of shimmer.  :)
*All of the products mentioned in this post were purchased by me or given through gratis.  I am in no way sponsored for this post.

It Cosmetics Hello Lashes!

If there is one thing that I feel like I can not go without in my makeup routine, it is mascara.  Mascara to me makes or breaks my look.  I have decently long lashes but without the proper mascara you would never know it because they are light in color and quite thin.  Today I am bringing you It Cosmetics Hello Lashes!

I have had this mascara for weeks now in my basket of things I need to use and review.  It takes me so long to bring myself to open a new mascara because I hate having too many open at once.  Luckily I had a couple of the ones I was currently using dry up so I justifiably reached for this.  After I used it once my jaw dropped to the floor.  
I usually hate mascaras (all mascaras- no discrimination) on first application and sometimes up to 3-4 applications in.  This one as amazing on my very first try.  I also usually hate mascaras that have plastic bristles such as this one…. this is my very first exception to the rule.  

About the Brush:
The brush is really interesting.  It Cosmetics calls it “Magic Wand Lash Ball Detailer”.  It is designed to reach every lash, even the ones in the hard to reach inner and outer corners.  The bristles are a plasticy- rubber material.  The bristles on the long part of the wand are semi-long and spread out which is how it acts like a comb to really get the lashes separated.  The ball on the end of the wand makes it completely easy to get into the inner and outer corner of my lashes and really get the product onto the lashes.  
I have never been interested in brushes that weren’t traditional.  I have used several different mascaras with plastic/rubber bristles and just never cared for them.  That is definitely not the case with this mascara.  It is perfection in a tube. 


About the Formula:
Hello Lashes! is a 5-in-1 treatment product designed to eliminate the need for a lash conditioner, primer, lash comb/curler, lash growth serum and tint.  It claims to volume, length and separation–everything that anyone needs!  

Hello Lashes contains a truly cutting-edge formula featuring It Cosmetics’ Grow-Luxe complex (which includes peptides and apple stem cells) for lash growth and Hydra-Luxe Technology to hydrate and condition the lashes.  The lash stain in this mascara makes this a long-wearing color that will help you lashes stay darker even after your mascara is taken off!  That is FANTASTIC to me because of the natural lack of color of my bare lashes.  

This mascara is also packed with anti-aging vitamins and amino acids such as Vitamins A, C, E, ProVitamin B5, and proteins to treat and thicken lashes.  There are also anti-oxidants such as Acai and Green Tea to protect and ward off free radicals.  Also Hydro-Collagen and bees wax to give lashes instant length and volume.  It is paraben-free, fragrance-free, oil-free, and both non-comodogenic and hypoallergenic.

It also claims that it is clinically proven to increase lash volume 430%! Whoa that is a big number!  As you can see n the picture below my lashes are much more thick and voluminous  than normal so maybe the number is true… I wouldn’t even begin to know how to measure!  
While it did add volume, lengthen, and separate it also really held a curl amazingly well.  In the picture I did not use a curling tool because my lashes have a natural upturn to them but it usually straightens out when I have a lot of mascara on.  Not with this product.  

This mascara does wonders for my lashes.  And get this… this is only 2 coats.  I usually use at least 3 coats of mascara on a daily basis but I was afraid to go for more with this because…  well, because it really doesn’t need it.  I would like to mention that I don;t go as heavy handed with this mascara.  I am much softer when I apply this product.  I usually bore down deep into the lashes and wiggle but with this I mostly just use a stroking/brushing motion.

This mascara retails for $20 on itcosmetics.com and two for $29 on qvc.com.
I hope you found this review helpful.  I don’t have a bad word to say for it.  If you have any specific questions feel free to ask them below!

*The product mentioned in this post was provided for editorial consideration.  All opinions are my own, I wouldn’t wear it or talk about it if I didn’t like it!  Links are for your convenience only.

The Wonders of Mascara

So lately I have received a lot of comments on my lashes.  Some people ask me if I have naturally nice lashes or if its mascara.  I always tell them it is the mascara but no one seems to believe me.  People think it is my lashes because whatever mascara I was using at the time doesn’t do the same thing for their lashes.  
I will say that mascara is a personal thing.  Depends on your lashes: lash thickness, how they naturally lay, length.  Something I absolutely love may be awful for others and vice versa.  Anyway… in this post I am using Maybelline One by One.  Sorry the quality isn’t awesome, these were taken with my iPhone 4.  

Huge difference, huh?  Anyway… I just wanted to address all of the questions and comments! Hope this helps.  
Thanks for reading!  Have a great day!