Recent acquisitions (a haul but not quite post)

Hello lovelies! I know it’s late but I was determined to keep to my new Monday/Wednesday/Friday posting schedule.

So anyway… You might have seen my post earlier this week about my Sephora haul, and before you say anything, this does not count as a haul. Hear me out here, okay? Okay. I didn’t technically get all of these at the same time so therefore it’s not a haul. because I say so. Got it? Alright. Moving on.

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Let’s start this quick post by talking about some skincare! I’ve been doing some research and trying to find better products that suit my combination oily skin better and so far, these have been great.

I got the Botanics face scrub and toner from their Shine Away line at Target a few weeks ago when I had to return something else and had some store credit to spend, and I’ve been using them for however long and I really like them! The toner has been a godsend and now that I actually use it every day, I don’t know why I didn’t start sooner!

The Clinique facial soap I bought when I went into Sephora the other night so technically I haven’t used this one yet, but I’ve tried samples before and I really like it. I already own the moisturizing gel from this same line so once I’m out of the Botanics toner, I’ll get the toner from the same line and have a complete set!

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Then we have these beauties here! The Sephora palette technically should’ve been part of my Sephora haul, but the one I received in the mail was broken, so I had to go exchange it before I could actually write about it in a post. I haven’t used it yet but I absolutely love the colors and from swatching them, they look to be great quality!

The stila palette I bought off a friend who gave it to me for $25 dollars… I mean, who could resist that? Especially when this palette retails for $39! It’s barely used and I purchased my precious Chocolate Bar palette from her, so I definitely trust her. I used it for a look yesterday when I went to school and absolutely loved everything about it, but I unfortunately got rained on when I was going to class so that was kind of ruined.

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Last but not least is my new holy grail liquid lipstick (gasp!) — the Sephora cream lip stain in Marvelous Mauve. Everything about this lipstick is absolutely perfect. The formula goes on so smoothly and it’s easy to apply, it’s super pigmented and dries to matte without being drying and it’s incredibly long lasting! I wore it to go bar hopping in Montreal and didn’t even need to reapply it once. I’m absolutely in love with this, and if you haven’t yet run to your nearest Sephora to get one, I don’t know what you’re waiting for!

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I hope you guys enjoyed this not-a-haul haul post! Let me know if you want a review of either one of the palettes or even the lipstick and I’ll work on getting that up for you guys. Thanks for reading!

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Sephora haul… because I can!

To celebrate a successful two month long No Buy, I decided that once my student loans came in, I would treat myself to some goodies from Sephora! I knew going into it some of the things I wanted, but I gave myself a budget of 150 dollars and shopped away and let me tell you, it felt great. I received my order last night and was super excited to see and touch everything — and swatch it!

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Here’s what I got in its entirety. The Too Faced bb creme I actually got off Amazon but since it all came in the same day, I figured I’d include it in my haul post.

So let’s start, shall we? First, I got the Sephora cream lip stain in Blackberry Sorbet. Before I left for Canada, I had the color Marvelous Mauve on my cart, but I ended up buying it when I was in Canada without realizing that I had already been planning on getting it! But now that I know how much I loved that one, I had to get a new color to add to my collection.

Something else I’d had my eye on for a while was the stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Amalfi. After swatching literally every hot pink lipstick in Sephora, this one won out, and knowing that I loved their formula since I already have Venezia helped!

And last for the lip products is Bésame Cosmetic’s Classic Color Lipstick in Red Velvet 1946. If you’re a nerd like me, you might know this as the lipstick that Peggy Carter wears in Agent Carter! After reading a lot of reviews online and seeing how much everyone loved it, I caved in. I mean… look at that packaging.

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Now, what I was definitely most excited to receive was definitely was the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop, AKA the collaboration that Jaclyn Hill did with Becca! I had my eyes on it when she first announced it was coming out, but I knew I absolutely needed it when I saw it at my local Sephora and swatched it. Definitely love at first sight.

Something else I couldn’t wait to get my hands on was the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla! This is definitely a case of “blogger made me buy it,” as I’ve seen so many people (but particularly Ana) rave about it.

Along with my Sephora purchase, I got a lot of different samples, which I’m obviously very happy about! I received a bareMinerals bareSkin sample trio, containing a deluxe sample of the bareSkin serum foundation, plus the perfecting veil and a tiny little buki brush (how cute is it?). I also got a sample of Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser, tarte’s maracuja creaseless concealer and a sample of Clinique’s cleanser, exfoliator and moisturizer for combination to oily skin!

Lastly, I got the Too Faced Air Buffed BB Creme in Vanilla Glow, which I also heard was great from a few different bloggers and I can’t wait to see how I like it!

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Here we have, from top to bottom: Red Velvet 1946, Blackberry Sorbet, and Amalfi.

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Top to bottom: Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop, bareSkin serum foundation in bare linen, Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla, and Air Buffed BB Creme in Vanilla Glow. Both the bareSkin foundation and the bb creme look a little dark for my skin, but it is the underside of my arm which is ghostly pale so I’m hoping that on my face it’ll work better. Worst case scenario, they’re donated to my sister, whose skin is a tad darker than mine.

So there’s my haul! I’ve been waiting quite a long time for these things and I’m happy with everything I got. After two months of a No Buy, it may seem silly to turn around and spend quite a bit of money on this, but I had two whole months to think about what I wanted and I thought about it very carefully!

What do you think? Do you own any of these? Any of them that you’re curious to try? Let me know in the comments!

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Review: Oz Naturals Tinted Sunscreen Moisturizer*

Hi friends! I’m back from Canada and trying to settle back into my life and schedule and missing Tim Horton’s (and my friends… I guess) a little bit. In an effort to go back to a somewhat normal posting schedule, today I have a review for you guys to read!

The lovely folks over at Oz Naturals sent me some of their SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Moisturizer to try out. I used it every day for a week in order to get a good idea of what it was like before sharing it with everyone! Is everyone ready? Okay, let’s do this.

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The first thing that struck me about this moisturizer when I first opened it was how dark it is in color. I found it to be a little intimidating and swatched some on my hand right away, only to find out that once I’d spread it out and blended it, you couldn’t tell it was there! (Well, my sister said she saw a difference, but maybe she has better eyesight.)

Excited to try it out, I wore it the next day to go to work. As a rule, I never wear moisturizer with no SPF in it during the day, since I live in Florida and spending time in the sun is inevitable. I was happy to see that the SPF is just high enough for my tastes that I feel like my skin is protected.

Before blending.

Before blending.

As far as the formula goes, it feels lovely on and it’s quite lightweight! It doesn’t make my face feel super oily after putting it on (and my skin tends to be pretty oily so this happens often) and it doesn’t feel super thick either. The smell is lovely and it reminds me of summer and beaches (not that I like either of those things, but you know).

After blending.

After blending.

When I first started applying it, I couldn’t see the tint at all, and it took a few tries to really notice how it depended on how much I applied. It’s not super pigmented and it works well on my super pale skin, but it’s just enough tint to give you a bit of a healthy glow!

I can 100% honestly say that I love this moisturizer, and I’m so happy Oz Naturals gave me the opportunity to try it out, because I wouldn’t have picked this up by myself. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a great tinted moisturizer! This post was powered by BrandBacker.

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A Letter to ipsy

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By Valentina Boré

Dear ipsy,

I have been a loyal subscriber for two years now. Even when I didn’t receive my bags, consistently don’t get my tracking information emailed to me every month, or get sent five million hair products that do absolutely nothing for my hair, I’ve remained loyal to you because I love what you stand for and getting that pink mailer is the highlight of my month.

However, lately I’ve been reconsidering my subscription for various reasons. First, I’m subscribed to Birchbox and Boxycharm, and tend to find their boxes much more satisfying than your GlamBags. Their products are usually better suited to my skin or hair, and much more appealing to my interests. I’ve taken the quiz a million times, but no matter what I do, you won’t stop sending me hair products for wavy hair when my hair is as straight as it comes. Please…

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Guest blogger week, day 7: Lucie’s LUSH Yoga bath bomb review

Hello Everyone!

Lucie here, from lucieleannexo – I’m super excited to be writing a guest post today for my lovely friend Valentina. When she approached me about her guest blogger week I was so delighted as she has such a lovely blog and the two of us have so much in common.

For any of you who aren’t familiar with my blog – I am a huge fan of LUSH, especially their range of bath bombs! I wanted to talk to you today about one of the Oxford Street bath bombs which I think are soon to be released in the USA (already in most stores throughout the UK) – it’s called Yoga Bomb!

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LUSH says ‘Find sanctuary in slow, infurling layers of deeply relaxing Olibanum and Ho wood’.

Yoga bomb really caught my attention whilst shopping at the Oxford Street store as it’s such a beautiful warm amber colour. Yoga bomb has a really pretty bronze shimmer to it. I also really love the name and it automatically makes me think of relaxing and unwinding.

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My favourite thing about this product is by far the scent! Yoga bomb has subtle citrus notes but it also has a spicy cinnamon scent which is just incredible. The warm cinnamon is such a comforting smell and I think this would be even nicer during Autumn/Winter when it’s all cold and frosty outside.

Yoga bomb isn’t the fizziest LUSH bath bomb I have tried, I did find it took quite a while to dissolve into the water. It left the water a gorgeous shimmery amber colour with fine pieces of copper/bronze glitter. The colour didn’t stain the bath which is always a big plus. But I must admit the glitter was a bit of a pain to clean up afterwards.

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I have tried quite a few of the Oxford Street bath bombs – including Cyanide Pill, Intergalactic & The Experimenter, Yoga Bomb has definitely been my favourite so far. I will definitely be repurchasing this one as I think it’s the perfect bath bomb for the colder months of the year and I am obsessed with the cinnamon scent.

I just want to say a big Thank you to Valentina for giving me the opportunity to guest post on her blog! It’s been really fun and I really enjoy working with other bloggers, it’s even better doing it with someone I get along with so well.

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Guest blogger week, day 6: Molly’s dupe for Chanel’s Soleil Tan De Chanel

Hi Everybody, I’m Molly from The Rose Beauty Files and I’m so pleased that Valentina asked me to be a guest blogger for her today! I know summer is coming to a close, but I thought it would be a perfect time to discus a product that will help prolong that gorgeous golden glow that you’ve acquired over the last few months!

I’m sure most of you have heard of the infamous Soleil Tan De Chanel, however at £32, it is not a bargain beauty product! I was completely hooked when I tried it though but couldn’t justify that price for a bronzer, so off I went on the hunt for a cheaper alternative! I am pleased to say, I think I have found it!! The Bourjois Bronzing primer is effectively the same product only a little smaller but a lot cheaper in price!

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Price – At only £9.99 this product is a lot cheaper than Chanel’s offering, Boots also always have offers on so keep an eye out for those! You get 18g in the Bourjois product and 30ml in Chanel’s so I do feel like you get more with Chanel, however you have to use so little each time that either tub would last you a very long time!

Packaging – There is no doubt that Chanel’s packing is the nicer of the two. It is chunky and sophisticated and screams high-end. However, it is a huge pot and therefore not very travel friendly, whereas Bourjois’s is a lot smaller but also looks a lot cheaper.

Product – I was seriously impressed with both products, they look very orange in the pots but this does not transfer to the skin and even manages to blend seamlessly into my pale skin! The Bourjois primer is slightly more mousse like than Chanel’s however it works exactly the same and feels very light on the skin.

How To Apply – You can apply both products in the same way, and you will need quite a dense buffing brush or kabuki brush to get the best effect. You can either apply this as a primer and then apply your foundation on top to give a subtle glow, or you can buff it on top of your foundation for a lovely bronzed look. This is my favourite way to apply it and I find that is has good lasting power when applied this way.

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Verdict – I think this is a fantastic dupe for the Soleil Tan De Chanel and I have been really impressed with the quality of the product. I am a high-end makeup lover but £32 for a bronzer was too much for me so I am really glad that I picked this up instead. As an added bonus, it has Bourjois’s typical chocolatey scent to it too which is just divine!

I hope you have enjoyed reading my guest post! Please pop over to my blog and say hi, or I am on Twitter or Bloglovin’ if you want to follow me on either of those! Thanks again to Valentina for having me!

Guest blogger week, day 5: Savannah’s Lancome secrets

Hello there, Valentina’s followers!! I’m Savannah, Valentina’s “Beauty Bestie”! I’m a beauty obsessed twenty-something and I run the blog Beauty Bunny! Feel free to check it out and get to know me!

I’ve been working in the beauty industry for a little while now. In that time, I’ve worked for two amazing and HUGE cosmetics brands and have had the opportunity to be taught by their instructors, makeup experts, and national makeup artists.

Lancome spends a lot of money on their education process, it has continued to be an amazing experience where they send all of their beauty advisors to classes very frequently so that we can stay updated on our skills!

I decided to share with you guys the best advice that I’ve ever gotten which is that you DON’T need a heavy foundation to get a perfect look!

You can call it “no makeup” makeup or a “model off duty” type of look but I think we can all agree, fresh faces are in. I personally feel like when I wear a heavy foundation my skin looks worse than when I have nothing on!

So here are tips on how to keep your skin lookin’ fresh but still perfect!

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Your first priority should be your skin! Taking care of your skin should be something you enjoy! It’s totally fine to treat yourself with masks and luxurious products because the better your skin looks without makeup, the better it will look WITH makeup!

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Next, there is totally a right way and a wrong way to apply your foundation! The key to keeping your skin looking naturally perfect is to only apply foundation where you need the coverage! I personally just apply my foundation near my nose, on my cheeks and on my forehead. This covers the imperfections that need to be covered! I used to wear my foundation like a “mask” by putting it on areas that didn’t necessarily need to be covered and doing this is what makes foundation look and feel too heavy.

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At this point, you can totally spot conceal any areas that need a little more coverage, or if you’re like me, cover up those dark circles! I like to use my beauty blender or a normal concealer brush just to make sure the concealer is set well.

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Now, here’s where things get important! If you feel that you don’t have enough coverage, use a powder! I love using a flat topped powder brush and patting the powder onto the areas where I’ve put my foundation and concealer! Then I take a big fluffy brush and sweep the powder all over my face! Now everything looks nice and even and perfectly natural! Totally your skin, but better!

These are the practices that Lancome’s makeup artists use on our gorgeous models and celebrities like Lupita Nyong’o, Penelope Cruz, and Kate Winslet!

Whether you decide to wear a full face of makeup or none at all, Lancome’s stance on beauty is that everyone is beautiful in their own natural way, and I, frankly, am so proud to represent a company that believes that. :)