Effortless Summer: my first Play! by Sephora box

Hi guys! If you read my post about this month’s Boxycharm, you may remember hearing that I received my first Play! by Sephora box, and well, here it is! I couldn’t wait to open the box and photograph the goodies in it — I had a vague idea of what to expect but I was excited and surprised nevertheless!

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The theme this month is Effortless Summer; “warm weather essentials and sunny standouts” make for a box with great and varied products. We received five products, plus a perfume sample, and apparently, this month’s box was the first one to send out two versions depending on the skin type you had! People with oily skin (like yours truly) received the products you see above, while people with dry skin received a different cleanser and primer. How cool is that? That’s the first time I’ve seen a beauty box do that in my 2+ years of being subscribed to various ones.

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First up, I received a deluxe sample of the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil medium/deep matte bronzer. This is going straight into the giveaway pile, because a) I don’t use bronzer, b) this will be waaaay too dark for me!

Next up is the blotterazzi by beautyblender, which is basically a reusable blotting sponge and actually sounds really interesting! I’ll definitely be giving this a try. We also got a deluxe sample of the Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Foundation Primer and a sample of the Citrine perfume by NEST.

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And over here on the second half of the box, we have the First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser, which sounds INCREDIBLE and just like what my skin needs, ad the Ouai Wave Spray, which okay, I will probably never use and pass on to someone who will appreciate it more than I would.

Aaaaand that would be all for my first ever Play! by Sephora box! All together, I would say this is definitely better than some of the Birchbox boxes (?) I received and definitely better as far as sizes and value than the ipsy bags, so I’m not at all disappointed! Can’t wait for my next box!



Modern Merbabe: July 2016 Boxycharm

Hi guys and welcome to today’s episode of “Valentina’s super bad at being on top of her blog,” thanks for tuning in! In this week’s episode, we will talk about time management skills, procrastination and why I suck at all of the above.

In all seriousness, I’m actually really surprised at myself for having found the time to write this post (and two more after these). My sister and I just moved out of our apartment and into a new house with my parents (only like five minutes away from our apartment though) and if I hadn’t had a couple of posts pre-written and scheduled, nothing would have gone up last week as we were in the midst of moving!

Now that we’re officially out of the apartment and in the new house and my room is mostly set up, I have my vanity set up and could take pictures for my post! This post is being written and published live (well, ish) but the next two will be scheduled, as I leave for a two week trip to Chile on Friday!

Anyway, moving on.


Today’s post is all about this month’s Boxycharm box, the theme for which is Modern Merbabe. How cute is that? I love how cute and unique their themes are and I love how this one looks too!


This month’s Boxycharm technically only included four items, but considering the fact that they sent us a magnetic palette from OFRA with six of their shadows, I’m not complaining! I don’t know what the colors are but honestly, they all look really nice and I’ll definitely be trying these! I’m also really excited to have another magnetic palette, because my current one is tiny!


Then, we have the Mally Beauty Rounded Blender Brush, which is SO SUPER SOFT, a Noyah lip gloss in Malbec, and the PYT Hair Argan Oil Treatment. All in all, it’s not my favorite box, but I definitely feel like I got my money’s worth from these products and I can’t wait to see what will be in my next Boxycharm!

Cancelling my ipsy and Birchbox and keeping only this one was a great decision — except I did subscribe to Play! by Sephora and I finally received my first box (just now, actually!) and you can read all about it in next week’s post!

Let me know what you thought, how you feel about Boxycharm, beauty boxes, life in general, or anything at all! I’d love to chat and hear what you have to say!! Thanks for reading!



OOPS, I DID IT AGAIN: Sephora haulin’

Hi my beautiful angels! As you can probably surmise from the title (and as you know if you read last week’s post), I’m coming at you with yet another haul, this time exclusively from Sephora!

Before anyone says anything, let me defend myself: half this haul was bought with store credit and VIB points, so you can only judge me for one half of it. Okay? Okay. (I feel your judgment, but come on, we’ve all made bad decisions.)


Let’s start with the “I probably really didn’t need this” half: the lip products. I’ve been on the hunt for a lot of specific lip colors and Sephora had all three of those in their range, so how could I resist? I got another one of the Sephora Collection cream lip stains, this time in Strawberry Kissed — if you’ve read my blog, you’ve probably seen me talk about these liquid lipsticks and how they are some of the best and most underrated (plus affordable!) liquid lipsticks ever.

Then I got three of the Luster Matte lipsticks, in the colors Petal Luster, Mulberry Luster and Deep Plum Luster. Petal Luster was a total impulse buy, but the other two are exactly the colors I’ve been thirsting over so I’m really excited to have them!


From top to bottom: Strawberry Kissed, Petal Luster, Mulberry Luster and Deep Plum Luster. (Sorry for the bad lighting, I should have taken these pictures earlier!)


And for the more reasonable half of my haul, we have the Caviar Miracle Multiplying Volume Mist, which I got with my VIB points, the Cover FX Mattifying Primer, and the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder.

The story behind those last two is this: a few months ago, I got a mattifying primer from BECCA but unfortunately, it didn’t work for me at all, so I returned it and went back to looking for the perfect mattifying primer for my ever-so-oily skin. Now, fast forward to last month when I found this Cover FX primer as a point perk at a Sephora, tried it out and LOVED it, so I decided to get it with the store credit I got from the BECCA primer.

My two options were: buy the full size Cover FX primer for the same price as the BECCA one and call it a day, or try out the mini one (which they thankfully had in store) and get something else. I pondered on this decision for a long, long time, but as soon as I saw this mini of the Laura Mercier powder than everyone and their mother raves about, I knew I needed it!

So voila, that’s my haul for today. Tune in next week for the next haul post because lol I have no self-control.



Cheeky Walgreens and CVS haul

Hi guys! Today’s post, as you can see above, is a very cheeky and probably unnecessary drugstore haul. I use the word cheeky because it’s one of my favorite words commonly used in the UK (it isn’t really used here in the US) and because it encapsulates this haul perfectly! Why? Because I didn’t really need most of this stuff. Really. It’s like 30% needs and 70% indulgence.

But anyway, let’s move on with the haul!


First of all, we have some new lip products that I was very excited about! The Milani Amore Matte Lip Cremes are basically the reason this haul even happened — my friend Becca mentioned seemed them in stock at our local Walgreens, something which has never happened before, and knowing that one of the colors was a dupe for the MAC lipstick in Oh, Lady I’ve been trying to replace, I knew I needed it!

I got two colors — Obsession and Precious — and so far I love them! Obsession is everything I needed in a dark plummy liquid lipstick, and Precious is a very beautiful warm-toned dusty rose color. It’s very similar to some of my favorite lipsticks but I’m keeping it solely because it’s more warm-toned than the others I have.


Then, knowing there was a gap in the container where I keep my Wet n Wild and MAC lipsticks, I wanted to get just one of the Wet n Wild MegaLast lipsticks and chose the color Sand Storm, a great brown, warm-toned nude.

Lastly, CVS had a sale on Rimmel lip liners, so I got two in the colors Spice and Tiramisu. Check out the swatches above! (Plus the swatch for the eye crayon I got which I will talk about next.)


Over at CVS, they had a promotion where if you bought two Maybelline eye products, you’d get five dollars in their rewards, and knowing I needed a new mascara and that I’ve been wanting to try this Color Tattoo crayon in Bronze Truffle, well, how could I resist?


Walgreens had a sale for the Wet n Wild nail polishes, so I picked up the two shades on the right, but when I got the five dollars from CVS, I knew I needed to get one of their 1 Step Wonder Gel polishes and this color had been calling my name, and naturally, since they were buy one, get one 50% off, I picked up a third MegaLast polish for just $1.47. How could I say no?! The colors here, from left to right, are: Stay Classy, Wet Cement, Private Viewing and On a Trip.


Lastly, I’ve been desperately needing a new eyelash curler and my sister has this Revlon one that she likes, so I figured I’d give it a shot, and I’ve been dying to try out the new Wet n Wild brushes so I got this large eyeshadow brush to see how I like it!

I know you’re probably thinking, “Valentina, what the hell happened to your monthly beauty budget?” but here’s the thing: the last haul I did was in April, and I haven’t spend any (literally NO MONEY AT ALL) on makeup or beauty products that were non-essential since May. So consider this me spending my budget allowance for June and July!

…but don’t judge me next week when I do a small (ish) Sephora haul… or the week after that when I tell you about the two OFRA lipsticks I just ordered and the stuff I got from the Boxycharm website using the points I accumulated…