ColourPop haul + November No Buy

Hi guys! Isn’t that title just wonderful? A little bit contradictory, I know, but bear with me here. The reason I went on a no buy was because of this very same ColourPop haul, which is another prime example of me having no self-control whatsoever. Who’s surprised? Not me.

Same no buy rules as always! No purchasing of any beauty or skincare items other than to restock essentials (which will really only be cotton pads and makeup wipes because I’m stocked up on everything else). This no buy is technically only until November 19, but I started it less than halfway through October, so that should make up for it, right? Why November 19? Because that’s my birthday! And I’ll definitely be getting myself a few goodies for a birthday haul.

Anyway, let’s move on to what you’re really here to see… The haul!

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Isn’t it just so beautiful? Doesn’t it just make you so happy to look at? Nothing better than a good ol’ ColourPop haul! By now you guys know that I can’t resist giving them all my money and I’m a fervent believer in their makeup. Their lip products rank high on my list of top lip products and I’m a very big fan of their eye shadows and highlighters, too!

All in all, in this haul I got four highlighters, two eye shadows, two lippie stix, and one ultra matte lip. Let’s move on to what I got, shall we?

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Starting with my favorite thing in the world: lipstick! This time around, I got the More Better Ultra Matte Lip, the Bound Lippie Stix, and the Dazed Lippie Stix. Here you can see the swatches from bottom to top. Dazed is a matte finish, while Bound is a glossy finish, which I think you can kinda tell in the photo. More Better is obviously matte, but I was too impatient to wait for it to try (plus it was hot out) so you can’t really tell in the photo.

More Better is described as a deep violet wine and is exactly the kind of color I’ve been craving to get my hands on the last few weeks! It looks beautiful and I can’t wait to try it on. Bound is described as light nude pink, and you might remember that I purchased the lip pencil a few weeks ago, which is a bit darker than this, but I can’t wait to see how they look together! Lastly, Dazed is described as a berry red, and while I know the last thing I needed is more red lipstick, I couldn’t help myself!

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Up next, we’ve got some beautiful shiny shimmery highlighters! Ooooh I love these SO MUCH! From left to right, we have Stole the Show, Lunch Money, Spoon and Smokin’ Whistles.

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Top to bottom: Stole the Show, Lunch Money, Spoon, Smokin’ Whistles.

Stole the Show is described as a “light cool-toned gold with luminous flashes of pink, silver and gold.” The first one they sent me had a bumpy ride and showed up broken, so I had to get a replacement, but ColourPop was absolutely fantastic and replaced everything, no questions asked!

Lunch Money is described as a “soft light gold with a reflective golden duo chrome finish.” It looks absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait to try it!

Spoon is described as a “light silver champagne with multi-dimensional silver flecks.” If you follow the girls from dupethat on instagram, chances are you’ve seen Spoon on their page multiple times. It’s a total case of “blogger made me buy it!”

Lastly, Smokin’ Whistles is described as a “cool-toned pink champagne with silver highlights.” Both this one and Spoon remind me a bit of Mary-Lou Manizer, so I’ll be comparing those ASAP to see if they’re a dupe!

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And for the last part of this shebang, we have two beautiful eye shadows. Technically, one of them isn’t actually new. I bought So Quiche (on the right) ages ago when I first ordered ColourPop eye shadows, but it came broken and I never thought to ask for a replacement. When the highlighter came broken in my last order, I asked ColourPop if they’d replace the eye shadow as well, and they did! So nice of them.

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Here we have Boy Band on the top and So Quiche on the bottom. Boy Band is described as an intense red copper and boy, does it live up to the expectations. This color screams fall and I’m so psyched to put it on my eyes! So Quiche is described as a “soft olive with a highly reflective gold and pink violet glittery duo chrome metallic finish.” Ain’t that a mouthful? It’s a very unique color and definitely hard to describe!

So that’s it for my haul! That was a long one, wow. Before I leave you, just a quick life update: I know I said just last week I’d be writing posts three times a week, but one of my cousins is coming to visit so I won’t have time for another post till next week! Good news is I’ll have another haul and lots of reviews for you next week, so stay tuned!

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Guest blogger week, day 4: Maddy’s tips for saving money and looking cute

Hey everyone! Valentina asked if I would like to be a guest blogger about a month ago and I’m really excited to have the finished product ready for everyone to read. My name is Maddy and I’m in school for journalism in Canada, however my biggest passion is fashion and makeup.

The school year is, sadly, fast approaching and as most of you reading this know, keeping up to date on fashion and makeup trends can be a fairly expensive thing to do. You’ll find yourself rationalizing skipping out on groceries in order to buy a new makeup pallette, or working a few extra shifts to get that jacket you saw and loved. As a student, it’s taken me a couple of years of experimenting, but I’ve finally figured out a few ways to save money and still look incredible.

  1. Rewards Cards

I can’t begin to stress enough about how much reward cards have saved me. Almost every store has rewards and sooner or later they are bound to add up points. This past week I went into Sephora and asked to redeem my points for the lowest level tier. Usually you’d think that the lowest level would have things you would never use and want to spend your saved points on; however, for only 100 points I was able to get a free sample of Benefit’s ‘They’re Real’ mascara. Not only does this allow me to try brands and products I was unsure of before, but this mascara “sample” is also big enough to last me until I can redeem more points for other free mascaras!11949643_10153636547068223_1421536623_n

  1. Email Subscription

Yes this may sound ridiculous (and slightly annoying) but hear me out. Create a separate email that isn’t connected to anything school or work related, then go in store or even online and sign up for your favourite store’s email programs. Many stores give you discounts upon signing up, like 10% off your next purchase, but the most important thing is that you’ll be in the know for whenever there are sales.

The emails sent out will not only notify you when there are store wide sales available for all customers, but many stores will also give you sales only available for subscribers. Just walk in store, show the cashier the email you received, and it’s instant money saved. It costs absolutely nothing to sign up, but it’ll save you a lot in the end.

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  1. Monthly gifts

Websites like Birchbox and ipsy send you gifts every month with a fairly inexpensive subscription. This allows you to try a lot of different high quality products for a minimal price. Both subscriptions are around $10 a month and while this doesn’t always guarantee a good haul, it will allow you to experiment with products you’d never thought you’d use. While I’ve never used this service, I’ve heard great reviews from friends and family who don’t have the time or money to go looking through stores for products.

  1. No-name brand matches (dupes)

This tip is more specified to makeup, however the idea behind it can be applied to all brands of trends. Many people, especially students, truly don’t care what brands you’ve bought. There, I’ve said it. Brands. Don’t. Matter.

That being said, many expensive brands usually have higher quality products. Therefore the only solution is to look for brands that are very similar in style and quality. For example, at MAC there are many lipsticks I love and adore but can’t spend the money on. Instead, I’ll grab the name of the lipstick and search up what its matches, or dupes, are on Google.

It’s that simple. You aren’t the first and you certainly won’t be the last person trying to look fashionable on a budget. There are entire makeup blogs dedicated to helping you find your matches with almost every makeup brand, you just have to know where to search.

Here are some links to get you started:

While these tips and tricks seem obvious, many people, including myself, don’t use them often enough. I started paying more attention to saving my money this year because of my ridiculous University tuition and I’ve still managed to stay on top of the latest trends. So, as the summer comes to a close, I wish everyone good luck in the new school year; may your fashion sense flourish and your grades stay high!

Thanks again to Valentina for being her usual lovely self, I hope I’ll be able to guest write again!

Guest blogger week, day 2: Stashie’s lesson, No-Buy 101

I’m a self-proclaimed beauty junkie who has embarked on a year-long No-Buy on makeup and skincare.  My blog, stashmatters, focuses on showcasing my current makeup stash with reviews and swatches of my collection.  My favourite makeup items are eye shadow, nail polish and blush.  I live in Toronto, Canada.
So you want to embark on a No-Buy?  Don’t know where to start?  I’m currently on a makeup / skincare No-Buy for the entire year of 2015, approaching the last 4 months of my goal.  Here’s a handy guide for all the makeup addicts who may realize that they may have a problem.
First, are sure you really need to go on a No-Buy?  Take this short quiz:
1) Do you own more than 5 foundations?
2) Do you keep buying the same lipstick shade over and over again and now you own 14 MLBB shades?
3) Did you achieve Sephora VIB Rouge in ONE shopping trip?
4) Is your eye shadow collection various shades of taupe that look the same to the naked eye?
5) Have family members considered contacting either Hoarders or Intervention about your makeup collection?
6) Have you subsisted on ramen for weeks so you can afford the newest makeup launches?
7) Are you contemplating moving into a larger place in order to house your collection?
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I have over 600 eye shadows, most of them are taupes.

If you answered Yes to any of the above, you need to go on a No-Buy, pronto. ;)
Goal setting
What do you hope to achieve?
For me, it was a combination of trying to use up some of my existing products (especially skincare) and also rationalize my current stash (ie keep or purge?)
I need to purge probably 50% of my foundations.

I need to purge probably 50% of my foundations.

Other goals could be: to save money, declutter, sell some makeup etc.
Starting
• Set a time frame. Will this be a month? 6 months? A year?  Be realistic with what you think you can achieve – I tried to go on a No-Buy last year and I only lasted 2 months.
• What are the parameters? Is there absolutely NO buying of anything at all for the duration of the No-Buy? Maybe you want to do a No-Buy Lite (aka Low Buy) and only allow yourself a set dollar amount per month on cosmetics. Or you allow yourself the leeway to replenish on “necessities” like skincare and mascara (I put that in quotations because we makeup addicts tend to claim things are necessities that are not! :P ). You may want to allow yourself a birthday haul.
My birthday gifts and haulin'

My birthday gifts and haulin’

How to stay on track
• Unsubscribe from promotional emails: it’s their goal to get you spend your money! There are always new collections launching, there are constant sales – it’s all very tempting so it’s better not to see the emails at all (you can always resubscribe after your No-Buy is over)
• Take an inventory: use whatever tool you want: a pen and paper, an Excel spreadsheet – note down all of the makeup items you own! It’s a daunting task but very satisfying to do, and it will help you with the next activity…
• Shop your stash: when your collection is so large that you need keep an Excel spreadsheet, it’s highly likely that there are lots of forgotten gems hidden away. It’s helpful – and fun – to create little “makeup menus” of full looks from makeup items from your collection and switch them up on a weekly basis.
Here's a look I wore the other day - I hadn't worn these items in months.

Here’s a look I wore the other day – I hadn’t worn these items in months.

• Create a wish list: noting down items you want to buy after the No-Buy is over will be helpful for you to keep track so you don’t feel like you’re missing out. Also, sometimes when I write down all the things I want, I realize a lot of the items are repetitive (like do I really need 4 new highlighters?) and I can narrow down to the ones I REALLY, truly want.
• Acknowledge milestones: “Empties” or “Project Pan” are two fantastic ways to mark progress of a No-Buy. As well, I like to specifically post significant milestone badges on my blog:
I reached 200 days of No-Buy last month!​

I reached 200 days of No-Buy last month!​

• Surround yourself with a support network: it could be your family, your real life friends, online community – tell everyone who cares that you’re on a No-Buy so that they can keep you honest
 
Reward yourself
At the conclusion of your No-Buy, it’s time to celebrate! Of course, for me, the point isn’t to go out and buy two years’ worth of makeup as soon as the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, 2016, but I will allow myself to buy some of the items that have been lingering on my wish list. Also, I may reward myself with a makeover at MAC or a fancy spa day. :)  If you’re on a No-Buy or thinking about going on one – good luck to you!

Long awaited Make Up Academy haul!

I know I said last haul would be my last one for a while, but surprise! Before anyone says anything: no, I didn’t break my spending ban already.

No, seriously.

Here’s the thing: my friend Hannah Jean was in the UK in June and I asked her to get me a few things from MUA while she was there. She was there in early June, AKA WAY BEFORE I DECIDED TO DO NO SPEND JULY. So no judgment, okay?

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that over with, let’s go on with the fun stuff: what I got! I was so excited when I realized I could ask her to bring this stuff back and she was all too happy to help me out! I knew what I wanted and she did her best to find most of it in stores, which she did. I’m so excited to try this stuff out!

IMG_0016Here’s what I got:

  • Spring Break Palette (£4).
  • Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder in Pink Shimmer (£3).
  • Nail polishes in Steel Blue and Whitewash (£1 each).
  • Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers in Aflush and Dare (£3 each).

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These were arguably what I was most excited about, and also what really started it all. I wanted to get these after I saw someone I follow talk about the ones she got and I knew I had to get my hands on some! Luckily, Hannah Jean was more than willing to help me out and get some! I wanted Aflush, Funk, and Halcyon, but she couldn’t find Halcyon (and I think she confused Dare for Funk, but it’s okay because I love Dare anyway). I want a few more but I’m hoping Lucie will get me them when we do our care package/makeup swap (hint, hint).

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Alright so Steel Blue wasn’t actually one of the colors I wanted (I wanted Bold Blue) but I’m not too fussed about it as I like the color and I can definitely see myself wearing it! And I love the idea of having crisp white nails (is that a word I can use when talking about nails?) so I loved Whitewash!

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THIS THOUGH. This was what I was most excited for (after the lip lacquers, of course). I’ve never used a highlighter before and the only one I have is a cream one that I’ve had a lot of trouble applying, so of course I was hella excited to get a powder one. It’s not super pigmented so I don’t have to worry about accidentally putting too much on but I think it’ll be buildable and I’m really psyched to try it!

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And lastly, the Spring Break Palette. What a beautiful, beautiful range of colors that are not all nude and therefore just the slightest bit out of my comfort zone. Considering everything else I got is firmly lodged in my comfort zone (even if I’m new to highlighters, it’s still a simple enough concert), this was definitely something a bit new to me that I can’t wait to experiment with! The colors are all beautifully pigmented, as you will see in the swatches below.

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From top to bottom, we have Dare, Aflush and the highlighter. I barely rubbed my finger and swiped it over my skin and it was hard to photograph but it’s there, I promise! It’s just nice and subtle but still shimmery and I LOVE IT. The lip lacquers are definitely matte and they felt matte before they were even dry! And when it came time to wipe them off so I could swatch the palette, I had to fight with them quite a bit so that’s really good too.

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This picture just makes me so, so happy. So pretty. Much wow. As you can see, some of the colors are definitely in the nude range and within my comfort zone, but the ones that aren’t are still within reach of it. The purple and blue colors, which I was most intimidated about, are light enough to not be scary, while that shimmery copper shade is to die for! I can’t wait to try this out.

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And lastly, we have the nail polishes. Sorry for the awkward hand positioning, it’s hard to get a good picture with only one nail in it! This is Steel Blue, which is a light blue shade, slightly reminiscent of Disney’s Cinderella. This was about three coats, which isn’t too bad for something that only cost one pound!

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And here we have Whitewash! This probably could’ve used another coat but I figured it wasn’t too pressing if it was just for a quick picture. I absolutely love this color and I can’t wait to get a chance to wear it! Maybe I’ll get away with it at work.

What’d you guys think? What are your favorite MUA products? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to follow me on twitter, instagram and tumblr!

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#NoSpendJuly and why I’m on a spending ban

I’ll be totally honest here — I was going to do this in June originally but I caved before I could even make it official. The good thing about that is that I spent all of June mentally preparing myself to not spend any money throughout July and with the month one third of the way through, I’m doing alright so far!

Okay, so I definitely should’ve blogged about this earlier in the month, but time just got away from me. Oops.

So why #NoSpendJuly? And how does it work?

Well, ever since I made this blog, I’ve been spending way more money than I should on beauty and skincare products. I’ve always been very easily tempted, but following other beauty bloggers and seeing the products they recommended ended with me spending way too much money in a short amount of time. I saw a few other people were doing this no spend thing (shoutout to Stashy for doing it for a whole year!) and I thought, well, I might as well do that.

So now here I am.

The way this works is for a whole month, from beginning to start, I won’t spend any money on beauty or skincare products. I know other people have made exceptions for essentials or repurchasing things they’ve run out of, but I don’t wear enough makeup on a daily basis (plus I have enough of everything I do use on a daily basis) that I won’t need to.

This spending ban also works in conjunction with my mission to try out all the samples I’ve collected through my time with ipsy and birchbox. I have quite a few of those that I’ve been using for a couple of weeks now, and when I have a few more empties, I’ll be writing about that!

Depending on how I do, I’m tentatively thinking of continuing this through August so that I can also keep saving up for my trip to Canada in September! Which, while I’m thinking about that — I’m looking for two more people to write a guest post on my blog while I’m on vacation! If anyone is interested, let me know and we’ll chat!

Have you ever tried a spending ban? How’d you do? Let me know in the comments! And as always, don’t forget to follow me on twitter, instagram and tumblr!

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