Extravagant Beauty Splurge!

Tonight I went a little crazy on buying makeup and skincare online… I’ve never spent this much on products at one time before, online or off, but The Body Shop was having a 40% off sale on some things that I’d been wanting anyway and Sephora had a great price on a pair of eyeshadows from a brand I like. And so… here’s the list of things I bought! They’re all supposed to arrive in 3-4 days, and I’m pretty excited.

The Body Shop

Plastic Foot File 1 USD3.00 USD3.00
Smoking Hot Colour Crush™ Eye Shadow

Shade: Smoking Hot

1 USD6.00 USD6.00
Peppermint Cooling Pumice Foot Scrub 1 USD8.40 USD8.40
Peppermint Reviving Foot Soak 1 USD9.60 USD9.60
All-In-One BB Cream 1 USD12.00 USD12.00
Seaweed Skin Care Starter Kit 1 USD17.50 USD17.50

My feet are becoming more calloused the farther into summer I get. I’ve had such great results from the Peppermint Intensive Foot Rescue that I got from the Body Shop last summer that I hope the scrub and soak in the same line work the same magic. On that note, the foot file seems like an obvious purchase.

This BB cream is something I tried out at the store and liked, but couldn’t justify at its normal $20 price tag. Similarly, the seaweed skincare kit has good reviews and I’ve been meaning to get a toner; this seemed like a good way to try one out. I’ve been loving the Colour Crush eyeshadow I bought a few weeks ago, and so decided to get a few more from that line.

Sand By Me Colour Crush™ Eye Shadow

Shade: Sand By Me

1 USD6.00 USD6.00
Nutriganics™ Drops of Youth 1 USD21.60 USD21.60

I bought the products in two orders so that I could get $15 off my second order (discount not shown here) with points earned through the Love My Body program. This eyeshadow is a matte nude shade — I hope it looks good! The Nutriganics Drops of Youth is something that a Body Shop employee spoke very highly of last time I was in a shop. Since it’s normally $36, i thought it was probably worth giving it a shot at this discounted price.

Sephora

1639178 1 USD 15.0 Kat Von D Shade Shifter Set: On The Road/ Love Letter
1558337 1 USD 10.0 Tocca Beauty Florence Travel Fragrance Duo
1613785 1 0.0 NEST Amazon Lily / samples
1585876 1 0.0 Elizabeth and James Nirvana White / samples
880567 1 0.0 Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme / samples

    Tocca Beauty - Florence Travel Fragrance Duo

Several weeks ago I bought a Kat Von D Shade Shifter eye shadow in Devotion (a coppery shade). I loved it so much that I’ve been considering getting Love Letter (which is the purple shade) ever since. The eye shadows are normally $16, and so when I saw Love Letter paired with On the Road (a green-brown shade that I’ve heard a lot of good things about) for only $15, I had to get it.

The second purchase is a fragrance/hand cream duo. I don’t know anything about Tocca, or this scent, but I’m a sucker for sentimentality, and I adore the city of Florence. At only $10, it seemed worth a try. I also adore new fragrances, as the three free samples I chose indicate.

I’ve never bought beauty products online before, but most of the products I picked out I’ve had some experience with in real life, and so I don’t feel like any of my purchases were especially risky. Luckily, both Sephora and The Body Shop also have great return policies in case I end up not liking something.

I feel like I’ve been spending a lot of money lately… but I felt a little better when I did the calculations on how much I saved by buying during these sales instead of at full price. I also was able to get free shipping for all three orders.

Money Saved: $5.60 (foot scrub) + $6.40 (foot soak) + $2 (foot file) + $7.50 (seaweed set) + $14.40 (Drops of Youth) + $8 (BB cream) + $8 (Colour Crush x2) + $17 (Kat Von D) + $14 (Tocca) = $82.90 savings on $94.79 spent = 46.6% total savings

How much do you normally spend on makeup and skincare each month?

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The Body Shop Haul (June)

I’m a Love Your Body member (pay $10 to get 10% off every purchase you make for a year), and so I’ve been receiving lots of e-mails from The Body Shop about various promotions. This included advertisements for their new Body Sorbets, exclusive to Love Your Body members, and I decided that I had to go to a store and test them out.

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Body Sorbet – Satsuma | $14

This was the one product I was sure about wanting to get. I’d read a couple of good reviews, it seemed interesting, and I needed some body lotion to get me through the rest of the summer because the several sample size lotions I’d brought with me are starting to run out.

This sorbet comes in 5 “flavors.” I have Satsuma body polish and body butter at home, and while I love the cheery, bright smell of the body polish, the body butter is way too strong-smelling for me to use regularly. Because of this, I was expecting to get the Moringa sorbet. However, when I smelled it in the shop, I thought the Moringa was a little too sickly sweet of a floral, and I was surprised to find that the Satsuma sorbet was much more reminiscent of the body polish than the butter (the other three flavors smell great, they’re just not my style).

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The texture of the sorbet is really interesting; it’s like a smooth gel that turns into little gel balls when you start to rub it in, and finally absorbs after enough smoothing. You can feel it on your skin for a little bit, but the feeling quickly disappears. The smell lingers for a while, though. It’s pretty perfect for summer – the gel is definitely cooling, even when it’s kept at room temperature. I might try refrigerating it and seeing how that works when it gets hotter outside.

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Baked Eye Color – Starlight | $13

I bought this eyeshadow because I own a very subtle silvery shadow from Estee Lauder that I use a lot and so I thought I might like this much brighter shade. However, this eyeshadow does not apply with a brush, or at least, not the kind I have. The “baked” eyeshadow is so hard that the brush hardly picks up any color from it. I then used my finger to apply it, which gave a much better color, but it was still extremely sheer and I didn’t like the way it looked. I was hoping for a bright, all-over color, and instead it looked like I’d sprinkled silver glitter over my eyelids. I thought it was also very dry — it actually felt dry on my eyelids. I’m planning on returning this to the store, if they’ll let me.

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Colour Crush Eye Shadow – Bronze Bliss | $10

I’m loving this shadow! I’ve been wanting to get a single or a duo in a similar color, and I love this particular shade. It’s smooth as butter and applies easily with a brush or finger, in contrast to the Baked Eye Color (Bronze Bliss is on the far left in the swatch). There were several golden/bronze shades in this line, and I had so much trouble picking just one! I think this means that I’ll have to buy some more soon.

CVS Haul (May)

This was my first drugstore trip after arriving in a new city for the summer, and so I needed to buy all of the necessities that I hadn’t brought with me.

Trio

The three most basic necessities for me are shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. I use VO5 shampoo because I like the way it smells and it only costs 89¢ back home (here it was on sale for 75¢). My all-important conditioner is Pantene. I haven’t noticed much difference between the different types of Pantene conditioners, so I usually just go with one labelled smoothing or anti-breakage. For body wash, I like a basic good-smelling scrub, like this St. Ives apricot scrub. This trio is something I really haven’t experimented with at all – I found something that works in each category while I was a teenager, and I’ve stuck with it for 5 years. Maybe I should experiment more in this area, but it’s something I haven’t had the courage to do yet.

Once I had my basics taken care of, I shopped around a bit, looking for some new products. It’s summer, I’m in a new place, and I have a paycheck. Why not try some new things?

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Bioré | Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser $1.99 /1 oz.

Lumene | Pure Radiance Night Cream $4.39 / 0.5 oz.

I picked up these two products purely because they came in sample sizes. I brought a cleanser with me and so I didn’t really need another full one, and I’ve never bought a night cream before so I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for.

The Bioré cleanser is really nice. At first I wasn’t fond of the smell, but after using it a few times I started to like it. It smells very clean, with just a touch of earthy charcoal. And it definitely cleans my skin well! I like it, and I’ll consider getting some more when this one runs out (although it doesn’t seem like it’s going to anytime soon). However, in the last 2-3 days I’ve found that it causes a little bit of a burning sensation on my skin, although it’s a cleaning-feeling burning sensation. I have pretty sensitive skin, and up to this point I’d only been using it every other day or so. I think my increased usage this week is what caused it to suddenly seem too strong.

I’m more on the fence about the Lumene night cream. The smell is pretty strong, but luckily I like it – it’s reminiscent of oranges. The cream is thick, and both feels and looks a little greasy when I apply it. But by the time I go to bed the greasiness has mostly subsided, and when I wake up my skin feels good. It’s definitely pretty moisturizing. The sample is also a great size – I’ve been using it every night for 2 weeks and I still have about ¾ of the pot left.

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Freeman | Facial Clay Mask, Avocado & Oatmeal

Freeman | Facial Anti-Stress Mask, Dead Sea Minerals

This brand of masks was on sale, 2 for $7, so I decided to try some out. I’d never used a clay mask before, so I selected one of those. I chose the anti-stress mask because, given my lifestyle, it seemed like a useful product to try. I don’t know if either one of them actually works. I enjoy applying them, and they feel nice while they’re on my face, but I can’t tell if they’re making a difference to my skin.

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Neutrogena | Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 45

Something to know about me: I don’t like sunscreen very much. I don’t really like the smell, I hate the constant feeling of being coated in a layer of thick lotion, and I dislike the feeling of it on my hands after I’ve applied it. I’ve been using this particular brand of sunscreen for a few years now, and it’s the best I’ve found (except for perhaps the Supergoop! sunscreen that I received in my May Birchbox). This sunscreen is light enough for me to forget I’m wearing it, and its lotiony texture helps it rub into the skin more easily, with less residue. I prefer the SPF 30 because it’s even lighter, but I didn’t think it would give me enough protection with the amount I’ll be outside this summer.

May 2014 Birchbox Review

I’ve been wanting to sign up for a beauty subscription box for a while now, and after some consideration I decided to go with Birchbox. The May box was my first box, and I was pretty happy with it!

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The theme was “Free-wheeling”: all about freshness, optimism, and bursting into action. I don’t know how well Birchbox’s samples usually fit into the theme, but I thought about 2-3 of mine definitely qualified. So, here goes!

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Sephora & Yankee Candle Haul (May)

The first stop I made when moving to a new city this summer was to stop at Sephora to spend a gift card that I’ve been holding onto for almost two years now. On my way there, I passed a 75% sale sign outside of Yankee Candle, and I couldn’t resist poking my nose in.

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Yankee Candle | Relaxing Rituals Calm Reed Diffuser Blending Kit – Vanilla, Lavender, Sandalwood

I really love this set. I’ve wanted a reed diffuser for ages, but I’ve never been able to find one in a scent I liked that was within my price range. This particular kit was on sale for $10. It’s three oils that you set next to each other using the provided ceramic plate, and they combine in the air to form a wonderful, calming smell. While I’m away at work with the door to my room closed, the smell builds up a bit, and I love walking into my room at the end of the day to be greeted by it.

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Yankee Candle | Relaxing Rituals Refresh Reed Diffuser Refill – Sage

I haven’t used this yet, but it was $5 and buying it was what enabled me to get the Blending Kit for the cheaper price. It also smells great, and I’m excited to open it once the Blending Kit runs out.

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My main goal from this trip to Sephora was to get one very specific item: a small neutral palette, ideally a duo with a matte shade and a shimmery gold shade (since those are the two colors that I could wear forever while traveling). I looked all over the store for this, and while I found a couple that approached what I was looking for (Marc Jacobs The Lolita, a couple of the Nars duos, Clinique Like Mink), none of them were exactly what I was looking for.

Another item that I wanted to check out was the Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette. One of Sephora’s consultants did my eye makeup with the Too Faced palette and I really liked it! However, I ended up finding enough other items that I loved that I could no longer justify the $36 price tag this time around.

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Urban Decay | Eyeshadow Primer Potion – Original  | $20

An Eyeshadow primer is something that has been on my wishlist for a while; this is just the first time I’ve gone makeup shopping in almost a year. I had heard such great things about Urban Decay’s primer, and so I was excited to try it out. I find that it doesn’t apply very easily – the primer is a little clumpy and gets stuck in my eyelashes and my creases. It takes so much work to get it to approach smoothness! It definitely helps my eyeshadow last longer, though, which was the goal.

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Kat Von D | Tattoo Liner | $18

I haven’t bought an eyeliner in years, not since the last liquid liner I bought turned out to be clumpy and hard to manipulate. I always thought that eyeliner was just too difficult for me to apply. I was drawn into the Kat Von D display by their eyeshadows, and when I saw this I was really impressed by the applicator and how smoothly it seemed to work. Well, I haven’t changed my mind – this eyeliner is SO easy to apply! It glides right on, and the tip is so fine that even my unsteady hands can make precise lines. I’ve worn more eyeliner in the past two weeks than I have in the rest of my life combined.

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Kat Von D | Shade Shifter Eyeshadow – Devotion | $16

I loved the colors in Kat Von D’s Butterfly Shadow palettes, but I don’t need a whole palette at this point. Then, I saw the Shade Shifter singles on the bottom shelf of the display. I was really entranced by the beauty of this eyeshadow – seeing how it reflects the light from different angles is amazing.

Devotion is a really shimmery golden orange – I still can’t decide whether it’s more yellowy or orangey. It’s very pigmented and goes on easily. A single application gives enough coverage to last all day (especially over my new primer potion). Despite the box claiming that the shade shifting effect is water-activated, I didn’t notice a difference between the colors after applying it wet or dry. I think this eyeshadow looks great applied on its own without being blended with other colors – it’s definitely a bold look! But the Devotion color is also subtle enough for me to wear every day (I usually don’t feel confident enough to wear very brightly-colored shadows).

I wanted to get Love Letter, which is a purple shade, but the only options at this Sephora were Devotion and On the Road, which is a greenish-brown color. Since I’m really liking this shadow, maybe I’ll order one of the other colors from the Sephora website!

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Julep | Oxygen Nail Treatment | $18

I have very thin, weak nails and so I bought this hoping to try and change that. I haven’t actually used this yet, as you can tell by the unopened package – I’m almost considering returning it, because it was so expensive (as anything Julep makes is wont to be).

My birthday was in May, and so my birthday gift from Sephora was the following mini duo:

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Make Up For Ever | Smoky Extravagant Mascara mini

I didn’t bring any mascara with me since I knew I would be getting this when I arrived. To me, mascaras all seem the same, and so I don’t know if this one is particularly good or not. I don’t wear mascara very often, since it always feels like it’s damaging my eyelashes, and this is no exception.

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Make Up For Ever | Rouge Artist Natural N9 Lipstick mini

I really like the color of this lipstick! It’s hard to tell from the photo, but it’s a matte in a medium rosy shade. It’s the type of color I could see myself wearing every day.

So, that’s that! My first time shopping at Sephora in ages, and my first makeup shopping trip in a while.

Introducing Me: A Foreword

Hi! My name is Abigail, and I’m a college student entering my final year of school. I enjoy reading and making lists, have spent a large portion of my life traveling, and love all things beautiful.

To any of my friends, the concept of me starting a beauty blog would be almost laughable. I’ve always been the girl who hardly ever touches makeup and is capable of getting ready in the morning in under 5 minutes. I spent almost all of high school makeup-free, and when I did use makeup I hardly knew what to do with it. In college, I try to wash my face and use body lotion every day, but it’s hard to remember at 3am or when you’re already running late to class.

So why would I want to write about this topic?

It’s probably a byproduct of having more free time on my hands than usual, but in the last few months I have gotten a lot more interested in makeup and skincare. I finally learned what a hair mask is for, what BB cream is, and that eyeliner doesn’t have to be hard to apply. And so, here begins my odyssey to figure out a skin care routine that works for me, experiment more with makeup, and take better care of my body.