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Beauty

Best of 2015: Beauty Picks

2015 was the year I went Rouge… VIB Rouge… If you don’t know what that is, it’s probably for the best, but it means I spent a shit ton of money at Sephora in a calendar year. In 2015, I finally got a full-time job, at a job I love, and I rode that adrenaline for a while. “I’m working full-time now — I deserve this!” It happens to the best of us…

I’ve been wanting to get back into blogging for a while and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to jump back into it. All of these products have been used throughout the year and definitely deserve the best of 2015 and are the favorites in my collection thus far.

Hair

Best of 2015: Hair

01. Sephora Favorites – Ultimate Hair Essentials
Want to try a variety of different brands without spending an arm and a leg on full-sized versions you may or may not like? This is the set for you. Of these, the only item I didn’t want to try was the Wen conditioner due to all the lawsuits of customers’ hair falling out (!!) I had a few favorites in this set: Drybar – Hot Toddy Heat & UV protection; I actually bought the full-sized version. I also loved the Living Proof Prime Style Extender, Phyto Lightweight Hydrating Oil and both of the Alterna products. The only reason I haven’t purchased the full-sized is the price. Thankfully, Sephora did have an Alterna 500-point perk recently and I was able to enjoy the shampoo and conditioner again. I’ll be sad when I run out again.

02. GHD Rose Gold Air Hairdryer (Currently out of stock)
This blow dryer was not cheap but I now understand why some cost so much more than ones you find at Walmart, Target, etc. I’ve noticed less damage since using it, my hair dries faster, and it’s quiet in relation to previous hairdryers.

03. Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer
This year I’ve gone through two of these and I will be re-purchasing very soon. This is a great primer to spray on your hair after you’ve stepped out of the shower and need to detangle your hair. My hair doesn’t seem to be as damaged since I started using it. That’s a win in my book. Also, it smells DEVINE.

04. Tangle Teezer Aqua Splash
This detangling brush looks weird but it is a god send if you have issues with tangles. My hair gets tangled daily, and so I was happy to find something that doesn’t yank all of my hair out while I’m trying to brush my hair. Cory loves this product too, often times when I leave it laying out, I catch him brushing his beard with it. It might be time to buy him one for himself. ;-P


Makeup

Best of 2015: Makeup

01. Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Liquid Foundation
I received a sample of this in one of my Sephora orders late last year/early this year. I somehow received the perfect shade for my skin tone (Beige Clair) and fell in love with that little sample. It was light, covered well, and unlike any other foundation I had tried before. The consistency is thin but not too thin that it’s watery, and it goes on like a dream with the Beauty Blender. Of course, when I looked it up online it was one of the more expensive foundations. I eventually bit the bullet after being unsatisfied with my foundation. I’ve only been through one bottle (it took about 6 months which is normal for me) and I’ve only found one con besides the price. It has a pump but it doesn’t seem to be removable. It was actually a surprise to me when I ran out and it wouldn’t pump anymore. There was still product on the sides of the bottle so it seems like some product gets wasted. Those cons aside, I would say this is my holy grail foundation.

02. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush
I bought this blush in Diffused Heat around the holidays last year. I don’t own a lot of blushes but this is the one I reach for 99% of the time. It gives a good color payoff with a little amount of product. Even though I’ve been using this product all year, I’m still nowhere to hitting pan on it.

03. Kat Von D – Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks
I’m generally not drawn to liquid lipsticks but these lipsticks had amazing reviews. I initially bought one and was thrilled by the formula. I have a horrible time keeping lipstick on my lips, it never fails that within an hour it’s worn off. These liquid lipsticks didn’t feel like anything on my lips once it set and actually lasted a few hours unless I ate something. Needless to say, I went a little overboard and bought a few different colors. Don’t judge.

04. Kat Von D – Metal Crush Eye Shadows
Kat Von D is crushing it this year. Literally… If I were forced to wear on a couple eye shadows the rest of my life, it would be these shadows. These metallic shadows are SO pigmented, blendable, and soft. The only con is because they’re so soft they do break easily as I learned when I dropped one on soft carpet and the color shattered into pieces. :'( :'(

Can we talk about how fantastic KVD looks wearing these shadows?

Kat Von D - Metal Crush


Misc

Best of 2015: MISC.

01. Rifle Paper Co. XL Rectangular Cosmetic Bag (Currently Sold Out) / 02. Rifle Paper Co. Everyday Cosmetic Bag
I adore Rifle Paper Co.’s designs and so I was ecstatic when LeSportSac were releasing cosmetic bags with their prints on it. I use the XL bag for my makeup I use on an everyday basis, and the smaller bag for makeup I put in my purse.

03. Simple Human 5x Sensor Vanity Mirror
This would appear to be the year I purchase all the expensive things! Is this mirror a necessity for everyone? Absolutely not. Our apartment doesn’t have the best lighting, the bathroom is too small for applying makeup, and there’s no real convenient place to apply makeup in front of a window. In my case, it was well worth the money. I haven’t seen any lighted mirrors out there with lighting like on this mirror. It also helps that this is wireless and I can take it wherever I want to sit comfortable in the apartment.


Skincare

Best of 2015: Skincare

01. Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleansing System
This has been on my wishlist for a while and so I finally purchased it this summer when they were offering a special set. I know some people use this device daily, but I personally enjoy using it once a week when I want to take time and deep clean my face.

02. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
My sister turned me onto this Japanese brand a few years ago and this product continues to be a staple in my skincare routine. It is amazing at removing makeup at the end of the day, and it feels refreshing on the skin. This cleansing oil also does wonders at cleaning makeup brushes and Beauty Blenders. I love products that can be used for other things.

03. Philosophy Purity Made Simple
Cory’s Mom bought this product for me a couple Christmases ago. Honestly, I didn’t use it for a while because my then skincare routine was working out pretty well for me (DHC Cleansing Oil + DHC Mild Soap). I ran out of the soap and started using this product. My first impression was that it smelled; it smelled pretty bad. I was going to give it a fair chance but after a few uses I couldn’t get past the smell. For some reason, this year I went back to it. After using it more frequently, I didn’t notice the smell as much. I’ve been using it ever since and have re-purchased it again. It’s a gentle cleanser that takes forever to use up.

04. Makeup Eraser
$20 for a wash cloth?! I know, I was skeptical too. This wash cloth contains some sort of voodoo shit because it gets almost everything off of your face without being abrasive. When I’m super lazy I simply use this to remove all of my makeup without the cleansing oil and it magically comes off. Like any wash cloth, you need to wash it pretty often to keep the germs away, so I’m always happy when laundry is done and I can use it again.


Looking ahead…

I’m definitely planning to shop my collection in 2016 and put a dent in my eye shadow collection. I feel like that’s one beauty item I don’t wear every day and probably my weakest area in application. Who knows, maybe I’ll start playing and find some looks to post here. :)

Enough about me, what were your favorite products from 2015?

Beauty

Sephora Haul : Beauty Tools + etc

Disclaimer: I want to first start out by saying that this post isn’t me being braggadocios about what I bought at Sephora. I love watching Sephora hauls on Youtube to see what others like, and wanted to do one of my own sans video. This isn’t an example of what a “normal haul” for me looks like; I saved up quite a few Sephora giftcards (**see how in the last paragraph**) and used birthday money to purchase these things.

Sephora Haul - Nars + Smashbox + Kat Von D

First in this haul are items I’m almost out of and in need of replacing. This Smashbox primer is an old favorite, and the very first one I bought when I started getting into makeup. The last foundation I used didn’t seem to mesh well with this Smashbox primer, and so I took a little break from it. I’m currently using a foundation that seems to do well with this primer. I am almost out of my NARS concealer so I thought now would be a good time to replace that as well. I don’t think it’s my holy grail concealer, I have yet to find that one, but this one is less tacky than other concealers I’ve tried.

I also used 100 of my reward points to get this deluxe sample of Kat Von D’s Studded Kiss lipstick in Lovecraft. I haven’t used this one yet but it’s rare to find Kat Von D products as rewards. I’ll have fun playing if nothing else.

Sephora Customized Skincare Favorites

I love, love, love trying out new products especially when they’re sample/deluxe sized, and also it makes me happy when I can finish a product or multiple products. Naturally, the Sephora Customized Skincare Favorites ended up in my cart. I was pretty impressed with this kit. One, the bag looked cute in the photo; two, I can pick out my own products?! YES! When I received it, I was very impressed. The bag is a thick plastic, the zipper feels sturdy, and it feels like it could hold up to some wear and tear. I picked out items I hadn’t tried before; the First Aid Beauty Deep Cleanser I’m really eager to try. The Algenist “deluxe sample” is huge at 1.5oz. I haven’t tried a lot of the sheet masks because I look like Jason from Friday the 13th when I wear them. I’ll be sure and try it out when Cory is home. :P If any of these products blow me away I’ll post an update.

Clarisonic Mia 1

The Clarisonic Mia has been on my list for a long time but I never bit the bullet. One of my friends recently purchased one, and a co-worker was talking to me about her experience with it, and so that gave me the push I needed. I’m super excited about trying it out but I’m waiting until the weekend to use it so my sister and I can both try it out. For anyone out there who owns one: do you use it daily or once a week?

GHD Rose Gold Limited Edition Blow dryer and flat iron

I feel guilty even posting this purchase but like I said in the disclaimer I’ve been hoarding gift cards. I’ve needed better tools for a while now. After much research I opted for this bundle (GHD Rose Gold Deluxe Set) as it was much less expensive than buying them separately. I tried it out this morning and I understand why this one is so much more expensive than my $20 blow dryer. It doesn’t make that high pitched noise most blow dryers make, which is nice since Cory and I are on different sleep schedules, and I hate waking him up while I’m getting ready. Also, I have a lot of hair despite the short length — I’ve had multiple hair stylists tell me this. With this dryer my hair was dry and styled within 5 minutes even on a low setting. Saving time for the win! Oh and also there’s a setting that only blows out cold air (without having to hold down a button) which is nice if you get hot like I do. ;P

Sephora Beauty Insider Appreciation Bag

Sephora Samples

These last two photos are items I got free with my orders. The top photo is the Beauty Insider Appreciation bag you could get free with a code. I wasn’t too blown away by the sample selection as I’ve tried most of them but I did like the bag. Unfortunately, the bag isn’t very good quality, and so I’ll have to find a use for it that doesn’t require everyday use.

The bottom photos are samples I received with my order. Eh. I am interested to try the sample of YSL’s Blur Perfector because I won’t be buying the full-sized version. It’s $55. Yeah, no… This is my haul until next time. ;-)

**Here’s a tip… If you order online a lot whether it’s Sephora or anywhere, be sure and sign up for Ebates or Swagbucks so you can get cashback or money towards gift cards. Sometimes Ebates has 8% cashback at Sephora; right now I believe is 4% which is still awesome. I recently received a $15 Sephora giftcard from Swagbucks just by shopping, doing the daily poll, and occasionally searching for things using their search engine. These are affiliate links and it helps me out, so please sign up and save money with me!