Monday, January 21, 2013 Haul

One of my biggest guilty pleasures is I like it much better than the store... don't ask me why. Maybe because no one asks me if I need help. And when I'm still there 3 hours later, no one suspects me of shop lifting...

I had considered a spending ban for the new year, but eff that. Minus nail polishes - those are out of control.

Beauty and the Bibliophile

Look at all these goodies! I bet you'd be surprised if I told you I'd only paid for two of them... Well, be surprised!

Another reason I lurve shopping on is the free shipping for over $50, plus my points (had over 600), plus my VIB code (see my breakdown of the new VIB kit here) "2013" for two deluxe samples.

Beauty and the Bibliophile

Here's what I've got:
- Lorac Unzipped Eyeshadow Palette - $40
- Buxom Shimmer Shine and Smoke set - 500 points
- Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores - 100 points
- Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil - "2013" deluxe sample
- Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum - "2013" deluxe sample
- Origins Sensory Therapy Peace of Mind On the Spot Treatment - $12
- Lancome Trevor perfume sample
- YSL L'Homme sample
- Stella McCartney L.I.L.Y. sample

Beauty and the Bibliophile

I just got all this stuff TODAY. Literally couldn't wait a minute to talk about it. When I walked in and saw the box on the counter I got super excited  demonstratively giddy, and the hubs just laughed at me. Since I just got it today I don't have a lot of comments on the product (that's relative to what you think is a lot... let's be honest. I'm long winded), but I will give you some great images and details. Here goes!

Beauty and the Bibliophile

Packaging is cool. Not as grippy as the Pro (should stay cleaner), but it's magnetic! I like that & the large mirror, too. 

Beauty and the Bibliophile

 Look at that! Shimmer AND matte! So glad they kept with their tradition of combining the two. After being so extremely pleased with the Pro Palette I didn't expect anything less!

Beauty and the Bibliophile

I actually really like that there isn't a black shade. Almost every palette ever made has a black for liner, but I don't need that. I'd rather have the extra shade to play with. I also don't have any brown eye liners, so this UNTAMED is perfect.

Beauty and the Bibliophile

Beauty and the Bibliophile

I love the names of these shades! The Pro Palette was a simple "White, Taupe, Nude, Mauve..." but these are fun and sexy... like it's title of Unzipped!

Beauty and the Bibliophile

And now for the REAL reason I bought this whole thing. One of my *Beauty Library* items is the Behind the Scenes primer. It's the BEST I've used. Yes, better than UDPP & Too Faced. I'm getting low on my small size from the Pro Palette. So, while on about to put the $21 primer in my shopping cart I thought: Well, heck... for $19 more I can get my primer AND a new Lorac palette. You can't argue with that logic, can you? (Don't try...) 

I always wait so long to cash in my Beauty Insider points, because I'm not thrilled with the options time and time again. When I saw this one I thought Finally! A perk I will use! (I think a lot, huh?) 

Beauty and the Bibliophile

The gloss might be a bit too warm for me and the luminizer (or whatever they call it... too lazy to go look at the box) is really gold. I tend to gravitate towards silver and cool tones, so these will be interesting to try. The liner which has goes on with a fine point and is water proof. I think we'll be good friends. Just a heads up - it has "silver" in the title, and the packaging is navy, but it really looked black on my skin. I'm a little confused by it.

Beauty and the Bibliophile

I've already used this mascara before and really like it. It works well for every day lashes. I wouldn't say it gives huge volume or amazing, dramatic results. However, that brush is da bomb at keeping it clump-free. It's also the least flaky mascara I've used.

Beauty and the Bibliophile

Having acne and oily prone skin I'm always down for trying a new mask. I'm a fan of origins because of their natural leanings and chemical consciousness. Again, I was impressed with this being a 100 point perk.

Beauty and the Bibliophile

Look how thick that goes on! And I didn't dispense very much. This sample will last a LONG time, Folks!

Beauty and the Bibliophile

If you read my January Ipsy glam bag review, you know how much I love Josie Maran's 100% Argan Oil for so many reasons. It's friendly to acne prone skin and hasn't even broken me out. So, when this was offered as a deluxe sample, I thought (shocking, I know...) Sah-weet!

It's a cleansing oil. Is that even possible? I guess so! I'll be trying it tonight to remove my makeup (while simultaneously crossing my fingers that I won't have 15 huge blemishes in the morning). 

Beauty and the Bibliophile

I'm a HUGE Tarte fan! Like Origins (or Korres or Fresh) they work hard to eliminate ingredients like Propylene Glycol, SLS, and parabens. So, I've always been curious about their illuminating serum. So far I'm a little surprised. It came out really watery. I would recommend shaking it up first. 

Beauty and the Bibliophile

You can see how it's thicker than many illuminizers, etc. 

Beauty and the Bibliophile

This albino gal would rather call it a bronzer. So, if you're a tanner person than me (which means anything darker than a piece of paper) it will probably serve its purpose. If you are as fair as I am, then welcome to your new bronzer... I'm not sure how I feel about that. It looks pretty orange, huh?

Beauty and the Bibliophile

Another Origins item I have been interested in for years but never purchased is their Sensory Therapy Peace of Mind. You just take a spot of it and put it on your ear lobes, temples, back of your neck or on your forehead and it helps relieve headaches and stress. I've actually read so many reviews of migraine sufferers who have had success with this goodness. 

Beauty and the Bibliophile

I love anything with essential oils! It took me forever to spend $12 on this little bitty bottle, but who wouldn't spend that and more for a real peace of mind?

Beauty and the Bibliophile

I won't go into grave detail re: the perfumes. I do have a mini rant. Why is perfume the ONLY sample that's been available lately? I want makeup samples - lipstick, mascara, eyeshadow? Or what about primers? Any of you received any great samples from the 3 free in every order?

Are you interested in any of these things? Let me know, and I'll do a more in depth review after I've used them!

Are any of these going on your "To Get" or "To Get After this Dumb Spending Ban" list?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mauve & Taupe. Taupe & Mauve.

Have you ever despised a color (probably because it reminds you of some hideous furniture or style from your 80s & 90s childhood) and then realized one day it was your new fave? Um... I hate to admit it, but I sure have. I bet you can't guess what they are...


maybelline color tattoo tough as taupe NYX blush taupe elizabeth arden lipgloss radiant mauve sonia kashuk mauving it on up lorac pro palette

So, mauve... Growing up my parents had a satin mauve sofa. Yes. I said it. Satin. Mauve. Sofa. Disgusting. It was even more disgusting after my brother and I vomited on it as children often do on satin things. So, I think I developed a mental block against all things mauve. I mean, if you're a child of the 90s, you probably swore you'd never wear a scrunchie to avoid ever resembling Blossom. And yet, they're back...

You can imagine my shock and chagrin when I began to truly understand what colors (or colours, for my fellow Anglophiles) go best with my albino pale skin, blue eyes, and pink undertones; and mauve was one of them! At first I balked and refused. Then I received a gift from my grandmother. She had purchased an Elizabeth Arden set of glosses that she gave me. One of the shades was Radiant Mauve. After learning that I needed to mostly sport cool tones I wore it once, then twice, then used up the whole sample size. Then I re-purchased. Do any of you feel that any time you actually purchase something you tried as a sample that it must be absolutely epic? Well, I do! I hardly EVER do that...

Elizabeth Arden Radiant Mauve Lipgloss Swatch

The down side to this gloss is it's smell. It really does rather stink. It also isn't as creamy and thick as it was in the sample pot... :( I'm not as happy with the full size as I was with the sample. Nevertheless, I still love the shade & will keep using it.

About that time I realized my Lorac Pro Palette contains a Mauve shade that I'd never worn... not once.

eyeshadow swatch

eye shadow swatch

Now I love it with a little Lt Pink and Taupe or Sable with some Nude under my brows and in the corner of my eyes. It compliments my blue eyes and cool undertones really well! 

My most recent mauve purchase was Sonia Kashuk's Mauving it On Up Nail Colour. (She spells it correctly!!) Love this stuff!

I'm not always a fan of pink... or purple. So, mauve, you fit the bill for my girly, cool toned fix. 

Now on to taupe. I'm a huge fan of all things grey. (And black... I should have had a career at Victoria's Secret). So, taupe just seemed like the red headed stepchild of colors. It's not brown and not grey. But it is both. It's kind of dirty and boring. Until now...

Taupe is my new skin-complimenting friend, and I'm so sorry I'd ever ignored or forgotten you. It all started when I stumbled upon this wonderful concept of Highlighting and Contouring (HAC). MaskCARA suggested using a taupe colored pencil to contour down your nose and under your bottom lip. I didn't have a pencil, but I discovered the Taupe shade in my Pro Palette (again)! How had I never used that one, either? That and a liner brush became my contouring friend. Seriously - try it! Just a little under your bottom lip does wonders!

Contouring under lip

Can you tell the difference between this picture with contouring and the last without?

This led to my googling "pale skin contouring" with bronzers being, by nature, too warm for me. That one google session resulted in my newest blog obsession: Estee over at Essie Button is as fair as me, and she suggested NYX's Powder Blush in Taupe. NYX isn't carried in my state, so off to Amazon I went! I've used it mostly for contouring, but it's also a great blush for days I don't want to use my pinks or peaches.

Essie Button also turned me on to cream shadows... I've never used them. Read my lips - NEVER. I believe after trying it once when I was much younger it creased, and I was over that. That was before primer. Now I religiously prime with Lorac's Behind the Scenes and this next product stays on for days.  

maybelline color tattoo tough as taupe NYX blush taupe elizabeth arden lipgloss radiant mauve sonia kashuk mauving it on up lorac pro palette

Maybelline's Color Tattoo 24 Hour eyeshadow in Tough as Taupe is more grey than the more-brown Lorac, but it has just that right pigment that makes it better than boring old grey. I really love how this cream shadow makes building shimmers or an intense eye easy! Or you can just wear it solo with the liner of your choice, and you have a carefree daily look.

What do you think? Are there any shades you've steered clear from that you might revisit? Any new, unexpected likes? How about you other pale ones out there - what shades work well for you that could help this sister out?

maybelline color tattoo tough as taupe NYX blush taupe elizabeth arden lipgloss radiant mauve sonia kashuk mauving it on up lorac pro palette

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 2013 Ipsy Glam Bag!

Being a newbie beauty blogger I stumbled upon the world of beauty subscriptions a la Ipsy & Birchbox, etc while reading blogs and discussing it on forums. After reading lots of reviews and thoughts I decided to go with Birchbox, but was excited when I found Ipsy... It jumped up even higher on my list when I realized there was no waiting list (like Birchbox).

Pacifica, London SOHO, Josie Maran, Big Sexy Hair, Ipsy

I've seen pix of Glossybox & Birchbox packaging, and they go all out! But Ipsy takes a minimalist approach with a bright pink bubble package. It's fun and simple! When you pull out all the goodies you won't find tissue paper or anything else other than one simple card with fun graphics and a sweet saying - perfectly pretty for a cork board or picture frame. On the back it lists the discount you'll find on each brand when you log into your account on

Fuschia bubble envelopeIpsy Jan Glam Bag

Gotta itemize it all!
  • Pacifica Tuscan Orange Blood Body Butter - 2.5 fl oz - Retail $7
  • Martini Nail Laquer in Frappe - Retail around $11-13
  • Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil - .17 fl oz - worth about $4 based on Retail of .5 oz
  • London SOHO Beauty crease brush - Retail $9
  • Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray - 1.5 oz - Retail $12
  • Black Ipsy makeup bag with stars on a white background - Priceless? Remember those MC commercials? Ha!
Pacifica, Big Sexy Hair, London SOHO, Josie Maran, Nailtini

If you add all that business up, we've got an estimated value of about $42 on the low end. That's a great bargain, if you ask me!

I was excited to see the Pacifica body butter in Tuscan Blood Orange fall out of this glam bag. I'm a big fan of buying beauty products at Whole Foods (Whole Body), and I've seen this brand there many times. (I also adore Sephora and know they carry a few fragrances). It smells very fruity and citrus-y. I'm normally not a big fan of fruit scents in my body products but this is a sophisticated, rich smell. The shea & mango butters and chamomile help mute the sweet orange, rounding it all out & taking it from what one remembers as Lipsmackers (90's kids unite!) to L'Occitane. Of course I LOVE love LOVE that there are no parabens, no propylene glycol and no SLS. It's also made in the USA! While writing this post I started with a big dollop and still have silky hands (an hour later) without having ever felt greasy!

The nail Laquer wasn't the most exciting item, but its a good neutral. Here is a swatch with one coat - very sheer with a slight peachy undertone. After learning more about Nailtini I started to get excited. I like to buy Essie polishes (I mean... who doesn't?), because it does not have formaldehyde, and I was excited to learn this brand also prides it self on limiting toxic ingredients! Again, more natural and made in the USA!

Ipsy Jan Glam Bag nail polish

Josie Maran's argan oil is actually one of my *Beauty Library* items, so I was stoked to find a mini bottle of it I can now use for travel or to toss in my bag. It's not scented and has a slight natural smell. What's fun is the packaging says it's cold pressed to maintain nutrients AND that the smell changes depending on the batch. So... your smell may not be my smell. :) It has many uses, but I mainly use it after I shave to prevent razor burn. I also use it in my wet hair before drying and as a facial moisturizer. I love that even the mini size has a dropper as part of the topper.

Ipsy Jan Glam Bag

A makeup brush! How can you go wrong with that? I'm a big fan of tools and see them as an investment. I already have a great crease brush from Merle Norman but its not as fluffy (is that a proper MUA word?) as this one. I'm curious to see how well it focuses on the crease. It almost seems big enough to be a blending brush. But it retails $9 usually, so my $10 seems like a great deal!

I've used Big Sexy Hair's root volume spray before and it was so-so, so I'm curious to see how this hairspray works to volumize... I've never had a love affair with any hairspray. (The longest relationship I've ever had is with Rusk W8less, and it's because it smells delightful). We just don't mesh, generally, so we shall see...

Pacifica, Big Sexy Hair, Nailtini, London SOHO, Josie Maran

I have so many makeup bags! That's perhaps one of my least favorite things about the Ipsy Glam Bags. Maybe if it was cute I would feel differently, but it's solid black on the outside - pretty underwhelming. I read on Sephora's Beauty Talk where someone had the idea to donate them to women's shelters with product you don't want. I just might do that!

So, what do you fellow beauty babes think about this January 2013 Ipsy versus other subscriptions you've received? What do you do with all the bags? Was it worth $10 + shipping? (I think so!...)

If you want an in detail review of one or more of these products let me know so I can write one just for you once I get to use it a good bit.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Jane Eyre: Book vs. Movie and a Lesson

My blog isn't just about beauty. I'm a nerd that just happens to love makeup, but I truly love to read more. I found an old blog that I wrote only three posts in in 2011, and enjoyed reading up on my old posts, especially the one about Jane Eyre - the book vs. the movie - and the lesson I learned from both. Jane Eyre is my all time favourite book... ever. I've read it more than any other book. It encompasses everything I adore (including England... ;)). So, I thought I'd do an "encore" (isn't that the fancy word TV networks use for rerun?) post. Let me know your thoughts!

Book versus movie

I love to go to the movies, mostly GOOD movies – serious, historical, dramatic. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good chick flick, but I truly value a classic. I’m here to make some observations about the movie I saw last night: Jane Eyre. It was fantastic, really awesome. I truly enjoyed it, and I even re-read the book again a month ago for the release of this very movie. (Have I ever said how very much I love to read?) I really enjoyed those two hours spent watching the plot unfold before me for about the 5th time in my life. However, I did have a slightly unsettled feeling every time the movie cut a corner to save on time or tweaked the plot to serve the director’s purpose. I know many people do not care whether movies take liberties with the original text, and that is fine! However, I do. I am not sure why, but I am pretty passionate about it being veritable to the original author’s designs, especially when that author is Charlotte Bronte. Thus, I wanted to lean over to my poor friend throughout the film, who probably did not care about each detail of the text, and explain to her why (in my opinion) something was so important, why an emotion should have been better portrayed, etc.
At one point in the movie, like in many I view, I had to use the restroom. Always happens. You are probably thinking, Then just go to the restroom before. I did. Anyhow, as I walked (well, kind of sprinted) to the restroom, I wondered why it was I so thoroughly enjoy every minute I spend reading a plot unfold, understanding the character development, grasping the underlying emotions, and why the cinematic version leaves me wanting EVERY (and I mean every) TIME. First I thought, Does it really matter, Tara? You like to read. That’s all. But, I really am not sure that’s it. Here is the small lesson I felt I learned from my reflections. It had to do with relationship, naturally.
In relationship, you have the choice to be the friend or spouse that only has time, energy, patience for the 110 minute or 72 hour version of your counterpart’s life, hopes, fears, dreams, needs, etc. Many, especially in our fast-paced, exigent society, opt for the former. We do not have the time to truly sit and hear the laying out of past, present and future. We do not give room for nuance, back-story or surrounding circumstance. We want to “just get to the point, already.” The lesson I learned, though, is when I approach relationship in that manner, as a movie, I want to see a little of the bad, a lot of the good and a nicely wrapped-up ending. I do not give room for the rest. The rest is what makes a story rich in the telling; it is what causes the audience to sympathize with the antagonist while finding frustration for the flaws in the protagonist. It makes the story genuine, authentic and believable. When you learn the story with “all the rest” in it, there is no room for embellishment or salesmanship. It is what it is, and therein lies the beauty. We are to love unconditionally – flaws and all – but how can we when we will not invest the initial time to truly know someone?
Am I saying a movie is always inadequate? No, not necessarily. But until you read the book, you won’t know what you are misssing, will you?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

December Beauty Haul

My First (mega) Haul!

December was a big huge haul month for me this year. First off, I started a beauty blog. Of course I had to buy some things I was curious about or read about! Secondly, it's Christmas! I mean... how many of you didn't get something beauty related for Christmas? Thirdly, I was born in December. So, all those bday gift cards got spent...

Sephora, Target, Birchbox, Whole Body

None of them are from one place. They came from either:
- Sephora (my fave)
- Target
- Birchbox
- Whole Body
- Ebay
- Amazon
- Gifts from others

Target, Sephora, Birchbox, Whole Body

So, wanna know a super long list of a break down of what I got? I knew you would. So, here goes!

Sephora Haul:
I've recently discovered Korres, so I went a little crazy with some bday gift cards. (Thanks, Mom!)
  • Korres Pomegranate Pore Minimizing/Skin-Perfecting/Mattifying Primer
  • Korres Mineral Foundation in Porcelain
  • Korres Pomegranate Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturiser (For oily to combination skin)
  • Korres Wild Rose Instant Brightening Eye Treatment

Also from Sephora:

  • Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment (Sephora Birthday Gift sizes) in Original and Rose
  • Tarte emphasEYES inner rim brightener
  • Sephora professional eyeliner brush
Giovanni, Wonderstruck, Maybelline, Jason

Target Haul:
  • Maybelline the Colossal Volum Express mascara in brown (I don't normally wear brown mascara, but wanted a cheapy one for those random au naturel days)
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr eyeshadow (recommended by Essie Button)
  • Pixi by Petra Lash Line Ink Eyeliner
  • Sonia Kasuk nail Colour in Mauving on Up (I have a random love for all things mauve recently)
  • Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Mint Sorbet
  • Revlon Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel in Bare Bones (also recommended by Essie Button in her Winterlicious tag here)
  • EOS Lip Balm in Raspberry
  • Taylor Swift Wonderstruck perfume
Korres, Tarte, Sonya Kashuk, Fresh Sugar, Pixi, Giovanni

Whole Body, Birchbox, and others:
  • Giovanni 2chic Brazilian Keratin & Argan Oil Blow Out Styling Mist
  • Giovanni D:tox System replenishing facial moisturizer (I had just bought the way more expensive Korres, but this was $5.99 @ TJ Maxx! I mean... I couldn't just let it sit there.)
  • Jason Brigthening Apricot Scrubble (sweet gift from my husband after I mentioned I couldn't find it anywhere)
  • Jason Pure Natural Super-C Cleanser (also from my husband; it smells amazing!)
  • Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm (OMG - amazing stuff!) (Birchbox)
  • NYX Blush in Taupe (for contouring for my pale skin)
  • Lipstick Queen Invisible Lip Liner (Birchbox)
  • Prestige Waterproof Eyeliner in Star (for my waterline... used once and worked great!)
  • Essie in Ballet Slippers and Wicked (gift from a sweet girl @ work)
  • Purple glitter polish from F21 (99 cents... come on!)
  • Nicole by OPI in Khloe Had a Little Lam-Lam (another gift from a coworker!)
Nuxe, EOS, Lipstick Queen, Essie, Nicole by OPI, Prestige, F21

Phew! Ok... that's all. Now, I want to hear from you on what you want a review on! What are you curious about? Want swatches? Don't spend your money. :) Let me tell you what I think!