April 2016 Sephora/Lush Mini Haul

sephoralush1My baby haul from Saturday.

Doubt if this qualifies as a haul (the word “haul” sounds so lavish!), but I’m thrilled with everything I got.

sephoralush2My Sephora Haul. I initially went in for the “Sephora in JC Penny: Bite Beauty Event,” one that advertised “expert application & free Bite gift with purchase.” Big fan of Bite Beauty here; I had to go.

originalThis event.

Unfortunately, my SiJCP didn’t receive the free gifts (which turned out to be a beautiful DS Bite Gloss in “Opal”). My SA was phenomenal though, and she made me a cute gift bag with a bunch of generous samples to make up for the missing gloss.

This is what I received:

  • 1 Benefit Boiing Concealer (DS)
  • 2 GlamGlow GravityMud Firming Treatment (foil)
  • 2 Ole Henrickson 3-step (Foil)
  • 1 Sephora Eyeliner Sample in “Flirting Game” (DS)
  • 1 BareMinerals Foundation Sample (DS)
  • 1 Origins Original Skin Retexturing Mask (Foil)

My sole purchase was the Bite Amuse Bouche lipstick in “GingerSnap,” a salmon coral-pink that seems perfect for spring. (I also tried on Rhubarb, Molasses, and Black Truffle. The last one was gorgeous by itself, but upon application turned me into Marilyn Manson.)

sephoralush3I rarely shop in-store, so I was immensely grateful for this pleasant experience. I wish I knew my SA (and her associate’s) name, because they were very kind and helpful! They obviously loved makeup as much as I do, and it was so much fun trying on lipsticks with them.

This was the Sephora in JC Penny in “Briarwood Mall, Ann Arbor.” I’d recommend this location to anyone who happens to be in the area. I’ve only been there twice, but each time was a treat🙂

Plus, it’s generally less crowded in SiJCPs, and they have kits that regular Sephoras don’t get, so it’s fun to visit both if you have the time.

sephoralush4Now my Lush haul. I bought two masks: “Mask of Magnaminty” and “Cupcake.” I also received two samples: “Grease Lightning” and “Full of Grace.”

Didn’t realize Lush gave samples in-store! I’m glad they do.

I’m already a huge fan of Magnaminty, but the rest are new to me. “Grease Lightning” is fast becoming my favorite spot treatment, usurping Clearogen’s “Acne Lotion-BP” and Boscia’s “Clear Complexion Willow Bark Treatment.” Cupcake is pure delicious when it comes to scent. I’ve yet to try Full of Grace.

sephoralush5This was my first time buying Cupcake. Didn’t realize it needed to be refrigerated.

I bought these masks for my trip to Korea, but now I’m worried the mask won’t last the plane trip (14 hours). It does say “self-preserving,” so if I don’t use up the mask by April 10th, I’ll take it anyhow.

Can’t wait to review all of these goodies :)!

Have you bought anything lately? Would you buy any of these items?

2016 Sephora 15% Sale! What Will You Buy?

sephorasale3Check your mailbox ladies! The biannual Sephora Sale is imminent.

The April sale period will be “April 7th~13, 2016,” lasting a total seven days.

sephorasale1This arrived today. Sephora tends to send out these in batches, so don’t fret if it’s not here yet.

Granted, there’s been cases where Sephora forgot to send out a few, so if your love note is still MIA two days before the sale, do give them a call. (Or use the email code, which they’re sure to send out soon)

sephorasale2VIB Rouge & VIBs get 15% off and BIs get 10%, if what I’m told is correct.

The card is multi-use, so if you forget to buy something crucial your first day, there’s still six more days!

sephorasale4While I adore this gorgeous cherry blossom-esque card, I’m sad we won’t be getting a Sunday brunch event, a closed door event, and sample bags like previous years😦

This time, the only perks of in-store shopping will be a free tote bag, w/ purchase.

sephorasale5This particular tote bag, it seems. You do get to bring a friend to share the perk, but only on the “First Access” day (4/07, Thursday).

Are you excited for the sale? What will you buy? What will you not buy? Would you like to see some changes in these annual sales? Please do share🙂


March Empties – The Loves, Likes, and Mehs of March

2016march1I’ve been doing a relatively good job of keeping my empties. Started doing this mid September last year, and it really helped me form a comprehensive idea of my spending habits and product usage.

Judging by the picture, I’d say March was a success!

2016march2I’ve been working on using up my opened items, as I’ll be traveling to Korea this April. I’m not coming back for nearly five months, so any item that’s on verge of expiring, I will use up or discard🙂

I listed my empties according to these two categories:

  • Loves (will/already have repurchased)
  • Likes (likes enough to use it again someday)

Anything not mentioned in either of these two categories, is a “meh.” Anything worth mentioning will get mentioned.

2016march3March FS/DS Loves! 

  • Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips (Best pore strips, if used correctly)
  • Opti-Free Replenish Eye Solution (I can’t use ReNu, but this works perfectly)
  • MayCoop Raw Sauce Essence (A great daily essence)
  • Tucker Ashley Perfecting Moisturizer (oil-free, doesn’t leave face dry or greasy)
  • Tatcha Polished Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder (I did my first review on this :))
  • Konjac Sponge (amazing exfoliator, can be used daily in conjunction with cleanser)
  • Shu Uemura Gloss Unlimited (Best gloss I ever used, not too sticky, amazing texture)
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel (Best for prepping brow)
  • Lancome Definicils Mascara & Primer Duo (No flaking, gives volume, lasts forever)
  • Make Up For Ever – Aqua Lip Liner 3C (Best MLBB liner ever used)

I already either have backups of these, or will buy more in the future.

2016march4March FS/DS Likes! 

  • OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo (Great lingering scent, Okay Shampoo)
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water (Nice and light, but sprays unevenly)
  • Herbivore Coconut Milk Bath Soak (Amazing scent..that dissipates too fast)
  • Soapbox Coconut Shampoo (Good, light shampoo. Okay Scent)
  • Marc Jacobs Mascara (Good mascara. Love the small, precise bristles)
  • Jack Black Peppermint Lip Balm (Great lip balm. Too tingly my preference)

This is awkward. Didn’t realize how much I liked coconut until I saw this haha.

Some of these are not “loves,” due to small flaws. I’d have loved my Smashbox Primer Water, had it not been for the faulty spray bottle. (It sprayed like a water gun…literally.) If the full-size product sprays evenly, it might be worth picking up.

A lot of this boils down to personal preference, but I do believe the majority of my “loves” (and some of my “likes”) are good products in their own standing, regardless of preference.

Now to the foils! (Yes, I have more)

2016march5I used up quite of bit of my foil sample/mask stash this March. Between this and my tsbs, I think I can use up nearly everything by April!

2016march6March Foil Loves:

  • NUDE Detox Gentle Brightening Fizzy Powder (only second to my Tatcha powder)
  • Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Radiance Lotion (I found my HG summer lotion!)
  • Carol’s Daughter Monoi Shampoo & Conditioner (odd scent, but hair feels amazing)
  • nohj Super Food Sheet Mask – Royal Jelly/Broccoli (Great K-beauty mask)

I already bought the Full Sized version of Nude’s Fizzy Powder and Fresh’s Lotus Lotion. I think I’m set for Summer, if it ever comes🙂

2016march7Sad to say there was at least one epic fail this month.

This pore mask burned so bad that I had to take it off immediately. It wasn’t tingly; it straight up burned. Heard some good things about this mask so I’m sad it didn’t work for me. My face was red for a while after using this, but luckily, no huge cystic pimples are popping up.

Apparently this is not for sensitive skin.

2016march8Last but not least, packaging from Lush goodies I used up, plus an empty cotton pad packet. I recently used up:

  • Lush – Yog Nog Bar
  • Lush – Reindeer Soap
  • Lush – Dragon’s Egg Bath Bomb
  • Lush – Karma Soap (mini sample)

Not sure about the Reindeer Soap, but I’m definitely stocking up on the Yog Nog Bar when Christmas rolls by again.

2016feb2016feb22016jandecAnd finally, here are some of my past empties🙂

Did you like seeing my empties? What are some of the stuff you used up this month? What will you repurchase? Would you try this?


Spring ELF Gift Exchange Box :)

springelf5I recently participated in a gift exchange “ELF” (like secret santa kinda elf, not ELF the brand) and it was so much fun! Thought it’d be nice to post what I received from my lovely elf.

springelf1My box arrived March 21, in the form of a Nordstrom Rack box bearing several “fragile” notices!

Our time line went:

  • Sign-up: 02/26
  • Drawing Pairs: 2/28
  • Pairings Posted: 2/29
  • Wishlist Exchange: 3/01 ~ 3/06
  • Shopping: 3/07~3/20
  • Shipping with tracking: 3/21 ~ 3/27

Recommended budget was “$25 +shipping + 3~5 deluxe beauty samples,” but I think we all went over that.

springelf3Everything was so carefully wrapped; it was heartwarming.

All that bubblewrap!

springelf4Love this. One more sign that says fragile.

springelf5This is what I received. I absolutely love every single item here. I’m uploading this post to my “Beauty Box” category, as I consider this a one-time beauty box tailored especially for me🙂

My elf and I corresponded through PM, where we shared a lot of background info/likes/dislikes/hobbies etc. The theme of this box was “location,” as we were supposed to share regional goodies as well as cosmetics. I was sent items related to West Virginia, while my elf was sent items of Korean and Michigan origin. 

springelf6I figured I’d showcase the items by their respective categories and explain the reasoning behind them, to show how thoughtful this box really was.

springelf10“Bath & Body” related items. I’ve been addicted to baths since last year. I know too much will dry out my skin but I can’t help it!

  • Philosophy – Fresh Cream Body Lotion (my all time favorite body lotion)
  • Palyfrog Soap Co – Bath Bomb

springelf9“Blue” items. My favorite color is blue, especially navy and cerulean.

  • Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour – 461 Blue Satin (gorgeous color!)
  • Navy Sparkly Makeup Pouch

springelf8Delicious looking goodies from West Virginia!

  • West Virginia Fruit & Berry – Apple Butter
  • The Candy Factory – Chocolate Fudge (Already gone. I’m on a sugar high, chock-full of fudgy goodness)

springelf7“Cosmetics” samples. I love blush, and was sent three blush related samples! The rest were deluxe samples I knew I loved (NUDE, Dior), and awesome lip & body samples.

  •  Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin (I love this, but can’t get over that price tag!)
  • Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee
  • MakeUpForEver HD Blush – 410
  • NUDE Detox Gentle Brightening Enzyme Fizzy Powder Wash (love)
  • Sephora Colorful Blush – Sweet on You
  • Honest Beauty Lipgloss card
  • Original Handcrafted Lip Balm
  • Morning Whisper – Silky Smooth Body Lotion

springelf13And this beautiful postcard of West Virginia🙂

I wish I included something like this in my elf’s box!

springelf11Last but not least, Sonny Angels.

I collect them, especially the animal versions. My elf kindly got me another to add to my small but growing collection! I think they’re adorable.

springelf12It’s the one on the very right, the adorable buffalo!

This was my first ever ELF gift exchange and it certainly won’t be the last. I’m happy with my new goodies, and sincerely hope my elf likes her package, too.

Have you ever participated in an ELF gift exchange? What kind of presents did you give and/or receive?


Cle De Peau – Free Concealer Brush & Concealer Sample

concealer and brush5

Concealer Price: $70

Concealer Brush Price: $35

A few months ago, Cle De Peau ran a freebie promotion on their site, one of those “too-good-to-be-true” flash deals that went as quick as it came. It promised each person who entered their name and address into their data base a “concealer sample” and a “concealer brush,” both free of charge!

At the time, it really did seem like the devil’s contract. I searched for the small print that promised my soul in exchange, but having found none, I entered my info and promptly forgot about it. Half-assumed it was a dud, as I never received any confirmation email regarding this deal.

Approximately three months later, the items arrived in all their glory.

concealer and brush4This is what I received:

  • One concealer sample (0.5g/0.01oz) in shade “beige”
  • One concealer brush
  • One brush pocket w/ logo

As freebies go, this was amazing value.

concealer and brush7This is the concealer sample, shade in “beige.” The original is in stick form and retails for $70 per 5g / 0.17oz. There are six different shades: Ivory, Ocher, Beige, Honey, Almond, Mocha. Ivory or Almond seems like a better match for my skin.

Directions instruct to: “After using skincare or foundation, apply directly to desired areas. Blend gently with fingertips.”

concealer and brush6Ingredients list.

Btw, didn’t realize Cle de Peau was part of Shiseido! Interesting. I assumed this was a European brand. Upon search, it seems Cle de Peau is one of Shiseido’s “luxury brands.”

concealer and brush8Consistency-wise, think MAC cream blush. Think Benefit Boiing? It’s quite pigmented, doesn’t slip, and has a bit of a powdery-matte finish. Despite its creamy factor, I believe this is more for normal ~ oily skin.

Though the concealer was darker than my skin tone, I was able to use it to contour a little. It stayed even throughout the day, didn’t stray or fade.

concealer and brush9Deliberately marked my skin with eyeliner to better show the level of coverage. (Please disregard the different tones😦 Beige was too dark for me!)

Nice coverage, not fantastic but good enough. I’d say this was medium coverage. It will not cover tattoos but will provide enough pigmentation to hide blemishes.

concealer and brush1Now the brush. It’s about the size of a full sized all-over eyeshadow brush.

Was tickled pink to see it came with its own brush pocket!

concealer and brush3The concealer brush alone retails for $35. It’s said to have been designed specifically for concealers.

I often rely on concealers/bb cream during the summer because foundation feels too heavy. Hope this brush would make things easier! I’ve yet to properly use this, as I’m planning to take it on my trip to Japan/Korea this upcoming April.

concealer and brush2Closer view. Very soft bristles, just dense enough.

While I love the brush, I can’t see myself dropping $70 for this cream concealer – yet. I wish I’d been able to use something more suited to my skin tone, like “Almond.” Sadly, the Nordstrom near me doesn’t seem to carry Cle de Peau, so swatching will have to wait.

How did you like Cle de Peau’s freebie? Would you buy the concealer or the brush? 

Missha X Line Character Collab – 02 Brown Brownie Palette


Price: 12,800 won = $11

Limited Edition Palette

This is the review of the LE “Missha X Line Character Collaboration – 02.Brown Brownie Palette,” launched in Jan 2016.

LinePalette1I have a soft spot for anything un-bear-ably cutesy.

This was a gift from a friend in Korea, who knows how much I miss shopping K-beauty brands. Last month, she organized a box full of K-beauty goodies and sent it over to me via mail! This palette was one of her proudest addition, something she went to “desperate lengths to procure.”

LinePalette2There are two palettes; the bear one (“Brown”) and the rabbit (“Cony”). The bear one caters to warm toned skins with its orangey brown hues, while the rabbit leans cool with its light and hot pinks. They’re both compact, travel-friendly, and adorable! And … unfortunately sold out😦

My friend had to bounce from store to store just to find the bear palette! She fiercely placed phone calls to different stores until she found one. All the more reason to cherish it.

LinePalette5There are four shades in this mini palette, one matte, three shimmer.

I’ve a feeling Missha put all their effort towards the packaging and product, because the names were super cheesy, more like an afterthought than real names.

  • 소심 브라운 (Sosim Brown – Timid Brown)
  • 순수 브라운 (Sunsu Brown – Pure Brown)
  • 심쿵 브라운 (Shimkung Brown – Heart DokiDoki…? Brown)
  • 코니 짝꿍 브라운 (Coni Jjakggung Brown – Cony Besties Brown)

You get the idea.

LinePalette4Cheesy naming aside, the shadows are beautiful. It reminds me of fall, of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, marmalade scones, and orange leaves.

Just look at that print on the fourth shade! It’s adorable, almost to the point where I couldn’t bear (I’ll stop with the puns) to swatch it.

LinePalette8But here it is🙂

From left to right: Timid Brown, Pure Brown, Heart DokiDoki Brown, Cony Besties Brown.

The names are confusing, as there’s technically one brown color in this palette. The rest are gold, peach, and beige. It’s helpful to remember that they’re probably talking about the bear character, whose name happens to be “Brown.” (I was plenty confused before I realized this)

LinePalette6Very orangey-gold!  I love it.

LinePalette7Easy to blend; shimmery, bright colors; it’s perfect for spring makeup.

The only downside I can think of is:

  • Shadows wash off easily with water. Longevity is on the okay side “if” you’re in a dry place. But if you’re going to be sweaty or caught in a rainfall, this might not be the best palette to reach for.

How did you like the Missha Line character LE palette? Did you manage to snag one? If not, will you be on the lookout for the next release?


Birchbox March 2016 Curated Box Review


Price: (as always) $10

This March, I forwent sample choices in favor of the curated box for two reasons:

1. Scant choice. There were three sample choices:

  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Shampoo & Conditioner (foil)
  • Dry Shampoo (one that’s been offered at least three times before)

2. The Milk lip sample. I was curious about that brand!

march2016_1I love the box design. It’s adorable, like a bubblegum wrapper or a kitschy wallpaper.

The boxes are one of the reason I adore Birchbox. They’re awesome for stashing samples and other knickknacks; plus, they double as great gift boxes!

march2016_2This month’s curated box is titled: “Ready For Anything.”

The idea behind this box is that it’s “perfect for pulling together a look in no time flat.” While I don’t fully agree, I like that feeling of readiness it seems to embody.

march2016_3This is the list of the five DS samples:

  • PARLOR® by Jeff Chastain Smoothing Blowout Spray
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
  • MILK Makeup Lip Color in C.R.E.A.M.
  • Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio in Filter
  • Wilma Schumann Skincare Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads

march2016_5Save for the Parlor hairspray (I have way too many samples now), these were all items I was excited to try/receive. Despite that spray, I should’ve been pleased with this box.

march2016_6For example, Kiehl.

Their Midnight Recovery Concentrate didn’t jive with me but I have a soft spot for their lotions. Very moisturizing. Granted, it’s small, but these mini tubs are wonderful when you’re on the road or stuck in a 14 hour flight.

march2016_7Wilma Schumann eye pads. I love receiving eye pads because I know they’ll get used. Never seen a dramatic change, especially with onetime use, but they feel very refreshing, nice and cool.

march2016_9Smashbox Trio. Color scheme is a tad bit boring, but I like boring, neutral palettes. Plus, this apparently doubles as a contour palette.

I could pop this in my pouch for emergency touch ups.

march2016_17Meh, but generous size. I could give this away to a friend who likes hairsprays.

march2016_10Which brings me to the Milk lipstick in color “C.R.E.A.M.”

This has got to be the smallest lipstick I’ve ever seen in my life! It’s beyond cute. There has to be a barbie somewhere missing her lipstick. Or (as liguriansea of BT mentioned) this is a lipstick seed that will eventually grow into a grand lipstick tree.

It looks so pitiful in my palm, like a baby bird trembling on the ground :(

march2016_8I swear, that picture gives me the illusion that the other samples are huge, or FS. But you’ve all seen how small the Kiehl cream is.

march2016_11… it’s so small!

I can’t even gift this away. Nor does it seem significant enough to garner a spot on my dressing table. In my pouch? I’ll definitely lose it.

march2016_12The amount of product we receive is “0.4g/0.0014oz.” For comparison, the amount of product in a DS size Bite lipstick, is “2g/0.07oz.” Meaning this sample is 1/5th the size of a regular DS lipstick.

I tried to swatch it and this happens:

march2016_13Whomp whomp.

This is baffling to me. Considering that it’s a new brand, I figured Milk Makeup would send out wonderful samples that would live up to their claims. I realize the sample designs don’t necessarily translate to the full sized lipsticks, but is this really the first impression they mean to make?

march2016_14That being said, “C.R.E.A.M” is a rather pretty color.

It’s in that category of dusty, muted Rose that I adore. NARS “Dolce Vita” and Buxom “Sinful Cinnamon” comes to mind, though they aren’t really dupes.

march2016_15This goes on creamy matte, meaning it does accentuate my lip lines. But as long as you don’t have horrible dry lips like I do, it shouldn’t be a problem.

march2016_16Because I won’t be doing a separate review for this, here’s the ingredient list for the lipstick.

How did you like your March 2016 Birchbox? Did any of you have a good laugh over the tiny Milk lipstick? Would you purchase the FS?

Wander Beauty – Wanderout Dual Lipsticks (Jet Set/Vacay;Wanderberry/Barely There)


Price: $30


Two weeks ago, I was contacted by  Sephora, who kindly gave me a chance to review products from a recently launched brand: Wander Beauty.

wanderduallipstick10Wander Beauty is a brand launched in 2015 by the gorgeous model Lindsay Ellington, who has dedicated this brand to: “…modern women who’s traveling and doing her makeup in a taxi like I did this morning.” (hence, the “wander” part)

That’s a sentiment I can appreciate. Much as I love the leisurely Sunday mornings when I take a full hour to enjoy makeup, the reality is that I barely get 15~20 min. Streamlining is a must; anything that’s pouch-friendly and shortens application time is a yes in my book.

Wander Beauty launched in Sephora this March.

wanderduallipstick1I was sent two “Wanderout Dual Lipsticks,” in the colors “Jet Set/Vacay” and “Wanderberry/Barely There.”

They’re long-lasting lipstick duos that come in two shades: one bright, one neutral. I’m told the products are free of fragrance, mineral oil, and parabens. Plus, cruelty free!

wanderduallipstick3I’m a sucker for pretty packaging. Just loving the burgundy/gold tones; this is gorgeous.

That little GPS arrow is calling to me.

wanderduallipstick5From left: Vacay, Jet Set, Wanderberry, Barely There.

wanderduallipstick7wanderduallipstick6Each lipstick holds ” 2.04g/0.07oz ” worth of product. It’s about half the amount of a normal lipstick, but you do get two, which equals to ” 4.08g/0.14oz. ”

I personally can never finish a whole lipstick, so this is perfect.

wanderduallipstick8Swatches. From left to right: Jet Set, Vacay, Wanderberry, Barely There

These swatch beautifully, super creamy. Jet Set’s a fun hot pink, Vacay a muted light pink, Wanderberry a deep garnet red, and Barely There a muted rose.

wanderduallipstick9wanderduallipstick13(Top: Sunlight, Bottom: With Flash)

The bright colors are definitely more pigmented than the neutrals. The nudey neutrals are much sheerer. “Jet Set/Vacay” leans cool, and “Wanderberry/Barely There” leans warm.

And finally lip swatches:

wanderduallipstick11(I’d like to disclose: my lips were in a terrible condition when I swatched them! Very dry.)

All of these pics were taken on the same day, same hour, in sunlight. No liner, no primer.

You can tell the consistency differs with each color. All of them feel creamy going on, but to each a different kind of creamy, if that makes sense. Wanderberry is more of a creamy matte, while Vacay is slippery + creamy. 

Level of matte-ness: Wanderberry >> Barely There > Jet Set > Vacay. 

Pigmentation: Wanderberry >> Jet Set > Barely There > Vacay

wanderduallipstick12My favorite color so far is “Barely There,” while my favorite consistency is “Jet Set.” I personally love sheer lippies, but the neutral ones are probably too sheer for someone who loves opaque lips.

Currently, the only one I’m on the fence with is “Vacay.” I can’t for the life of me pull off cool-toned light pink, especially if it’s sheer. My dry lips reveal all sorts of crevasses and flakes with sheer, light pink! T’is a beautiful color but I don’t see myself reaching for it often.

Meanwhile,”Barely There” seems like a lovely MLBB!

wanderduallipstick4One of the best things about these: you can mix it up.

If you’re feeling bright colors, just pop in two bright colors and off you go. Feeling nudes? Grab two neutrals. There’s a bit of a mix-and-match element to these duos, which is good fun.

Thank you Sephora, for giving me a chance to try these lovelies out!


For anyone curious : http://www.sephora.com/wander-beauty


March 2016 Target Beauty Box

Target box7

Cost: $5

Value: $17+

This was the monthly Target Beauty Box that went live on Feb 29 for a mere $5. As usual, it comes with free shipping and a complimentary $3 off coupon that can be used offline or online.

I absolutely love these boxes. They’re great value and I usually find myself using 80~90% of all items. As subscription boxes go, it’s a high number for me.

Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 8.08.29 PMOrder was processed on 2/29. Box shipped 3/01 and arrived 3/04 evening, four days earlier than the predicted timeframe.

Target box1This was a smaller, flatter box than February’s box, perfect for stashing samples. It arrived unscathed, unlike last time where my box had a huge dent on the side. (This could be the doing of my mailman, though; he has a penchant for chucking packages at doors😦 )

Target box5Box theme is “Vacay Vibes,” with its contents described as:

“Must-haves. Can’t live withouts. Obsessions. As purveyors of all-things beauty , we at Target Style like to keep a lookout for what’s new and now. In this box, you’ll find a few of our favorites – just in time for spring break. Test ’em out and tell us what you think. And if you love them as much as we do, find the full sized version at: Target.com/BeautyBox.”

Target box6Product included are:

  • Hair Food Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray
  • SinfulColors Professional Nail Color (Color differs for everyone)
  • you are AMAZING Juicy Grapefruit Body Lotion
  • Laneige Water Sleeping Mask
  • Banana Boat Sun Comfort SPF 30 Lotion
  • nügg Face Mask (Differs for everyone; I received the “anti-aging”)
  • Caress Adore Forever Body Wash

Target box3Generous DS & FS items! There are eight products, which means you’re basically paying 60 cents for each item.

Target box4For five bucks, this was a complete steal. Other than the Caress Body Wash, I see myself using every item. I especially like the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, Hairfood shampoo, and the Nugg Mask. Already tried the Nugg mask and while it tingles (may be uncomfortable for some), it leaves your skin fresh, moisturized, and even.

These boxes come out every month, so be on the lookout! They go fast, and when they’re gone they’re gone.

Ciate – Olivia Palermo London Smokey Suedes Palette


Price: $39

There used to be a time when I thought Ciate only made cute nail polishes. Pleasantly surprised to find that wasn’t the case🙂

smokeysuedes13smokeysuedes11I snagged this gorgeous palette in Sephora, during my visit to Palo Alto last Christmas.

Having spent the holidays splurging on gifts, I almost returned it unused as I couldn’t justify myself buying another palette. But in the midst of Christmas and New Years with the holiday cheer rising, the guilty return trip was “conveniently” forgotten.

smokeysuedes1There seems to be two eyeshadow palettes in this collection: the Smokey Suedes and the Smouldering Eye. They’re beautiful palettes; both look like tiny black-gold clutches. Compact, pouch-friendly, travel-friendly, large mirror (proportion-wise).

I have to admit, I initially chose this because I figured it’d look pretty in my pouch. (Hence, the guilt.)

Plus, there was only one left in the store, prompting me to note its desirability.

smokeysuedes2There are three claims written on the back of the palette:

  • Highly blendable colour with a silky suede texture
  • Rich and densely pigmented with a weightless finish,
  • Covetable mirrored compact case

Out of those three claims, I will only question the “highly” in the “highly blendable colour.” But before delving into that, more pictures:

smokeysuedes3It’s gorgeous is what it is. The gold words on film are:

“Seriously soft-touch suede eye shadow in my personal favourite shades for beautifully smokey eyes. – Olivia Palermo -“

smokeysuedes12Here’s the ingredient list, for anyone who’s interested.

smokeysuedes4My heart flutters just looking at those pans. It’s nice how the shadow squares maximize area use by not leaving any space for wanting.

I initially worried that fallout might muddy up the colors, but so far (1 month of usage), it hasn’t been that big of a deal.

smokeysuedes5Bummed that these shadows aren’t named in the palette. I realize that there’s no space, but I’d have sacrificed a little shadow for those names.


  • Shaken_ Mustard Yellow/Gold Shimmer
  • Verde_ Grey-black with green shimmer
  • Whoopie Pie_ Light reddish brown matte
  • Glazed _ Burnt Toffee with shimmer
  • Prosecco _ Wheat-gold shimmer
  • Cocoa _ Mahogany Brown shimmer
  • Macchiato _ Light Mahogany matte
  • Plumberry_ Rosewood Brown Matte

smokeysuedes7(Sunlight shots. From bottom to top: Shaken, Verde, Whoopie Pie, Glazed, Prosecco, Cocoa, Macchiato, Plumberry)

This is one of those cases where “What you see in the pan is not what you’ll get.” The colors are more brown than taupe, contrary to what you’d think looking at the pans. With Verde, I was a teensy bit disappointed as I was looking for a brighter, greener hue. Verde will look green-ish in direct light, but it’s more black/grey than green.

But that Wheat-gold in Prosecco; my heart palpitates just looking at that color.

(Just noticed I missed “Butler,” the one with the ribbon engraving! I’ll upload it later)

smokeysuedes8(With Flash. From left to right: Shaken, Verde, Whoopie Pie, Glazed, Prosecco, Cocoa, Macchiato, Plumberry)

You can tell Verde is green in direct light. Colors are buttery smooth, pigmented. The name “smokey suedes” fit them to a tee, as they feel like suede on the skin.

But because they’re all super-pigmented and textured in such a way to micmic suedes, they can blend muddy. That’s my only complaint. I’ve a feeling that these shadows are awfully easy to overdo, especially when you’re not trying to do a smoky look.

(Please note that I’m a complete sissy/newb when it comes to bold looks!)

smokeysuedes9This was my attempt at a bold look with this palette.

smokeysuedes10Yes, it is possible to create natural/neutral looks with this palette. But considering how clumsy I can be and how short on time I am on weekday mornings, it’ll be hard for me to reach for this daily. The Smokey Suedes will not be my go-to work makeup palette (like TF Natural Eyes or UD Naked3), but most likely a weekend palette, for a nice evening out or an experimental smokey.

Not the most versatile palette but a lovely one nevertheless.

I would recommend this to:

  • Someone looking to practice smokey eyes (or someone who rocks the smokey look daily)
  • Someone in need of a pouch/travel-friendly palette for less than $40.
  • Someone looking for a cute neutral-ish palette leaning bold

PS: Would you pick this up? What are your favorite go-to smoky palettes?🙂