Sephora Hall of Famers Gift 2017 – Exclusive Bite Lipstick

giftedbysephoraSokobabyBlog2Sephora’s known to send out little gifts to its BeautyTalk users. As someone who used to be an avid user, I really appreciated the surprise gifts. T’was one of the many perks of being a Beauty Insider.

Unfortunately (and fortunately!), BeautyTalk is shifting gears to a new platform, which means the old ranking system is phasing out. Which means, good bye to “Hall of Famer.” (HOF)

HOF2As a farewell, Sephora decided to surprise the “HOF” Beauty Insiders with a gift.

They reeeally sprung this on us. Every HOF got a random email informing us that a package was arriving from Sephora. A good majority thought we were hacked. We were quickly assured that this was legit.

HOF3(why I adore Sephora)

HOF4HOF5This cute pouch…

HOF7Held the contents:

  • 3 adorable pins, custom made for HOF rankers.
  • A HOF custom-color lipstick from Bite’s Lip Lab!

HOF6

This beauty. The shade is titled “Hall of Famer,” a nod to the eponymous HOFs.

It’s the same formula as the Amuse Bouche line.

HOF9I’d call this a hot pink + fuchsia mix. (A royal-fuchsia?)

It has the customary Bite scent to it, a fruity tingly scent that screams Bite.

HOF10Buttery smooth. It spreads evenly into a shock of fuchsia goodness.

Beware: it stains quite a bit! Don’t get this on your clothes.

HOF11HOF12

I don’t own many fuchsias/hot pinks, so this was the best I could do in regards to dupes.

From left to right:

  • Bite “Hall of Famer”
  • Nature Republic “Orchid Blossom”
  • Clinique “Punch Pop”
  • Wander Beauty “Vacay”

Wander Beauty “Vacay” was the closest shade I could find in my stash. It’s a beautiful unique hue, especially if you love a zingy fuchsia.

HOF13Thank you Sephora ūüėÄ

Sephora Holiday Promo – Sample Bag #2

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Price: $- ($25 buy-in/GWP)


Each year, Sephora has an array of deluxe sample bags you can choose from as part of their holiday promotion. It comes in the form of a sample code.

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-11-11-15-amWith a $25 purchase, you receive 8 deluxe samples along with a cute bag for free. Use code “VERYMERRY”! (this is exclusive to beauty insiders; all you have to do is sign up.)

2016’s sample bags were:¬†¬†deluxesample_lp_1_midflightdelight_us_112616_imagedeluxesample_lp_2_soireeathome_us_112616_imagedeluxesample_lp_3_luxlatenight_us_112616_imagedeluxesample_lp_4_weekendretreat_us_112616_image

I chose bag #2, although bag #4 was appealing with its “Sunday Riley’s Tidal cream” and the “Fresh cleansing milk.” But the “CoverFX Moonlight” and “Erno Laszlo” won out.

Everything in bag#2 appealed to me, with the exception of E&J Nirvana (not a fan of the scent). If that had been switched with bag#3’s MM Replica Jazz Club, it would have been perfect.

bag2_2The contents of bag#2.

Happy with what I’ve got, and with the exception of Nirvana (which I’ll give away), I’ll use up everything for sure.

bag2_3The Erno Laszlo sample I recieved (in “sensitive”) was a bit leaky.

bag2_4Should I be happy it cleanses so well?


Did you get grab a sample bag? Which one did you get? Is there something really wanted among these DS? 

Sephora VIB Rouge Gift 2016 & 2015 – Nars Blush in “Goulue” & Marc Jacobs Lipstick in “So Rouge”

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Price: $1000 per year GWP


Sephora has three tiers for its customers: BI (beauty insider), VIB ($350), and yours truly, VIB Rouge ($1000+).

If you spend more than $1000 in a¬†given year, you are given the “VIB Rouge” status until the exact date of the next year. (ex. status earned on “Nov 21st, 2016” will last till “Nov 21, 2017”) People debate over the merits of this status, but for the sake of this post, I’d love to focus on the gift you receive upon renewing your Rouge status.

vibrouge_1This is the 2016 Rouge renewal gift in its customary red box.

The design of these boxes seem to change every year, but they’re all red (or rouge, in french).

vibrouge_32016’s gift is a mini version of NARS blush in “Goulue,”a limited shade exclusive to the VIB Rouges.

I’m pretty happy with this gift; NARS is famous for their iconic blushes, and their formula is superb. Beautiful color, too. They saved a good one¬†for the Rouges.

vibrouge_5You receive “0.14 oz / 4 g ” of product with this deluxe sample blush.

I have an “Orgasm” blush in this size that lasted me a year (with good use), so I expect this to last a while.

vibrouge_6vibrouge_7That gorgeous shade though.

The shade is a muted dusty-rose with just enough glow, something that might appeal to those who dislike Orgasm for its excessive shimmer. I happen to like both blushes, but this one will get more daily use.

vibrouge_8Swatch in natural light. As all NARS blushes go, “Goulue” is very pigmented¬†and buttery smooth. It lasts forever on me.

vibrouge_16On my cheeks.

vibrouge_15Do go light-handed with this blush!

I believe it compliments all skin tones (it has near perfect five stars from over 130 reviews on Sephora), but it will be easier to go clown on lighter skinned ladies. I was shocked when I first dabbed the tiniest amount (barely grazing the surface with my brush) and ended up with clown cheeks.

No heavy-hands, unless you want to rock that look.

vibrouge_2Now the 2015 gift.

Left is the 2015 Rouge Gift Box. Right is the 2016.

vibrouge_92015’s Rouge Renewal gift (my very first) was Marc Jacob’s lipstick in “240 So Rouge,” another VIB Rouge exclusive shade in a LE package.

This was also a limited shade, and I believe it’s gone for now… (why…)

vibrouge_10A true blood-red, super pigmented, creamy. Glides on like a dream.

You receive ” 0.03oz/ 1g” worth of product, which is equal to your regular deluxe sixed¬†Marc Jacobs lipstick.

vibrouge_11vibrouge_14Trying to find a dupe, I played the crazy-lipstick-lady game… and¬†I really suck at this don’t I.¬†Swatches in different natural lighting. Far left is “So Rouge.”

I’ve idly dubbed all of these shades a generic “red” at one point, and it’s only now that I’m realizing how wrong I was.

vibrouge_12The closest dupe I could find color-wise was MAC’s Ruby Woo, but MAC doesn’t compare to¬†MJ’s consistency and wear. MJ’s Le Marc formula was much more forgiving on my dry lips than MAC’s matte formula.

Formula-wise, a close dupe was Revlon and Nars Audacious (but Audacious wins on longevity and pigmentation).

vibrouge_2I wish they would make these beauties a permanent instead of whisking them away so soon.

Goulue is still around, so snap one up if you like this shade. I really don’t need more red lippies so I’m okay with having missed a full-sized “So Rouge,” but I’ll be sad if “Goulue” disappears.

Thanks for reading my review and have a beautiful day ūüôā


How do you like the VIB Rouge gifts? Would you rather they stayed around and became permanent? Would you buy a full size of these?

[Review] Guerlain – Meteorites in Clair 02

guerlainmeteorites_3


Price: $62


I’ve known these finishing balls powders to be a staple of women’s makeup dressers since 1987. This is one of Guerlain’s signature products,¬†and I’m excited to finally own one.

guerlainmeteorites_1I received this as part of a belated birthday gift, my first ever Meteorites.

My friend in Japan swears by this, and when she heard I probably wouldn’t purchase it myself, she took the matter into her own hands and sent me her favorite.

She¬†debated over¬†“the pearls” and “the pressed powder.” The¬†pearls won out because (as the SA pointed out) the pressed powders are prone to shattering mid-transit. (I’ve heard various horror stories about this. Breaks my heart to think of all those broken pretties.)

guerlainmeteorites_3You get 25g (0.88oz) of these “light-revealing pearls of powder.”

They used to have more product (with bigger packaging) I’ve heard. I’ve seen comparison shots of the older version and the new, where the size difference was palpable.

guerlainmeteorites_4Ingredient list.

guerlainmeteorites_5Japanese (and a tad bit of French) ingredient list

guerlainmeteorites_6Guerlain does packaging right. Always. Everything I’ve seen from them so far was drop dead gorgeous.

Every season they come out with limited edition¬†Meteorites which people collect; these have had a cult following since forever, it seems. They’re all rendered beautifully (my favorite was Holiday 2011 and 2015) and cost a pretty penny.

Summary: Always enjoyed the beautiful packaging. Price tag scared me off.

guerlainmeteorites_7This is the permanent edition Meteorites in “Clair 02.”

Yes, this is the tin case you see atop many dressers, usually¬†as one of the centerpiece. I’ve had friends confess that they “don’t even care if the product is good”; the tin and the pretty balls alone makes them happy.

guerlainmeteorites_8Swoon.¬†They’ve gotten a bit thrown about during transit, but this is so pretty. (Dippin’ Dots anyone?)

I was taken aback¬†to see how little product I’ve got… then realized this is actually more product than the “Givenchy- Prism Libre ($54 / 0.42oz)” that I’ve been using forever, which I still haven’t hit even the half-mark (it’s been a year).

So despite what this looks like, these will last you quite a while.

guerlainmeteorites_9guerlainmeteorites_10guerlainmeteorites_12Swatches in different natural lights:

I ran each color multiple¬†times over my skin to intensify the hue. It’s very subtle.

The powder is finely milled, not chalky. It smells like powdery candied violets. (this might be a plus or a minus depending on your tastes) You’re supposed you dip your brush against the pearls and swirl, buffing what you pick up gently across¬†your face.

The different colors mixed together gives you a delicate illuminance/finish, one that corrects complexion and lends a subtle glow.

guerlainmeteorites_13How it wears throughout the day: (7am -> 11am -> 8pm)

It wore pretty well throughout the day! (wish I could say the same for my blush..) Despite my dry winter skin, I detect that subtle luminance.

The Meteorites didn’t give me any more dry patches (and oily T-zone) than I usually get. There’s dryness¬†on my chin and nose area, especially in the 11am shot, but it’s no more than¬†my usual fare.

(Please excuse the different lighting and odd angle!)

guerlainmeteorites_6Overall Guerlain’s Meteorites¬†is a luxury item.

It’s not a necessity to me, but I’m very happy to own it. It does what it claims; it will be used and it will last me a while.


How do you like the Meteorites? Do you feel like it’s a necessity? Do you collect Guerlain’s LE items? If you do, which edition would you dub your absolute must-have?¬†

 

October 2016 Empties

october2016_1October, my month for finishing off DS samples.

Barring about 4 of these items, everything was deluxe sized samples I accumulated over the year. Happy to have powered through these; I ended up loving quite a bit.


Once again, I listed my empties according to these two categories:

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

october2016_2October FS/DS Loves! 

  • Bioderma¬†Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution (Best cleansing water. HG status. )
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes (Amazing treatment..but too pricey.)
  • Caudalie Vinosource Sorbet (Best summer moisturizer. A tad too light for winter)
  • Body Shop Grapefruit Hand Cream (Have yet to find a better grapefruit cream)
  • LUSH Sacred Truth (My current go-to daily mask. Super moisturizing.)

I feel bad these all look so banged up… I’ve been saving my empties in a basket in my bathroom, and they’ve gotten so grimy! I will clean them off next time so as not to gross anyone out.

october2016_3October FS/DS Likes! 

  • June Jacobs Papaya Mask (Amazing smell, okay results.)
  • Too Faced Melted Chihuahua (Great MLBB color. Applicator is so-so.)
  • Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask (Amazing smell, good¬†results.)
  • Ren Anti-Redness Serum (Calms skin, but leaves it a tad tacky)
  • Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara (My go-to. No smudging, but gets dry quick if not used under less than two¬†months)

Everything else was kind of meh for me.

october2016_4Foils I used up. I only enjoyed:

  • Nude Detox Fizzy Power ¬†(brightens skin, gentle exfoliation)

I’m sad Nude is phasing out.

october2016_5

And sadly, one huge miss: The Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner. 

This was honestly one of the worst eyeliners that I’ve used… (My go-to is the KVD Tattoo liner and Stila Stay All Day Liner)

While the color payoff is intense (great for a black liner), it smudged faster than anything I’ve used before. The tip wasn’t great for any meticulous line-work, either.

Barely two hours into application, my eyes resembled a raccoon’s eyes …but¬†this might be due to my oily lids. Someone with non-oily lids might enjoy this.


What were your empties like? What products did you enjoy using? What were your misses? 

Birchbox November 2016 Review + Changes to Point System

bb_november1


Price: (as always) $10


bb_november2My November Box.

bb_november6November’s theme is “The Finishing Touch,” which is fitting as I’m probably not going to renew BB in 2017.

Before I delve into my review, I wanted to inform you guys about the new points system in Birchbox.

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-23-12-pmAlthough I’ve loved BB¬†for nearly two years now, I will probably cancel my subscription after my December box, and here’s why:

  • They changed the point system. Now a review will not¬†get you extra +10 points (which ends up being equal to a dollar). That’s 50 extra points ($5) gone.
  • You will earn points for spending money in the shop and referring friends. (+50 points for the first five reviews you make after the changed system)
  • You don’t have to wait until the points accumulate to 100 to spend it. But again, it’s much harder now to earn points.
  • Tiny samples + Not the best customization system.

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-26-45-pmThe reason I swore by Birchbox was because¬†of the points. The tiny samples in itself didn’t justify the $10 price tag for me, even with free shipping. The extra 100 points you used to get for every two box equaled to $10, a nice sum that could be used towards purchasing tried-and-true samples.

Now those perks are gone.

There’s¬†no reason for me to fork over 10 bucks for minuscule samples, especially as the only “big” samples I get are stuff I don’t even use, like dry shampoo and hairspray.

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-26-36-pmThat being said, I will miss the old system where I used to wait for every box, mulling over what samples to purchase. That notion of the unknown was a part of what made this fun for me. But as of now, I can’t justify its price tag. That’s $10 more that could’ve been spent on something I definitely know I’ll enjoy.

On to the review.

bb_november3What I got.

I’m actually pretty happy with all the product choice this month. It’s something I know I’ll use up.

bb_november4

  • That tiny Jane Iredale sample makes everything look big, but I assure you, everything is tiny (with the exception of the hair conditioner). Nice balm though.
  • The Gimme Brow is absolutely adorable, and props to the cute packaging, but it’s the size of my index finger. (But lovely product. I have used a FS Gimme Brow before, and it helped my sparse brows a lot)
  • The Juara sample smells lovely, a bit like a mix of vanilla-chai & almond? I should look into this once I power through 2 years worth of body cream.
  • I’m wary of the Marcelle, as I’ve broken out before, but I’m always game for moisturizer. Especially one that’s multi-action.
  • The R+Co cleansing foam¬†conditioner felt a bit heavy on my hair, but it seemed to clean everything pretty well.

bb_november5Comparison with my other tiny lip samples. You’ve got to admit they’re adorable.

With the Marc Jacobs sample, you get 1g (0.03oz) of product.

With the Jane Iredale, it¬†doesn’t say…¬†I’ll have to bury it in my front yard and hope that come next spring, it would’ve grown into a wonderful lippie tree. (=lipstick seed goals)

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful day ūüôā

bb_november7PS: They changed up the packaging! The tabs make it much easier to take apart. Nice touch.


How was your November Birchbox? Did you enjoy everything in there? Will you renew for 2017? What do you think of the new points system? 

2016 Sephora Friends & Family Code + Surprise Event

fnf1

Yesterday, I was in my happy place, browsing the numerous aisles of Sephora for the perfect winter mask, when an SA approached me. Mid-conversation, she suddenly leaned forward and in all confidentiality, asked me:

‚Äú‚Ķwould you like to be my friend for today?‚ÄĚ

I answered ‚ÄúYes,‚ÄĚ and received this lovely surprise:

fnf2

This was the first time I received a tangible F&F code. This 20% off code is valid Oct 23 through Oct 30th, and is one-time use.

The code has to be provided by a Sephora SA, either through mail or card, and the quantity is supposedly limited, so don’t be too sad if your favorite SA doesn’t offer it; she might’ve just run out. (Do thank the lovely SAs if they’re nice to include you!)

fnf3

There was a special in-store shopping event held from 7pm~9pm on the 23rd, where all buyers with these F&F cards received a cute bag filled with Sephora goodies. Items included were:

  • 1 Sephora sheet mask in “Ginseng”
  • 1 Sephora clear lip gloss
  • 1 Sephora Waterproof Eye Make-up Remover
  • 1 Sephora eyeshadow quad in “Nicole” (beautiful fall colors)¬†
  • 1 Make Up For Ever lipstick in “N9” (so happy! This was my go-to lip last fall)
  • 1 Sephora pencil sharpener

All items I know I’ll use up. (Not sure if all baggies had the same items) 

Time frame for the event was a little weird, but this might’ve been due to the limited amount of those baggies. 

+ There were also snacks available: Mini Kitkats, caramel apple pops, mini snickers, mini popcorn bags, mini water bottles etc.

fnf4

I ended up purchasing two items:

  • Caudalie SOS Hydration set
  • Ren Glow and Go set

I snagged both sets for $57!


Did you receive a card from your Sephora SA? What will you buy with the 20% off code? 

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 ūüôā

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 ūüė¶

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 ūüôā