Saturday, October 30, 2010

Some Goodies to Look for at Walgreens

Hey everyone,

I visited Walgreens yesterday while still on my search for Wet n Wild's Christmas palettes and had no luck, but I did find some nice little deals that I wanted to let you know about.

- All of their Rimmel shadows were reduced in the display case (not in a separate clearance section). The quads were marked as $3.19 (normally around $5.29) and the trios were down to $2 and change. (Sorry I can't remember the exact price, but I didn't purchase on so I can't check my receipt for it). I've never actually tried Rimmel's shadows, so I picked up the quad in Smokey Brun because I've heard good things about it specifically.

- More exciting was that all of L'oreal's HIP Kohl Eyeliners were marked down to $6.19 (normally around $13), also still in their normal display. If you're not sure what product I'm referring to, click here. To make it better, L'oreal is BOGO 1/2 off right now, so you can 2 for $9.29 - 2 for less than the price of 1 (but the sales will change tomorrow, so get going if you want in on that).
 I already own one in black and, while I don't use it very often, it is really good for tight lining when you want a really smoky effect. I picked up burgundy and brown this time.

Both of these deals were marked as they do for products that are being discontinued, so it's not a typical sale like those marked in the circulars. This means that you'll have to actually go to your Walgreens (or call) to see if they have these deals going there. I'm not really sure how these sales work, so I can't with full confidence say that this will be at every store, but I think it should be.

Hope this helps out!

*I had to get the 'normal' prices from drugstore.com because I didn't note them in the store and they're not marked on my receipt.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Squeezing the Most Out of Your Products

Awww... it's a bad day. You just can't get any more product out of your favorite tube of lotion. You've squeezed everything you can out of it already, and it's just done. Right?

This is going to seem like a duh tip, but most people don't seem to think to do it.

Take scissors to it, and cut the top off! Duh, right? (Told you so.)









I'd been really enjoying this lotion - it had a soft, warm vanilla scent that was nice for the cooling weather (and it's a good moisturizer as well...), so I was a bit sad when I couldn't coax any more out of the tube.


 
However, I am no stranger to the cut-off-the-top strategy.

I thought I had done quite a good job working the product out beforehand so wasn't expecting to get much more, but look what was still left!


That's enough for at least 3 or 4 days! Definite proof that the cutting option is worth a go.

A quick warning though!

Make sure to close off the top some after you make the cut. More air exposure will make the product dry out much faster (yes, lotion can dry out), so we want to slow that process as much as possible.


I have always just used an office clip, and it seems to work fine. Just be sure to work the product to the bottom of the tube so it doesn't squeeze out through the top when you fold the packaging over, and make sure you leave enough plastic in the 'flap' to be able to fold it down securely.

You will need to try to use the product up within a few days after cutting to make sure you don't lose any to drying out. Make a point to work as much product out as possible before you resort to cutting it so you don't have as much of it to go through after.

Whether it's a product you spent good money on or just something you love, this will help stretch a few extra days out of your stuff.

Hope this helps some of you!

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Wet n Wild Eye of the Day

Hi, all.

Since I've been doing so many WnW product posts and I've had it on the brain lately (I'll tell you why at the end), I decided to see if I could do a look using only their eyeshadows and be happy with it. Here's what I got -


Pretty neutral but just a tad smokey. But, please note that I had to use a bright light to get accurate color on my camera, but this also made the look less dark overall i.e. this is exactly what the colors look like with a bright light on them. I applied this at around 8 this morning, and I took the photo at 10 this evening - no touch ups.

What I used


*palette on the left is Greed
*palette on the right is Vanity

1. single in Sugar as an inner corner highlight
2. light, matte cream shade as brow highlight
3. single in Nutty all over lid
4. shimmery brown lightly blended into crease and on lower lash line
5. dark matte brown in outer corner
6. matte black pressed into upper lash line to soften eyeliner edge

I used Revlon's ColorStay eyeliner in Black Brown on the upper lash line.
Mascara was Maybelline's Great Lash Big.
I also used Urban Decay's Primer Potion but forgot to include it in the picture.

If you wanted to do this look but didn't want to purchase the Greed palette just for that black, you could easily substitute the dark matte brown for it (5) and get a similar effect.

Now to why I've got Wet n Wild on the brain...

Have you seen all the photos online of the LE palettes that they are releasing for Christmas? Yes?
Have you actually managed to find them in a store? No?

Me neither!

I keep seeing other people post that they've popped up in stores near them, but I haven't been able to find them anywhere! I've been checking my drugstores every few days for a couple of weeks now and nothing... frustrating! haha

The last check was actually today. I went to three Walgreens (where I've heard they've been popping up most recently) and a Rite Aid with no luck.

It's a safe bet that as soon as I find these, I will be grabbing up all four of them - and of course be rejoicing about the end of the search on here and Twitter.

Have you all seen these? Purchased these? If yes, I am jealous!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quick Take: Stila's Blockbuster Color Palette - Don't Waste Your Time

Now I know what you're probably thinking...Do you mean Sephora's Blockbuster Palette?

No.

A few days ago, I saw this palette at Costco for only around $20. That looked like a good deal, but I'd never heard of a palette like this being released from Stila before. They still had quite a few of them in stock, so I thought I'd go home and do a bit of research before shelling out for it.


Went home, looked high and low online, and couldn't find anything on this palette - not even a mere mention! What the heck? Is this a Costco exclusive? That doesn't sound right, but how can I explain it not being anywhere else?

Anyhow, I decided to give it a blind shot anyway. Costco has an excellent return policy on everything (even if something has been opened) so I really had nothing to lose. So, $20 poorer, I walked out of the store thinking I might have found something fun to play with. And, if these were true Stila quality, they'd be excellent and a steal at that price.

Ah, well. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is, right?

What drew me in were the shadows - all 30 of them. It also came with 15 lip colors (the last three columns in the photo), but I could easily do without those. At first glance, the only issue I had with this was that the lip colors were right next to the shadows. I'm not a fan of glosses (or any cream products) being next to powders because, inevitably, the powder will get in the cream and be a mess. However, at this point I chock this up as an expected evil in palettes this size.

But the really bad news is that the shadows just aren't good. They're all dry formulations - not smooth and creamy like Stila singles. They don't even have the trademark sheen of a Stila shadow. To be fair, they're not completely unusable; all of them can be built up to look pretty, but why bother? They would require quite a bit of work, and you could get better quality at the drugstore.

Some of the lip colors are pretty, but they are all extremely sheer, and I really believe that the powder will make a mess of them.


The quality of the blushes and bronzer aren't any better. All of them are dry and powdery, and the two larger ones on the left have a strong orange undertone that my camera wouldn't fully capture. There's no way those shades would work well on me (and honestly, I don't think they'd work well on most).

I'll be taking this thing back tomorrow.

If you happen to see this in the store, I'd suggest you just keep going past it and not waste your time.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wet n Wild's ColorIcon Palette in: Greed

Finally! Three down and only one to go.

This is Greed - the fourth of Wet n Wild's ColorIcon palettes in the permanent collection; and I have to tell you - I left the worst for last.

This was the one that I had the highest hopes for and the one that let me down the most.



Although most of the shades in these palettes are pretty, I was most excited about the two lighter shimmer shades in this one (upper two on the right in the above photo). Not only were these very pretty, but they were different.from what you normally see in the drugstore. The top shade had just a touch of lilac to make it more interesting than a typical grey, and the other had enough peach to make it special but not enough to make it brash.

These were the two that let me down.


*no primer was used for these swatches*



No matter how hard I tried to pick those two shades up, they simply refused to transfer well. Thee swatches of those two shades represent four or five times digging into the pan and trying to press it into my hand - and they're still not good. Out of desperation, I even tried to press them into a cream base, and they fared no better. Utter disappointments.

Without those two shades, I don't think there is anything that makes this palette very special.

However, if you are in need of good dark shades, both the matte black and shimmer charcoal grey do very nicely.

I'm not a big fan of the matte peachy shade, but I may be biased based on my skin tone. It's possible that it would look lovely on someone with warmer undertones, but I can't see it being a go-to, everyday shade for anyone.

The matte light cream shade is very nice, but it is almost identical to the one in the Vanity palette, so I think most would be better off getting that one instead if you are only interested in that particular shade.

So, of the four, this is the only one that I really can't recommend, but I have complete faith that anyone would be happy with the quality of the shadows in the other three. Unless you are after the two dark shades, pass on this palette.

Thanks for reading.

To see all my posts on the ColorIcon palettes, click here.

***
There is always the chance that I happened to get a bad palette, so if you have this one and didn't have an issue with those two shades - let me know!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wet n Wild's ColorIcon palette in: Pride

This is Pride- another one of Wet n Wild’s ColorIcon palettes.

As I've mentioned before, these palettes run for about $5 at drugstores, and what sets them apart from most other drugstore palettes is that they are comprised of both shimmer and matte shades.

Out of the 4 palettes from their permanent line, I think this is my least favorite - not because they are bad quality, but because I am not the biggest fan of blues... but I will still be objective!




*no primer was used for these swatches*

Like the other two of the these palettes that I've reviewed, these shadows have nice pigmentation and a smooth texture - although I will say that the glittery white applies sheerly (though smoothly) and is more about the glitter than the white. However, due to the texture of it, I think it was meant to be this way rather than being poor quality.

Since I am not a huge fan of these colors, this is the only one of these palettes that I didn't purchase until I found it on sale.

Now that I have it though, I think I am happy that it's in my collection. In case I ever want to play with shades like these, I am happy to have gotten them this way - multiple shades at a good price.

Even if you do pay the full $5 for this palette though, this is still a good deal.

I will say that I think that the blues and greens could be really pretty as lower liner if you want just a touch of color to your look without making it too bright.

Have you tried this one out? What do you think of the colors?

Thanks for reading.

*To see all my posts of the ColorIcon palettes, click here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wet n Wild's ColorIcon Palette in: Lust

This is Lust - one of Wet n Wild’s ColorIcon palettes from their permanent line.


In case you aren’t familiar with these, they cost about $5 at drugstores, and what sets them apart from many other drugstore palettes is that half of the shadows are shimmer while the others are matte.

I am a big fan of using both shimmers and mattes in one look; it creates a nice balance – not too flat nor too ‘disco ball’.



ColorIcon Palette in Lust


*no primer was used for these swatches*

These are excellent colors if you are a fan of both smokey grey looks and purples - a color I think looks lovely on every eye color.

All six of these shades are nicely pigmented and are surprisingly smooth for drugstore shadows.

It is well worth the price if you are drawn to the shades.

Thanks for reading.

*To see all my posts on the ColorIcon palettes, click here.

Open Discussion: Sulfates

The point of this post is to facilitate discussion, so please leave a comment. I would really like to know what you all think.

**For those of you who don't know, sulfates (or sulphates) are inexpensive detergents that help products create a lather. They are commonly used in shampoo, body wash, and other cleansing products.

Up until a few months ago, I paid very little attention to the ingredients in the beauty products that I used. I worked under the assumption that if it was allowed to be released on the market, then it was fine to use - I know, a poor excuse to be an uneducated consumer.

My path to looking at specific ingredients started shallowly enough - I tried a sulfate-free shampoo per someones suggestion and was impressed with its performance. This spurred me to do a quick web search on sulfates and almost all results were people saying the chemical is awful.

I already had quite a bit of face wash, body wash, and the like stored in my bathroom cabinet, so fearfully, I went to do ingredient list checks on them all. Sulfates were in almost every product... and often the second ingredient (after water)! Blah.  I didn't want to throw out all of these things - that would seem a waste, but I decided to phase out sulfates - or at least greatly diminish the amount I'm exposed to - by using up what I do have and bringing in sulfate-free products.

But a few days ago I realized, I don't really know why I'm avoiding them. What, scientifically, do they do to our skin, bodies, and whatnot. For as many results that google will come up with for sulfates, it is difficult to find any empirical research proving or disproving their harm (I want a data chart!).

Whenever I do find worthwhile information, I will be sure to post on it.

However, what I want to know here is -

What do you think about sulfates? Do you try to avoid them or are you indifferent to them? Do you think companies would be allowed to use them in products if they could cause harm?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Purple Glitter Polish - Attempt No. 2

If you liked the idea of China Glaze's Mummy May I, but didn't love the final effect it gave (like me), I found a drugstore polish in my collection that might better fit the bill.


This is Night Prowl from Wet n Wild.

If you read my post on Mummy May I, you'll know that my biggest complaints with it were that the glitters were too large and there weren't enough of them which made it appear splotchy. Night Prowl addresses both of these problems.

To better compare them -


The biggest differences between the two are that the glitters in Mummy May I have a slightly more pink tone and Night Prowl just plain has more glitter, but they still give very similar effects.

One of my issues with Mummy was that the size of the glitters made it impossible to make a smooth surface (even with the use of a top coat). Night Prowl has a similar issue, but it is not nearly as bad because the particles are quite a bit smaller, and they can be almost completely smoothed over with a top coat.


This still isn't my favorite polish, I don't love the effect of purple glitter in a dark base as much as I thought I would, but it is a nice color for the Halloween season (yes, it's a season in my mind). So if you're looking for a color like this, I think the Wet n Wild one is a better bet; especially since, in addition to a nicer overall effect, it only runs for around $1 while the China Glaze costs about $6.50.

Thoughts? Do you think this one looks better than the China Glaze one? Let me know!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sometimes It Pays to Dig...

and when I say dig, I mean through sale racks. By the end of this post, I want you all to be excited about the prospects of bargain shopping.

In case you don't know yet, I love fancy things but I hate paying full price for them (did I not just describe everyone???) What may separate me from others though is that I actually like looking for those deals. This makes discount stores some of my favorite places to go because the whole thing is like a giant sale rack. T.J. Maxx is my favorite, and I found a great deal there the other day.

I never go into stores like this looking for something very specific; if you do, you'll drive yourself crazy and, more than likely, leave frustrated and empty-handed. So when I go in, I will comb through racks and shelves to see if anything amazing is there but looking for nothing in particular.

One area I always go to is the handbag section, and yesterday I found this medium sized carry on by Perry Ellis.

I'm not sure why the white tag looks like it's glowing...


On the outside, the black is thick twill, the brown trim is very smooth leather, and the inside has a very nice lining. It's extremely well made, so I will probably have it for many years.

This bag had already been clearanced twice (you can tell because there are two red stickers).

As you can see, according to T.J.Maxx, this bag was originally $40. I'm not positive about where the store gets their 'compare at' prices, but they are often wrong. My theory is that the original price is actually the final price that the item was sold for at its store before it was sent to TJM. Often you will find that the higher the true original price of the item is, the more wrong TJM will be; but if it represents a final sale price from the original store, it makes more sense.

I know the name Perry Ellis but have never purchased anything from the brand to give me an idea of their typical price point; but even if $40 was the true original price, $10 was still a good deal.

But even if it looked like a good deal already, you'd still be curious about the true original price, right? How much did you really save on an item...?

Unfortunately, most of the time we will never truly know what the original price is unless it is current season so that you can look it up OR if the original price tag is still on it...


Wow... I paid 6.25% of the original price, and it only took me about 10 minutes to scan through all of the bags and find this. Time well spent!

You won't always find deals this big at discount stores, but this just goes to show that it can happen! And do you realize how many people must have looked this over for it to have time to get marked down twice? So when you go to these stores, pay attention! You might find great deal.

What's the best deal you've ever found? I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

China Glaze's Mummy May I - No, You May Not...

I've mentioned before how excited I get about Halloween themed products, so you know that I picked up China Glaze's three Halloween polishes (the Awakening collection) at the first chance I had! I've already tried, loved, and posted about Zombie Zest, and I've finally gotten around to trying the next.

This is Mummy May I.


Honestly, I believed that this would be my favorite when I ordered them. I love purple, so how could I go wrong with this? Let's find out...


Somehow this manages to look pretty in the bottle, but lackluster on the nail.  I know it may be difficult to see what I'm talking about from this photo, so let's take a closer look.


I only applied 2 coats to get this coverage, but it looks like I did multiple uneven coats! You can best see this if you look at the nail to the right in the photo and notice the reflected light - the edges are jagged because the surface isn't smooth (and this is after a generous top coat). The reason for this issue is that the glitter particles are entirely too big, creating a lumpy effect. Not pretty. But beyond that, this just looks... wrong.

I think for this polish to have looked good, one of two things would need to change:
 1 the base color of the polish should have been lighter - closer to the shade of the glitter
 2 the glitter should have been finer and there should have been more of it.

There isn't a good balance of light and dark, so the glitters look random and messy (and don't forget the lumpy). To make matters worse, the glitter kept clumping in the brush so I had a difficult time making smooth edge lines.

All in all, I am not at all impressed with this product. I honestly don't think I've ever been this disappointed in a nail polish before (though to be fair, I may have built it up too far in the beginning since I so love purple). Don't like it. Don't reccomend it. End of story.

Have you ever been utterly dissapointed by a polish?

Thanks for reading.

[Edit]

 I've just realized that I was so concerned with making sure that the color in the photos was accurate, that I didn't notice that the texture of the polish wasn't shown well. I think the bright lights I use to capture the color ended up visually smoothing out the finish a bit. So to add to the post -


The color in this photo isn't quite accurate, but this does better show the lumpy texture I referred to.

Hope this addition was helpful!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Just Something Beautiful

First and foremost, if you're not a fan of Disney, then you probably won't like this. Fair warning.

Starting back in 2007, Disney began releasing promotional images done by Annie Liebovitz. I thought I had seen all of them - some I've loved; some not so much. But today I came across one that I somehow haven't seen before and really loved it, so I wanted to share it with you ladies.

So, here's Julianne Moore as The Little Mermaid -


What do you think of it?

The only things I would have liked to see differently would have been fewer merpeople in the background and more specific characters incorporated into the shot - perhaps Sebastian or Flounder?

But I still think the overall image is absolutely beautiful.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Drugstore Dupe for Stila's Kitten

In my previous post, I mentioned that there's a dupe to a pretty big name shadow hiding in Wet n Wild's Walking on Eggshells trio - and here it is.

Kitten to Stila is what All That Glitters is to MAC. It's that color that most girls associate with the brand and has been deemed as a 'must-have' from them. Well, I've already given you an All That Glitters dupe, so here's the Kitten one!


While the other two shades in the trio are also pretty, the one we're interested in is the 'eyelid' shade. That's Kitten in pan form sitting on the WnW trio. I know that Kitten looks a bit more shimmery in the pan, but look what happens when applied.

 (left) Kitten and (right) WnW eyelid shade 

Here are the swatches in natural light. I tried to catch as little direct light as possible so you could better see the actual colors next to each other. But how do the finishes compare?



Here they are in more direct light. Pretty similar, yea?

More good news is that both of these swatches only required one swipe of the product; no building up was necessary and, as always, no primer was used for either of these.

So with the Stila single shadow coming in at $18 and the Wet n Wild trio being only around $2, this is definitely a good (and economical!) dupe to check out!

Thanks for reading.

Let me know if you pick this up!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wet n Wild Drugstore Deal This Week

This will be a really quick post, but I wanted to make sure you all know about a deal going on this week while you still have time to take advantage. Through this coming Saturday (Oct 2), Walgreens has all of its WnW products 50% off; so if there have been any items you've been curious about from them, now is the time to go snatch them up.

In addition to the in-store sale, I also had a $5 of a $10 WnW purchase coupon that was burning a hole in my bag, so this was the best opportunity I was going to get to use it. It came from last month's issue of All You magazine; it's available at Wal Mart and full of coupons (one of those little nuggets of info I learned from couponing bloggers).

So on to the stuff. Here's what I got:


Products in the photo:
 Polishes: Rustic, Night Prowl, Orange
 Singles: Lagoon, Kitten, Sugar
  Nutty, Envy, Penny
 6 shadow palette: Pride

Keep in mind that to use the coupon, there had to be $10 worth of WnW product post store discount, so it actually had to be $20 worth. I actually had to fudge my purchases a bit and ended up picking up some things I wouldn't have otherwise just to get it up to $10 (I wouldn't have gotten all three polishes on my own, but we'll see how they go).

My pre-sale price was $22; down to $11 after 50% off, then $6 after my coupon. Total savings of $16. Pretty good, huh? At full price, I could have only gotten the 6 shadow palette and one of the singles!

Even if you don't have that coupon, this is still a good deal to check out. I know that WnW items aren't very expensive, but the savings really can add up - especially if there are multiple things you're interested in.

Need a shopping suggestion? Take a look at the 6 shadow palettes and the trio in Walking on Eggshells (I already owned the other 3 palettes and that trio so they're not in the photo). I suggest this trio specifically because there is a pretty big-name dupe in there that I'll be filling you all in on later.

Let me know if you get anything during this special!

Thanks for reading.
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