January and February Empties

I’ve always loved seeing Empties posts and videos, because I trust the opinions very much if they’ve used it enough for it to run out. I started saving my beauty empties, and although it’s not much, and most are deluxe samples, these are my empties from January and February.

Sephora Collection Outrageous Volume Mascara – I liked this mascara, but HATED the applicator. The wand doesn’t twist open, you just pull it straight out, and there’s nothing to stop the excess mascara from coming out. A lot of this got wasted.

Lancome Hypnose Drama Waterproof Mascara – LOVED this! It gave me a similar effect to Too Faced Better Than Sex, which is my all time favorite. If I didn’t have so many mascara samples to use up, this is something I would repurchase.

Becca Backlight Priming Filter –  I really liked how illuminating this is, and it made my skin look nicer immediately. This is something I will consider purchasing in full size.

Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream – this became my all time favorite eye cream! It is super smooth, light weight, and moisturizing. It’s perfect for putting underneath makeup in the morning.

Batiste Dry Shampoo – I have to admit I probably got this more than a year ago and just now finished the bottle. I have dry hair, so it’s not often I need dry shampoo, but I would say this does the job pretty well. It is easy to distribute through my hair and easily soaks up the oil. I did repurchase this exact bottle in full size.

Bath and Body works Body Spray and Lotion
Kind of embarrassing to admit that I’ve had this body spray for so long, that I don’t think they’ve sold that type of bottle in years. I bought this sometime in high school, and literally wore it all through college. I neglected it for a while, and then made it my goal to finish it.

The lotion was a gift, and also something I was just trying to use up, and took me probably a year of using at least once per week. I don’t usually go for highly scented lotions, but this one smelled amazing.

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet – I used this on my face underneath my makeup, and it worked well because it is so lightweight and sinks into the skin easily. Probably will not repurchase, simply because of price.

Gold Bond Ultimate Healing – I used this on my body and it does moisturize well, but it is pretty thick and doesn’t rub in as easily as others.

Suave Smoothing With Cocoa Butter and Shea – I really liked this! I used it on both my hands and body and I liked how smooth and light it is. This would be my choice to repurchase if I run out of lotions.

Burt’s Bees Naturally Nourishing – This was just okay. The smell wasn’t my favorite, and the formula was too thick for my liking. I would use it if I had another sample, but would not repurchase.

What have you used up recently?


Sephora Play! February 2017

Sephora Play! is a monthly box for $10. Each month you get 5 products, and a perfume sample. You also receive a card for 50 bonus beauty insider points if you buy something in store.

February 2017 Sephora Play! There are generally a few different box variations that get sent out, and this month I got box 575.


I like the bag, and the overall Valentine’s theme.

What I got:

  • Marc Jacobs Divine Decadence perfume sample – full size retails for $97 for 1.7 oz, sample is .04 oz worth $2.28
  • Nars Velvet Lip Glide in the shade Bound – full size is $26 for .2 oz, sample is 0.07 oz worth $9.10  
  • Lashcraft Length and Volume Mascara – full size is $12 for .33 oz, sample is .094 oz worth $3.42  
  • Origins GinZing eye cream – full size is $30 for .5 oz, sample is .17 oz worth $10.20
  • Clinique Pep Start hydroblur moisturizer – full size is $29.50 for 1.7 oz, sample is .24 oz worth $4.16
  • Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in the shade Milkshake – full size is $22 for .14 oz, sample is .03 oz worth $4.71

Total value of this month’s box – $33.87

My quick first impressions:

  • Marc Jacobs perfume – I always love his perfumes and this is no different. It has a vanilla-y scent and I can see myself using this sample quickly.
  • Nars and Too Faced lip glosses – I was disappointed to get 2 lipglosses in the same box, because I’m not a gloss girl. The Too Faced one is a cream color, which I imagine shows up clear on the lips. I didn’t do a lip swatch because I plan to give it away. I did however like the Nars lipgloss, because it can be opaque on the lips, and shows up as a dark nude. I am going to try wearing this since my lips have been too dry for matte lipsticks lately.
  • Lashcraft Mascara – it has a unique brush that I’ve never seen before. It is almost flat on one side, and wide on the other. I was able to start on the flat side and curl to the wide side to get a long, feathery effect.
  • Origins Ginzing eye cream – it has a color to it, which has an illuminating effect under the eyes. It looked good after I applied it, but unfortunately gave me a burning effect in my eyes that I have never experienced with an eye cream before, so I will not be using this again!
  • Clinique Pep Start moisturizer – I have tried this in the past and I really love the Pep Start line. This is good morning moisturizer, because it isn’t heavy and dries into the skin quickly, making it good to apply underneath makeup.

Overall thoughts: this was more of an off month for me. I wish they included a different type of lip product instead of 2 glosses, and I’m disappointed the eye cream burned my eyes. I will probably only be using 3 of the items regularly, but will be giving the Nars lip gloss a try and may end up wearing it more than I expect.

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Ipsy February 2017

Ipsy is a $10 subscription in which every month you receive 5 products and a makeup bag.



  • Dermadeli Rejuvenating Toner – not sure of sample size – full size is 4 oz and retails for $24.99 – I would estimate this sample is worth around $6
  • Luxie 514 Blush Brush – (love this brand!) retails for $18
  • IBY Beauty Highlighter in the shade Bubbly – full size – retails for $12
  • Elizabeth Mott Whatup Beaches Matte Bronzer – .7 g  – full size is 8 g and retails for $25, making this sample worth $2.18
  • NYX Butter Lipstick in the shade Ripe Berry – full size – retails for $6
  • Total estimated value of this months bag – $44.18 – another month with great value!

    I like that I got 3 full size products this month. One thing I’m not as fond of with Ipsy is getting a lot of unknown or online only brands. I find the quality to be more hit or miss than well known brands, and I also find if I do enjoy something, I’d rather buy in store than having to repurchase online.

    I was super happy with the brush, and will definitely be trying the highlighter and bronzer, though just from swatching, the bronzer seems similar to other products I already own. I will use the toner, but didn’t find it to be anything special. I am going to pass on trying the NYX Butter Lipstick, because I have tried the line in the past, and am just not as much of a fan of sheer lipsticks. I prefer to use lipsticks that are fully opaque and long lasting. I will be passing it along, or trading it.

    Overall, this month was just so-so for me. It would have been more of a miss, but the brush definitely made a positive impact for me.

What did you get in your bag this month?

My Sephora Makeover Experience

I’ve gotten my makeup done a few times at Sephora, and wanted to share the experience for people who never have.

At Sephora, you can get a custom makeover with any $50 purchase, and you can also get a free makeover when you qualify for VIB (which I did in December, so I was getting my free makeover today). Since I am getting married in July, I wanted to start getting some ideas of how do to my makeup for my wedding.

The girls are always really nice and always ask before they do anything. They will ask you a lot of questions to get to know your style and what you’re looking for, and will explain how to do each step as they do it, so you can replicate it on your own  at home. At the end, if there’s anything you love they can put it in a basket for you to purchase, and are also really great about giving samples of anything else. For example, I loved the foundation she put on me, but I wanted to make sure it would last all day before I purchased it, so I got a sample instead.

Here are some suggestions for going into a makeover:

1) Have an idea of what you want – you don’t need to know exactly, but know if you want soft or bold, full coverage or natural, etc. Having pictures of what you want is a great idea too.

2) Be willing to try new things. They will always ask what you want, but if they make a suggestion and it’s not how you normally do your makeup, I would suggest giving it a try and seeing if you like it. It’s a good opportunity to see how something different would look, rather than looking the same as you always do. You never know, you may be surprised at how much you love it!

3) If there’s something you don’t like – TELL THEM! They do makeup on tons of different kinds of people every day, and everyone has different preferences. They may like what they did on you, but if it’s not your style, they won’t be offended at all if you ask them to change it. I’ve seen people post about a bad experience, but never asked their artist to fix something they didn’t like. It can’t get fixed if they don’t know you hate it.


This was how my makeup ended up today. I really liked it! For my wedding the only thing I think I will change is the lip color to something a bit lighter, but I love how luminous my skin looks, and while you can’t see it in the photo she used Urban Decay Razor Sharp eyeliner in Space Cowboy (a gold shade) which I ended up loving and purchasing. I will also probably go back for the blush at some point – Hourglass Luminous Flush.

I recommend letting someone else do your makeup, especially if there’s a time that you know you are already going to spend $50. I enjoy seeing what others would do to my face, and I always learn helpful techniques and tips that I’m able to use on my own.


Sephora Play! January 2017 Unboxing

Sephora Play! is a $10 monthly subscription box. It comes with 5 makeup, skincare, or haircare items, as well as one perfume sample per month. It also comes with a card that gives you an extra 50 points with purchase at a Sephora store.

This month the bag was something new – it is a waterproof bag with netting on one side – I believe it’s meant to take with you to the gym.


In the bag:

  • Amore Pacific color control cushion compact sample. The top one isn’t labeled, but the other two shades are 104 Tan Blush, and 106 Almond Blush.
  • Farmacy Honey Potion renewing antioxidant hydration mask. I keep bees, but have never tried honey on my face, so I’m curious to try this!
  • Tarte Frxxxtion Stick exfoliating cleanser
  • Clinique Almost Lipstick in the shade Black Honey
  • Oui Treatment Mask (for hair)
  • Tory Burch Love Relentlessly perfume sample

Cost breakdown:

  • Amore Pacific Cushion Compact – full size retails $60 for 1.05 oz – sample is .1 oz worth $5.71. I am disappointed, however, because I will not be able to get full use out of this product because not all 3 shades are going to work for me, and they aren’t resealable, so look to be one time use (even if you don’t use all the product inside).
  • Honey Potion – full size retails for $56 for 4.1 oz – sample is .32 oz worth $4.37 
  • Tarte Frxxxtion Stick – full size retails for $22 for 1 oz – sample is .22 oz worth $4.84
  • Clinique Black Honey – full size retails for $17 for .07 oz – sample is 0.04 oz worth $9.71 – pretty generous sample, at more than half of the full size.
  • Ouai Treatment Mask – full size retails for $32 for 2.4 oz – sample is .5 oz worth $6.67
  • Tory Burch Love Relentlessly – full size retails for $86 for 1.7 oz – sample is 0.05 oz worth $2.53 

    Total value of the box: $33.83 more than triple what I paid, plus it comes with the bag and 50 bonus points.

Overall, I am always happy with my Sephora Play! box, as I generally love the variety and enjoy getting to try out high end brands, that I wouldn’t normally purchase in full size. The only thing I was unhappy with this month is the foundation – I wish they had made a greater effort to customize to the customer, but they only send out 6 box variations, so I would rather get something else if it can’t be customized.

Ipsy vs. Sephora Play! 

This month, the value of Ipsy won over Sephora Play, with a $51 value of items. This month Ipsy gave me 2 full size items, which you will never get in a Sephora box. They also gave me a few items that I expect to last a long time before running out, such as a blush and bronzer. This months skin and haircare samples will be used up fairly quickly, but Sephora did give the Clinique lipstick which I was happy with.

I am going to continue to subscribe to both boxes, and keep doing a price breakdown to see if I find any trends between the two. In the long run, I have liked Sephora better for the brands and types of samples I receive, and for the fact that I always use everything I get, whereas I ended up getting rid of many items from Ipsy. For January, Ipsy was the winner for me, but I did like both boxes.

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Wet n Wild New Cushion Highlighter and Lipstick

Wet n Wild recently came out with a new line of cushion products, which is now available on their website and at Walgreens. They have a highlighter ($5.99), a contour ($5.99), 4 shades of color corrector ($5.99), and 3 matte lip creams ($4.99). Today I was able to pick up the highlighter and one of the lip shades (Bubblegum in Paradise) at Walgreens. I was curious to try them, and to see what a cushion lipstick entails.
dsc_0054This is the packaging before it’s open. I have to say Wet n Wild seems to have been stepping up it’s game lately. They have put out a lot of new products, and these are something different than you would typically find in the drugstore. The packaging is adorable – I love the design, and it is something new from what we typically see from Wet n Wild.

dsc_0062These are the opened products. The highlighter comes with a black sponge that you dip into the cushion to pick up the product, which is wet in the container. The black lid screws on. For the lipstick, it is a squeeze tube with a “cushion” applicator – which is really just a regular sponge tip.

First I swatched the highlighter. I tried it 3 ways – with the applicator it came with (top), with a real techniques sponge (middle), and with a brush(bottom). I also photographed it with and without flash. It swatches as a pearlescent glow with pink tones to it.

I think it applied most densely with the black sponge applicator (top), so if you wanted the most intense highlight it would be the best way to apply it, or with another dry sponge. If you wanted a more subtle, sheered out glow, you could use a wet sponge or brush and blend more into the skin.

IMG_2395.JPGIt looks good on the skin! It isn’t too intense, but you can definitely see it in direct light. This is something I would wear on an every day basis, or even if I just wanted to add a little something to my skin on days I don’t wear foundation.

I was more disappointed with the lipstick, because the applicator made it hard to work with. I first swatched it on my arm – if you apply in a swiping motion (bottom) you will get a sheer wash of color. If you wanted it fully pigmented and opaque, you would need to apply in a dabbing motion to build up the color in each spot.

FullSizeRender 5.jpg

I applied it to my lips, which I found difficult because the sponge applicator is too big and round to get precision in the edges and corners of the lips. I did have to go back and clean up any messy areas.

It does look matte on the lips, but feels mousey and does not dry down. The color also wasn’t what I was expecting from looking at the tube. This isn’t a lip product I would find myself reaching for or wanting to use, because it isn’t easy to apply, and because there is transfer, I would be reapplying at least a few times throughout the day. At the $5 price point, I would much rather go for a Colourpop ultra satin lip, which I can throw on easily in the morning and not worry about for the rest of the day. Wet n Wild also has the new Liquid Catsuit lipsticks, which have a much better applicator, dry down, and last well. They are also $4.99, so you would be much better off grabbing one of those.

I will definitely be using the highlighter more, and I think I may pick up the contour or color correctors if I can find them! The highlighter and contour do only come in one shade, so these aren’t something that will work for everyone. For darker skinned people, the highlighter will be too light, and from what I can see, the contour seems to be too dark for people with very pale skin.

Has anyone else tried these new products? What did you think?

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Ipsy Bag January 2017

For those of you who don’t know, Ipsy is a monthly beauty bag. The cost is $10 and you receive a makeup bag with 5 products.

I have been subscribed to Ipsy in the past, and unsubscribed because I wasn’t getting enough products I was using. I decided to give it another try, and made a new account. I have heard the trick to getting what you want is to only choose 1 or 2 things in each category on your survey, so I tried to really narrow down what I’d like to receive

This month I got:


  • Ciaté London Geology Top Coatsupposed to be a long wearing, gloss shine top coat.
  • It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer – that’s a mouthful! I have never once tried a product from It Cosmetics, but have heard amazing things about their concealer and bb cream. I’m excited to try this, and will be checking back in with results
  • The Balm Bahama Mama Bronzer – A little disappointed by how small the sample is for a bronzer – I’m not sure how I can fit a bronzer brush into it
  • Modelco Blush in the shade Peach Bellini – I own one of these, and although it doesn’t have the shade on the packaging, I believe it’s a different one. I like the formula, so I’ll be glad to try this one out!
  • Jelly Pong Pong Lip Scrub – I am pretty excited to get a product like this in a beauty bag, and it came at the perfect time of year

My problem with Ipsy in the past was that I was getting a lot of products that, although they retailed for a high price, were not good quality products or reliable brands. This month’s bag has a good personal value to me, because I will use every single product. I broke down the value of each product by taking the retail price of the full size, and scaling it down to the size of the sample. Here is the value of my bag.

  •  Ciate top coat – 0.46 fl oz (full size!) – Retails for $17
  •  It Cosmetics Concealer – 0.05 fl oz (full size is 0.28 oz for $24) – Value is $4.29
  • The Balm Bahama Mama – 0.57 grams (full size is 7.08 grams for $20) – Value is $1.61
  • Model Co Blush – 3.5 grams (full size is 8 grams for $22) – Value is $9.63
  •  Jelly Pong Pong Lip Scrub – 0.35 oz (full size!) Retails for $19

Total value:  $51.53   Price: $10
It also includes a makeup bag, which makes the value increase even a little more! This was an amazing bag, and I am hoping I continue to get high quality products. After my Sephora Play box comes in, I am going to do a comparison in products and value, and will update on my thoughts of the products.