things that Kitty likes

Posts tagged “Tarte

ipsy November 2018 Glam Bag

Hey guys! I’ve skipped posting on the last few ipsy Glam Bags because primarily I had a lot of things going on in my life but also there wasn’t too much that wowed me the past few months. In fact, if I had remembered in time I would’ve canceled my automatic yearly renewal. Oh well, I have another year of it and I hope that it will be fairly good since I canceled after so many years. Here’s what I got in my ipsy November 2018 Glam Bag.

ipsy November 2018 Glam Bag

I like the material of the bag this month. It’s a material that will repel drops of water when it comes in contact. I tend to like bags like that the most. First item that caught my eye is the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush. I love this brand and own a decent amount of products from them. The shade I got this in is called Quirky. Next item that caught my eye is the Skyn Iceland Brightening Eye Serum. I’m running low on what I use for the delicate eye area so I’m glad to have gotten this in my bag this month. Then we have the Peripera Ink Velvet Lip Tint. This is a K-beauty brand that is new-to-me but surprisingly relatively accessible since apparently CVS carries it?! The shade I got is called #9 Love Sniper Red. I was about to pass on this but I looked at some ipsy reviews and (at the time I read it) it’s overwhelmingly positive so I thought I’ll give it a go. Next is another item I’m eagerly looking forward to trying it out. Another K-beauty brand? Their roots are with K-beauty though it seems. The Botanic Farm Avocado Honey Rich Water Balm Cream looks like it would be great for the winter months and we’re definitely getting winter weather here right now. Last up is the Doucce Punk Volumizer Mascara. I *might* actually keep this as I haven’t tried a new mascara lately and I am itching to.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush

Skyn Iceland Brightening Eye Serum

Peripera Ink Velvet Lip Tint

Botanic Farm Avocado Honey Rich Water Balm Cream

Doucce Punk Volumizer Mascara

This might be the first time I actually liked every single item I got including the makeup bag. Wow! I know this trend will probably not stay but a girl can hope, right? I’m very eager to try these out and post my reviews on them at a later point.


ipsy March 2018 Glam Bag

The last day of March! Spring is here to stay and tomorrow is both Easter Sunday and April Fool’s Day. The temperature here will take a slight dip and everyone’s over it already. They are ready for warm weather to stay. But most will eat their words in a few months, as they do every year, as summer can get very hot here in Tornado Alley. Anyway, here’s what I got in my ipsy March 2018 Glam Bag.

ipsy March 2018 Glam Bag

I didn’t care much for the bag really. I can see that they want to foster creativity with this month’s bag, but I didn’t care for it really. The first item that caught my eye is the Benefit Cosmetics BADGal Bang Mascara. Everything about the packaging is eye-catching to me. The shade it comes in is called Pitch Black. Next is the BRTC Jasmine Waterful Foaming Cleanser. I’ve never heard of this brand before but I looked it up really quick and I think it’s a Korean beauty brand. I’m going to give this a whirl soon! Then we have the Tarte Sex Kitten Eyeliner. I love the brand Tarte and I am in need of a small eye liner like this that I can easily stash in a wristlet, clutch or even a wallet. Next we have the AHAVA Purifying Mud Mask. I use face masks a few times a month or more and am excited to try this out. Last up is a Finding Ferdinand Lipstick. The shade I got this in is Rose Gold. I’ve never heard of this brand before but the shade is right up my alley to try.

Benefit Cosmetics BADGal Bang Mascara

BRTC Jasmine Waterful Foaming Cleanser

Tarte Sex Kitten Eyeliner

AHAVA Purifying Mud Mask

Finding Ferdinand Lipstick

The contents of this bag is much better than many of the ones I got recently. I hope next month’s bag continues this trend!


ipsy November 2017 Glam Bag

Halloween came by and went as well as Thanksgiving. I’ve been quite busy the past few weeks that posting on here just hasn’t been on top of my list. But the holiday season is now here and the pile of things for me to review are stacking up. Since I got most of my Christmas shopping done already, I can focus on other stuff (like this blog) more. Here’s what I got in my ipsy November 2017 Glam Bag.

ipsy November 2017 Glam Bag

I’m not sure if I like or dislike the bag. What I know is it made me think of one of my closest friends immediately so I might just give this to her. First item that caught my eye is the Kensie Perfume. The size I got is the purse sprayer mini deluxe. Since I’m not a fan of trying new scents (most gives me a headache), I will be passing this on to another close friend of mine that simply lovvvves perfumes. Next item that caught my eye is the Glamour Dolls x Lisa Frank Bitten & Bronzed Matte Bronzer. The packaging is just so eye-catching, as what I have come to expected with anything Lisa Frank. Since I’m not adding more bronzers to what I already have for the moment, I will be passing this on as a stocking stuffer extra for one of my nieces. Then we have the em Infinite Lip Cloud. I liked their mascara a lot so I’m sure the quality of this product is pretty good. The shade I got this in is called Rose Nude. Next we have the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush. The shade I got this in is called Feisty. This is a nice shade but I’m not sure if I’m going to keep it or give it away. I do like their stuff a lot. Last up is Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara.

Kensie Perfume

Glamour Dolls x Lisa Frank Bitten & Bronzed Matte Bronzer

em Infinite Lip Cloud

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara

Overall, it’s okay but this is making me look forward to what December has to offer more. Since it’s for Christmas, I’m hoping it will have something that wows me. 🙂


Curtain Call: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Deep Dive Cleansing Gel

Hey guys! August sure flew right on by! Today’s Curtain Call post is on a product I got from my ipsy July 2017 Glam Bag. Here are my thoughts on the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Deep Dive Cleansing Gel.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea™ Deep Dive Cleansing Gel

What I love about this product? It comes in an attractive bottle and is hypoallergenic. It’s easy to use and smells pretty good. The scent makes me think of a spa, kinda like the scent I think of when I think of the brand Aveda. The scent is primarily lavender. The cleansing gel is clear and has the consistency slightly thicker than most shampoo formulas. A little bit is all you need and it lathers up quite nicely. This small-sized bottle lasted me almost 2 weeks just by using it at night. It’s the perfect size to take with you when you’re traveling somewhere for a few days. While it does clean off the oil and grime of the day, this is definitely nothing like a deep cleanser or anything like that. My skin is left hydrated and none of that super tight feeling I get with some deep facial cleansers. At the most, it felt like a thin layer is not getting washed off my face but nothing like the feeling of washing of soap with hard water. That slippery feeling drives me nuts!

What I don’t like about this product? If I had to be very picky, the price. There’s a lot of facial cleansers out there in a cheaper price range that does the job or even better depending on what you’re looking for. But if you like the brand, the scent and this product…..it’s not priced like highway robbery.

More information on this item and other products the brand carries is available on their website here.


ipsy July 2017 Glam Bag

Hey guys! I’m so excited about this month’s bag! I get this excited when the bag itself is something I’m in love with. Here’s my take on the ipsy July 2017 Glam Bag.

ipsy July 2017 Glam Bag

Eeeeeeeeeeeee! It’s so freaking cute!!! I’ve always liked Sanrio stuff and some characters more than others. I would be lying if I said I didn’t know who this little guy is. I’ve seen him become quite popular in the last year or so. Now onto the products! First up is 111SKIN Space Defence Bright Eye Gel. Quite a unique product name and I’m curious to see how it performs. Stay tuned in a few months to see what my thoughts are on this. Next up is Trifle Cosmetics Raspberry Ripple OmbrĂ© Radiance Blush Palette. The shades look promising and I’m actually tempted to use this but I think I will pass this on to one of my nieces. The theme and packaging are really cute and nice. Then we have the CiatĂ© Wonderwand Gel-Kohl Hybrid Liner. The shade I got this in is black. This seems to be in the formula that I like most for eyeliners where it’s a pencil but with some moisture to it that you can make sharp lines. Next we have the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea™ Deep Dive Cleansing Gel. This is good to use for waterproof makeup so I’m quite eager to put it to the test. Last up is Beau Gâchis Illuminator Brush. I made sure I did the review on ipsy for this month as I mentioned before when I retook the quiz that I don’t want any more makeup brushes. The only ones I use (if at all) are big fluffly ones like my IT Cosmetic ones.

111SKIN Space Defence Bright Eye Gel

Trifle Cosmetics Raspberry Ripple Ombré Radiance Blush Palette

Ciaté Wonderwand Gel-Kohl Hybrid Liner

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea™ Deep Dive Cleansing Gel

Beau Gâchis Illuminator Brush

Bag aside, I do like most of what I got this month. I already gave myself the expectation that next month’s bag will be nothing compared to this one due to my excitement over Gudetama! Haha!


ipsy December 2016 Glam Bag

Hey there! How is everyone? I really thought that I’d be catching up with my posts this time of the year but what can I say — I am in vacation mode, indeed. I did get more stuff in for review but just haven’t gotten around to posting them just yet. It’s been a crazy, fun past few days that I’ve spent with my husband and his side of the family mostly. I hope y’all had a nice break and are ready to ring in the new year! I got this in about a week ago so without further delay here’s my take on the ipsy December 2016 Glam Bag.

ipsy December 2016 Glam Bag

I’ll admit — I’m not a huge fan of the bag. It’s the material mostly but it grew on me more by now. First item that caught my eye is the Tarte Maracuja Oil. I love the brand Tarte and I do have a bottle or 2 of these already from previous gift sets I’ve purchased, but I haven’t gotten around to use it yet. I’m definitely keeping this and will be trying it out soon especially with this dry winter weather conditions. Next up is the CiatĂ© London Liquid Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick. The shade I got this in is called Pin Up. While I like the brand and all, I think I will pass it on to one of my nieces to try it out. I can’t really keep everything I get….I have no time to use them up or the space to allot for them! Then we have the Barefoot Venus Ginger Snap Instant Hand Repair. I thought about keeping this but I’m trying to use up some hand creams I have currently in rotation. I’m tossing this as an extra gift item for my MIL as I know she likes trying out new things and recently got interested in the hand creams I’ve been using. Next we have the theBalm Cosmetics Mad Lash Mascara. I haven’t kept any mascaras for myself recently that I’ve decided I’m going to try this out. Last up is the MintPear Beauty Blending Sponge. I don’t use makeup brushes that much already and I’ve never used a makeup sponge before. I don’t know. I have mixed feelings about this one. I’m not sure whether I should keep it to try it out or toss it into the extra gifts pile. The use of a sponge has never appealed to me before so I guess I’ll hang onto it until at least after I read up on it.

Tarte Maracuja Oil

Ciaté London Liquid Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick

Barefoot Venus Ginger Snap Instant Hand Repair

theBalm Mad Lash Mascara

MintPear Beauty Blending Sponge

So retaking the ipsy test eliminated makeup brushes for me this time but I got a makeup sponge in its place. LOL! We’ll see what next month’s bag brings!


ipsy April 2016 Glam Bag

Hey guys! We got some good rain the past few days with a warm Spring this year. I’ve been very busy with stuff related to my 2 best girlfriends that I consider as my sisters so it’s been relatively slow here. But I do intend to pick things up soon! This arrived in my mailbox a few days ago and I was going to blog about it yesterday but I had to go to one of their birthday parties. It’s a special one cause her parents, brother and aunt flew in from India for her upcoming wedding in a few days. She hasn’t been with them for any of her birthdays in a good number of years. They’re the absolute sweetest people ever! I can’t wait to see them again in a few days. Anyway, here’s what I got in my ipsy April 2016 Glam Bag.

ipsy April 2016 Glam Bag

I knew after getting last month’s bag, this one most likely isn’t going to be as great. Last month’s makeup bag was just so, so pretty! This one’s not bad but it certainly didn’t have the wow factor that I got from last month’s makeup bag. Anyway, first item that caught my eye is the pur~lisse Beauty Blue Lotus + White Tea Sheet Mask and Blue Lotus + Seaweed Sheet Mask. I originally thought that I got 2 of the same thing but it’s actually 2 different ones. I LOVE face masks and actually have a ton of them that I’ll be blogging about eventually — so naturally I can’t wait to try these out. I have tried an item or 2 from this brand and while it didn’t blow me away it performed as expected. Next up is the City Color Cosmetics Highlight Trio. While I think this is an awesome palette, I’ll be giving this away as an extra gift item to one of my nieces probably. I have enough highlighters AND I don’t even use any of them! Then we have my favorite item from this month’s bag: Tarte LipSurgence™ Lip Crème. The shade I got is called Wonder. I don’t have this shade and I’m definitely keeping this one. I love Tarte products — their products are of good quality in my opinion. I have to retake the quiz again cause I keep getting makeup brushes and I don’t really need more. I don’t even use anything that requires a makeup brush really. I got the Luxie Beauty Dreamcatcher Tapered Highlighter Brush 522. The bristles are so soft though and I’ve read that people love it. I’ll set it aside as an extra item in a beauty gift bag for someone. Last up is the Adesse New York Organic Infused Gel Effect Nail Lacquer. The shade I got is called Irina. It’s a gel polish, no need for base coat it says and it won’t stain your nails. I might keep this but it’s not really a shade I usually go for, so we’ll see.

pur~lisse Beauty Blue Lotus Sheet Mask

City Color Cosmetics Highlight Trio

Tarte LipSurgence™ Lip Crème

Luxie Beauty Dreamcatcher Tapered Highlighter Brush 522

Adesse New York Organic Infused Gel Effect Nail Lacquer

Overall, not bad but I hope next month’s makeup bag is cuter than this. I do like the shape and size of it though as it holds my phone and cards in it. I find that very handy.


ipsy December 2015 Glam Bag

Hey guys! I really didn’t care for last month’s bag that much so I didn’t even bother blogging about it. I got this month’s bag a few days ago and it’s more exciting, so I went ahead and snapped some pictures to share my thoughts with you here. Here’s what I got in my ipsy December 2015 Glam Bag.

ipsy December 2015 Glam Bag

First — the bag….I’m not in love with it but I’m digging it still. The red patent quilted pattern is quite cute and I actually like that it provides more waterproof protection than a regular fabric bag. First item that caught my eye is the Pacifica Power Of Love Natural Lipstick. The shade I got is called Tender Heart. It’s a little bit mave-ish to me on first look so I thought I’ll try it out. Next up is Tarte Smooth Operator™ Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder. I don’t use finishing powders really and actually already own this. With that said, I’ll either stash this away for an extra in a gift or just keep a backup if I really end up liking it. Then we have the Marc Anthony Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Treatment. I’m very eager to try this out as I’m always on the lookout for hair conditioning products. It comes with the territory of long hair I think. Next is the Skinn Sugar Lips Polishing Scrub – For Dry & Lined Lips. I want to see how this fares against similar items I’ve used in the past. Last item is Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer. I’m adding this to my pile of primers that I use to test in search of a Holy Grail primer.

Pacifica Power Of Love Natural Lipstick

Tarte Smooth Operator™ Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder

Marc Anthony Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Treatment

Skinn Sugar Lips Polishing Scrub – For Dry & Lined Lips

Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer

Overall, not bad. I’m actually keeping all of these items it seems. It’s been a long time I got an ipsy bag with that kind of record!


ipsy July 2015 Glam Bag

Hey guys! The month is almost over and this month’s ipsy was so-so that I almost didn’t want to blog about it. It’s not the worst bag I’ve ever got from them but none of the items excite me as much as it used to. At least I think this month’s bag is better than last month’s. The print is colorful and very unlike last month’s black bag with a weird texture. Here’s what I got in my ipsy July 2015 Glam Bag.

ipsy July 2015 Glam Bag

First item that caught my eye is the Octavio Molina Hair La Playa Salt Spray. I can’t wait to play around with this more as there are times that I need more oomph. Next item is the Be A Bombshell Lip Balm. The shade I got is French Kiss, which is a light pink. I’m trying to trim down my lip products so I’ll probably pass this on to my nieces. Next up is Vasanti Brighten Up! Exfoliating Cleanser. I’m eager to try this out but I’m finishing something up at the moment so it will have to wait. Then we have OFRA Bliss Eyeshadow. I wasn’t eager to try this product out for 2 main reasons: the packaging and it’s another eye shadow. I am trying to use up what I currently own in terms of lots of kinds of products and eye shadow is one of them. Now the packaging doesn’t make it easy to pass this on in terms of presentation so I may just try it out. Last item is the Tarte Deluxe Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer. I already own this from a mini set last year. This shade is called park ave princess. I may gift this to someone else since I don’t think I’ll hit the pan on the one I already have anytime soon.

Octavio Molina Hair La Playa Salt Spray

Be A Bombshell Lip Balm

OFRA Bliss Eyeshadow

Vasanti Brighten Up! Exfoliating Cleanser

Tarte Deluxe Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer

Overall, some items are better than last month. I hope next month’s is much better though because I’m honestly thinking about canceling this. I think I already have too much stuff around to use up.


Tarte Away Oui Go Portable Palette & Collector’s Set

The Holiday season is long over but I’m only getting to some of the stuff I got during that time right now. There is just so many new things that beauty companies bring out for that time of the year. They are big sellers of course being that most of them are seasonal so they’re limited edition. Today’s post is on one of those kind of items. I mentioned it in my Holiday 2014 Shopping Ideas post earlier, here’s Tarte Away Oui Go Portable Palette & Collector’s Set.

Tarte Away Oui Go Portable Palette & Collector’s Set

I wasn’t actually going to get this until the after Holiday sales kicked in, but that would mean I chance it selling out. I didn’t get the ULTA exclusive set from Tarte for 2013 and kinda regret that. I didn’t want that to happen again so I picked this up when ULTA had one of their 20% off sale on everything. This retailed for $48 before tax, which is a pretty good value since the bulk of this set consists of their Amazonian clay eye shadows and blushes. As I mentioned before, I really like the feel of their Amazonian clay products on my skin. In my opinion, it’s very lightweight with decent lasting power. The portable case to hold the quadrant of eye shadows and blush selected is very cute! The pearls accent and the Tiffany blue kind of color for the case gives me the feel of luxury. I know that the shot with the eye shadow and blush names isn’t clear where the text is because of the shadow, but hopefully you can still make out what it says for the most part.

Tarte Away Oui Go Portable Palette & Collector’s Set (unboxed)

Tarte Away Oui Go Portable Palette & Collector’s Set Eye Shadows & Blushes (in shade)

Tarte Away Oui Go Portable Palette & Collector’s Set Eye Shadows & Blushes (direct sunlight)

Tarte Away Oui Go Portable Palette & Collector’s Set Eye Shadows & Blushes (with shade names)

I don’t know if I’ll be picking any more Tarte stuff up after this just cause I don’t use makeup that much. I haven’t even used any of this at all. I definitely don’t regret picking this up though! 🙂


Tarte Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette

How was your Christmas this year? What I appreciated more than anything is else is the time spent with family and friends. I was happy to help out with the baking and tons of wrapping. I love seeing the faces of surprise and awe when they open unexpected gifts! There were tons of food and laughs. But of course I took advantage of after Christmas sales the moment I could and ended up with some goodies I’ve been holding off getting for a better deal or price. I loaded up on Philosophy stuff from Macy’s site (since they’re at 50% off instead of just 40% on the brand’s site) and I got some Fall 3-wick candles for a great price at Bath and Body Works online (I didn’t really want to fight the crowds the day after Christmas). ULTA doesn’t seem to have their holiday sets marked down yet and Sephora has some, but nothing that moved me to make a purchase. Speaking of Sephora, I’m so glad I grabbed this palette when it was still available last month. I blogged about it in my Holiday 2014 Shopping Ideas post earlier. I was afraid this Tarte blush palette along with their other Sephora exclusive set would sell out before they do their after Christmas markdowns. I was right on the blush palette at least. Here’s Tarte Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette.

Tarte Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette

I actually liked the packaging a lot and while I will not be using the hair pins it came with, I think it looks pretty as an accent to the palette case. This is no longer available on the Sephora website. Your best bet in scoring this beauty still would be if your local Sephora stores still have some available. For the price it sells for — it’s a steal. I managed to get this during Sephora’s F&F so taking an extra 20% off the retail price made it an even sweeter deal. I don’t own a lot of Tarte blushes and this makes a nice addition to my makeup collection. I really like the feel of their Amazonian clay products on my skin. In my opinion, it’s very lightweight with decent lasting power. From left to right, the blushes are: Breathless, Embraced, Whimsy, Bashful and Irreplaceable.

Tarte Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette (unboxed)

Tarte Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette (opened)

These blush shades are limited edition as well. If you can still find it at your local Sephora stores, I’d grab it especially if it’s even further reduced for after the holiday markdowns!


ipsy December 2014 Glam Bag

Hey guys! Only a few more days until I’m officially off for the rest of the year! I’m so excited! Pretty much all the gifts are wrapped and the annual baking the Cookie Elf does for work is done. Those suckers were all gone in 3 hours! I made about 6 batches of 4 different types of cookies. I’ve been quite busy, so I managed to only spare a few minutes to show you what I got in my ipsy December 2014 Glam Bag.

ipsy December 2014 Glam Bag

The first item that I noticed was the Tarte lights, camera, lashes™ 4-in-1 mascara. I have about 3 of these laying around, so I didn’t really need another one but it’s not bad to have. It’s a decent mascara really. Next we have Beauty Without Cruelty A.H.A. 3% Facial Cleanser. I’m on a Freeman Beauty and Philosophy kick at the moment that I’m not sure if this will be put to use anytime soon. At any rate, I think I’ll keep this in my bathroom cabinet to keep it handy for use later on. I saw the NYX Butter Lip Balm and seriously thought about giving this to my FIL that loves lip balms. Only thing is it’s not clear (shade I got is called Marshmallow), so it’ll be something good for me to try out eventually. The most intriguing item would have to be the Swissco Electroplated Eyelash Curler. I’ve seen items from this brand in TJMaxx but I’ve just never been moved to grab any of them. I have a good eyelash curler so I think I’ll put this towards a goody bag for my niece that loves the color purple. Last item up is the Pixi Fairy Dust. The shade I got is Brightening Bare and while I like the brand Pixi, I don’t really have a use for this item. I think my nieces would get a kick out of this though, so I’ll be saving this one for one of them. The bag this month is a simple black nylon type material zip top pouch. It’s one of my least favorite bags from them since I started my subscription with them, but that’s okay since you win some and you lose some along the way.

Tarte lights, camera, lashes™ 4-in-1 mascara

Beauty Without Cruelty A.H.A. 3% Facial Cleanser

NYX Butter Lip Balm

Swissco Electroplated Eyelash Curler

Pixi Fairy Dust

And here I thought that last month’s bag was kinda disappointing, LOL! It can only go up from here — can’t wait for next month’s bag already!


Holiday 2014 Shopping Ideas

I decided to do this one earlier this year since last year I was so late in posting that it became a last-minute guide here. With all the F&F sales and upcoming Black Friday/Cyber Monday events, I thought I’d post on some of these before they go out of stock. Now, this is what I personally would think be good gifts because I either like them and would love getting them (or I *cough* got them already) or I think that it would be a suitable gift for the holiday season. A lot of them are beauty related (no surprise there!) but there are a few that spill into various other categories. I’ll be keeping items of the same brand together for ease.

1) Tarte Bon Voyage Collector’s Set And Travel Bag – $59 at Sephora

Tarte Bon Voyage Collector’s Set And Travel Bag

If there is one holiday set I would want in the beauty department, this would be it. This limited edition, Sephora-exclusive set valued at $423 houses a beautiful palette of their famous Amazonian clay eye shadows along with some other beauty products. I’ve always been a sucker for palettes and the design and color of the entire set just caught my attention big time. I loved their set from last year, but the bag is even better this year. Last year’s bag struck me as polished and something I would take with me on any a business trip or something. It opens up to hang somewhere conveniently. This year’s bag is structured better for what I need. I like cases like this where it has a little bit more shape to it and such. And the print…..simply love! I was disappointed that this set didn’t come with at least one of their famous Amazonian clay blushes, but it’s a win other than that for me really. I received this set a few days ago in the mail since I purchased it online from Sephora during their F&F event and it did not disappoint.

2) Tarte Away Oui Go Portable Palette & Collector’s Set – $48 at ULTA

Tarte Away Oui Go Portable Palette & Collector’s Set

This is limited edition and available only at ULTA. I got the 20% off everything coupon this time around and I didn’t hesitate in taking the plunge with this set. I hemmed and hawed last year on this and missed out on it. I didn’t regret it a whole lot, but I definitely wished that it was still available after the holidays on sale. No luck there! So instead of this happening again, I went ahead and got it since I have other things I wanted to get from ULTA already. The shades seem to be more on the neutral side for me, but I need some neutral stuff. And the packaging is simply too pretty for words! Tarte hit it out of the park with their offerings everywhere for this holiday season it seems. I also didn’t hesitate in getting this set as I have last year due to the fact the set from Sephora didn’t have any Amazonian clay blushes and this set does. I should be getting this in today when I get home. Downside in ordering at ULTA online is they ship slower than Sephora for me. I was at my local ULTA store last weekend and they were already out of many of the holiday sets and kits. I would call before going or just order it online.

3) Tarte Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette – $42 at Sephora

Tarte Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette

I got this one on a whim. It was more of an impulse buy that’s valued at $110. I missed out on last year’s set because I kind of liked the Amazonian clay blushes in their own separate containers and this one houses several in one. But it’s such a good deal to pass up and most of the reviews I read are really, really good. Like really good. This would be a nice prettily packaged gift for a blush lover. I’m pretty sure this another Sephora-exclusive item.

4) Tarte Chic To Cheek Deluxe Amazonian Clay Blush Set – $35 at Tarte

Tarte Chic To Cheek Deluxe Amazonian Clay Blush Set

I’m pretty sure this was offered at least online at ULTA, but I don’t see it there anymore and can only find it at Tarte’s website here as of this exact moment. I wish I paid more attention to this one when I placed my ULTA order last week. I would’ve picked this up in a heartbeat, but I was just so focused on checking out with the Away Oui Go set that I didn’t even bother looking at the other Tarte holiday items on the website. For blush lovers, this set is another good deal! But at least I did end up with some of the Amazonian clay blushes from the Sephora-exclusive blush palette and in the other ULTA-exclusive set itself.

5) Too Faced Everything Nice Set – $56 at Sephora

Tarte Chic To Cheek Deluxe Amazonian Clay Blush Set

This set is valued at $450, making this one of the best buys in terms of holiday palettes really. With that said, this is the item that was just not meant to be for me. If the bag didn’t look that cute (I like glittery things) then I wouldn’t have even considered getting it until it goes on sale after the holiday season. With that said, I did want to get it but when I got the Sephora F&F code this item was out of stock. I chalked it up as it wasn’t meant to be. My local Sephora in JCPenney did carry it, so I figured maybe by a long shot it will be around until another sale or something (I know, wishful thinking). I got another Sephora F&F code a few days later and figured I’d check to see if there’s something else I want. This palette was still out of stock and I ended up ordering more Tarte items that I was afraid would be gone soon. On the last day the Sephora F&F code was good for, it came back in stock. Someone tried to provide me a last-minute Sephora F&F code but it wouldn’t let me use it saying that the code has already been redeemed. I took this as a sign that this is just not meant to be. It’s still in stock right now and it’s a gorgeous palette in my opinion. While the Tarte ones are more on the neutral side to me, these are brighter with more color. This palette looks flatter than last year’s and that’s the other thing that appealed to me. If you’re looking to get this for someone, I’d say grab it ASAP as it could go out of stock again pretty soon and this is a limited edition palette.

6) Freeman Beauty Mystery Bag – $30 at Freeman

If you hurry, there’s still time to snag this deal. It isn’t as good as last year’s deal for sure since you get up to $100 worth of stuff for $30 instead of up to $90 for $20, but what you get still makes a great gift as a whole or broken up into smaller groups for stocking stuffers or what not. I won’t go over this more since I already blogged about it here. You can just enter the keywords “mystery bag” in their search and it pops up. But grab it while you can because this is only good until end of today I believe!

7) Annual ipsy Subscription – $110 at ipsy

This might be a little tricky to do but it would be a neat gift. You can get a beauty product lover a yearly subscription to ipsy (or another beauty subscription program but I only have it with ipsy so that’s what I can only recommend). I love my ipsy subscription. I’m in my second year subscription currently and the last few bags have been better than ever for me. You’ll have to take a quiz for a profile to be built up so they have an idea how to craft your bags so to speak. It would be a neat idea but keep in mind there is a wait for subscriptions (not sure if it’s just for the monthly one or both monthly and yearly) so I’m not sure how it’ll pan out as a gift. Rain check? If it didn’t have any form of waiting period, it gets high marks from me as a gift for sure. To get a glimpse of what I get each month, check my posts here.

8) Philosophy Holiday Spice Rack Trio – $27 at Philosophy and various retailers

Philosophy Holiday Spice Rack Trio

Philosophy has been very good every year in churning out holiday sets and this year is no exception. Starting off with their Holiday Spice Rack Trio, this is the perfect holiday gift for someone that loves holiday spice scents in their bath products. This set includes 6 oz bottles of Cinnamon Stick, Creamy Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Nutmeg shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath. The packaging is quite cute as well.

9) Philosophy Making Spirits Bright – $23 at Philosophy and various retailers

Philosophy Making Spirits Bright

Continuing on with the Philosophy train, this set is sure to delight with 8 oz bottles of Holiday Lights Aglow and Twinkle Berry shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath. The colors are very festive and the packaging is good enough that all you need is stick on a bow with a note or gift tag.

10) Philosophy Iced Gingerbread Cookie Duo – $27 at Philosophy and various retailers

Philosophy Iced Gingerbread Cookie Duo

This is one kit from Philosophy that I’m very curious about in terms of scent. I usually love their scents but there has been a few that were misses for me. I was hoping for something like hot chocolate with this kit, but this comes close to what I’m looking for. This sweet kit includes 8 oz bottles of Spiced Gingerbread Cookie shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath and Sugary Cinnamon Icing body lotion. YUM! It’s a sweet treat for whoever the lucky recipient of this is!

11) Philosophy Holiday Handbook – $20 at Philosophy and various retailers

Philosophy Holiday Handbook

I noticed a lot of other brands having hand kits for the holidays and while I’m not sure if Philosophy has made one before…they do have one this year. This kit includes 1 oz tubes of Peppermint Stick, Fresh Cream and Cranberry Medley. The formula is supposed to be ultra-rich as it’s formulated with multiple butters and such. You can gift this as a whole or break it up for stocking stuffers! It’s the perfect gift too as winter can be very harsh on our skin, hands included.

12) Philosophy Hands Of Hope Ornament – $10 at Philosophy and various retailers

Philosophy Hands Of Hope Ornament

This item is something very cute as a gift and doubles up as a tree ornament. It’s their hand and cuticle cream in a 1 oz tube packaged ready to go right on your tree! Convenient and love the dual purpose of this item. One less ornament to get?

13) Philosophy Have A Cherry Christmas Ornament – $7 at Philosophy and various retailers

Philosophy Have A Cherry Christmas Ornament

Same concept as the previous item mentioned but a different product. Prettily packaged to go right on your tree, this festive scent of 2 oz shower gel will be sure to bring a smile to someone’s face. It’s very cute and there are other items available in the ornament style packaging instead of just the 2 mentioned here.

14) L.L.Bean Women’s Wicked Good® Slippers – $79 at L.L.Bean

L.L.Bean Women’s Wicked Good® Slippers

I own this and this is one of my favorite gift item received to date. It is super soft, warm and comfy. My husband actually has a pair and I loved it so much that he would see me trudging around the house in his pair (since it’s a much bigger size). He thought I should have my own pair so he bought me a pair. I’ll be slipping into them starting tonight since Halloween is usually when the cold weather starts with a vengeance here in OK.

15) Scarves – $?? at various retailers

Coach Scarves

More Coach Scarves

Even More Coach Scarves

Coach Scarves Still

Still More Coach Scarves

Doesn’t matter where you get it from or how much it cost as long as the quality is pretty good, scarves is a good gift item in my opinion. It will be well-used in the winter season so it’s actually a very useful gift. They come in various colors, materials, shapes and price range so there is room for putting thought into it as a gift really. I know that Ann Taylor has some that are stylish and made from different materials. Coach makes some too, but I usually only get those as a gift or at the outlets (I can’t bring myself to pay for one full-price still!). Compare and see what will work and if they’re not a scarf person then maybe the next item on the list is more up their alley. Shown above are some of my Coach scarves. All of them are from past seasons and no longer available, but this will give you an idea what they look like somewhat. I do use some of them but I usually save them for special occasions due to the nature of the fabric. I have lots of other scarves that I just throw on and use everyday, but they’re not made of silk like my Coach scarves are.

16) Gloves/Mittens – $?? at various retailers

Coach Red Leather Gloves

Gloves or mittens is another winter wardrobe staple. If you live in an area where winter is cold and could be harsh — this item is a must. There are many type of gloves out there but I do have a preference on what kind I have to have for certain reasons. I love wool and cotton gloves. They do keep my hands warm pretty good, but when there is ANY chance moisture comes into play….leather (or an even better water repelling material) is king for me. I only have one pair of leather gloves, but it has held up well and kept moisture at bag where my wool and cotton gloves failed miserably. The cotton is the worst when it comes to that of course. It just sucks up moisture and my hands are cold. The leather provides more protection. My hands will start to feel cold still but it stays dry. Now for longer periods of time, the leather will of course not hold up to the constant moisture still. I’m actually researching on gloves made of other types of material for this purpose. There are times when I have to unexpectedly battle the elements outside and use my hands a lot. I’d like to keep them warm and dry as long and as much as possible.

17) Charms/Keyfobs – $?? at various retailers

Coach Charms/Keyfobs

More Coach Charms/Keyfobs

Still More Coach Charms/Keyfobs

Another cute gift idea are charms or keyfobs. The ones I have are all mostly from Coach that I got as either gifts or from the outlets. These make neat little cute gifts for girls of all ages really. There is some room for making it a more personal gift depending on the charm or keyfob design and such. Shown above are only some of the charms and keyfobs I own. All of these are from past seasons, so the selection is different from what’s available now. This is just to give you guys an idea what they’ve made in the past. I try to pair them with some of the bags I own.

18) Candles – $?? at various retailers

Bath & Body Works Holiday Candles

I am picky when it comes to candle scents, but not overly picky as some. Still, take note of this when you’re thinking of giving candles as gifts. Just think of what they may or may not like. If all else fails, it’s the thought that counts. I know my neighbor friend loves candles that smell like baked stuff. I personally like some of those too like butter cookies or cake. I know my Didi doesn’t. In fact, she doesn’t like anything that smells like food in bath and body products as well. But holiday scents is a forgivable thing I would think for a recipient that just so happens to dislike such scents. It’s a seasonal scent and it’s something a lot of people would pick up so in case you did for someone that just doesn’t like it….I think they’ll live. Good deals can be found sometimes at Bath & Body Works or Yankee Candle just to name a few. There are a lot of seasonal candle scents at Bath & Body Works and the labels on them are so darn cute! Something simple like this would also make a good hostess gift during the holiday season.

19) Perfumes – $?? at various retailers

Now, the same thing I said to the item before this applies with the big disclaimer that this is more, more personal than that and that there may be some seasonal perfumes out there but I honestly wouldn’t recommend you giving someone that. Home scents are one thing but personal scent is a whole different category. A lot of people may tolerate a scent they just find borderline okay at home but not on themselves. It’s close quarters compared to scents for the home. This is your body! So unless you know they will love or probably love the scent, my suggestion is to steer clear in this category. It’s a lovely gift item but only if it’s a scent she loves. See what she uses and if she’s running low on that. Or if there is another scent you are pretty sure it’s similar that she would like….I say go for it. Use common sense and your judgment on this.

20) Gift cards/certificates – $?? at various retailers

Victoria’s Secret Gift Card

A lot of people will disagree with me and a lot of people will agree with me as well on this. Gift cards/certificates make great gifts. In my case, it is especially true for a person who tends to shop and stock up on sales and clearances like me. I would rather get a gift card to a place I like and get things that go on sale right after Christmas or the holiday season. I get more bang for the buck. If there’s something I really want that can’t wait, I would’ve gotten it as soon as I can. If I didn’t get it, then if it’s no longer available come day after Christmas or the holiday season then oh well. I can get what I want with it instead of possibly something I may like or not like at all. It’s a win-win for everyone (except for those that dislike giving gift cards/certificates cause they think it’s impersonal). My personal picks are ULTA, Victoria’s Secret, Target and Sephora.

Again, disclaimer here is that these are some of the things I think would make great gifts for the holiday season but it certainly doesn’t mean that everyone will agree. You know the recipient more than I do, so use your judgment on what will work best for them as a gift.

*All images used are either author’s or taken from the retailers mentioned.*


Last Minute Christmas 2013 Shopping Ideas

So, it’s basically 2 days away and you’re out of idea on what to get the mother/daughter/girl/woman in your life? Never fear! I put together a neat little list that you can dash out and purchase something that she’ll hopefully love. I know these things made me swoon and read on to see why!

1) The Tarte Of Giving Collector’s Set & Travel Bag – $59 at Sephora

The Tarte Of Giving Collector’s Set & Travel Bag

The travel bag

The whole layout

The goods

•20 Limited-Edition Amazonian Clay Eye Shadows
•8 Deluxe Maracuja Lipglosses
•Deluxe Pure Maracuja Oil
•Deluxe Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment
•Deluxe Limited-Edition Amazonian 12-Hour Clay Blush in Memorable
•Deluxe Cheek Stain in Flush
•Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-In-1 Mascara
•Travel Makeup Bag

What can I say about this? Um, this was the only thing that caught my eye when I was browsing on Sephora right before the F&F sale started. I wanted this so bad for many reasons. First, Tarte is a very good makeup brand. Second, it’s an insanely good price for what you get (retail of items separately is $490). Third, it’s pretty and I like pretty things. Last, I just want it and I don’t know why. I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis at all. I use moisturizer and some eye cream and go. Will this sit unused in my makeup stash? For a while, sure. Do I regret buying it? Hell no! I read that their set from last year sold out very fast so as soon as I got a F&F code, I snapped it up. I saw some about a week ago at my local Sephora in JCPenney store, so even if it’s sold out online you may luck out with your local Sephora or Sephora in JCPenney store.

2) The Tarte Gorgeous Getaways Portable Palette Set – $48 at ULTA

The Tarte Gorgeous Getaways Portable Palette Set

The goods all laid out

•16 Full Size Amazonian Clay Eye Shadows
•4 full size Amazonian 12-Hour Clay Blushes (LE Shades)
•3 full size Maracuja Lipglosses
•Portable Collector’s Compact to take the interchangeable palettes on-the-go

If you’re not close to any Sephora or Sephora in JCPenney store and there’s an ULTA store instead, this is your closest bet to the set from Sephora. It’s a good buy as well and I did find myself wanting it, but since I already got The Tarte Of Giving…..I can’t really justify getting this as well. I did put this on my Holiday list since I was asked to make one and I can’t really think of anything else (some of the stuff from the rest of this list is also from my Holiday list). Total value for this is $433 — a steal for what you’re paying then!

3) Physicians Formula Happy Booster™ Glow & Mood Boosting Illuminating Bronzing Veil – $13.95 or so online and at various mass retailers and drugstores

Physicians Formula Happy Booster™ Glow & Mood Boosting Illuminating Bronzing Veil

It has a long name, but my fiancĂ© has learned that I simply call it “the heart makeup thing” (he got me my first one!). This is still my favorite Physicians Formula item to date. The cuteness of the hearts just sucked me in. Do I need it? No. Do I own it? Yes. In both Light Bronzer and Bronzer shades. The product itself is a nice bronzer with a light dusting of shimmer. Physicians Formula has always been a higher priced brand for a drugstore beauty brand, but I am one patient being. I would wait for the brand to go on sale at drugstores or mass retailers I frequent that carry the brand. In fact, CVS is having their Winter Beauty Clearance event right NOW and I managed to get some backups of this along with other items I don’t own as seen in the post here. So for a couple of bucks, you can get one of these and toss it in their gift bag as something extra or use it as a stocking stuffer gift.

4) Physicians Formula pH Matchmaker pH Powered Lip Gloss – $9.95 or so online and at various mass retailers and drugstores

Physicians Formula pH Matchmaker pH Powered Lip Gloss

I recently got this as part of my prize from a contest the Physicians Formula ran over the summer (see post here). It is the first item I opened from everything I’ve received and I was wowed by it. I was apprehensive about the claims it made that it matches to the pH level of my skin and adjusts within 60 seconds to reflect the perfect lip color for me. But it does work in my opinion. I was actually amazed at how it looked so natural on my lips and just provided a beautiful shine. I didn’t hesitate to grab this item in Pink as well (I received Natural in my prize pack) when it scanned as being on clearance at my local CVS store. The Pink does show up differently than Natural on my lips (as it should); I do see that it isn’t the same as compared to the moment I put it on. It leaves a slight pink tint that goes well with my natural lip color. And this product has a rubber push button on the cap that is used to illuminate the brush for perfect application in the dark (one side of the lip gloss tube holds a slim mirror). It’s one of my favorite lip glosses to date because of all these neat features combined.

5) Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Shimmer Veil – $14.95 or so online and at various mass retailers and drugstores

Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Shimmer Veil

Why do I want this? I honestly don’t know. But what I do know is that I want to own one to try it out and I used this as a filler item in my list. This is not as widely available as the other Physicians Formula products and I actually had a chance to get one at the CVS closest to my work. But it wasn’t meant to be. Someone has sprayed it out already and I didn’t feel like picking it up in that state even if it was on clearance (it was the last one in the store). I think I do remember seeing it at Walmart though, but I didn’t feel like spending the money for it. The packaging might be part of the lure. It looks like one of those spray bottles from decades ago that I see in old movies and such.

6) Something from Victoria’s Secret – online and in stores

Victoria’s Secret Gift

Why not? It could be something as simple as a gift card or something more personal like silk pajamas. It could be one of their sexy perfumes or pretty lingerie (for that woman in your life!). Whatever it is, I know a lot of women wouldn’t mind getting something from here. Just be sure to get a gift receipt in case of sizing or preference reasons for exchange (hey, can’t win them all!).

P.S. Their semi-annual sale just started online, so she can put that gift card to good use! It will start in stores shortly as well.

7) Kohl’s Soft, warm, fuzzy slippers – online and in stores

Kohl’s Soft, warm, fuzzy slippers

This one’s not on my list at all, BUT Kohl’s is open all day and night until 6 PM tomorrow and you can get this there. Aside from nice slippers to keep her warm, you can grab a robe as well or even some jewelry. Just think of what her preferences and needs are since their taste could be very specific. Is she needing some gloves? Does she like and keep buying warm, fuzzy socks? Last year, my fiancĂ© got me 3 pairs of footwear. He hunted down the black patent strappy heels because he noticed my current pair is frayed and broken down to the point that I used JB Weld on them to keep wearing them. They are comfortable and they go with everything I wear. He got me a blue satin pair from Anne Taylor that he thought I would look great in and that he noted I didn’t have any footwear in blue. The last one is fuzzy lined slippers from L.L.Bean. He has a pair and noticed that sometimes I’d trot around the house in it because it’s soft and warm….so he got me my own! Kohl’s also carry items for the home and kitchen, but it really depends on who you’re shopping for since I know some people who dislike getting kitchen appliances for a Holiday present.

8) Donate to a Charity she holds dear in her heart – various

If there is a specific Charity or cause that means the world to her, giving a gift on behalf of her may bring a smile to her face. I know it will for several other people including myself. I am fortunate enough to be where I am in my life. I like to spread the joy around when I can. And here’s the thing about the Holiday season for me — it’s all about giving and not expecting anything in return. When I get something, it’s just a bonus.

There ya go! I hope this helps y’all out there some. I didn’t put things down like jewelry or cars cause those are huge purchases that are really specific to people’s tastes. Heck, even the ones I listed are pretty specific to people’s tastes (like mine!) but just think of the person and try your best to pick out what you think they’d like if you don’t have anything to go on with. At least this way you did try your best. And make a mental note next year to maybe start shopping earlier? Hehe! 🙂

*All images used are taken from the retailers mentioned.*


Curtain Call: Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes! Waterproof Mascara

I was on the search for the perfect waterproof mascara 2 years ago. I participant in a Secret Santa deal on a forum I belong to and I got a set of several waterproof mascaras sold at Sephora. One of the first ones that caught my eye and made a lasting impression was Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Splashes! 4-in-1 Waterproof Mascara.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes! 4-in-1 Waterproof Mascara

This baby lasts all day! The formula was smooth and wet, perfect for trouble-free application on my lashes. It does give that polished look to my lashes while adding volume. The waterproof part? You bet it works! It stays on and lasts all day. You will need a waterproof makeup remover to get this off your lashes. Regular face washing works for the most part. If you’re a person who cleanses your face quite gently though, there will be some residue left over from your face washing ritual. Waterproof makeup remover is still the best way to go and there are various kinds out there in different price ranges to choose from. Mascara tube indicates the expected life of the product is 6 months from first use.

Verdict? Will definitely buy again! That is, after I’ve gone through the rest of the mascaras I’m trying. You can purchase this mascara at various retail and online stores such as Sephora or ULTA for $19 before taxes.