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Review | Maybelline Limited Edition Baby Lips Pink’ed Collection

Left to Right: Blush Burst, Mad for Magenta, Pop of Pink, & Rose Rush

image Cute packaging, bright colors, and affordable prices- what more could I ask for? I spotted the new five-piece collection at my local Walgreens and fell in love instantly. With the exception of the absent ‘Very Berry’ shade, I picked up as many of these uber-moisturizing, pink-toned lip balms as I could.

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Review | LUSH 9 to 4 Cleansing Lotion

image Hello friends, Alina here! Lush is a rare indulgence for me as the only Lush store in my area is a bit out of the way. However, when I do go, I do a loooot of damage.

For those of you new to Lush cosmetics, they’re a cruelty-free and vegan friendly brand that promotes natural handmade products. All of the Lush stores that I’ve been to smell fantastic as well. :P

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Lip Service | BITE Beauty Luminous Creme Lipsticks

 Hello friends! Alina here with the first installment of Lip Service, a series of posts concerning some of my favorite go to lip products. 
BITE Beauty is a Sephora and (sometimes) QVC exclusive brand that has some AMAZING lipcolors in their arsenal. Not only do they have a broad color range but the texture of these lip products is unbelievable. I have dry lips so the creaminess of BITE lipcolors has even out-hydrated some of my MAC Amplified Creme and Lustre finish lipsticks. Perhaps even more impressive is the pigmentation. The versatility of these shades allows you to start off with a hint of color using a light touch or a full on application directly from the tube.
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First up is “ Pepper.” It’s a neutral muted pink brown shade that I love pairing with my NARS blush in Sin. It’s probably the closest I’ll get to glamorous during the daytime. :PFirst up is “ Pepper.” It’s a neutral muted pink brown shade that I love pairing with my NARS blush in Sin. It’s probably the closest I’ll get to glamorous during the daytime. :P

In terms of packaging, I’ve expressed my opinion on rubberized cases before. Although it looks and feels nice, fingerprints and dirt transfers easily and for someone like me who is a huge packaging weirdo, keeping them clean is a hassle. I do like how each lipstick is imprinted with the BITE logo on it. Even a chunk of the ‘B’ is chomped off which I think is a very cute detail.

First up is “ Pepper.” It’s a neutral muted pink brown shade that I love pairing with my NARS blush in Sin. It’s probably the closest I’ll get to glamorous during the daytime. :P

“Shiraz” is a beautiful dusty plum shade perfect for day or night time looks. I also pair this with “Sin.” 

Here’s a swatch on my arm!



(L) Shiraz (R) Pepper

The BITE Beauty line has a great selection of other neutral shades and even some fantastic vibrants that I haven’t included in this post. If you’re into pigmented lipsticks that offer a lot of moisture, give these a shot!

Have you tried any other BITE lipsticks? Give me some suggestions! :D

Suckers for Packaging
beauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Lip Service | BITE Beauty Luminous Creme Lipsticks

image Hello friends! Alina here with the first installment of Lip Service, a series of posts concerning some of my favorite go to lip products. 



BITE Beauty is a Sephora and (sometimes) QVC exclusive brand that has some AMAZING lipcolors in their arsenal. Not only do they have a broad color range but the texture of these lip products is unbelievable. I have dry lips so the creaminess of BITE lipcolors has even out-hydrated some of my MAC Amplified Creme and Lustre finish lipsticks. Perhaps even more impressive is the pigmentation. The versatility of these shades allows you to start off with a hint of color using a light touch or a full on application directly from the tube.

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Review | Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in ‘Meritage’
Hello friends! Alina here. Sooo I’ve been on a BITE beauty kick over the past few days. I’m in LOVE with their lipcolors because they’re so freaking moisturizing and for someone with incredibly dry skin like myself they’re a godsend. 

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Today we have Meritage, a lovely deep pink shade that is surprisingly vibrant on my lips. For me these lip pencils are the perfect size. They’re small enough to allow for precision and control during application and big enough to fill in my lips quickly. I usually wear this in the daytime with a cat eye and a bit of blush. This gives me some semblance of a well night’s rest. :P 



For a matte pencil I didn’t find this drying at all. Compared to other “matte” formulas that I’ve tried over the years, I wouldn’t really call this finish “matte” at all. The application is smooth and perhaps even a bit glossy. Maybe the other shades fall into this category? The only other BITE pencil I’ve tried is Quince and it’s not very matte on me either. It’s not a bad thing for me though! As long as a finish isn’t drying then I’m all up for it.



One odd thing about the packaging was the color at the end of the pencil. You’d think it would match with the actual color of the product, but nope, it doesn’t. So make sure to play around with the testers to see if it’s the actual color you want. 


Here’s a swatch of it on my arm.





Annnnnd here’s my face.







Have you played around with BITE Beauty high pigment pencils? What do you think?




Suckers for Packagingbeauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Review | Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in ‘Meritage’

imageHello friends! Alina here. Sooo I’ve been on a BITE beauty kick over the past few days. I’m in LOVE with their lipcolors because they’re so freaking moisturizing and for someone with incredibly dry skin like myself they’re a godsend. 

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Beauty Bits | Treat Yourself!

image Sometimes you’ve just got to treat yourself! Being on a budget can be hard work, but once in a while it’s nice to spend a little extra cash on yourself. So, that’s exactly what I did at my local Sephora and Ulta stores, and had zero buyer’s remorse! Here’s what caught my eye without breaking my wallet.

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Take Note | Simple Stationary

imageIf there’s one thing that helps get me through a tough quarter at school, it’s stationary. Just knowing that I have (now) stock-pile of adorable notebooks ready for use is enough motivation for me to take even more notes!

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Words of Wisdom | Working in the Beauty Business
Working in the beauty industry is no easy job- sure, you may gets lots of perks like discounts, samples, and product previews, but there are a few pieces of advice I wish I had gotten before working in a small retail beauty shop. If you’re a shop girl or a professional make up artist, I’ve complied a few tips that may just make your work days a tad bit easier.
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Know Your Client



I’ll walk you through what a typical consultation may be like. Whether your shop consists of cosmetics, skin care, hair care, or even a combination of these and more, it’s always important to understand what your client is looking for, and then start from there. Getting to know them is the first step in making them feel beautiful, and making the sale!






Don’t Assume
This is a very easy mistake when recommending skin care products. We’ve already asked the client what their needs are, so be careful not to assume that just because his/her forehead is shiny that they need oil-control- lots of people can take this the wrong way. If you really think your client can benefit from using a particular product, just tell them the positives about said item, and let them make the judgement.



Word Choice
If being an Anthropology major has taught me anything, it’s that everyone is different and that’s great! Watching what you say is just one of the ways you can have that culturally sensitive attitude, and can be applied even at work. For instance, when trying to match someone’s complexion to a foundation, use words like “deeper” as opposed to “darker”, “medium” instead of “normal”, and “fair” instead of “pale” (everyone isn’t just a variant of beige!).

Applying the Product
Now that we’ve found exactly what the client is looking for, it’s time for you to touch some faces- yeah! A general rule is to always use an extremely light hand- about 100x lighter than when you apply products onto your own skin. Try to use anything besides your hands as often as possible- sterile brushes, cotton pads, makeup sponges, apply creams with a plastic stick or cotton swab; the goal is to be as sanitary as you can. However, in the absence of tools, using your fingers will work just fine.


There you have it, some of the best advice I can give you before embarking on your days as a beauty makeup diva extraordinaire. Do you have any tips you’d like to share?Suckers for Packagingbeauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Words of Wisdom | Working in the Beauty Business

imageWorking in the beauty industry is no easy job- sure, you may gets lots of perks like discounts, samples, and product previews, but there are a few pieces of advice I wish I had gotten before working in a small retail beauty shop. If you’re a shop girl or a professional make up artist, I’ve complied a few tips that may just make your work days a tad bit easier.

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Review | NARS Satin Lipstick in Afghan Red

image Hello all, Alina here! Like I said in my last review, I’ve been super obsessed with NARS products lately. NARS Satin Lipstick in Afghan Red is no exception. 

I’ve been wearing this color everyday for the past two weeks. No excuses, I just love it so much. I can’t get over the muted shade of raspberry red! The NARS website describes this shade as a “rich garnet.” Here’s what it looks like on the back of my hand.

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Sunday Detox | Weekly Spa Session no. 1

imageSunday nights are the perfect opportunity for me to indulge in a bit of beauty bliss. I have more than my fair share of intensive treatments, and I like to switch things up from week to week depending on how my skin is behaving. Here are some of the products I’ve chosen for tonight’s beauty regime.

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Wish List | Sephora Skin Bender Vol. 1
Sephora Skin Bender Vol. 1, $48.00

Checking your e-mail always gets a ton more exciting when you see a message from Sephora! Today was no exception, especially when I noticed this relatively new collection set that features ten of the shop’s best-selling skin care products.
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While the actual value adds up to $115, this kit retails for just $48- now I’m no math wiz but I’m pretty sure that’s nearly 50% off! The “Skin Bender” contains trial-sized products of new trends (think facial oils and CC creams) and classic goodies like cleansers and moisturizers. What I’ve been really dying to try, however, is the Origins Frothy Face Wash, and what better what to test it out than with a deluxe sample size of it. The Korres line seems very tempting, as well (minus the price tags).
This set contains:

- 0.23 oz Algenist Advanced Anti-Aging Repairing Oil
- 1.9 oz Bliss® High Intensity 24-‘Heaven’™ Healing Body Balm
- 0.17 oz Dr. Jart Ceramidin™ Cream - 1 oz First Aid Beauty Ltd. Ultra Repair Cream - 0.5 oz Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil - 0.67 oz Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial - 0.3 oz L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream - 0.5 oz Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation® - 1 oz Origins Checks and Balances™ Frothy Face Wash - 0.5 oz Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream SPF 30 in Light-Medium - Cosmetic bagAs I had mentioned in a previous post, trial-sized products are a fantastic way to observe how your skin may react to new ingredients without having the commitment of purchasing a full-size of said item. This particular collection is full of new and promising brands that I’ve been wanting to try, so once Friday’s paycheck rolls around I may just have to stop by Sephora!What do you think of this set? Anything you’d like/recommend?Suckers for Packagingbeauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Wish List | Sephora Skin Bender Vol. 1

imageSephora Skin Bender Vol. 1, $48.00

Checking your e-mail always gets a ton more exciting when you see a message from Sephora! Today was no exception, especially when I noticed this relatively new collection set that features ten of the shop’s best-selling skin care products.

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Review | NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Stromboli
Alina here! Today I’ll be reviewing one of my favorite foundations at the moment. I’ve just recently discovered how awesome NARS products are and this one is no exception.
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One of the most important things I look for in a foundation is how it interacts with my dry skin. I’m especially dry along the jawline, so it’s important that the foundation neither irritates nor accentuates my dry patches. I’ve been using the NARS Sheer Glow foundation in Stromboli for about three weeks now and so far so good. My dry spots haven’t flared up since I started using this but I think the foundation has enough coverage for me not to notice them anyway.
Next thing on my list of foundation requirements: color. I’m suuuuper picky about the foundation shade matching to my face so if it’s off by a little bit it will bother me to no end. For the winter season, Stromboli is a perfect match. The yellow undertones compliment my NC30-35 skin very well. I really can’t rave enough about the color match.
Here’s what it looks like with flash:
Overall this foundation is a winner for me. It is a bit pricey for my student budget (retailing at $42 at my local Sephora) but a little goes a long way so I don’t think I’ll have to repurchase any time soon. The only fault I can find in this (and perhaps most NARS products) is the rubberized packaging. It catches dirt and fingerprints so easily! For someone who is obsessed with packaging, this is a bother. I like keeping all my stuff somewhat clean, so the fact that this type of packaging dirties easily is a bummer.
Regardless, this is a great foundation. If you’re looking for a high end foundation with great coverage and a nice selection of shades you should give the NARS sheer glow line a shot.
So friends, what’s your favorite foundation?Suckers for Packagingbeauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Review | NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Stromboli

Alina here! Today I’ll be reviewing one of my favorite foundations at the moment. I’ve just recently discovered how awesome NARS products are and this one is no exception.

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Review | ItsJudyTime Eyeshadow Palette

Having the chance to meet one of your favorite YouTube beauty gurus in person? Check! I was lucky enough to attend ItsJudyTime's L.A. meetup this past month and scored this beautiful neutral palette signed by Judy herself! Does it live up to the hype and meet her high standards? In my opinion…
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This has got to be one of my all-time favorite eyeshadow palettes! It has twelve super pigmented shades that compliment any skin tone, is very versatile and simply gorgeous. Many of these shades can be worn alone  or combined for a simple day look or a neutral smokey eye for night. Despite my skepticism about many beauty guru sponsorships, I believe BH Cosmetics did a wonderful job bringing Judy’s personal style into a sleek and compact package.




The palette itself is made of hard cardboard, has a reliable mirror that hasn’t warped, and closes with the help of sturdy interior magnets. The pan size is quite standard while the shadows themselves are true to their display color. An added bonus- “Natural is beautiful, but makeup is glam” is engraved inside under the mirror (I’ll remember that as I pile on the mascara).


If you’re easily put off by bright eyeshadow colors, fear not! The purple and blue shades can be sheered out quite a bit and can be used alternatively as highlights, or, placed in the inner corner of the eye, or underneath the lower lashline for a simple pop of color.

I’ve used this palette for a good couple of weeks and must admit that it rivals my current love for the Stila ‘In the Light’ palette. It has great color variety, is surprisingly very pigmented, and most of all- affordable! I’d recommend this for beauty lovers of all ages and levels of experience.

Have you tried this palette or any other BH Cosmetics products?


Suckers for Packagingbeauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Review | ItsJudyTime Eyeshadow Palette

imageHaving the chance to meet one of your favorite YouTube beauty gurus in person? Check! I was lucky enough to attend ItsJudyTime's L.A. meetup this past month and scored this beautiful neutral palette signed by Judy herself! Does it live up to the hype and meet her high standards? In my opinion…

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Trial-Sized Products
 It’s the aisle you always pass by in the drugstore, the one place you might visit if you’re planning on going on vacation, but the last place you’d think of when going on a beauty haul- the travel section! This particular area is always stocked with small, trial-sized products that are excellent options if you’re on a budget or just want to try something new without the commitment of buying a full-sized product. Here are some of my current testers:
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I found each of these items for under $5 at my local Target and The Body Shop. Each of them came with what I felt to be just enough product for you to test as they lasted me for well over a month- the perfect amount of time to see how your skin may react. Below are the prices for the full-size items.Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer, $8.99
Having oily/combination skin nearly steered me in the complete opposite direction of this product. However, I trust this particular brand so much that I decided to try this moisturizer out anyway and was not disappointed- my skin just felt so refreshed and ready to take on the cold winter season. I would recommend this for all skin types, especially sensitive, as it seems to give your skin the perfect amount of moisture without over-drying or becoming greasy.

Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille Soap- Peppermint, $9.49At the recommendation of the trustworthy gossmakeupartist, this “soap” is indeed a wonder product as you can use it for just about anything- cleaning, body wash, brush cleaner, and even a facial soap! I use this just once a week to give my skin a literally squeaky-clean finish. There is a heavy peppermint scent which I don’t mind, and may even be attractive to many dudes out there. I’ve not since broken out even with my relatively sensitive skin. This is definitely a cult favorite, and for good reason!The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream, $16.50
My holy grail moisturizer! This product keeps me matte throughout the entire day, is extremely light in texture, and smells so pleasant. Despite having such a small amount of product, I find that using that smallest amount of the gel is not only cost-efficient, but also the perfect amount for application. If you’ve had any trouble with finding a moisturizer with natural oil-controlling properties, I highly recommend this!That’s it for my skincare beauty bits for now! Would you rather buy full or trial-sized products? Let us know!
Suckers for Packagingbeauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Trial-Sized Products

image It’s the aisle you always pass by in the drugstore, the one place you might visit if you’re planning on going on vacation, but the last place you’d think of when going on a beauty haul- the travel section! This particular area is always stocked with small, trial-sized products that are excellent options if you’re on a budget or just want to try something new without the commitment of buying a full-sized product. Here are some of my current testers:

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Sensitive Skin Care Routine
Having sensitive skin definitely decreases my product options at the drugstore! After quite a bit of research (*cough* makeupalley *cough*) I’ve finally found an entire skin care routine that doesn’t break my wallet. Each of these items are priced under $10 at most retailers, and contain ingredients that are natural, organic, and non-synthetic.

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St. Ives Blemish Control Green Tea Scrub, $4.99
Using the cult favorite St. Ives Apricot Scrub left my skin feeling quite polished, yet soon before finishing off my last bottle I began to realize the potential repercussions of excessive abrasion to my young skin. With that, I’m happy to report that this Green Tea Scrub leaves my skin feeling exfoliated and renewed without too much damage to my skin. The scrubbing beads in this are incredibly small compared to the Apricot Scrub, and also has a fresh green tea scent that wakes me up first thing in the morning. However, I tend to use this in the shower as the steam opens my pores for an even deeper clean.


Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer, $9.97
This has been my go-to moisturizer whenever I plan on spending some time outside (what with college and all, it’s not that often). Simple is one of my favorite skin care brands because their products have no fragrance and contain very few ingredients, most of which are natural and don’t contain alcohol. The best part is that it doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy- a major plus in any product containing SPF!


Simple Refreshing Facial Wash Gel, $6.99
Finding a cleanser that can brighten your skin without drying it out can be a challenge. As a clear, gel product, this facial wash does just that and then some. It’s gentle enough to be used on my sensitive skin and leaves my face feeling completely clean and even a little brighter. I’d repurchase it, but don’t feel like spending extra cash on shipping costs- boo.


Boots Botanics Rosewater Toning Spritz, $8.39
If you have extremely sensitive skin, this is the toner for you! This product boasts just under five ingredients total, the main of which being organic rose water. I simply spray my face one or twice, let the water sink into my skin until dry, then continue with a moisturizer- no cotton pads needed! This is a fantastic option for those who want to try a toner or astringent as it’s very skin-friendly and can last you quite a while.



That’s it for my skin care routine at the moment! What are some of the products you use daily?

Suckers for Packagingbeauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.
Sensitive Skin Care Routine
imageHaving sensitive skin definitely decreases my product options at the drugstore! After quite a bit of research (*cough* makeupalley *cough*) I’ve finally found an entire skin care routine that doesn’t break my wallet. Each of these items are priced under $10 at most retailers, and contain ingredients that are natural, organic, and non-synthetic.

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Autumn Lip Essentials | Korres Lip Butter + Smith’s Rosebud Salve

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Korres Lip Butter ‘Pomegranate’, $12.00

Smith’s Rosebud Salve, $6.00

Autumn weather brings about the dryness in skin- to prevent the flaky, dull lips of the season, I’ve found a few essential items that keep my lips soft, hydrated, and flushed with color!

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