Nordstrom/Sephora Haul

Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy Monday Everyone!
This past weekend after much debate, I decided to take back my Clarisonic Mia2. I had stopped using it for about a week to give my skin a break, then when I went to use it again I broke out again! I thought what a waste of money, so I took it back to Nordstrom and redeemed it for a whole bunch of goodies that I could actually benefit from! Also, a few weeks back I cashed in some of my rewards points from one of my credit cards and they sent me a $50 Sephora gift card, so I had some fun with that as well. 

At Sephora I settled on Benefit's gift set that came with Bella Bamba blush (full size), Eye Bright, High Beam, and Stay Don't Stray. I had originally intended to pick up an Urban Decay Primer Potion but when I saw this I gave it a shot because of all that it comes with, and I had been meaning to try Stay Don't Stray to see if it is a good primer, so I'll be doing a review on that soon. Also, I was super stoked on the High Beam because it's a mini version but you really don't need much when using it (just a few dabs on the cheek bone or under your eye brow, so for that price ($38) I thought it was worth it. And the Naked 2 Palette is a gift for my Step Mom, her birthday is this Friday. So I didn't open it up to get any swatches, but there are so many reviews on this palette I didn't really think it was necessary. 

One of the things I was most excited about was the Sephora brand blush/bronzer face powder (above) went on sale! I remember when I stopped working seasonal there in February they had just released them and I had my eye on them ever since, the price dropped down to $7 so I snagged one. The colors blend together really nicely and the product is HUGE! I'm sure it will last a long while. 

With my Nordstrom credit I really didn't have to think too much about what I wanted because ever since the trend show I attended I have been dreaming about the Valentina perfume by Valentino so I picked it up. It's a very light floral, not overpowering at all. It's wearable on a daily basis and my dad hasn't told me that the smell is obnoxious or overpowering yet (he tends to do that, especially when I wear Chanel) so that's definitely a plus. I love it for summer. 

I also decided to grab one of MAC's Cremeblend blushes in So Sweet So Easy. This is the blush that Laura used during the seminar and it looked really great on here. She also informed us that MAC reformulated their Cremeblend blushes (remember when they were super sticky and thick?) to be more like a moose texture and when you dip your brush in it you don't get this huge gooey blob of color, it comes out really nice and light.

This is my first time picking up the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick. I got it in the Beige color as recommended by the sales women and after using it once I can see what all the fuss was about. This is actually my first Bobbi Brown purchase and I'm really impressed with the product. The payoff is amazing, it's super pigmented and leaves your skin glowing like an angel. I wore it to a party on Saturday and my friend told me my skin was glowing when we were only sitting in candle light. They're super beautiful and definitely worth the spend.

Finally, I grabbed the NARS lip color in Cruella. I spoke about this in my previous post, amazing red lipstick!

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Red Lipstick Smackdown!

Friday, June 22, 2012

A great red lipstick never goes out of style. A red lip and some mascara is typically my go to look on a daily basis. It's little enough work when I'm feeling lazy and I look "done up" enough to get a little attention ;). So I decided to make a post about my favorite red lipsticks. My first love was Viva Glam I.  I actually think this is the first MAC lipstick I've ever purchased, and I think since then I've gone through about 3 of them. But in my makeup adventures I have discovered many more awesome ones. Here is a list of my favorites

1. Barcelona by Buxom- Not only is the color on this amazing (it's more of a deep/ blue red than a bright orange which I prefer) but it boosts the size of your lips and leaves them feeling cool and minty. It also has a bit of a gloss finish to it if you don't want the completely matte look.
2. Cruella by NARS- Right not this is my absolute favorite lip color. It's a deep red with a perfectly matte finish and the pencil makes it so easy to apply. It also looks great on all skin tones.
3. Ruby Woo by MAC- I like this color because it's brighter and super matte (can you tell I like matte reds?) I keep this one in my purse at all times.
4. Viva Glam I by MAC- This one is very similar to NARS, but the NARS one is a bit less shiny. And I think this one is slightly deeper, but like I mentioned before this is my first love and I think it looks great on everyone.

Above: Me rocking my favorite, NARS Cruella <3 

My MAC Seminar Experience

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Thursday Everyone!
This past weekend (I'm late I know, it's almost the next weekend!) was very eventful for me, with it being Father's Day weekend and all, but it really all got started on Friday when I drove all the way from the Inland Empire to Canoga Park (about an hour and a half drive) for a MAC makeup seminar with Laura Arellano, but she is better known for her Instagram name @Loreleicakes. If any of you follow her on Instagram you may have seen that she created a seminar for any of her followers in the LA area to come to her location and learn her face routine. Upon seeing this I inquired about it right away. I really LOVE her work and felt it was a great opportunity to see how she does what she does. I learned after a few emails that in order to reserve my space I needed to make a $50 reservation that would be used toward MAC purchases.

So I arrived a bit early for the seminar and when I reached the MAC counter in Nordstrom a woman escorted me to where Laura was sitting. She greeted me with a hug and was super friendly. I chatted with her and the other artist who would be demoing for the day whose name was Ilene, and another woman who was there for the class. Once everyone got to the store we walked up to a private room that was set up with chairs and a stage. They also provided us with a notebook, face charts, eye chart, and a full list of their face routine rundown which included all the products, the order in which they were being used and all the brushes they used. The seminar lasted for a little under 2 hours and it was very informative and fun to see how these pros put their faces on. It was an intimate setting so it made it comfortable to ask questions. and I was sitting in the front row about 2 feet away from the artists so that made it easier to see their techniques.

I picked up a few very helpful tips, I was mainly interested in how she does her eyebrows! They're perfect, and though I didn't completely succeed at recreating them when I went home, I now know how and I'm working on it :).
I had a great time and met some cool people but the only thing I would say was a little irritating about the whole thing was the whole time I felt more like they were just trying to sell us product rather than really teach us anything. But I mean, they were still on the clock at work and they make commission so I can't hate on their hustle because they made a nice chunk of change off of use for just being there for 2 hours. I was proud of myself though, I spent about $94 in total (this includes the $50 I used to reserve my space, so the damage wasn't too great. Overall it was an experience and it's cool to be able to say I met and learned something from her. I just wish that my last impression of the experience wasn't me sitting in traffic for 3 hours trying to get home, but I knew what I was in for!
Also I'll be making a separate post very soon about my purchases and give some reviews on things since I've had a few days to test them out.

 Photo Credit: @loreleicakes via Instagram
 Photo Credit: @loreleicakes via Instagram
Also the look above it basically what she showed us how to do in the class, just a little more fancy :)

I also thought it was cool that when we walked in they had notebooks, face charts and a full list of all the products and brushes used in the demonstration. But I'm a lil bummed that I didn't get any pics of them while they were up on the stage doing their makeup, but they asked us not to take pictures (cuz they didn't have a face on through most of the demo) so we obliged. I only got a shot of the aftermath!

 Above: the book for notes they provided
 Above: Empty face chart, can't decide what look I wanna use on it...
 Above: Full list of products and brushes, and some Instagram names I wanted to remember. Shout out to @itzpeechezyo! Follow her on Instagram, she took the class with me and she was super awesome. Glad I got the chance to meet her. And if you haven't read it in my contact tab, follow me too, duh!! @mandy_apple


Review: Clarisonic Mia 2

Thursday, June 14, 2012

If you've been following my posts you know that a month ago when I went to the Nordstrom Trend Show  I picked up a Clarisonic Mia 2. I decided to wait until I had used it for a full month before reviewing because my initial response to the product was completely negative. And now that I have given it this long I would say I have some mixed feelings.