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Beauty

I’ve always wanted to do more tags on here, including beauty-related tags, so it was most appropriate for me to yank this one right from Dorkchops.  In addition to having just about the cutest blog name ever,  she runs an extremely informative and fun beauty blog, so make sure to check her out if you haven’t already.

Sorry, I’m still enamored with her username.  Ok, ok.  I’m going to move on now…let’s talk sin & beauty!

Greed, as personified by the incredibly talented and outrageously gorgeous Mykie @ Glam&Gore.

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Now that it’s almost March, I finally received my February Birchbox.  It’s not their fault – I missed the shipment and my box has been sitting at my post office for just about forever.  This month’s box is themed around friendship as a way to stick it up to V-day.  I’m not kidding, the little card I received literally says, “February may be about a certain romance-focused holiday, but we’re just as thrilled to celebrate those people who cheer us on, calm us down, and -most importantly- make us laugh so hard we cry” (emphasis added).  Calling Valentine’s Day a “certain romance-focused holiday,” are we?  What, are we going back to calling Voldemort “He Who Must Not Be Named,” as well?  Pft.

Anyway, I think that a friendship-themed box is all cool and stuff, but I don’t understand how this box, by its design or contents, is related to friendship.  I’m about to show you what my box looks like, so you guys can tell me if you agree / disagree.  If you guys disagree, please tell me how you think my box embodies the meaning and/or celebration of friendship.  UNLESS…Birchbox is telling me that my life is so void of human love from friends, and that my only real friends now are makeup…in which case, well played, Birchbox, well played.  Also, I hate you.

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At first glance, the pattern on the box seems to be random splotches (I was in a hurry to unbox).  But upon closer look, I can see that they are text messaging windows / chat boxes.  I guess that’s what they meant by friendship…but it’s not like people don’t chat or text with their significant others so …I still don’t buy it.

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I mentioned in a previous post that I received a mini quad of the Coastal Scents Revealed Palette to try in my January Birchbox.  I was really excited because I’ve been wanting to try these shadows after hearing wonderful things about them.  I had never gotten around to buying Coastal Scents palettes after suffering a huge letdown from BH Cosmetic palettes…you know, those big 88 and 120 palettes? Coastal Scents supposedly sell the same exact palettes, except they got their own name plastered on them instead of BH’s.  But the Revealed Palette has received rave reviews from the beauty community and has been praised as a great dupe for some of the higher-end cult favorites on the market.  In fact, the palette has done so great that Coastal Scents recently came out with a second edition of the palette.  So now that I have some of the shadows to try out, I’ve decided to put them to the test against a few of my most loved palettes…and I’m pretty impressed!

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Coastal Scents v. Lorac (1, 2); Urban Decay Naked (1, 2, 3); Too Faced Chocolate Bar.

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For Christmas, I was gifted a subscription of Birchbox and although I’ve only received two boxes so far, I’m loving it!  Birchbox is a monthly subscription box service that costs $10 a month.  Every month, you will receive a box of 4-5 beauty or lifestyle samples tailored to you based on a quiz you take.  The point of the box if for you to try out new products without having to pay full product prices.

I knew once I received my first box that I wanted to do something with it on WordPress.  So the plan is to feature each box as they come on a monthly basis because I think it’s always fun comparing what you received against what someone else got.  I’ve decided not to do in-depth reviews on each product; I will just do an overview/first impression of the items in my box and then later do in-depth reviews on selected products that left a strong impression on me (love …or hate).

If you’re looking for in-depth reviews on every single product in the box, check out my fave, Beeju at http://beejuboxes.com/.  She features a whole variety of different subscription and non-subscription boxes, from beauty to snacks, to even boxes for the gaming/geek life!  Best of all, she is extremely transparent and honest in her reviews – something that I’ve come to appreciate and love about her. If you love boxes or want to learn more about the box culture, go follow her now!

1For my first box post, I’ve decided to go with the January box.  I did receive a December box, but it was not compiled based on my preferences.  Even though I really loved it, I’m starting with January because I rather show you guys a personalized box rather than a “generic” one.

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One of the perks of being a Beauty Insider with Sephora is that every year during your birthday month, you get a free gift.  The gift usually contains two to three deluxe samples from brands that they, obviously, stock.  Last year, the gift was Make Up For Ever’s Smoky Extravagant mascara and Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N9 (2014).  The year before that, it was Benefit Cosmetics’ Watt’s Up highlighter and They’re Real mascara (2013).  And the year before that was Fresh’s Sugar Lip Treatment and Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment (2012).  I don’t know what the gift was for 2011 and earlier; I only became a Beauty Insider in 2012.

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There are three levels to Sephora’s rewards program: Beauty Insider, VIB, and VIB Rouge.  It’s free to sign up to be a Beauty Insider.  For VIB, I believe you now have to spend $350 within a calendar year. In the past, I am pretty sure you had to spend $500 for that level.  For VIB Rouge, you have to spend $1,000 within a calendar year.  If you are a VIB Rouge member, I believe you get an additional deluxe sample for your gift.  I wouldn’t know, I’m only a VIB. :[

Anyway, my birthday month is January.  Which means that I get to find out what the gifts are and receive them a lot earlier than most.  Exciting!  So for this year, Sephora is giving away NARS Lip Pencils!  As a VIB, you get the lip pencils in Rikugien and Cruella.  Click below for pictures and swatches!

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This post is inspired by my friend Dora, who asked about what must-have items a starter makeup kit should contain.  I am not a beauty blogger, but I do have a strong, strong addiction to makeup that borderlines creepy and disturbing.  So in the spirit of my creepiness, I bring you what I believe, are the building blocks of a basic makeup toolbox.  First things first: reach deep down inside of you and figure out what your makeup philosophy is.  Yes, that’s right.  Do it.  Why do you want to wear makeup?  Is it merely to coverup your perceived imperfections?  Or is makeup more of a burdensome accessory that you want to pull out only on special occasions (much like a pair of killer high heels)?  Knowing why you want to smear warpaint on your face will help guide you through your shopping choices and save money on overhyped items that you will never actually use.

This post will be organized into 2 categories: “necessities” and “bonus items,” followed by recommended products, all tried-and-true.  Think of the makeup journey as going from looking sick to normal, then finally to glam (or chic, romantic, whatever your style is).  With a fresh face sans makeup, I look sick.  Actually, with my dark under eye circles, I look more like a walker.  So the items I have in my “necessities” pile bring me from sick to normal.  Then if I want to go a bit further, I’ll use the items in my “bonus” pile to go from just normal to glam.  Make sense?  I hope so, I’m terrible with explaining stuff.  Did I mention I’m not a beauty blogger?

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This post is on a box service called Memebox, which technically is not a subscription box because you don’t pay for a periodic subscription.  I use the term “Subscription Box” simply because it is widely used to describe services that send you a box of mystery goods at a fixed price.  Memebox is a Korean box service that fills their boxes with all of the best (or most hyped) products from Asia. Although it is a good way to try Asian products, I knew nothing about how they are priced on the Asian markets and worried about being ripped off.  But I eventually got suckered into trying one when Dani (from CoffeeBreakWithDani) collaborated with Memebox and came out with a box filled with products all handpicked by her.  I was initially very impressed with the CBWD box and eagerly browsed through Dani’s videos on Memebox unboxings to check out what their other boxes are like. But soon enough, I came across a video that confirmed all of my initial suspicions.

In Dani’s Memebox Unboxing of the 9th Edition Box, she talks about KeraSys Oriental Premium Shampoo.  According to Memebox, it’s purported retail value is $90 for a full-sized bottle at 600g – making the 200g sample we received worth $30.  On Amazon, the full-sized bottle is worth only $12.99.  At the local Asian markets near me here in the U.S., the full-sized is only worth $3.99 — we’re not talking about a $5 or $20 difference; we’re talking about a $86 difference here!  I then checked with a friend of mine in Korea and she told me that this brand is sold in the Korean version of Target over there, and that the most expensive product in this line is worth only $10 there for a huge bottle. Last time I checked, they don’t sell $90 shampoos in Target.

MEMEBOX, tell me how you can claim that a bottle of shampoo that is worth $3.99 to be worth $90?  It’s terrible how you try to trick us into thinking that what we paid is pale in comparison to the value of the box we receive.  I no longer trust this company and will never be ordering from them again.  Seriously, shame on them.

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Memebox 9th Edition; picture straight from its website (http://us.memebox.com/memebox-old/memebox-global-9).  KeraSys Oriental Premium Shampoo included.

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Tarina Tarantino’s Emerald Pretty Eyeshadow Palette recently joined my makeup collection, just in time for Halloween.  This palette is a limited edition, inspired by the “magical and bejeweled land of Oz.”  The shades were created to capture the essence of The Emerald City, and you know what guys?  I think she succeeded.

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The palette is housed in strong cardboard material, designed to look like an emerald. Despite its 3-dimensional appearance, the cover is flat.

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The crazy changes in the weather lately has been an absolute terror for my skin.  I’m talking about crocodile legs, patchy dry areas on my scalp, ashy soles – the whole works.  The only thing that has remain the same is my face; my T-zone has been as oily as ever (the one thing that will never change, it seems).  So I have been in a huge skincare kick lately, which not only means that I’m taking extra time to care for my skin, but also means that I’m experimenting with new products that might, or might not be, so new on the market.  The latest product that I’ve tried is the Daiso Japan Natural Pack Charcoal Peel Off Mask.

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I have been wanting to pick up the Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask by Freeman for a while now but never got a chance to stop by my local drugstore.  I recently went to Ulta to return something and figured I might as well pick up the mask there, but of course Ulta did not have that particular mask in stock.  LP dropped by earlier this week and, knowing that I wanted it, decided to get me a sample sized version of the mask for me to try.

mask

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