Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nordstroms & Sephora Haul! Spring Makeup

Normally I do not go crazy buying makeup from Sephora or Nordstroms! But Sephora had their Beauty Insider 15% off promo going, and Nordstroms had some amazing GWP's.

This post is LONG! I could have split it up into 2 or even 3 posts instead, but since it was all the same hauls I wanted to keep them together.

Last year, I saw the Benefit Legally Bronze kit and fell in love. At the time, I didn't have a full time job and could not justify spending that much on makeup when I was only working very part time temp jobs. But I kept it bookmarked and would look at it wishfully thinking of how perfect it would be for summer. I've been dying to try Benefit products, but this is the only kit that has completely captivated me.
Unfortunately, it went OOS, and I figured that it wasn't meant to be, that I would just have to forget about owning that gorgeous set.
I even checked in my Sephora store during the VIB/BI sale earlier this month, because the website claimed my store had one set left. After going and looking everywhere in the whole store, I determined that it was wrong and once again decided that it was not meant to be.
Literally the next morning, I woke up and checked my email and was absolutely shocked to see that the email had come that the set was back in stock! Not to mention that the 15% off code was still valid! Needless to say, I snatched that kit up and do not regret it one bit. In order to get free shipping, since I would much rather use the $7 towards a product I will use than for shipping, I added the Sephora Limited Edition eyeshadow in MoonBeam to my cart, plus the 3 samples that are complimentary with each order.

Included in the Legally Bronze Kit are the following:
- 0.45 oz High Beam (luminescent complexion enhancer)
- 0.28 oz Hoola (bronzing powder)
- 0.08 oz Gilded (tangerine gold highlighter)
- 0.19 oz BADgal Brown (deep brown mascara for mile-high lashes)

So far I have tried out the High Beam, and find it very reminiscent of the Josie Moran Argan Oil Illuminizer. It blended in very easily and didn't look too pink on my skintone like the one I have from TopShop tends to. The formula is really smooth and I love the applicator.
Next I tried out Hoola, and it's a great bronzer! Since I am so pale (NW15/Ivory), most bronzers look either like I'm trying to be an Oompa Loompa, or that I haven't washed my face after I went camping in the desert for a week. Not attractive. This does not look like that on me at all. The brush is kind of weird though, and even though it's super soft, I prefer a regular powder brush instead. I already have 3 open mascaras, so I will test that out after those are all used up.
The Gilded, I used like a gold eyeliner and it was perfect, a nice warm gold color. It's a little too yellow to use as a brow highligher for my skintone, it looks weird. But it makes a very nice shadow base or liner.

Next, BentleyBlonde had posted about purchasing the M.A.C. Skinfinish Extra Dimension highlighters and they caught my attention. I wear shimmery neutrals almost every day so these are right up my alley.
M.A.C was already sold out of all three colors, so I looked to Nordstroms and lucked out. At the time, 2 out of the 3 colors were available. Whisper of Guilt and Glorify were the only two still in stock, so I nabbed them. They had a special GWP pink faux crocodile bag with samples if you spent $125, plus there was a GWP for Estee Lauder happening as well. I had been looking at the limited edition Bronze Capri Goddess Gelee' Powder collection and decided that since the colors were all things I will use, it was worth it. To get the GWP, I purchased the Estee Lauder BB Cream in Light as well.

The next day, I was looking at the Skinfinishes again and noticed that the 3rd color, Superb was back in stock, so I quickly ordered it too. Normally I don't buy all the colors of something, but I know I will definitely use every one of these completely up. For reference, here are swatches of them (click to make the photo larger)

On the left is Superb, which is a shimmery rose gold type of color. The middle is Whisper of Guilt, which is a champagne color. Glorify looks extremely dark in the pan, as you can see from the photo of all of the pans above. [Those are also in the same order as the swatches]

On me it's a nice coppery bronze color. Even though these are highlighters, on me they work as highlighters, bronzers and eyeshadows. I've been wearing Glorify as an eyeshadow on my lid, with Whisper of Guilt for my browbone color, and then putting Glorify on as bronzer as well. If you blend it out it's not too dark, and the shimmer doesn't bother me at all. I prefer shimmery makeup to matte.

The formula is very smooth and creamy and they last really well on my face. Yesterday the colors stayed put all day even though I was outdoors. They don't get that powdery residue on top of the pan when you use a powder brush with them, which I really appreciate.

Here you can see my Estee Lauder GWP. It's a nice cosmetic bag that's blue and white zebra print. It's still available now with any $42.50 Estee Lauder Purchase. Admittedly I was skeptical and expected this to all be super cheap looking. I was pleasantly surprised by how high quality the items all are. This set is absolutely perfect for anyone who is traveling for the summer and wants a nice little kit to throw in their bag. The eyeshadow set has 9 mini eyeshadows, and there are two "look cards" that show how to do a daytime look and a dramatic nighttime one with the products as well.

Here's the list of what is included: 
  • Soft Clean Tender Creme Cleanser (2.5 oz.)
  • Dual-Ended Pure Color Lipstick in Ripe Papaya (0.04 oz.) and Gloss in Peach Sizzle (0.15 oz.)
  • Sumptuous Mascara (0.1 oz.)
  • Time Zone Line & Wrinkle Reducing Creme (0.5 oz.)
  • Advanced Night Repair (0.24 oz.)
  • Pure Color Eyeshadow compact in Twinkle Pink, Waves Duo, Hot Cinnamon, Khakis Duo, Lavish Mink and Raisins Duo.
  • Cosmetics Bag
The lipstick color is soooo pretty. It's very sheer and neutral. The lipgloss is a nice consistency, not sticky at all and it layers over the lipstick nicely. I love the eyeshadow compact and look forward to trying the colors!

I have to say that I admittedly was biased against Estee Lauder for being "old lady makeup", and I was wrong. Yes, some of their stuff does seem kind of mature but you can find plenty of good products in their line.

The BB cream smells amazing, like cucumbers and aloe, it's refreshing and summery. I love it! It's lightweight and made my skintone look even without feeling like I had anything on my skin.

Here is it swatched out on my hand. This is the lightest shade and as you can see it looks a bit yellow on my NW15/warm ivory skintone. That said, it helps tone down my ruddyness some, especially on my nose, and blends in beautifully.

Here's a swatch of it blended out. It's hard to see it exactly, but you can see where it cuts down on the redness some, and while it still is a little yellow, once I put on bronzer and my regular makeup it looks completely fine.

I'm super pleased with this. It's expensive, but a little bit goes a long ways and it smells so nice and refreshing that I love using it.

If you can get your hands on a sample I would highly recommend checking out the Estee Lauder BB cream!

Next I got the Nordstroms GWP which is a pink faux crocodile bag that included the following:
  • Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum (0.04 oz)
  • Cartier Baiser Vole Eau de Parfum (0.05 oz)
  • Caudalie Premier Cru Cream (0.06 oz)
  • Clarins Extra-Firming Day Wrinkle Lifting Cream for All Skin Types (0.5 oz)
  • Clinique Blushing Blush Powder Blush in Aglow (0.11 oz)
  • Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go Nail Lacquer Remover Finger Mitt (1 packette)
  • Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Body Creme (1 oz)
  • Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Eye Creme (0.17 oz)
  • Philosophy amazing grace perfumed shampoo, bath & shower gel (1 oz)
  • Phyto PhytoVolume Actif Volumizer Spray (1.77 oz)
  • Prada Infusion d’Iris Eau de Parfum Spray (0.05 oz)
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Foundation Primer (0.25 oz)
  • TanTowel Half Body Application Plus (1 towelette)
  • Xen-Tan Scent Secure Gold Tinted Moisturizer (1 oz)
I also got 6 extra samples because I placed 2 orders with them for beauty products. They ended up being 5 perfume samples, and then one glycolic peel sample, so that was really nice! 

All in all I feel like I got a lot of stuff for my money. I always try to look for GWP's, and combine offers so that I can get the items I was wanting to purchase, but with lots of extra goodies so that it really makes it worth it! Sometimes it means waiting, and sometimes it's just not possible, because items sell so fast, but I really lucked out.

What's your best haul so far this year?

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