Sephora & Ulta Birthday Gift Unboxing

A perk to having your birthday at the beginning of the new year is that you get almost immediate access to the new year’s birthday gifts for members of stores like Sephora and Ulta.

Yes, happy belated birthday to me!

And maybe you’re wondering, since your birthday might not be for a while, what the birthday gifts from these stores are this year?

Don’t worry; I got you.

From Sephora we have this cute little Tarte duo of the Amazonian clay blush and Tarteist matte lip color. I was a little skeptical of the lip color, as pink isn’t my usual lip jam. But I was pleasantly surprised at how it complemented my skin tone, and it lasted all day.

The blush is the Tarte Amazonian clay blush, and it looks like it complements pretty much any skin tone. It’s more of a brown/nude pink than a bright pink, and I was a little concerned how it would look on me because I have such pale skin. But it worked out well!

And from Ulta the current birthday gift is a deluxe sample of the Porefessional face primer. I’ll be honest, I’ve only tried this once so far!

I typically throw sample-sized things in my travel makeup bag to test out next time I go out of town, and the one time I did use it I enjoyed it. I didn’t notice anything extra special about it, and my pores looked about the same, but it worked well for priming for my foundation.

Hope you enjoyed this little rundown!

—Marge 💋

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Ipsy Unboxing & Review, Dec. 2016


Hey, everyone! I’m playing catch-up, yet again.

This is my final Ipsy Glam Bag review. As mentioned in the last one, we are saving for a downpayment on a house, and I cancelled a bunch of subscriptions to save some cash—including Ipsy.

I’m not too heartbroken about it; I was collecting too many makeup bags, and the samples I was receiving as of late weren’t thrilling me.

So without further ado, here are the last samples I was sent.:

  • Aurora Intensely Precise liquid eyeliner in “Cinnamon”—this stuff does NOT come off, which can either be good or bad. You decide. I’ve only worn this once, and it irritated my eyes a little. Plus, I don’t really wear brown liner ever.
  • NYX purple prismatic eye shadow—This was a giant NOPE for me. The color isn’t flattering to my skin tone, and it was way too sparkly for my taste.
  • Jersey Shore Cosmetics peppermint lip balm—This is an alright product. I do enjoy a good peppermint lip balm, but, man, I don’t need so many lip balms.
  • Royal & Langnickel MODA angle shader brush—This was probably the best thing I received. I use this brush all the time for blending.
  • Smashbox Insta-Matte lipstick transformer—I was really excited to receive this, but I’ve yet to try it. And it is now February. I’m sure it works great, but I already have a lot of matte lipsticks and haven’t found an occasion where I’ve felt like I needed it.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t even like the makeup bag for this month either. I can tell Ipsy was trying to channel the iconic pink envelope it sends its samples out in, but I don’t love it or the faux-fur fabric its crafted from. It looks tacky, in my opinion. This one is going to my Poshmark. Buh-bye.

What do you think of beauty subscriptions? Yay or nay?

 

 

 

 

 

Five Lipsticks You Need This Winter

This post may contain affiliate links. 

Winter is the perfect time to bust out a bold lip if you’re not normally accustomed to doing so. The muted tones of winter are the perfect backdrop for the main event: your bold color choice.

As many of you (no doubt) have a plethora of holiday parties and get-togethers to attend, you might be looking for the perfect winter lipstick to add as the finishing touch before you head out the door.

But maybe you’re struggling to find a good choice. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Here are my top 5 favorite winter lipsticks for you to peruse.

Maybelline’s Divine Wine (matte)—This is by far my favorite dark lippie for winter. It’s a gorgeous deep berry with excellent staying power that is not too drying. Bust this out when you brave the holiday shopping crowds, and you’ll feel all-powerful, I promise.

Sephora Collection liquid lipstick in Scarlet Luster—On the opposite end of the lipstick spectrum is this vibrant red. It does tend to transfer a lot, but somehow the color manages to stay in-your-face vibrant nearly all day. Wear this one with your ugly sweater!

Revlon’s Wine with Everything—This is more of an everyday red that is especially nice around the holidays. You can wear it to work all month long for a subtle festive touch to business casual look.

Revlon’s Wine Not? (matte)—Are you sensing a theme here? This is a beautiful deep wine red with purply hues that’s perfect for that swanky evening soiree or your work’s holiday party.

Wet ‘N’ Wild’s Sugar Plum Fairy—This is a semi-matte magenta-purple lipstick that’s stunning for an evening out with your gals or your significant other. It looks dark in the tube, but it applies brighter. Wear this when you’re sipping cocktails and watching the snow fall.

Not feeling the bold lip this year? Check out my top greige lipstick picks for a grungy look this winter. Happy holidays!

Ipsy Glam Bag Unboxing & Review, Nov. 2016

Hey, everyone!

After the last Ipsy Glam Bag I got, I wasn’t sure if November’s bag could top how cute October’s was. It came pretty dang close, though!

November’s bag is made of a navy blue neoprene material and features a pattern boasting constellations made of cosmetics. How cute, right?

In my bag, I received:

Three Botanical face masks—These were super refreshing. I liked how they were cold when I put them on.

Ciate London liquid lipstick—I FINALLY received a red lipstick from Ipsy. It took forever, but I really like this formula! The wand’s tip is more of pointed cone shape, so it’s super easy to apply precisely. And the color lasts all dang day.

The Balm Mad Lash mascara—While I love the formula and the curved shape of the brush, I’m not a fan of the click-on cap, much like the Tarte one from a few months ago.

Tarte maracuja oil—I’ll be honest, I still haven’t gotten around to trying this one. I’m a little “meh” about putting oil on my face.

Formula X nail polish in “Huntress”—Though this looks black, it’s actually a dark blue/green. I only had to apply one coat of this polish because it’s so thick.

Overall I was pretty pleased with what I got (especially the lipstick), but I think the time has finally come for me to cancel my subscription.

I know, right?

But I got a preview of what’s in my December bag, and I can’t say I’m super thrilled. And (big news) we’ve decided to start saving for a downpayment on a house.

Ten bucks per month for Ipsy might not seem like a lot, but it’s starting to feel like a waste when every little bit of extra cash adds up. I’ll just have to live vicariously through everyone else’s reviews.

So excuse my ramble, and now let me know what you got in your November Glam Bag! I’m dying to hear!

Marge’s Monthly Must-Haves, Nov. 2016

Happy first day of December, everyone! Is it just me, or did November fly by? I was so busy this month that I don’t have a ton of new faves, but I do have a few to share with you!

Essence Sunrise eye shadow palette—This is the gorgeous little set of baked shadows I mentioned in this post. It’s not produced anymore, but I found it brand new on Poshmark, and I’ve been wearing it pretty frequently. The yellow is my favorite!

Elf eyeliner pencil—I’ve rediscovered my love for good ol’ fashioned pencil liners, thanks to this mini pencil that came in an an Elf Halloween set. I’m in love with how smoothly it glides on—I’ve been wearing this every day.

Bite lipstick in Squid Ink—I’m counting this as one of my faves even though I only wore it a few times. I love it. It’s a beautiful blue-black lipstick I purchased with my VIB 20% off coupon  and is so creamy! A++ in my book.

It was a little on the spendier side, but I think it’s worth splurging when you’re considering buying a black lipstick—if you bought it for cheap, it will definitely look cheap when you apply it. Word to the wise.

Moroccan oil—this was a freebie from my mom. I always spray some sort of oil in my hair when I straighten or curl it to give it some moisture and keep it smooth, especially because my ends get so dry. This one smells so good, and it’s fun to switch up your beauty products every once in a while.

What were your November faves? Let me know!

 

 

VIB 20% Off Sale Haul

Hey there, friends!

I have a story to tell you. I got my 20% off VIB coupon in the mail last week and I was SO dang excited to use it—I’d just run out of all my favorite products, so it was perfect timing.

I waited all week until it was valid, dragging my husband to Sephora with me over the weekend so I could stock up. I  racked up $100 in beauty products and FORGOT TO USE MY COUPON. I about had a Niles Crane hyperventilation moment outside the store when I realized what had happened. It could have saved $20!

But I had a valid reason for forgetting.

There was a young girl at the register beside us, and she was $5 short on her birthday money to buy the makeup she wanted. We’ve all been in that boat, I’m sure, when we were younger. My husband, out of the blue, gave her the $5 she needed, and I was just so dang proud to be this guy’s wife that I totally forgot about the coupon.

What a great guy, right?

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what I possibly could have bought that cost that much.

Too Faced Waterproof Better Than Sex Mascara—I wear this every damn day, and I even wore it on my wedding day!

Make Up For Ever Matte Setting Powder—This was a substitute for one of my everyday essentials. I normally use the Bare Minerals translucent setting powder, but the store was all out, so I got this instead.

Urban Decay Vintage lipstick in the shade Oil Slick—My college roommate had this color, and before I could snag one it was discontinued. However, to my surprise, Urban Decay brought back some of its “vintage” colors, and this is one!

It may look black, but it applies as a sheer gray with a little sparkle. It makes any plain lipstick a little gothier when layered on top. Perfect.

Bare Minerals Prime Time Original Primer—I use this every single day. Can’t go wrong with this! It works miracles under any foundation of your choice, though I prefer the Bare Minerals liquid foundation.

I didn’t use any of my rewards points because it seems like they never have new rewards in the JCP Sephora. BUT I did place another order on Sephora’s website for a Bite lipstick they didn’t carry in the store, and I used some of my points through their Rewards Bazaar (review and unboxing coming soon!).


The lipstick I chose is a black-blue shade called Squid Ink. This particular shade was appealing to me because I have cool undertones, so the tinges of  blue complement my skin tone well.

I haven’t mustered the courage to wear this in public yet, but when I do, I’ll be channeling this magical Hufflepuff tutorial from my good friend Hannah.

I also snagged this Breakups to Makeups bag, because how could the self-proclaimed lipstick addict not? Too cute and too accurate. (Also too huge—I totally didn’t realize it would be this big.)

For samples (because Sephora orders aren’t complete without samples!) I chose a Versace Bright Crystal perfume, a Make Up For Ever foundation, and a RMS Beauty makeup wipe.

Did any of you take advantage of the 20% off coupon? I’d love to hear what you snagged!

Marge’s Monthly Must-Haves, Oct. 2016

Hello, everyone, and happy Halloween! For once I’m actually on time posting my monthly favorites—it feels so nice getting back into the swing of things. I tried a bunch of great new products this October that I can’t wait to tell you about, so let’s get started!

Shoot for the Stars bath bomb from Lush—Imagine my surprise when we stumbled upon a Lush store in Cork on our honeymoon, and when my husband insisted we go inside, where he bought bath bombs for each of us. (Have I mentioned how much I love him?)

This bath bomb contains gold glitter and six star-shaped bath melts, transforming the water into a swirly, sparkly night sky. Be still, my heart! Unlike the one J. chose for himself, this one did not stain the bathtub or the towels purple (ahahaha).

Nails Before Males manicure kit—our time in Cork got a bit weird with a giant shopping trip at Primark, where I picked this up. I couldn’t not buy it. It’s got six manicure tools inside and is the perfect size for tossing in your purse or your weekend bag.

Violet Voss Holy Grail palette—Yes, this is the swoon-worthy palette I mentioned coveting in this post. How did I manage to find a sold-out product? I have mad eBay skills, my friend. 😉 I’m completely head over heels for this palette—look out for a review soon!

Graveyard bath bomb from Witch Baby Soap—Surprise, another bath bomb I’ve already used! It’s no secret I love spooky things and taking baths. Combine them, and you’ve got a product I can’t say no to.

This coffin-shaped bath bomb is a real treat—it smells like “carefully arranged funeral flowers and freshly dug graves” and is packed with shea butter and avocado oil for super soft skin. And it is SO fragrant, guys. I smelled like lilies for a long time. You can read more about this bath bomb here.

Benefit’s Gimmie Brow volumizing eyebrow gel—I redeemed some of my Ipsy points for this sample and now will never go back to the NYX brow mascara(link) I was previously using. The Benefit gel has a better spoolie, richer color, and better staying power. My brows are on point 100% of the time now. Thanks, Benefit!

The October Ipsy bag—I mean, LOOK HOW CUTE IT IS. It is by far my favorite bag to date! I was seriously considering canceling my subscription after this month, but now I think I’ll see what November brings. You can read my unboxing and review of the October Glam Bag here.

What were your favorite products this month? Let me know in the comments—I’d love to hear!

Ipsy Glam Bag Unboxing & Review Oct. 2016


Happy 30 days of Halloween, everyone! I thought I’d take a break from my horror movie binging and candy corn guzzling to give you the what’s what regarding my October Glam Bag.

If you couldn’t already tell, Halloween is my favorite holiday, and this month’s Glam Bag feeds my spooky little soul. It’s so cute it hurts. It is hands-down my favorite Ipsy bag ever because:

  1. It’s pink, my favorite color.
  2. It’s covered in lipsticks, Ouija boards, ghosties, crystal balls…sigh. It’s perfect.

So, you’re probably wondering about the samples. Ahem. In October I received:

Ciate Fierce Flicks liquid eyeliner—I was so dubious of this. Liquid eyeliner from a brand I’d barely heard of? But I’m SO glad I received it; this eyeliner is amazing, making winged liner a cinch.

It applies easily, the felt tip is soft, and it stays put all damn day. No bleeding, no flaking, and no fading, all of which are usually problems for me because my eyes water so much. I will definitely be buying more of this when it runs out!

Vintage by Jessica Liebeskind eye shadow duo—This duo applies smoothly and is quite pigmented, but the shades were pretty “meh” for my taste (and I guarantee I have similar shades in my Naked Smokey palette already).

If you travel a lot, this is a nice little set that takes up hardly any space and is perfect for throwing in your carry-on bag or weekend bag. If you don’t travel a lot, then this might just clutter your makeup drawer.

The Balm’s Hot Mama blush—I should have known by The Balm’s reputation how great this blush was going to be, and I’m not one bit disappointed! It applies on my skin as a gorgeous peachy pick with a subtle shimmer. And such a little sample goes a long way! 100% not disappointed!

Pure Brazilian leave-in miracle hair treatment—While I don’t think this tops the leave-in treatment I got back in September, I does untangle my nest of hair, and it smells quite nice. Plus, the pump makes it easy to apply right to your hair without getting it all over your hands.

Trestique matte lip crayon in Florence Fig—Ipsy FINALLY sent me a lip color that is not paler than my natural lips or is an ungodly pink shade. Though this doesn’t fall into the bright red spectrum (my signature color), it is nonetheless a beautiful matte fig color perfect for fall—and long lasting, too!

What did you get in your Ipsy this month?

Marge’s Monthly Must-Haves, Sept. 2016

Hello, everyone! My apologies for such a late September favorites post; I’m still playing catch-up from the wedding.

OGX coconut oil hydrating hair mist—I got this to tame and smooth my frizzy hair, hoping for the best because I haven’t had much luck with hair oils in the past. But this! This will keep my hair straightened and sleek all day, and it makes it look so much healthier. And it smells incredible.

Lush products gifted to me at my bridal shower—My dear bridesmaid Lisa spoiled me with a plethora of Lush products for my bridal shower, namely Mask of Magnaminty, Charity Pot hand lotion, Vanillary perfume, and two bath bombs.

This was by no means my introduction to Lush; rather, she fed my addiction because I hadn’t tried any of these products. I mean, I frequently buy their bath bombs, but she got me some I’d never tried before.

However, the Mask of Magnaminty is definitely my favorite out of everything. It smells so fresh, feels good on my skin, and seems to calm my acne. An A++ in my book.

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Little Lush bundle!
Gelous nail gel & Gelous ridge filler—Purchased these weekend before our wedding on a whim after reading a Pinterest tutorial, hoping to achieve gel-like nails for the big day because I didn’t want to absolutely destroy my nails with a real gel manicure.

The tutorial claimed it’s like the real thing and will last a whole week, and all I can say about my own results is wow. I will never not use this when I paint my nails. Not only did my polish last the whole week with very minimal chipping, but it achieved that “plumping” effect that many gel-like polishes claim to possess but typically don’t.

Seche Vite fast-dry top coat—This was also suggested in the tutorial. It smells horrible, but your nails will be dry in like two seconds. For someone as restless as me who always fucks up their polish when it’s wet, this is a miracle product. I’m never going without this top coat ever again!

The Balm’s timeBalm® foundation—My new favorite lazy-day foundation. I apply this with a beauty blender and it looks great. It has excellent coverage and stays in place all day.

What were your favorite products in September?

Dollar Tree Beauty Haul

Dollar Tree is a treasure trove of undiscovered beauty essentials (I could probably do a whole post on what to buy and what not to buy, honestly), and I thought I’d share a few beauty items I picked up recently that you guys might be interested in reading about.

First up is a beauty blender! They have these in a variety of colors and are surprisingly soft. I was a little nervous it would be rough on my face, but it’s not. If you’re interested in trying a beauty blender but don’t want to spend $10+ to see if it works for you, then head over to Dollar Tree, my friend.

Next are some LA Colors matte lipsticks. They had this impressive endcap set up when I was there, with all sorts of LA Colors products. I picked out these matte lipsticks (ok, one says lip gloss, but how can a gloss be matte?). The “gloss” is more burgundy and the lipstick is a bright red.

The red lipstick, unfortunately, looked cheap when I applied it, and it looked semi-translucent when applied. Not a good look. I’d advise staying away from these. The “gloss” was ridiculously difficult to get off. It felt super sticky on my lips, but didn’t transfer a whole lot when I touched them with my fingertips. They were both difficult to apply, as you can probably see in the pictures below. They’re both patchy and uneven, and I couldn’t get my lower lip defined right. 

Cheapo matte red lippie

Sticky, patchy matte lippie

And the last thing I picked up is an eyebrow stencil (also from the LA Colors endcap) that has three different styles to choose from. These, surprisingly, work pretty dang well. I cut out the little piece of plastic in the middle so it was a little more user friendly. I used it in the picture above, but it’s not a great view, so I’m sorry! I will say I did like it enough to use for my wedding, though. 

And that’s all for now—thanks for reading!