Keep An Eye Out: Target Beauty Box

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Target’s beauty box page has recently seen some updates, giving us clues to what the items in the next box will be. Considering the number of items listed, it looks like there might be two different boxes to choose from, or you could very well grab them both. I have no clue what sizes will be offered or how much it will be. They usually go for $5-10/each. In any case, this typically means the boxes will be going on sale within the next day or two. (Yes, I know it says they’re sold out. That’s because they haven’t gone on sale yet.)  Here’s a look at the products we might be seeing:

I’ll be honest… Nothing is really jumping out at me right now as something I feel like I’ve GOT to have, but we’ll wait and see. As always, I’ll put up a post when I see it go on sale.

A Belated Monday Musings (on Tuesday)

Welp, the Christmas holidays are over, and I’m in recovery mode. Now if I can just get myself through New Year’s, I think I’ll be good. There’s really not much to report. It was finally decided that I shall be allowed a kitchen blow torch, so that’s what I got for Christmas along with some other things.


Hubs and I came to the decision that we’d need to homeschool our daughter, and rather than wait until the end of the school year, we decided to make the transition over Christmas break. It was less painful than I figured it would be. I called the school on that last Friday and let them know I’d be by to formally withdraw her. They had everything ready for me, and it took my maybe a few minutes just because I wanted to say my good-byes. It was emotional more than anything, but I know my daughter won’t thrive in a large classroom, so I have to do what’s best for her. I don’t expect it to be easy, but I think I can do it. I do have a hell of a lot of respect for teachers. Meanwhile, my daughter is so excited she’s telling me how she’s going to learn Latin, German, violin, and about a gazillion other things. I’m pretty set on just covering the basics and making sure she’s caught up in Grade 4 before we move forward. And of course, we’re both going to have a learning curve. Continue reading “A Belated Monday Musings (on Tuesday)”

Merry Christmas!

I hope you’re all having a great one! We’re busy setting up laptops and swearing at plastic clamshells in our house, but I’ll be up and about as I can be and will be back to writing on the regular just as soon as I can get through this weekend.

Eat lots of junk food, you guys! It’s the holidays, so it’s allowed.

Lip Pencil Showdown! MAC vs. ModelCo vs. e.l.f.

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Okay, so I was curious when I got the ModelCo pencil in my Ipsy bag this month just how close it came to my beloved MAC Spice lip pencil. So I went out and grabbed another MAC pencil last week for the sake of comparison, and also, well… This is a MAC Spice pencil. I’ve already gone through two of these, so I’ll use it, no question. I love my brown/nude lip pencils. Just for fun, I’m tossing in an e.l.f. liner as well.

For those of you unfamiliar, Kylie Jenner made the MAC Spice pencil incredibly popular, and for a while there you had to commit murder to get your hands on one. But it really is a great shade, particularly for overdrawing the lips and making them look fuller, and it’s hands down my favorite lip pencil, so it’s always fun to see what I can come across that’s similar. Continue reading “Lip Pencil Showdown! MAC vs. ModelCo vs. e.l.f.”

Great Deals on HauteLook Today!

I’ll get back to my Monday Musings soon enough. It’s just been a busy couple of weeks for me. But I do want to pop in and tell you guys about some things I’ve spotted on HauteLook today. I know how expensive good skin care and cosmetics can be, so I definitely like to snatch up things when they’re on sale like this.

Dr. Brandt Skin Care

Link. I’m a big fan of Dr. Brandt’s “Pores No More” line, and a few of those things are up right now. Everything is at least 49% off or more.


Link. I’m not as big into Clarisonic as some of my friends are, but if this is your thing, there are two kits up for $99 each.

JUARA Skin Care

Link. I’ve already raved about this one once. Lots of great products. Check it out.

JUARA on HauteLook Today

This weekend, HauteLook has JUARA skin care on sale for up to 62% off on select items. I’m currently working my way through a tube of their hand cream that I got in my Birchbox. I’ve used a few of their other products in the past, and so far I haven’t come across anything I don’t like. The Tumeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask is heavenly and comes in a set with two others.

These ship in 2-3 weeks, so you won’t get these by Christmas, but it makes a nice treat for yourself.

While you’re on HauteLook, check out their sale on Stila as well.

Powder as Primer: Yes, you read that right.

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I have combination skin, but for whatever reason, my skin occasionally decides to be oilier than Saudi Arabia. Skin care products don’t seem to make a difference. Baking seems to help a little, but not much. Primer (or lack thereof) doesn’t see to help much. I have few different primers in my arsenal, but my two most expensive ones (both from Benefit) do more for me when I wear them OVER my foundation. (I use one for mattifying and one for brightening.)

And then I discovered this stuff…

e.l.f. Prime & Stay Finishing Powder


This was originally purchased as a random new item from e.l.f. to try out and review, and I’ll admit I sort of had no idea what to do with it when I got it. It’s okay as a finishing powder, but I was curious about the “primer” portion of the description, mainly because everything I know about makeup tells me that I’m putting on my makeup in the wrong order if I do this. Primer goes first, then foundation and concealer, then powder. Right? Every woman knows this.

I’m here to tell you that I’ve apparently been doing things wrong all these years. This stuff… It works miracles, and it really hasn’t been given the attention it deserves. I went back and forth on how to use this, so I eventually decided that I should apply it as if I were going to go out without makeup. I went through my morning skincare routing and got my moisturizer game in order. Then I applied this with a dense powder brush (not the big, fluffy kind). There’s actually a new one from e.l.f. that works perfectly for this. A foundation brush also works. Then I let it set for a few minutes. The best way I can describe what happened next is to say that as the product was warmed up on my skin the powder residue seemed to melt away, leaving behind that smooth, soft focus finish.

Every foundation I’ve applied over it has lasted longer and needed less blotting, with or without baking. I’ve used Tarte, Lancome, Make Up Forever, Maybelline, e.l.f., and L’Oreal. I’ve used concealers by e.l.f., Maybelline, Tarte, and Sephora. EVERYTHING has stayed put for hours longer than I thought it would, and this little $2 product has quickly become my baby.

And then it went out of stock, and I couldn’t find a link to it on e.l.f.’s website without searching Google, which tells me that it’s likely this has been discontinued. I’ve been Googling and trying to find something similar, and meanwhile I’ve hit pan.

Now, I’ve never seen another product like this, but knowing e.l.f., it’s probably a dupe of something more expensive out there. So off I flew earlier today to hit up a few makeup counters. I think I confused the hell out of the poor salesperson at Sephora. When I told her I’d been putting powder on under my foundation and a mattifying or brightening primer over it, she looked at me like I’d just tried to take a bite out of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar display. I can’t say I’d blame her. I thought the same thing until I’d tried this stuff.

“Ma’am, you put your powder on OVER your foundation to set your makeup. Your primer goes under your foundation. Have you tried a primer?”

“Yes, and the ones I like tend to work a little better for me on top of my foundation. That Smashbox abomination that everyone else seems to love makes my makeup melt off faster. But this IS a primer– just in powder form. And I use another powder to set my makeup after I put on foundation.”

“Which powder are you using.”

“I have five. Two loose and three pressed. It just depends on what look I’m going for. The two loose are used for baking. The three pressed are a translucent, a translucent HD, and a mattifying.”

“And you’re putting those UNDER your foundation?”

“No, I use this stuff under, which is a powder primer, then my foundation and concealer, then a brightening or mattifying primer if I want, then powder.”

[Insert another look like I’m wearing my underwear on my head here.]

So yes, I get that it sounds like the strangest thing in the world, but it really does work, and I’m completely hooked. Thankfully, one of the other associates there knew about the technique and pointed me toward a similar product by Too Faced. They didn’t have it in stock, unfortunately, so I’ll have to wait until it’s delivered to do a full review on it. As best I could tell from the sample, though, it looks like I’ve found my new go-to.

December Birchbox & Ipsy Review

Now that I’ve had a chance to try out the items in my December Birchbox and Ipsy, I thought I’d let you guys know what I thought of the items included. Continue reading “December Birchbox & Ipsy Review”

December Target Beauty Box Recap

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While there were two boxes available, I only got the one for the ladies. (Sorry, gentlemen. My husband wasn’t interested.) Unlike most of the boxes I get, Target’s box is not a subscription box, and you know what you’re getting before you purchase it. Sometimes they’re $5, but they’ve also gone for $7 or $10, depending on what’s in them, and the products included are usually valued WAY more than the price of the box. This one was $10. Target plops them onto their website and then you get to fight a bunch of other frenzied shoppers to snag one before they sell out. It’s not a process I’m fond of. Usually you have a few hours, but this time Target surprised us all by posting it on a Sunday. (Just about everyone had speculated that it would go up on Cyber Monday.)

So here’s a roundup of everything that came with the box and the estimated value of all items.

Hair Food Dry Shampoo
1.7 oz Travel Size $4.99

Smells great and goes on clear while getting the job done, which is really all I ask from a dry shampoo. It’s a little pricey at $10/bottle for the full size, but it’s not obscene.

CoverGirl Star Wars Lipstick
Full size $5.99

I haven’t gotten anything CoverGirl since trying out the mascara from hell, and now I’m thinking I need to go back and give some other things a try. I got #30, which is a shimmery cranberry (swatched below). It almost looks like a chrome finish. This is definitely going to get a workout over the holidays. I’m still geeking out so hard over this one! I’m also a little glad it wasn’t one of the more interesting colors. I’m in my 30s, so outside of cosplay those just wouldn’t work on me. The pigmentation is amazing, and it’s very moisturizing. I was worried about the glitter being uncomfortable, but I don’t even notice it. This might be my favorite thing in the entire box. It’s GORGEOUS!

Maybelline Push Up Drama Mascara
Full size $7.49
It’s not the best mascara I’ve tried, and I wouldn’t repurchase it, but my lashes don’t need much help, so it’ll do.

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream
Sample $1.72

I have enough eye cream stockpiled to last me into 2017, and that’s not an exaggeration. Everything I subscribe to has sent me eye creams and serums and gels, some of them full size. Publix had an Olay eye cream I like on clearance, and I used Birchbox points to get the Shiseido I liked so much. Do I feel like I have too much eye cream? No, I do not. Do I care that I have one more to add to the pile? No, I do not. Eye creams are my obsession.

Goody Ouchless Sweat Stretch Elastics
Set of 3

These are sold in packages of way more than 3, and I can’t find this specific type of elastic on Target’s website, so I’m going to estimate less than $1 on it’s value. Still, my daughter and I both love these elastics, and we’ve been supplied with a good many of them through various sub boxes. These I really like. They’re made with wicking material, which of course means they will be used for when I go running.

Pacifica Love 3 Eye Shadow Trio
Full size $9.99

The packaging is absolutely gorgeous, and I love it, but the shadow itself doesn’t really perform well. It’s not that pigmented and goes on very sheer. I had to really layer it to get anything at all to show up for a swatch. This, of course, means it’s perfect for my daughter’s makeup collection. As you can see, the shadow swatches were so light that I had to label them, and that’s after three dips in the pot.

Lipstick and eyeshadow swatches. The different shadow colors are numbered.
Lipstick and eyeshadow swatches.

Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream
Sample $12.80

Wow! This stuff really impressed me at how light it is and how little I need, and this sample is going to last me for a while. It reminded me a lot of a product I love from Clinique in that way, though I definitely feel that the Clinique is more effective, more versatile, and will only set you back another $7. That said, this will certainly do for now until I use it up. I really like it. It’s just not my favorite product of it’s kind.

Olay Regenerist Microsculpting Cream
Travel size $9.99

I’m guessing this is supposed to be a travel size, anyway. It’s sold in this size, but there’s also a much bigger version. I’m a big Olay fan, so I’m happy to have it.

There is also a $3 off coupon included.

Not including the coupon or hair elastics, this box was worth a little over the $50 promised, which is darn good for $10, but that’s really not much of a surprise. With the exception of maybe one box, I’ve never had a “bad” Target Beauty Box. If you’d like a heads up for when the next box goes on sale, head on over to the right panel and click on the follow button. I try to get those out ASAP.