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beauty haul: my sephora holiday 2012 gift list, including gifts from stila, buxom, nars and more

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Stila Snow Angel Color Palette & Stay All Day™ Waterproof Volumizing Mascara, $28. Photo: Sephora.

Every Christmas, I have been lucky enough to have parents who still go all out (even though I’m 25). Now that I have the money to spend on presents as well, it makes Christmas morning that much better seeing what my parents and brothers will open up underneath the tree from me. With that being said, this year my dad told me I could order a bunch of stuff from Sephora (which, of course, I can’t open until Christmas morning). I decided to make a beauty haul post, with an overview of the products on my Sephora Christmas list. Some of these are staple products of mine, and some of them I am trying out for the first time.

My Sephora Holiday 2012 Gift List:

  • Stila Snow Angel Color Palette & Stay All Day™ Waterproof Volumizing Mascara ($28, pictured above): After buying Stila’s In the Light Eyeshadow Palette (and reviewing it here) I jumped to buy this beautiful palette, complete with 12 cheek colors and 18 eyeshadows. I absolutely love Stila‘s eyeshadows; I find them to be highly pigmented and (with the help of a shadow primer) they stay on for the duration of my day. This festive snowflake-shaped palette contains eyeshadow shades that are perfect for both day and night, combining natural colors with some darker browns and grays that can be applied either wet or dry. The set also contains a deluxe Stay All Day™ Waterproof Volumizing Mascara as well as a step-by-step artistry look book.
  • Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Pure Treatment Oil ($24 for 1.7 oz.): I have been using this product for a few months
    makeup tips, tricks, reviews and more at HUSH beauty blog.

    Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Pure Treatment Oil, $24. Photo: Sephora.

    now and this will be my second bottle (it lasts a pretty good amount of time — not a GREAT amount of time, but not a bad amount either). This oil actually HEALS your hair, making it stronger, thanks to organic bamboo and smoother thanks to organic kendi oil. I always find that many oils/serums such as this make my hair greasy-looking, but this oil works almost flawlessly for me (in small amounts, of course). It banishes frizz and gives off a beautiful shine thanks to vital nutrients. It also is formulated for maximum color retention. I use it on damp hair as I’m styling and then add a bit more if necessary to dry hair before using Bumble and bumble Does It All Spray (below) to lock in my look.

  • Bumble and bumble Does It All Styling Spray ($26 for 10 oz.): I have been using this styling spray for quite some time and I finally decided to get the full-sized version. I never liked hairspray — I find it to be too sticky and it often dries out my hair, making me add
    makeup tips, tricks, reviews and more at HUSH beauty blog.

    Bumble and bumble Does It All Styling Spray, $26. Photo: Sephora.

    more oil or serum, making it pointless to wear any hairspray at all. This spray is a true “styling spray” that provides hair with flexible hold and allows you to style by bending, twisting and molding hair into shape. You can also use this spray as a heat protector/styler and then spray a light mist to finish off any look. While reading reviews of this product on Sephora’s website, one user even said it was recommended to her to use this product as a dry shampoo for next-day hair and it worked out great for her. I’m excited to try that suggestion.

  • BUXOM The Headliners Collection ($42): I initially searched for a BUXOM mascara to add to my list, as a friend at work uses it and I was shocked at how wonderful it made my lashes look (think Benefit They’re Real! Mascara with even more separation). I am
    makeup tips, tricks, reviews and more at HUSH beauty blog.

    BUXOM The Headliners Collection, $42. Photo: Sephora.

    currently in the process of growing my lashes back from bad OCD by picking out my mascara (and my lashes go with it). BUXOM’s Amplified Lash Mascara truly made my lashes look more voluminous and it gave them that false-lash look with the crazy amount of separation that I have never seen before with any other mascara (and I have tried a lot). This collection also includes three other products I have never tried (but I’m super excited about): BUXOM Big & Healthy Lip Stick in Sydney, an actual stick for your lips that defines the shape of lips like a liner, fills them with a creamy color and then plumps them in true BUXOM fashion; BUXOM Insider Eyeliner in Onyx, a silky eyeliner blend that contains healthy antioxidants and vitamins to protect delicate skin at the lash line and boasts rich, long-wearing color; BUXOM Buxom Big & Healthy™ Lip Polish in Dani, a bestselling lipgloss that is supposed to instantly create the look of fuller lips with luminous shine, formulated with vitamins for moisture and protection; and, BUXOM Stay-There™ Eyeshadow in Pug, a smoky pewter color, infused with minerals , soothing Aloe extract and Vitamin E, with a non-greasy long-wearing finish. It seems highly pigmented so I am excited to try it.

  • NARS Mini Highlighting/Bronzing Blush Duo in Orgasm/Laguna (

    $24 for 0.17 oz.)Over the years I have tried

    makeup tips, tricks, reviews and more at HUSH beauty blog.

    NARS Mini Highlighting/Bronzing Blush Duo in Orgasm/Laguna, $24. Photo: Sephora.


    many blushes and bronzers and always seem to come back to this duo. I am more partial to shimmer-pigmented colors and these two definitely give off that subtle flush and summery glow. I have not much more to say except that the Orgasm/Laguna combo seems to be the perfect shades for my light to medium sort-of-olivey complexion. If you just can’t seem to find the perfect blush or bronzer, these might be the right shades for you.

  • Sephora Collection Eyelash Curler ($16): I’ve been needing a
    makeup tips, tricks, reviews and more at HUSH beauty blog.

    Sephora Collection Eyelash Curler, $16. Photo: Sephora.

    simple lash curler for awhile now, read the reviews on Sephora’s website and decided to buy this one. It comes in a bunch of pretty colors and people said they get a nice curl without having to hold it very long. Also, most of the other eyelash curlers at Sephora are around the same price range, so I figured I would buy the one that comes in pink. 🙂

  • Ciaté Caviar Manicure™ ($25): I have heard a lot of mixed reviews about these cute caviar beads for your nails. I heard that they fall off a
    makeup tips, tricks, reviews and more at HUSH beauty blog.

    Ciaté Caviar Manicure™, $25. Photo: Sephora.

    lot and don’t last very long. I also heard, however, that they look just as cool as they do in the photos and they are easy to apply. Either way, I want to try it out. Sephora is pretty much sold out of all the Ciaté Caviar Manicure™ kits, so I had to go with the black caviar pearls/opaque black polish kit, which I don’t mind at all. I’m excited to rock this edgy look. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  • Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm SPF 20 in Creme Glow ($32 for 1.5 oz.): Last but not least on my holiday gift list is Too Faced’s Tinted Beauty Balm (BB Cream). I am almost out of my current Too
    makeup tips, tricks, reviews and more at HUSH beauty blog.

    Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm SPF 20 in Creme Glow, $32. Photo: Sephora.

    Faced BB Cream, so it is about time to buy another one anyway. I love this beauty balm: it’s creamy, glides on smooth, gives off a radiant glow and masks imperfections on your face by depositing a slight bit of color. I reviewed this BB Cream awhile ago (post can be found here). Beauty balms are a wonder makeup product, and this particular one from Too Faced has all the following benefits: it tints, primes, protects, nourishes and prevents skin from future issues. It contains an anti-aging multimineral complex, enhances luminosity, features SPF 20 sun protection and comes in four shades so you can find your perfect match. This isn’t a foundation, however, so don’t expect the BB Cream to be too “matchy”. I also have found that this BB Cream is a lot smoother than some other brands, which tend to be cake-y.

Let me know if you try out any of these products in the comment section below 🙂

splurge/save/steal: metallic cosmetic cases in jewel-toned holiday colors from $1 to $45

Metallic cases makeup cases review. Target cosmetic cases, Neiman Marcus cosmetic cases, Sephora cosmetic cases. Buy metallic cosmetic cases. Photo copyright HUSH Beauty 2012.

Metallic cosmetic cases from Target. Photo copyright HUSH Beauty 2012.

I picked up these metallic cosmetic pouches the other day at Target in the $1 section and knew I had to write about them in my first Splurge/Save/Steal post. These posts will highlight three similar items in three different price ranges: a low-priced item, an item in the middle and a high-priced item. I am often able to find a cheaper version of a coveted beauty product, so I will write about my finds in this category and the items I feature here will always be desirable no matter what the price range.

So I popped into my local Target the other day to find these pretty, shiny cosmetic cases as soon as I walked in the store over in the $1 section (usually located by the front door). I love the holiday season because that means sparkly and shiny trends in makeup products and accessories. These bags fit right in for the upcoming 2012 holiday season. I have found similar metallic cases at Sephora that cost a little more (they’re on sale for $7 to $10) and, if you want to “splurge,” Neiman Marcus carries their own metallic makeup bags for $45.

THE STEAL ($1): Set of two shiny, metallic makeup cases from Target for $1 (pictured above). This set comes with one large pouch in a light rose-pink color and one small pouch in a bright purple. The pouches are roomy enough for any staple items you may carry with you on a day-to-day basis. I filled up the smaller pouch with a couple of mascaras, a bunch of small perfume samples and a bottle of hand sanitizer. The larger pouch is roomy enough for a compact or two (highlighter, blush, bronzer), a couple of eyeshadows and even some brushes. At $1 for a set of two, you really can’t go wrong. You can’t find these pouches online at, so I would go check out your local Target store if you want to grab a set (I’m not sure if every Target carries them right now). Remember, they are in the $1 section at the front of the store, where they usually have small seasonal items at super-low prices. ($1, Target)

Sephora Metallic Cases on sale. Buy metallic cosmetic bags for the 2012 holiday season in shimmering colors. Photo courtesy of Sephora.

Sephora Collection Metallic Cosmetic Bags. Photo courtesy of Sephora.

THE SAVE ($7-$9): I found these cosmetic cases (above) at in similar holiday metallic colors and -guess what- they’re on sale! These bags are larger than the pouches I bought at Target; the pink Sephora Collection bag is a bit smaller than the blue. The pink cylinder bag is perfect for holding liners and brushes, while the domed bag can hold even more products, be used as storage, or even be carried around as a small purse. The metallic finish on these bags fit in perfectly with any shimmery holiday collection. ($7-$9, Sephora)

Jane Marvel Metallic Cosmetic Bag from Neiman Marcus. Perfect for the 2012 holiday season, metallic cosmetic cases. Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus.

Jane Marvel Metallic Cosmetic Bag from Neiman Marcus. Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus.

THE SPLURGE ($45): For those of you who don’t mind spending the extra money, here are the metallic cosmetic cases from Neiman Marcus. They come in three glimmering colors and are perfect homes for any of your cosmetics. These bags open to two plastic lined compartments so you can fit anything from brushes to hair products to makeup and moisturizers. They are the perfect travel companion for all of your beauty needs, made of canvas with a glitter inlay. ($45, Neiman Marcus)