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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. http://www.sephora.com.

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
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    Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Pure Treatment Oil, $24. Photo: Sephora. http://www.sephora.com.

    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
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    Bumble and bumble Does It All Styling Spray, $26. Photo: Sephora. http://www.sephora.com

    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
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    BUXOM The Headliners Collection, $42. Photo: Sephora. http://www.sephora.com.

    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

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

    so

    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
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    Sephora Collection Eyelash Curler, $16. Photo: Sephora. http://www.sephora.com.

    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
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    Ciaté Caviar Manicure™, $25. Photo: Sephora. http://www.sephora.com.

    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
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    Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm SPF 20 in Creme Glow, $32. Photo: Sephora. http://www.sephora.com.

    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 🙂

product of the week: product review of too faced tinted beauty balm (b.b. cream)

Too Faced Beauty Balm in Creme Glow Product Review. Photo courtesy of Sephora. www.sephora.com

Too Faced Beauty Balm in Creme Glow ($32). Photo courtesy of Sephora.

Even though Too Faced’s Tinted Beauty Balm is Product of the Week this week, it could easily be categorized under “What We’re Wearing” or even a HUSH Beauty Seal of Approval product since it has quickly become one of my absolute favorite staples in my daily makeup routine. This is the first beauty balm (BB cream) I have used and I just recently integrated this type of product into my daily beauty routine a few months ago. I am currently on my second tube of Too Faced’s Tinted Beauty Balm and, unless I try a sample of some other brand of BB Cream that I absolutely adore, I don’t see myself switching up brands anytime soon.

So, of course, I decided to feature this product as Product of the Week and write a product review on Too Faced’s Tinted Beauty Balm. BB Creams have only just recently (this year) made their appearance in Western markets. For years, women in east and southeast Asian countries like South Korea and Japan have been using BB creams (blemish balms) on their face to achieve that babydoll look of healthy, porcelain-like skin (much unlike western markets where the tanned look has been prevalent for the last few years).

BB creams have finally migrated west where they are being released by high-end brands (like Too Faced, Smashbox and Clinique) and, most recently, drugstore brands like Maybelline and Garnier. They now come in a broad spectrum of colors for a wider range of skin tones.

I tried out Too Faced’s Tinted Beauty Balm first, and I am perfectly satisfied with it. You can wear this BB cream alone as a tinted moisturizer or layer it over primer and under foundation (which is what I do). This multi-benefit skincare product has become a staple in my daily beauty routine for plenty of reasons. First, I am constantly looking for products that will truly give me that dewy, glowing look on my face. Too Faced’s Tinted Beauty Balm does just that and more. I don’t have to use as much foundation because this BB cream leaves a tint on your skin thanks to its light-diffusing pigments, leaving my skin smooth and radiant.

This beauty balm also boasts an anti-aging, multi-mineral complex that primes, prevents damage, promotes cell health, strengthens skin elasticity and enhances luminosity. I still use a primer (Smashbox’s Photo Finish Luminizing Primer which gives that radiant, dewy finish that I love) as a perfect base for my makeup and then I add a little bit of foundation (Urban Decay’s Naked Skin) to complete the flawless, radiant, luminous look.

The next components to this beauty balm are oil-free hydration and SPF 20 sun protection. It is also hypo-allergenic and “soothing for all skin types.”

Still not convinced? Well, if you aren’t really a fan of heavy makeup on your face, Too Faced’s Tinted Beauty Balm is a wonderful alternative for foundation (liquid or powder form). With four glowing shades, this BB cream evens out skin tone and deposits color to blur imperfections on your face. It leaves your face feeling hydrated and refreshed, and contains good-for-you mineral ingredients like Magnesium, Potassium and Zinc, as well as Ginseng and Ginko Biloba. It also contains Vitamins A & E for nourishing and Chamomile to smooth.

You can buy Too Faced’s Tinted Beauty Balm from Sephora, Too Faced’s website and ULTA for $32. I’m sure you can find it in other stores or other online beauty boutiques for the same price. If you happen to try it out, let me know what you think!

xoxo