Beauty Purchase Failures

I normally talk about beauty and makeup purchases that I love, but today I thought I would talk about a couple I didn’t love.  My makeup and beauty purchase fails!  We all have them.  Something that everyone is raving about, the latest and greatest makeup and beauty thing you have to have and you buy it and… just doesn’t work for you.  Here are my makeup failures for the last few weeks.

Bad Gal Bang

First up is Bad Gal Bang Volumizing Mascara from Benefit.  Every blogger on earth is loving this mascara but me.  It did give me amazing volume and it was non-irritating to my eyes, but by the end of the day I had smudges under my eyes, which for me is a deal killer on mascara.

They’re Real

Previously, I was using Benefit’s They’re Real mascara and I much prefer it to Bad Gal Bang.  Not as volumizing, but I’ve never had smudging from it.  Both do take a minute to dry, so keep that in mind if you are trying them out.

I love that Benefit has mini versions of their products, so you can try them out before committing to the full price option.  That’s what I tried with Bad Gal Bang and I was glad I hadn’t bought the regular size.

The best thing about this makeup purchase fail was I bought it at Ulta and they took it back no problem even after use.

My second fail is unfortunately also from Benefit.  (I swear I love Benefit normally, I just did not like these two new products).  I was super sad about this one, because I had been eagerly waiting to try it out because I loved the original so, so much.

Pearl Primer

I’m talking about the Pearl Primer from Benefit.  I really expected to love this one because it was supposed to give a brightening, radiant finish to your skin prior to adding foundation.  I couldn’t exactly pinpoint what I didn’t like about it.  It was something about the texture I think.  It just didn’t feel as smooth to me as the original.


The original I am referring to is The Porefessional by Benefit.  I swear by this one, it is so smoothing and I love using it alone or before my foundation.  I really think it smooths out any fine lines and just gives a beautiful base for your foundation.  I didn’t get that same smooth feeling with the Pearl.  Bummer.   I highly recommend The Porefessional for a primer.

Again, I bought the mini version and was able to return it to Ulta with my receipt.

Next Day Hair

My next beauty purchase fail is for your hair.  I had watched a you tube video of a famous hairstylist using this product to create that messy, undone look to a Lob.  Exactly the look I am always trying for with my hair.  I actually found it at my hairdresser, though the link above will take you to it on Amazon (which is cheaper than what I paid).

Here’s my verdict on it, first, it has a really strong smell.  Like a smell so strong my husband asked me what the heck it was when I used it.  And it stuck with me all day.  Second, I just didn’t feel like it did anything special.  I didn’t notice any of the texturizing benefits I thought it was going to give me.  I personally feel like I get better texture from dry shampoo.  It sort of acted like a hairspray/volumizer, maybe?  I just didn’t get it.  Now, I believe every person’s hair behaves differently with products.  What works for me, may not work for you and vice versa.  The results I witnessed on the you tube demo were amazing, so maybe I am just not using it right?

I am currently trying another hair product that is pretty amazing, but it’s too soon to say I love it. (I am pretty stingy with my product love-it has to earn it!)  So far it’s been pretty great, but we shall see.

Let me know if you like hearing about my product purchase fails just like you do the ones I love and I will keep sharing.  And I’d love to hear about your product loves and fails in the comments!



Must Have Monday

I’m still in the midst of my love affair with blush pink and when I got an email featuring this Lace Trench, I almost passed out!

Lace Trench

I couldn’t find it anywhere local in store and it was selling out within hours of the email delivery, so I was really having an internal debate about whether or not I needed it in my life.  Could you even think of a more perfect Easter coat?  GAH!!!  Find it via the pink link above.

Black Dress

I bought a bunch of stuff online last week and it is finally starting to arrive.  Some were hits, some were misses, but this dress was a definite hit.

It’s super easy to wear, the sleeves give nice coverage and the box pleat front is very flattering.  I would call it medium to light weight material, so perfect for now until probably the end of May, but I personally think it would be too hot for dead summer.

I sized up one size in this, who knows why at the time? but I was glad I did.  I really wanted it to skim my body and it does, so I would recommend sizing up.  It is definitely a keeper! Find it via the pink link above.

IT Cosmetics

I have always been pretty loyal to Lancome foundation.  It was medium coverage, which is what I have always used, plus I have sensitive skin and it does not like change with regard to foundation.  For whatever reason, Lancome has always been my go to and any time I veered from it, I was left with a splotchy, itchy face.  The joys of genetics!

Unfortunately, Lancome quit making my old standby formula.  I bought their new version and I don’t know if I am happy with it yet.  I know that sounds weird, but trust me.  It may end up that I find a new one to love, but we aren’t at that stage of our relationship yet.  I am just not sure if I love the coverage / consistency yet.

While I was dithering about my Lancome situation,  I was watching a makeup tutorial on you tube and she used full coverage.  All of a sudden, I needed a full coverage foundation in my life.  I am sure you can relate!

Anyhoo, I happened upon this IT Cosmetics foundation right after that and had to have it!  I’ve worn it exactly twice since I got it and so far, so good.  No skin reaction, fingers crossed that stays the same!

But, what I love is the full coverage!  I thought I would hate it and feel like I had a ton of makeup on, but I didn’t.  I could tell it was way more coverage than I usually sport, but I didn’t feel like it looked like a mask (as I feared).  It looked pretty natural.  I loved not seeing freckles and really just seeing a smooth canvas.  Those of you who always use full coverage are probably thinking, duh! For me, it was so different, but good different. Time will tell if this becomes my new go to, but here’s my pros and cons to date.


Coverage is very nice. I bought the Light shade and it was a great match to my pale winter skin and actually warmed it up.  It applied very smoothly.


The bottle is tiny!  I had to use several pumps to cover my whole face and I think this little bottle is going to go fast!  I also am not sure how it is going to hold up over a 12 hour day.  I am not one to touch my face up (other than lips) through out the day, and I wasn’t 100% sure how well the hold up was after an entire day.  I will give it a couple more tries before I say it’s not good.


Foundation Brush

My other IT Cosmetics purchase was this foundation brush.  I watched a video of someone using it and was mesmerized.  It honestly is the easiest thing in the world to use plus it is baby soft!  You just pump some foundation on your hand, dip the tip of the brush through it and then sweep the brush across your face.

The way the brush is cut, it will sweep under your eye perfectly.  I found it a bit clunky around the tip of my nose, but I just smoothed that section out with my fingers.  This is a complete yes and definitely something I would recommend!  Find it on Amazon via the pink link or they sell it at Ulta too.




Gift Guide for the Makeup Addict

Do you have any makeup addicts on your list this year, but you don’t want to add to their stash?  It can be hard to know what they already have! If this is your situation, then this is the list for you!

Makeup Addict Gift Guide

This mug made me actually laugh out loud.  The perfect gift for your eyebrow chick! Find it here.

Makeup Addict Gift Guide

The perfect addition to your makeup loving friend’s apartment.  This lipstick throw pillow is adorable!  Buy it here.

Makeup Addict Gift Guide

This little thing is highly coveted in the makeup world.  It’s a silicon makeup applicator from Molly Cosmetics called the SiliSponge.  If you score one of these, you are definitely going to be the hero of Christmas (FYI-they are majorly back ordered).  It’s the newest foundation applicator out there and is reported to be better than the beauty blender.  It doesn’t waste makeup, allows you to see your face while you use it and can be cleaned with soap and water.  Find info on  how to order it here.

Makeup Addict Gift Guide

I don’t know what rock I was living under, but I missed when this makeup brush cleaning machine launched.  It’s basically a dishwasher for your brushes.  It’s not like cleaning your brushes is that difficult, it’s just something you tend to forget to do.  Find it on Amazon here.

Makeup Addict Gift Guide

Oval makeup brushes are all the rage on the makeup blogs, so get your makeup addict in on the action!  These are mid-priced brushes, but you can find prices all over the board, so check out the choices.  I do not own these particular brushes, but they have pretty decent reviews.  Find them here.


Makeup Addict Gift GuideYou can never have too many makeup bags with cute sayings and the internet is full of them!  Find this one here.


Makeup Addict Gift GuideThey may not sleep with their makeup on, but they will sleep on their makeup with these adorable lash pillowcases! Buy them here.

Makeup Addict Gift GuideHow perfect is this lipstick ornament?   Someone more talented than I could DIY this, but if like me, you aren’t artistic, you can buy one from the Glam Studio Shop on Etsy here.

Makeup Addict Gift Guide


There are tons of funny makeup oriented tshirts out there at all price points.  This one definitely applies to me and nude lipsticks!  Get it here.

I wouldn’t be sad to find any of these under my own tree!  Which one is your fave? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Fave Nude Lipsticks

I am always on the look out for great new lipstick shades that are your lips, but better.  My natural lip color is death warmed over, so it is more a normal person’s lip shade, but better!

Best Nude Lipsticks

In my searches, I’ve found three that are my faves!

Fave nude lipsticks

From left to right: MAC’s Half n Half, Bobbi Brown’s Blondie Pink and MAC’s Modesty.

MAC’s Half n Half is a old fave, that I newly rediscovered.   It looks great alone or over MAC’s Spice lip liner.  It has my favorite consistency of the three, very smooth and smells vanilla-ey!

Bobbi Brown’s Blondie Pink is the one I get the most compliments on.  It is sheer and I love to wear it on the weekends!

MAC’s Modesty is slightly darker than Half n Half and I usually wear it without a lip liner, but that is due to laziness!

Fave nude lipstick swatches

From top to bottom: Blondie Pink, Modesty, Half n Half

I am always on the look out for new nude shades, I’d love it if you would share your faves with me in the comments!


What is Microblading?

Have you been hearing the term microblading?  It’s the latest beauty craze and all over Instagram (#browsonfleek) and beauty blogs.  I thought you might want to get the 411 on what it is, how it works and does it hurt?

Microblading is a semi permanent form similar to tattooing.  It is mainly used on eyebrows and the technique is able to recreate the look of feathery hair strokes.  It is manually done using a very fine blade to deposit pigment into the upper levels of the epidermis.

Because the color is deposited closer to the surface of your skin, it appears crisper and finer than a traditional tattoo.  Your initial appointment takes about two hours and requires a touch up appointment about 4-6 weeks later.

It won’t last as long as a traditional tattoo and I think that’s a good thing!  Faces change and so do eyebrow trends.  You don’t want to be stuck with the same brows forever!  For most people, it lasts from 1-2 years, with yearly touchups.  It fades out naturally over time.

It truly is an art and involves your practitioner measuring and drawing your brows on prior to beginning the procedure.  You want to make sure your brows look good from every angle, not just straight on and that takes time.  I would recommend taking selfies from different angles after they are drawn on to make sure you love them.

Picking a practitioner is the most important part! You want to look at their work and check how it has healed.  I would advise reaching out to some of their clients to ask them about their experience.  It is your face after all!  Check out their procedure room and hygienic practices.  Ask them questions! Do your research first!  You have to find the most experienced person who delivers the results you want.

My first question was, how bad does it hurt?  I’ve heard differing opinions.  Numbing cream is used and I am sure it just depends on your pain threshold.  Comments ranged from it’s like waxing to I thought I was dying, so I would say it’s probably tolerable to most people.  There is some scabbing, similar to tattooing.

I have to give a caveat here and say I have not personally had this procedure done.  I have been checking out people’s results and they are spectacular, but I don’t think it’s for me just based on my personal healing/scarring record.  My skin tends not to heal well and I wouldn’t want to risk my face.  (that’s just me, don’t let me scare you, make your own conclusions please! I am not a medical professional.)

It is a lifesaver for people who struggle without brows.  They really do change your entire face.  I think it’s an amazing alternative to permanent tattooing since you can change and tweak it as your face and styles change.  It’s also a great option for those with scars or missing parts of their brows.  Many people have bald spots from old brow rings or overplucking in their youth (or the 80’s).  Everyone I’ve talked to who has had it done, said “Why didn’t I do this sooner!”

So how about you? Have your tried it or will you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!






Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2016

Before Pittsburgh got their own Nordstrom, I wasn’t very aware of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  Now that we do have one, I am super stoked to be counting down the days until the 2016 sale!  If you shopped it before, I know you are counting the days too and if you haven’t, you need to check it out pronto!  It’s like Christmas in July for sure!

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is a once a year sale where they take Fall merchandise and temporarily mark it down, allowing you to buy your Fall must have’s ahead of time.  Once the sale is over, the prices go back to normal.  Nordstrom selects items they feel are either a staple or a trendy item for Fall.  It’s a great way to get started on school shopping for yourself or your kids and it’s a great time to buy a winter coat, purse, etc.  Or if you are one of those people who start Christmas shopping super early, this is the sale for you.  Stock on each item is limited, so you want to act fast when you see something you want.

If you are a Nordstrom card holder, there is a presale starting July 14th.  If you aren’t a card holder, the sale opens up to the public on July 22nd.  August 7th is the last day to get the sale prices and on August 8th, the prices go back to normal.  No joke, they really do.  This isn’t like a Macy’s one day sale that happens every weekend.

Another tip, if you have a Nordstrom card triple points day you have been saving, arrange to use it on the day you are shopping the sale!

Don’t have a Nordstrom near you?  Nordstrom always offers free shipping.  I tend to purchase a lot online, knowing I can take it back in store or send it back if it doesn’t work.  The only thing I have to go into the store for is shoes. I don’t have the kind of feet that are universally the same size in every brand, so I like to try them out before buying.

What are the best deals?  These are just my opinion based on checking out the sale the last couple years.

Boots-Every kind of boot from booties to over the knee are on sale.  The best boot selection ever at Nordstrom!

Coats-I mentioned before it’s the best time to buy a coat for you or your kids!

Jeans-Plenty of designer jeans on sale

Makeup-Many brands do special items and special gift with purchase deals for the sale.  These I may go in person to check out!

Watches-Plenty of designer watches marked down.

Purses-My kryptonite!  The absolute best prices on purses you are going to want for Fall.  All kinds of designers from my beloved Rebecca Minkoff to Kate Spade and more.

Here’s some of my shoe picks from last year’s Anniversary Sale.  I’m sure they will have similar offerings this year.

Are you excited about the Anniversary Sale? I’d love to hear what you are looking for this year in the comments!






MAC Spring Pink Lipsticks


This weekend I stopped by Nordstrom to check out a pair of shoes in person.

Halogen Olsen

Halogen Olsen

I was super excited to check them out, because I had been looking at these shoes forever! I debating about buying them for about two months, but knew I needed to try them on before ordering. Sadly, they ended up not being great when I tried them on.

Vince Camuto Campina

Vince Camuto Campina

I did, however,end up falling in love with a pair of booties while there.  After an exhaustive search by Desmond, my shoe sales person, it was not to be.  They were completely sold out of my size in all stores and online.  I was super bummed. (Aren’t the sales people at Nordstrom so nice?  They are always so willing to help).

MAC Spring Lipsticks

Buuuuutttt, the Nordstrom shoe department is across from the makeup department and I had been meaning to check out MAC’s Flamingo Park Collection.  I swatched all the lipsticks in the collection, but most were a bit too bubblegum pink for me and my complexion.  I did, however, like Flocking Fabulous, which I ended up buying.

MAC Flocking Fabulous Lipstick

It’s a bright coral-ly pink (MAC describes as a coral red, but it seems more pink to me). It’s a Cremesheen-Pearl, which I like as a formula.  It’s pretty bright, but not scary bright and it only takes about two swipes to get full color. I’m looking forward to wearing it this week and into Spring.

MAC Flocking Fabulous Lipstick

Somehow, another MAC pink ended up in the Flamingo Park Collection display even though it wasn’t part of the collection.  I ended up loving it and buying it too.  It’s MAC Pink Pearl Pop. I would describe it as a girly, somewhat subtle bright pink.  It’s a pink you want to use on a day you don’t want your lipstick to be “in your face” bright.  I think it’s a pretty wearable color at least for me and my coloring.  It is very sheer on first swipe, takes several swipes to achieve the color shown in my swatch photo.  It is also a Cremesheen-Pearl formula.

Have you tried either of these colors?  Have another fave pink color? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.


Don’t want to spend $ on a MAC lipstick? Trust me, I get it! I did a review of NYX Pink lipsticks last year.  Find it here!