BookBandit’s Beauty Basics: Steals & Deals (1)

BOOKBANDITBEAUTYBASICS

Hello Readers!

I’m really into drug store cosmetics. Within the walls of the local drug store, there literally is something for every single beauty out there.

I’m a firm believer that drug store cosmetics are just as good, if not better (sometimes), than department/cosmetic store products. I believe this because some of my favorite products have come from my local drug store – which by the way is Walgreens.

While I was at a not so local Walgreens (I just so happened to be in Charleston South Carolina – but I know for fact that it was also available in my local NJ Walgreens.) I stumbled upon these baked eyeshadow palette put out by Profusion. The palette comes in two sets – one is sparkly silver packaging and another in sparkly gold packaging.

I checked the two out but decided to only get one instead of the two of them. Why? It wasn’t because it was the price wasn’t right, it most definitely was. But because I knew I had recently purchased another baked eyeshadow palette, and didn’t want to go overboard.

So I bought the baked eyeshadow palette in the sparkly silver packaging!

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Within this sparkly package there are a total of ten shades, ranging from light to dark.  Each shadow contains two complemtary shades that mix to make one vivid color. Besides the eyeshadow the palette also contains a sponge eyeshadow applicator. The sponge applicator wasn’t the selling point, but it was definitely an added bonus, since I kind of/sort of love these kinds of eyeshadow applicators.

The shades are simply awesome! And what’s even more awesome is the price: $5.00 (as you can tell from the sticker on bottom right side of the palette)!

What a steal! And a deal!

If you’d like a review of this product/palette please let me know in the comments!

This has nothing to do with this post, but I figured it would be something fun to share: How Do You Know You’re A Makeup Addict.

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Shorty Review: Boy Meets Boy

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Title: Boy Meets Boy

Author(s): David Levithan

Why Did I Read This Book: I read it for two very specific reasons. One, I’m a David Levithan fan (even though I’ve only read one other books written by him, and it doesn’t fully count since it was co-authored). And second, because I read it as a part of my self-imposed reading challenge this past August.

Thoughts, Likes, Dislikes: Besides the super sweet plot line, what I liked most were all the characters that filled the pages of Levithan’s Boy Meet Boy.  This colorful cast of characters are well crafted, realistic, and easy to relate to. Besides the characters I really love Levithan’s ease with words. Boy Meets Boy is a story that flows seamlessly without hitch.  It often felt, for me as a reader anyway, that instead of a fictional character conveying his story, a friend was conveying it. I felt like I was a part of the story, was one of the many colorful characters. And still, I really liked it because even though it was a quick read, it wasn’t a fluff one. Boy Meets Boy is full of substance.

Recommend It: Yes, most definitely. Why because it’s a great book written by an equally great author! But then again, I’m a fan so I’m just a bit bias.

BookBandit Beauty Basics: Lipstick Haul (#1)

BOOKBANDITBEAUTYBASICSHello Readers!

So yeah … I went a bit overboard. I bought one too many lipsticks. Granted I didn’t buy all of these at one time, I purchased a few here and a few there. But still, there’s quite a few.

In total, I’m going to be talking about the five lipsticks I purchased over the past few weeks, and the three lip glosses I bought alongside those lipsticks.

Okay, sooo…

For the past few weeks or so I’ve been eying Rimmel London’s Lasting Finish Lipstick, the Kate Moss edition. I’ve been eying the Lasting Finish Lipsticks for several reasons. One, I like Rimmel products. I use their BB cream, their eyeshadow primer, and even their Apocalips lip glosses. Two, because I like their products that I’ve already been using I wanted to try a Rimmel London product that I have yet to try. And three, the shades in which these lipsticks come in are simply beautiful. From bold reds to subdued pinks there really seems to be a color for every girl out there.

Beyond these reasons I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about the Kate Moss line. One of my favorite YouTubers has raved about them, and even a close personal friend of mine has told me how awesome they are. So I knew I just had to try Rimmel’s Lasting Finish lipstick out for myself.

While browsing the cosmetic isle of Walmart, I stumbled upon one shade that I’ve looked at several times before, but never actually purchased (#103), and another that I hadn’t seen because it seems to be sold out every store I go to. (#09)

Besides loving the colors of these two, which I obviously did end up buying for a mere five dollars each (what a steal! they are close to six or seven at my local Walgreens) I wanted these two specific shades because they were polar opposites, shade wise. Number 103 is a light mauve-ish pink, which number 09 is a deep wine/berry red color.

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(#103)

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(#09)

Now I haven’t actually used either of these lipsticks (yet) but I know I’m going to love them. For one thing they smell delicious. Normally, lipstick smells waxy to me. Almost like a crayon. But number 103 has a sweet watermelon scent, while number 09 has a deep raspberry or cherry scent (which normally I would detest! I don’t like cherry flavored/scented anything…with the exception of this because it smells like the fresh fruit as opposed to the artificial stuff).

As of lately I’ve been buying a lot of pinks and reds, which I like. But now that the summer months are fading into autumn I wanted some warmer shades to dress my lips with. Because I’m no beauty expert, and I’m not one hundred percent certain I can pull off more brown/neutral toned shades I decided to buy a few lipsticks for NYX.

I’ve heard a lot about NYX’s products, and I’ve heard mostly good things (again from YouTubers I follow like Samantha Schuerman, Melissa Raymond) about them. Because I heard such good things, and because I knew that NYX cosmetics are very reasonably priced, I decided to buy, not one, but two (and that doesn’t include the three lip glosses I purchased, which I’ll talk about later).

I purchased from Ulta NYX’s round case lipstick in #550 Indian Pink and NYX’s Glam Lipstick Aqua Luxe in #05 Enchanting. The round case lipstick in Indian Pink is almost a cross between a pink and a clay color, with subtle hints of an orange glow, making it appear as if it’s a shimmery coral color. The below photo of the Indian Pink swatched on my hand truly does not do this color any justice.

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The Aqua Luxe lipstick  is super soft, and glides on seamlessly. Well, at least when I swatched it (I have yet to actually try it on my lips). Enchanting is simply dazzling. It’s a light copper color with a sheen of sparkles. For three dollsare I just had to have, not one, but both of these lipsticks! (I’m not actually going to show a swatch of this shade, because quite frankly the picture is awful, and you can’t really see the true shade. But you can get the idea from the below picture of the actual lipstick)

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While I was in Ulta I came across the Essence display. I have never used Essence before. I haven’t heard a lot about it. But I picked up one of their lipsticks simply because … well I liked the color (first and foremost) and let’s be honest, it was cheap.  It was another three dollar steal. I bought it in the shade of Look At Me. Judging from the name you’d think that it’s a bold, statement shade of lipstick. But it is actually a soft neutral brown.

Onto the lip glosses (which is a term I’m using loosely here because they are all super pigmented, and feel more like a liquid lipstick if you know what I mean)

While in Ulta, while I was purchasing the two NYX lipsticks and the one Essence lipstick, I stumbled quite accidentally upon NYX’s butter gloss (there was a display steps away from the actual NYX case). There were a lot of pinks, and a few light red colors. But like I mentioned earlier I was looking for more brown/neutral colors, I found one number 07 Tiramisu, and it was a light beige color. It’s subtle, but quite beautiful.

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Moving on to Target, which I was only in to buy stocking for my Halloween costume (I was Coraline), I made a brief pit stop in their cosmetic section. There I found two more NYX glosses (I didn’t realize that Target even sells NYX, my local one does not which I’m disappointed by). I bought a soft matte lip cream in number 08 San Paolo which is appears to be a cross between a brick-red and a deep rose-pink. Which seems like an odd combination, but actually works.

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I also bought NYX’s Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Cosmo which is a true copper color with a bold shimmer.

Now both the butter gloss and the matte lip cream smell like frosting, but not the sickly sweet kind. I have a funny feeling it’s going to take some real self-control on my part to not lick this stuff off my lips ha ha. They smell just that good.

The Mega Gloss I purchased smells, once again, like cherry. But not the kind of cherry that I like, rather the artificial kind. But it’s not overpowering so it’s a smell that I could easily learn to live with.

To say the least, I’m super excited to try out these lipsticks. I may even write a review … or two about them!

Readers, what are some of your favorite lipsticks and/or glosses? Please share. Also if you want me to do a review on one of the lip products I talked about today, leave a comment or feel free to e-mail me at: BookBanditBeautyBasics@gmail.com

Golden

Golden by Jessi Kirby

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Parker Frost, who may or may not be related to famed poet Robert Frost, is an overachiever. Completely opposite of her socially charged BFF Kat, Parker strives to, not only be the best, but be the best at pleasing her overbearing mother. Even if that means sacrificing her own wants, dreams, and desires.

So when she’s assigned the task of tracking down the addresses of former students and sending their English journals back to them, Parker knows this is a job she can handle. Parker knows this is one assignment that she’s won’t have to think about, one without hitch. That is, until she stumbles upon Julianna Farnetti’s journal.

Julianna Farnetti is the girl who’s smiling face beams from the billboard at the edge of town. She’s the girl who was swept away beneath the undercurrent of Summit Lake. She’s the girl who is now a local legend.

Since Parker knows that Julianna is long gone she simply figures she’d look up the Farnetti family, and send Julianna’s journal to them. But the more she thinks about the journal, the more she yearns to learn more about the girl she never knew. The more she thinks, the more she reads. Parker cannot help but feel as if the journal somehow found her instead of her finding the journal. She can’t help but feel as if fate is about to intervene.

And it does! Not only is Parker about to discover who she really is, but she’s about to discover the mysteries of life and death.

Golden, written by author Jessi Kirby, is a unique book that fuses various genres – it’s a realistic mystery with subtle hints of romance tossed in for good measure – to make for one great read.

Golden has a really interesting premise, one that even though has been done before, feels fresh and new; while trying to figure out what happened to the long gone local legend, a young girl inadvertently discovers who she is. This is a true coming of age story, with a mystery flair.

What makes this book and this premise seem so fresh and new is Kirby’s writing. To say it’s strong would be an understatement. Kirby proves to be a true wordsmith! Honest and lyrical, Kirby has created, not only a well written story, but a believable one. And beyond that, one with a mystery that will keep readers guessing.

Besides the plot, the characters that fill the pages of Golden are honest, flawed characters. Ones that feel more like new friends rather than flat, lifeless characters. Bottom line: they’re real, honest, and flawed characters who readers will identify and sympathize with. And this includes Julianna Farnetti, the character who even though takes up many pages space wise, but may or may not actually appear in the story.

What makes Golden such a great read is that, for me, it was an absolute surprise. In all honesty I had no expectations or hopes for Golden. It wasn’t a book on my to be read list. It was a book I picked up for a work related committee, and it’s one I’m glad I had the chance to pick up. Golden, for me, feels like the diamond in the rough.

Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I Can’t Wait To Get My Hands On

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(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

The above picture was taken and was altered by me*)

Hello Readers!

I have a bit of a confession to make. I have a real bad habit of starting series but never finishing them.  And here the thing: I own several series, but have only read the first one! So instead of listing just sequels I can’t wait to get my hands on, I’m also going to slightly alter this to sequels I can’t wait to read.

1. Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

2. Prodigy by Marie Lu

3. Lair of Dreams (The Diviners # 2) by Libba Bray

4. Unhinged by A.G. Howard

5. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

6. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

7. Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

8. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

9. Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin

10. The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

(* The above picture was taken and altered by me. Please do not steal and/or “borrow” this picture without permission)

Better Late Than Never a.k.a. My London Book Haul

Hello Readers!

I’m not sure if I mentioned it or not, but last month my mother and I took our first trip overseas. After a seven hour flight, where motion sickness got the best of me, we flew across the pond to London.

We took in the sights, dropped a few pounds or so shopping, and wore our sneakers down to the soles. We even rode the London Eye. But this blog post isn’t to tell you all about my travels, but instead about the books in which I purchased while I was in London.

On my third day there, after taking in an Alice in Wonderland themed tea at the Sanderson London (hotel), after visiting the famous epicenter of shopping Harrod’s, we stopped off briefly at Piccadilly Circus. Why? Originally, we hadn’t planned on stopping by the Times Square of London, but while we had some time to spare, we figured, why not?!

While there, not only did I find myself in my most favorite store, Boots, but I stumbled upon a Waterstones, which (obviously) is a bookstore similar to our Barnes & Noble stores.  I went in with the intentions of just browsing. Books are heavy, and if my suitcase was over the prescribed weight limit, I’d have to pay even more.

We all know, as a book lover and a librarian, the word “browse” isn’t in my vocabulary.  I bought a total of six books, five of which I haven’t seen or heard about here in the States.

While in Waterstones, simply “browsing” I asked the guy working the counter for his suggestions. I was looking for titles that were hot in England – not in the States. He informed me that some of their biggest and best-selling authors are, not surprisingly, authors I’m already aware and familiar with – authors like Cassandra Clare and John Green.

But after chatting with him about what I liked to read and what I didn’t (he was great at reader’s advisory) he suggested a few. They were all great suggestions but at the end of it all, I ended up following my gut and picking up some reads on my own.

While at Waterstones I bought:

The Glimpse by Claire Merle “In the not so distant future, society has been divided into Pures and Crazies, according to the results of a DNA test. When Ana finds out there was a mistake with her test, her whole world crumbles. Now, Pure-boy Jasper is her only hope for salvation. But when Jasper disappears, Ana is distraught. She sets off on his trail, determined to solve the mystery of his abduction. In doing so she uncovers some devastating truths, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before …” – From the back cover of The Glimpse

The Fall by Claire Merle “In the not so distant future, society has been divided into Pures and Crazies according to the results of a DNA test. But Ana uncovered dangerous evidence that the tests are fake. Determined to expose the lies, Ana escapes her Pure Community and makes it to the Enlightenment Project. back in the arms of Cole, nothing is simple. Some believe her presence in the protest camp jeopardizes their safety, others believe she is the Angel from their prophetic Writings … As Ana struggles with her past and her identity, she must take greater and greater risks for the truths. Threatened with losing everyone she cares about, can she finish what she started?” From the back cover of The Fall

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher (which releases on November 12th here in the U.S.) “Zoe Collins has a dark and terrible secret that she dares confess to no one. But one day she hears of a criminal on death row who knows all about secrets. And lies. And betrayal. Desperate to confide in someone, Zoe picks up a pen. These are the letters that she wrote.” – From the back cover of Ketchup Clouds

Carnaby by Cate Samptson (which isn’t available here in the U.S.) “Sarah Carnaby’s mother is dead, and she found the body. But Sarah’s not talking, even when she’s called as a prosecution witness. She knows nothing, feels nothings, remembers nothing. Because if she allows anyone to get close, if she lets anyone in, she may never see her family again.” – From the back cover of Carnaby.

Memory by Christoph Marzi “This is a book about a ghost called Story. She’s lost, in the city, alone, afraid, and without her memory. Then she meets Jude, a boy who sees the dead. And he is the only one who can help here remember …” – From the back cover of Memory

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne & Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (I knew I could buy this one here, but it was an impulse buy. Mainly because I love Oliver Jeffers’ work) “There is nothing unusual about the Brockets. Boring, respectable and proud of it, they turn up their noses at anyone strange or different. But from the moment Barnaby Brocket comes into the world, he defies the laws of gravity – and FLOATS. One day, the Brockets decide enough is enough. They never asked for a weird, abnormal, floating child. Barnaby has to go …” – From the back cover of The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket

So there you have it, the six books that I bought while I was vacationing in London. If there are any books that you would like to see reviewed, please let me know in the comments!

BookBandit Beauty Basics: Product Review: Ulta Gel Eyeliner

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(Warning: This post will include pictures of the mentioned product. But be warned that these pictures are not the greatest pictures ever taken.)

Admittedly, I love eyeliner. I absolutely love the way it makes my eyes just POP! And while I love the color and texture of the current eyeliner I’m using, as of lately I’m not very happy with it. So, what’s a girl to do when she finds herself in this sort of predicament?

She buys new eyeliner.

So while I was browsing a not so local Ulta Store I picked up three  of the Ulta Brand Gel Eyeliners in Majesty, Peacock, and Night Sky. I bought three for two very different reasons. For one thing they were buy three for the price of one. And secondly, because I’ve been a bit daring wanting to break out of my black eyeliner shell. I’ve been wanting to try a vibrant colored eyeliner for some time, but didn’t want to spend a load of money on it either.

What drew me instantly to these three particular colors was just that: the color. Majesty is a deep purple, but not so deep that you can’t actually tell it’s purple. Peacock is a cross between an emerald and jungle green. And Night Sky is a light charcoal black color with flecks of silver sparkle.  They swatched beautifully, I could tell from the moment I swiped the liner across my hand that these eyeliners were super pigmented. And that was exactly what I was looking for.

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Beyond the color and the pigmentation, this gel-based eyeliner pencil seemed to be applied easily. They have a great texture, and they don’t make your water or lash line dry. It was smooth and slick without being oily. Nor did it feel sticky, on both my hand when I swatched and on my waterline when I lined my eye. Because of this quality I honestly feel that a little bit goes a long way.

I wear eyeliner on my waterline, that is the bottom eyelid. The waterline tends to be a bit more moist, for obvious reasons, that the top last line. When I tried on two of the three purchased Ulta Gel Eyeliner all it took was one quick swipe and my eyes were instantly lined. I really liked that.

But here’s where things turn South for me.

I was really looking forward to trying out Majesty. It’s a beautiful, creamy purple that, in my head I imagined would look great when paired with silver/light grey eyeshadow.  When I applied it to my waterline the beautiful purple seemed as if it was black, not purple like I imagined and assumed it would be. Disappointed doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. In short, I was let down by Ulta’s Gel Eyeliner in Majesty.

Purple Majesty Swatch

But I didn’t let that deter me. I still had two more eyeliner pencils to try, and I was determined to like at least one of them. I tried Night Sky next.  Unlike the Gel Eyeliner in Majesty I found that the Night Sky eyeliner pencil did not apply as easily. I ran it over my waterline several times and found that no actual liner was appearing. Instead there was a fleck of a sparkle here and there. Not cool Night Sky!

I thought, upon swatching this eyeliner on my hand (as you do when testing makeup products in store) that this eyeliner would be a light black with some sparkly flecks. I thought it would make my eyes look great, and that it would fancy up an everyday makeup look. I thought wrong, obviously.

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Disappointed, I didn’t have high hopes for Ulta’s Gel Eyeliner in Peacock. At this point I’ve been burned two times before, so I was sure I’d be burned again. Well, surprise, surprise! Turns out Peacock was everything I wanted and more!

Like Majesty, Peacock applies easily, proving that when it comes to Ulta products a little bit definitely goes a long way. What I loved about Peacock though, is that once on my waterline the color was true to swatch! Peacock looked just as vibrant on my waterline as it does on the packaging.  And besides that, the gel liner in Peacock looked really awesome when paired with some green eye shadow!

Peacock Swatch

I was impressed by Peacock. It shattered all of my low expectations. But in all honesty, going forward, I probably wouldn’t purchase any more of Ulta Brand’s Gel Eyeliner. Why? Because it’s just too much of a gamble for me. Out of the three I purchased and expected to like and really get some use out of, I only really liked one.