BookBandit Beauty Basics: Christmas Haul

BOOKBANDITBEAUTYBASICSHello Readers!

It’s  been pretty quiet at the Beauty Basics corner of The BookBandit Blog, hasn’t it?! I do apologize for my lack of posting. No excuse, I simply forgot to post. So, sorry guys!

But we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming!

Christmas was this past Wednesday. As any aspiring beauty expert knows, it’s the best time to ask for some makeup and beauty related products. Now, I wouldn’t say my Christmas list was chock full of beauty/makeup related items, but there were a few here and there that I hope Santa would bring.

Well, Wednesday came, and as I tore open what was left under the Christmas tree (and in the stocking, can’t forget about the stocking now can we?!?) I found many delightful surprises.

So, what did Santa leave under the tree for me?

Two bottles of Butter nail polish is the shades of Poole and Snog

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Kat Von D’s Spellbinding (Mini) Lipstick set.

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Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lip gloss in Hot Shot

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Bare Minerals Stop, Look, & Glisten set which contains 2 shades of  eyeshadow – one is in the shade Embrace which appears to be a pearl/champagne color and the other is called Flicker which seems to be a purple-ish/plum, and another Marvelous Moxie lip gloss is Style Setter

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Ariel Mermaid’s Song 4 Piece Lip Gloss Set by Disney Collection (Sephora) containing:

Dream Girl (Pearly Pink), Sea Witch (Deep Berry), Red Head (Bold Read, for very obvious reasons), and Mermaid (Coral)

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And a (professional looking) Caboodles Make Up Trunk

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Of course it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t buy a few things here and there for myself. So, what did I buy myself? Well…

The Bare Minerals Show Me The Shimmer 5 Piece Lip Gloss set in:

(from left to right) Crowd Pleaser, Superstar, Icon, Scene Stealer, Head Turner, and Femme Fatale

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And two Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Black Metal Dahlia and Lovecraft

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Santa was very good to me this year! Readers, I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and have a very Happy and Healthy New Year as well!

What (makeup/beauty products) did Santa bring you?!

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BookBandit Beauty Basics: In the Spirit of Giving ….

BOOKBANDITBEAUTYBASICSHello Readers!

Well, it’s been almost a month since I started up the BookBandit’s Beauty Basics feature here on the blog, and I have to say that I think it’s going pretty well.

In honor of this feature being almost a month old I decided that I would celebrate, and with that host a small giveaway. Normally, dear readers, I would give away a book or two, but since this is BookBandit’s Beauty Basics, I will be giving away some makeup.

Up for grabs:

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What’s inside this bag? This!

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Essence Quattro Eyeshadow in Sea My Eyes!

Essence nail polish is Nude Glam

Essence Lipstick in 02 Sparkling Romance

Essence XXXL Shine Lipgloss in Bubble Babe

A pink jeweled compact mirror

&

An E.L.F. Glitter Eyeshadow Applicator

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents ages 13 years and up. This Essence Goodie Bag Giveaway* will be run from today, December 8th at 12:00 p.m. until December 29th, 2013 (at 11:59 p.m.) Winner will be selected by random number generator and will be contacted within twenty-four hours of contest ending.

To enter, simply leave a comment ON THIS POST ONLY telling me what is one beauty product you couldn’t possibly live without (I know, I know, it’s hard to choose just one). When leaving a comment please make sure to leave a valid e-mail address. Winner will be contacted by end of day on December 2nd, and will have two days, until December 4th to respond to e-mail with mailing/shipping information. If response is not received within the two day time frame a new winner will be selected.

Good Luck!

*These products were purchased by me for the sole purpose of doing a giveaway. Essence cosmetics did not provide me with any products, nor am I getting paid to post about any of these products. This giveaway is simply a giveaway, in which I want to give back to my dear readers!

BookBandit Beauty Basics: November Faves

BOOKBANDITBEAUTYBASICS

Hello Readers!

November has been a good month for faves! Below is a list of the products that I’ve used this month and really enjoyed.

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Lush’s Mint Julips Lip Scrub: I’ve been using this product for just over a month. I’ve used it every single day (and sometime I’ve even used it before bed with my most favorite lip salve) since I purchased it. Quite possibly, it’s the best ten dollars I’ve spent on any makeup product. So what it is? And what’s so great about it? Lush’s lip scrub is a sugar based scrub that naturally exfoliates lips. Basically, I moisten my lips and apply a small amount to my upper and lower lip. Once applied, I massage into lips by rubbing my upper and lower lips together.What’s so great about it is, for people like me who have dry, sometimes cracked lips, it makes ones lips smooth.  Besides that, it smells great, and tastes even better (yes, because Lush’s Mint Julips Lip Scrub is made with all natural ingredients, it’s a-okay to consume a bit of it. In fact, they encourage it!).

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Jordana’s Twist & Shine Moistrurizing Balm in Cranberry Crush: I’ve never used any of Jodana’s products. But after hearing about one of their products on a YouTube video, I decided to give this brand a try. And to my surprise my local Walgreen’s recently started selling Jordana. I bought a mascara (but I’m not talking about that now, but a review will be coming) and I bought one of their Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm. I bought it in the shade of Cranberry Crush, which according to the packaging appeared to be a deep cranberry/plum-ish color. I picked this up for several reasons. One, it was well priced. Two, it’s one of those lip crayons. And three, I’ve wanted a decently priced lip crayon for some time. So I picked this one up. And let me tell you — I absolutely love it! It’s a cross between a tinted lip balm and a lipstick. It glides on like a balm, but colors like a light lipstick. Because it isn’t super pigmented, personally I use more than one swipe across the lips. The more you use the richer the color.  It truly is perfect for those days where you’re running late, and really don’t have time to fuss with actual lipstick.

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Rimmel London’s Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Black: I’ve been searching for the perfect black eyeliner for some time now. And I think I found it. For years I was a Lancome eyeliner user. It’s what my mom used, it’s what I started using when I first started using makeup. It was what I was comfortable with. And for many years, it served me well. Up until recently that is. It started smudging and smearing. So I went out and bought some drug store eyeliners. One of which was Rimmel’s Kohl Eyeliner in Black. Let me tell you why it’s a fave. It’s long-lasting. It doesn’t smudge. And there’s just a hint of sparkle.

BookBandit Beauty Basics: Product Review: Redken Color Extend Shampoo/Condition

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A month or two ago I dyed my hair. This isn’t the first time I’ve dyed my hair, but it is the first time that I’ve decided I was really going to take care and nurture the color. By that, I mean I would use shampoo and/or conditioner that would extend the life of the color.

So when my hair dresser suggested Redken’s Color Extend shampoo and conditioner, I listened. I bought a small bottle of both the shampoo and the conditioner. And as luck would have it, it was buy one get one half off, so I couldn’t quite possibly walk away from a deal like that. Could I?!

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I started using Redken’s Color Extend shampoo and conditioner right away. And almost immediately I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the way it made my hair look after washing. I didn’t like how my hair felt both during and after washing. I didn’t even like the smell of it.

I was told that a little of Redken’s Color Extend shampoo/conditioner would go a long way. Not true. At least not for my hair.

When I used a nickel sized amount of shampoo it just would not lather. It coated my hair, but just barely. No matter how much I rubbed the shampoo into my hair and scalp it simply wouldn’t lather. I was convinced that it couldn’t lather.  Because of this it made my hair feel, not only heavy, but also straw-like.  As if this wasn’t bad enough I found that if I didn’t condition my hair after shampooing, then my hair ended up a tangled mess of knots.

The conditioner wasn’t much better. Texture wise, Redken’s Color Extend conditioner doesn’t feel as rich or as thick as other conditioners I’ve used and loved in the past. It felt thin and unfortunately oily. Because of this, admittedly I was a bit scared as to how this product would leave my hair.

With a small amount of shampoo and an equally small amount of conditioner I washed my hair daily with Redken’s Color Extend. And each and every time I used this product, or rather the amount of the product I was using, my hair turned out limp and often oily. Yes, oily, even after washing my hair.

As if all of this wasn’t bad enough I do not like the smell of both the shampoo and the conditioner. In all honesty I cannot describe the smell, but it smells like hair dye itself. Which, if you’ve ever dyed your hair, than you know isn’t the best smell in the world.

But because I spend money on these products, and because I do not like to waste money I am still using both the shampoo and the conditioner. As of recently I started using more – more shampoo and more conditioner simply to use the products up and be done with them. However, I found out that the more shampoo used, the better my hair looks and feels. With more product it seemed as if my hair responded well to it. It didn’t look or feel like oily straw. But not matter how much product I used my hair still need up a knotty mess.

I don’t love Redken’s Color Extend, and I don’t think it likes my hair. I will continue to use it until it is all used up. But I most likely will not buy another Redken product after this experience.  With that being said, I am looking for a decently priced color extending shampoo and conditioner. Any suggestions, feel free to comment!

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.

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

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.