Saturday, November 26, 2016

Ricky's NYC Cult Crushes Unboxing!

Good Morning Friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones!

Whenever a new beauty subscription box joins the market, I get extremely excited. It's hard to stand out among all of the beauty boxes out there, and I love discovering new boxes that have a unique twist. My favorite subscription box Boxycharm sends full-size products, Birchbox is only $10, and my beloved Allure Beauty Thrills box comes quarterly, packed with award winners and enough hair product to last the entire year. I was very intrigued when I was browsing the Ricky's NYC website, and saw that they were launching a beauty box of their own called Cult Crushes.

Ricky's NYC is a beauty supply store like no other. Think Sally's on steroids. Beauty lovers and makeup artists visit Ricky's in person and online every single day to pick up goodies for their kits, and for themselves. Since this is a beauty supply store to artists, I was immediately interested in their box, thinking that they would send products that cater to the professional as well as the everyday consumer. I'm happy to announce that my assumptions were correct. I received the November box and I am absolutely in love.

rickysnyc.com
The box's theme for November was The Perfect Lip, and contained five items. There were two lip care items, two lip color items, and one "tool".

First up we have the Jean Pierre Moisturizing Lip Mask. This came as a set of 5 which I was very excited to see - no foil packets here! I tried it out the day after I received the box and I think that it was just okay. I had a tough time keeping the mask on my lips, and I still had to slather on the lip balm at night. I think that it would work well you don't have particularly dry lips to begin with as a maintenance product. There was no distinguishable scent, and no adverse reactions on my skin, so all in all I was very happy with the product. In my efforts to keep my makeup collection under control, I will be giving the remaining 4 masks away to family members/friends since I don't think I will find myself using them.

The next product I received was a sample of the Grande Lips Hydrating Lip Plumper. This is a product that needs to be used every day for a few weeks to really see results. I tried it out only once, and I liked it. It definitely gives the lips a tingly feeling, but nothing painful. If you are very sensitive then you may not like this product. I didn't notice any plumping during the first application, but because of the tingling sensation, I would imagine that slight plumping would take effect after a few days or a week of use. I think I will continue to use this product to see how it works with longer term use - my lips could definitely use a little bit of plumping!

I was very excited to see a lip liner and a liquid lipstick in this box, and the red shades were calling my name. The L.A. Girl Endless Auto Lipliner in Dark Plum is definitely more on the red side than the plum side, but nevertheless it is a beautiful color. It's perfect for prepping the lips for a bold splash of red, or for filling in the lips completely and topping with a clear gloss. The formula glided onto the lips very easily, and it stayed put for quite a while. This was my first time using anything from L.A. Girl and I was very impressed! To top off the liner, I tried the Pop of Color Liquid Lipstick in Rags to Riches which is a STUNNING red shade. You all probably know by now that red lipstick makes me feel weird since I'm definitely more of a nudes girl, but this color had me SHOOK. I'm absolutely hanging onto it because I think that it will be perfect for the holidays!

The last product that came in the box was a bag of pointed q-tips which are perfect for cleaning up the edges of your mouth, and also for fixing eyeliner mistakes. I'm really happy to see that Ricky's is popping some artist tools in the kit because they are multipurpose, and they aren't things that I ever think to purchase myself!

Want to see some of these products in action? I filmed an unboxing video, and I tried on the lip liner and liquid lipstick for a first impression! I'm absolutely going to be doing this every time I get a box in going forward - it's so much fun to try products out on camera, especially when they are new brands and products that you weren't expecting!



Interested in signing up for Cult Crushes? The box is $11/month, and I'm thinking that it will contain 4-5 products including a tool similar to the pointed cotton swabs. You can sign up for your subscription here if you are interested!

xoxo Rachel 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Splurge or Save - Holiday Edition

Hello Beauties!

It's been awhile, but I'm back to talk Holiday shopping. I'm not sure where 2016 went - it seems like I was just talking about Black Friday last week, but the holidays are certainly upon us which means...holiday shopping is in full swing.

Every year I try to get organized with my beauty spending. I hunt for the best deals, mark them in my calendar, and make lists for the brands that I plan to shop from. It can be stressful! Especially when you are shopping for new beauty products. So how can you go hard without going broke? It's all about picking and choosing how to spend your hard-earned cash, AKA where to splurge and where to save.

My thoughts on this topic have changed quite a bit in the last year. I am much more about the save this year. Why spend a ton of money when you can get similar products (or sometimes the same product) for so much less? Need a little bit of guidance? Let me share with you some of my favorite Splurge or Save tips below!

SPLURGE ON: Fragrance

Fragrance is one of those things that you are pretty much forced to splurge on because it hardly ever goes on sale. If you are a platinum member at Ulta or a VIB Rouge member at Sephora, you have up to 5 or 6 opportunities a year to save up to 20% on fragrances, but you are limited to the brands that these stores carry (Ulta doesn't have the greatest selection of fragrances in my opinion). Fragrance however, is a product that you don't have to buy over and over again like concealer or primer. One bottle of your favorite fragrance will typically last a year or more, so I think it is definitely worth the splurge!

Image result for fragrance
theperfumeshop.com

SAVE ON: Eyeliner

Designer eyeliner cracks me up because there is seriously no need for it! For every high-end eyeliner that I own, I have an almost exact drugstore dupe. Is your smoky eye really going to look that much different if you swap out your Tom Ford eyeliner for a L'Oreal version? No! Definitely save in this category if you can. Some of my favorite drugstore eyeliners are the Elf Studio Liquid Liner, the NYX Wonder Stick, and Colourpop's Creme Gel Pencils. Do not sleep on the Colourpop liners - they are AMAZING and $5 a pop. Seriously.

Image result for colourpop eyeliner
JustineCelina.com

SPLURGE ON: Your Base

Primer and foundation are the most important steps in my makeup routine. I want my skin to look poreless and perfect all day, and I want my foundation to look just as good when I am leaving the office as it did when I walked in. Sounds like a simple request, but we all know how difficult it can be to find the perfect products to make our skin look like it's been kissed by our favorite Instagram filter. This is why when it comes to priming and perfecting the skin - I'm perfectly happy to splurge. I have yet to find a ride-or-die drugstore primer. I've tried quite a few, and they all have been just a little bit meh for me. My two favorite primers are expensive, but definitely worth the price tag. For filling in my pores I am obsessed with Dr. Brandt Pores No More. A little bit of product goes such a long way, and it masks my pores so beautifully -  my skin ends up looking like a porcelain doll. For a lit from within glow to the skin, there is nothing better than the Becca Backlight Priming Filter. OMG. It is so so good. I love pairing it with my super matte foundations to give a little bit of life to the skin.

There are ABSOLUTELY some amazing drugstore foundations on the market. There are some TERRIBLE high end foundations. With all of that being said, the foundations that have me looking my absolute best are my high end foundations. Estee Lauder Double Wear and Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk are LIFE. They make my skin look flawless. No pores, no texture, just smoothness. It's like magic. Luckily I don't need to repurchase these expensive foundations very often because I mostly wear drugstore foundation on a day-to-day basis and save the high-end formulas for going out and special occasions. If you don't want to splurge on your foundation, you really can't go wrong with any of the Maybelline formulas.

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SAVE ON: Mascara

These are my feelings regarding mascara - if you really want va va voom lashes, just put on falsies. Yes, there are mascaras that perform better than others, but at the end of the day, they all do the same thing. There are one or two high end mascaras that I really really love out of probably 15 or 20 formulas that I have tried. Again, Maybelline takes the drugstore cake in this category - their mascaras are some of the best! L'Oreal also has some great formulas (the Telescopic line is amazing)! Do yourself a favor and stay away from the mascaras at Sephora! They usually aren't worth the money!

istockphoto.com

SPLURGE ON: That Limited Edition Holiday Launch that You NEED

Yes, holiday collections usually come with inflated price tags, mostly due to over the top packaging. That doesn't make us want them any less! Limited edition holiday products are every beauty junkie's downfall. So go ahead! SPLURGE! Just find one or two collections that you have to have, and hold back on the others. Maybe you are drooling over the MAC x Mariah Carey collection. Maybe you have to have the Too Faced holiday set because you have been collecting them for years. Maybe you are like me and have your alarm set for the Kylie Cosmetics Holiday launch because her Snapchat sneak peak gave you all of the feels. No matter which sets you choose, make sure you are actually going to use them, and are not just giving into the hype!

instyle.com

SAVE ON: Holiday Vault Sets

Holiday vault sets are something to be wary of. I have been borderline giddy over some holiday sets recently, until I saw the massive price tag attached to them (I'm looking at you Kat Von D liquid lipstick vault situation). The idea of having every shade of a particular product makes me very excited, but then I remember that the set costs hundreds of dollars and realistically, I'm only going to really use 3 of the 15 shades. You do not need a vault set of anything. SAVE YOUR MONEY and get the one or two shades that you really love. You will have a less overwhelming collection, and your wallet will cry sweet tears of relief.

allure.com


So now that you know where to splurge and where to save, you may be wondering how you can still save the most possible. We all want to save on our splurge-worthy favorites, and we all want to save even more when stalking the beauty aisles at CVS. Here are some of my favorite tips:

PLAN YOUR PURCHASES: This is especially important when shopping for high-end makeup. A ton of prestige brands have annual or semi-annual Friends and Family events where you can save up to 25% on your high-end must haves. Do your research to see when your favorites brand's event ran last year - chances are they will run around the same time each year.

USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO YOUR ADVANTAGE: I can't tell you how many times I have discovered secret sales thanks to social media. Be sure to follow your favorite beauty brands on Facebook and Instagram for follower-only discounts as well as sneak peeks of products!

FIND A BLOGGER BUDDY YOU TRUST: I may be a little bit biased being a blogger and all, but I can't stress enough finding a blogger that you trust, and keeping up with their posts on a regular basis. My favorite blog for finding deals is Nouveau Cheap. Gianna is one of the most dedicated bloggers out there - she's probably not getting much sleep these days as she prepares for her annual rundown of pretty much every Black Friday beauty event out there. She has saved me hundreds over the years, and I highly recommend following her blog and her Instagram if you love to save money on makeup. Most recently, she saved me 45% when I repurchased another Dr. Brandt Pores No More Primer this week.

KNOW WHERE YOU STAND: Just because you are doing your makeup shopping at the drugstore, doesn't mean that you aren't going to end up with a a high total at the register. After all, many of us get excited and forget that three lip glosses does in fact equal the price of the one that you would have bought at Sephora. Don't get ahead of yourself: know where you stand financially before you get in the checkout line so you can feel good about your beauty purchases whether you are splurging, or pinching your pennies. A great resource is Personal Capital. You can use their software to track all of your financial needs, whether that is your investments, retirement, or your spending! They can help you set budgets, manage your investment accounts, plan for the future, and even calculate your net worth! We do love to look pretty, but we also want to be in control of our financial lives!


What products do you love to splurge on? How do you find savings on your favorite products? Let's talk about it in the comments!

Happy Holidays!

xo Rachel

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Eenie Meenie Miney Mo...



...catch a palette by the (figurative) toe. If it sucks then let it go. Out goes Y-O-U...

After vigorously cleaning and reorganizing my makeup stash, I came face-to-face with the harsh reality that so many makeup addicts face - I was pretty much drowning in makeup, a lot of which I never wear.

A rational person would say, if you don't use it, then toss it. A makeup addict is not a rational person. We hold onto things because of sentimental reasons. We hoard limited edition makeup that is long expired and we can never wear, because the packaging is cute. It sounds incredibly dumb now that I am typing the words out, but nevertheless, this is how our logic works. Enter: decluttering by way of this little rhyme that I used to use to pick out which color of M&M to eat first (after separating them into beautiful color coordinated piles because organization is gorgeous).

I have LITERALLY been doing eenie meenie miney mo with my makeup collection every morning. I wear whatever the "U" of "y-o-u" is, and I do it for my eyes and lips. I rotate between large eyeshadow palettes, small palettes and singles, and I also switch between lipstick, lip glosses, high end, drugstore, you get the picture. Every day I am using products that I have continued to hang on to for no apparent reason, and it is making it so much easier to let things go. When I land on a twelve pan palette and open it up only to realize that I only truly love 2 shades in it...yeah, that's a problem. I have already selected a Revlon lipstick to declutter that I'm pretty sure was only worn once, and that one time was yesterday when it was the "U". I've also decided today that I am finally biting the bullet and decluttering the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. The rose gold one that everyone and their mother and myself were all freaking out about a few years back. I almost never reach for it and there is only one shade in it that I really love. That thing cost a pretty penny so I would much rather give it to somebody who is actually going to use it more than once every six months.

Image result for urban decay naked 3
source: amazon.co.uk

I am really excited to see what else I can declutter in this process. Is saying this rhyme every morning completely ridiculous and very silly? Yes. But it's working when nothing else really has. I am hoping to reach a point where my collection is only filled with things that I truly love and use all the time. You know those products that people say that they cannot live without? That's all I want in my collection, and that's all you should want too. Otherwise you are just sitting on a pile of wasted money, all for the sake of having a big collection that is in turn collecting a ton of dust. 

Have any of you tried decluttering your collection? What tricks have worked for you? Tell me in the comments!

xo Rachel

Friday, June 24, 2016

Life Is Better With a Little #Glossierpink!

Hello my lovelies!

Summer is here, and that means COLOR! Many of you may not know this about me, but even though my face is usually decked out in color, the rest of me primarily lives in a black and white world. My closet is seriously lacking bright, sunny hues, so when Pantone released it's colors of the year, I decided it was time to fill my world with a little bit of pink!

While I didn't run out and purchase pink tops, I did bring a little more color into my life. Whether it is rocking my rose-gold shades from the amazing Quay Australia x Chrissspy collab, or using a pink pen to take notes at the office, my world is slowly but surely becoming a little bit more colorful! Need some more pink-spiration? Check out some more goodies that I have been loving!

I am currently OBSESSED with pink and gold accents in my office. This bright pink pineapple notebook from Target is the perfect way to bring the summer to your cubicle!



There are few things more satisfying than coming home after a long day at work and throwing on sweatpants immediately. I love easy tanks, and this one from Victoria's Secret PINK is one of my favorites (mainly because I love donuts!). My favorite thing to pair with a black and white outfit? A bold lip, and a spritz of a flirty perfume. Victoria's Secret Bombshell is one of my favorite perfumes of all time - I love it so much that I have a travel size bottle that I take with me everywhere! Another travel-friendly beauty essential? The Too Faced Melted Liquified Lipsticks!



A girl's beauty room is her space to decorate as she wishes...that's why I have a pink lamp in mine! The bubble silhouette is cute and playful, and the milk glass gives it a little hint of chic. No beauty room is complete without a candle (Yankee Candle Clean Cotton is one of my all time faves) and of course...lipstick! The packaging that MAC did for the Giambattista Valli collection last year is still one of my favorites!



Did I mention that I love lipstick...?



Pink isn't just for the lips! When I am in a rush, one of my favorite looks to do is foundation, mascara, a lip balm and a generous application of bronzer and blush! When I am looking for a pigmented blush formula that packs a serious punch, I reach for the Lorac Unzipped Blush Palette. It has four extremely pigmented shades that look amazing on their own, and also easily blend together for a customized look! P.S. This diffuser from Barr Co. is a staple in my beauty room. It is the best vanilla scent in the world!



Another little known fact about me is that I am a total stationary junkie. I love keeping cards on hand to send a hand-written note whenever the mood strikes. I'm also completely obsessed with notepads to create my forever growing to-do lists! This notepad from Rifle Paper Co. was a gift (it's currently living in my pink and gold themed cubicle at work!) and I love to pick up cards like these at Paper Source and Target. I also had to throw some pale pink earrings into the mix, because why not?



I have to say, even though my wardrobe may still be living in a black and white world, I love having pink accents to brighten up my day! Whether it is on my face, or on my desk, life just feels better with a little bit of pink!

Looking for even more inspiration? Check out Glossier for gorgeous beauty must-haves, as well as tips and tricks on how to use their amazing products (their packaging is also the absolute cutest!). The pink, white and black themed site itself totally matches my aesthetic, and the images will have you inspired and ready to add a little bit of #glossierpink to your look as well!


How do you incorporate #glossierpink into your life? Tell me in the comments!

xo Rachel 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Vita Liberata Now Available at ULTA!

When it comes to self tanning, formula is key. It's just one of those products that I don't mind paying a little extra for if it means I'm going to get the right color. Vita Liberata is one of my favorite self-tanner brands, and I am so pumped that the brand is now being sold at Ulta!



I'm not sure if every store will be selling the brand, but I have seen it at my nearest location. Ulta's self tanning headquarters seems to be growing by the minute - there are so many different brands and formulas popping up!

I am really excited to see Vita Liberata at Ulta mainly because...you can use your points! I tend to shop at Ulta more than any other place because you can use your points there on anything you want in the entire store. I hope that they will do a triple or 5x point offer on the brand - that would be a great opportunity to stock up!

What are some other brands that you are hoping to see at Ulta? Tell me in the comments!

xo

Friday, April 29, 2016

Colorful Spring Makeup Tutorial - Kendall Jenner Inspired!

Good morning beautiful people!

I rarely break out of my neutral comfort zone and apply a ton of color to my eyes - but that all changed when it came to this colorful makeup look inspired by the lovely Kendall Jenner.

I hope you enjoy it, and if you did, be sure to give it a thumbs up!

I also have my April Favorites on my channel too! Hooray for two videos in one week!



xo 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Glowing Daytime Glam

Spring has (finally) sprung here in Boston, and I have been enjoying every second of it. Starting to pack away my winter clothes feels so good - all of that heaviness has no place in my life in the springtime! The same goes for my makeup - while I am all about a strong winged liner, there is something so beautiful and light about doing a simple no-liner look, or simply swapping in a waterproof liner to tight line. That is what I did in my Glowing Daytime Glam tutorial - it's all about fresh, dewy skin, a shimmery lid, and lashes. This look is perfect for work or school if you want to feel a little bit glam, and it's also amazing for any spring parties that you may find yourself attending! Leave me a comment and let me know what your go-to look is for the spring!



xo Rachel