Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Rumors Are True...MAC is Coming to ULTA!!!

Happy Sunday everyone!

In case you haven't already heard, I am about to blow your mind with some amazing beauty industry news. Ulta Beauty - the store that we all know and love for mixing the high end and drugstore all under one roof - is going to be selling MAC beginning this May! WHAT!?!

As department store retail sales are declining as a whole, MAC counters are being affected, and were rumored to be moving to other retailers to extend their reach to more customers. Personally, I always thought that they would make the move to Sephora, as Sephora is (in my opinion) is regarded as more of a "professional" makeup space than Ulta. MAC proved us all wrong and made their announcement in WWD last week. I'm freaking out with excitement. 

Image result for mac at ulta

Besides the fact that I just like Ulta better for their more straightforward layout and less salespeople on the floor, Ulta has the better reward points system. I wrote an entire post about this about a year back that I will link here in case you want to read more in depth into how the programs compare, but put simply, you get cash to spend at Ulta vs. picking meh sample products at Sephora. I typically save up my points for the entire year so I can do a massive haul around the holidays, and depending on how you accumulate your points, you can end up with hundreds of dollars in points. We are talking hundreds of dollars in FREE MONEY that you can use on ANYTHING in the store. Which means with MAC's arrival at Ulta, you will not only be earning points on MAC products, but you will also be able to use your points to get (potentially free) MAC products.

Ulta has also announced that some lucky stores will also be carrying MAC products in the store - about 25 by mid-June and about 100 more by the end of 2017.

Are you excited to see MAC sold at Ulta? Let me know in the comments!

xo Rachel

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Celebrity Inspired Makeup: Adele

Hello my friends!

I can't believe it is already almost the middle of March and I can't believe how lax I have become on posting here! Ah! So much has been going on and I have completely pushed my blog to the back burner but I promise I am getting my ish together and will be developing an actual schedule super soon!

In the meantime, I wanted to share my latest makeup tutorial! I almost fell off my bed when I got a glimpse of Adele's makeup on the 2017 Grammy's red carpet - it was warm and super bronze and unlike anything I had seen her wear before! I used a photo of her for my reference and then I just went for it! I really love the way that it turned out and I hope that you enjoy watching as much as I enjoyed filming!

Which celebrity inspired makeup look should I try next? Leave me a comment!

xoxo Rachel

Sunday, February 12, 2017

My Dream Vanity

As someone who is constantly trying and reviewing new products, I must say that my makeup collection is pretty big. I'm constantly tossing old products and giving away products that I don't use, but I am still left with a pretty sizable collection at the end of the day (not that i'm complaining). A question that I get asked all the time is "how in the world do you store all of that"? For those of you who don't know, I live in a tiny house. I'm talking 300 square feet. When you have limited space, you need to get creative with your set up which is why my vanity is all about drawers, drawers and more drawers. Although I am very grateful to have a nice area set up for myself, I often find myself dreaming of my future home where I will no doubt have a new and improved setup with a larger work surface, and much better lighting!

First up on my wishlist? Amazing lighting and mirrors at every angle.

Since my house is so small, my vanity lives in the basement. It's a great space for my setup, but the only downfall is that the lighting is not the best. My only mirror is a light up plug in mirror, and the can lights in the low ceiling don't illuminate as well as I would like. My dream involves lots of window lighting, as well as a statement chandelier in a metal tone (I'm obsessing over this geometric one from Arhaus), and a large mirror to help the room appear even bigger. Wall storage is also key to move things off of the tabletop, and keep the room less cluttered and more balanced.

Dream Vanity

Now for the fun part - the decorating! I love keeping my lip products on display in my Muji drawers - these clear organizers are made of high quality acrylic so they are super durable, and they hold a lot of products! My dream vanity would definitely include a wall unit with plenty of spots for me to store my Muji drawers and to display other items like perfumes and my fashion related coffee table books!

This is my current set up. I love this giant gold print, but unfortunately it covers my entire mirror! The positioning of my Muji drawers also shows you just how small my tabletop is! This mini desk is perfect for my small space now, but I can't wait to upgrade to a set up that looks a little more like this...

Dream Vanity pt. 2

For design inspiration and more beautiful furniture, stunning lighting options, and home decor, be sure to check out Arhaus! Their pieces are absolutely gorgeous - if you have a showroom near you, I highly suggest stopping in! I'm lucky enough to have one close to me, and I love stopping in to check out their newest collections!

What does your dream vanity look like? Be sure to tag me in your inspiration photos on Instagram @makeupbyrachelrose, or on Pinterest @rachelrrose! 

xo Rachel

Sunday, December 18, 2016

My Favorite Products from 2016

2016 has been a whirlwind year. I started a new job, got a fresh outlook on life, and for the first time in a long time, I can honestly say every day that I am truly happy. I love posting here on my blog, I have (finally) set up a consistent YouTube schedule, and I'm going into the new year excited to see what will come my way. I hope that 2016 has been good to all of you too. Tell me in the comments what your highlight from 2016 was!!!

It wouldn't be the end of the year without a wrap-up of all of my favorite products from 2016. I have two brand new videos on my YouTube channel talking about the products that I discovered and fell in love with during the past year. I have separated them into two parts: a high-end version and a drugstore version, so you can choose the one that suits your needs the best (and of course you can watch them both!). You may want to check out my high-end favorites video (wink wink), because I'm doing a giveaway, and there is still time to enter! The giveway ends on January 1st, 2017, so be sure to check the video out so you can find out how to enter! Both of my favorites videos are below here:

What were your favorite products from 2016? Tell me in the comments below!

xo Rachel

Monday, December 12, 2016

How I Whitened My Teeth at Home!

Happy holidays beauties!

Today I am so thrilled to be sharing my experience with a product that truly changed the way I feel about my smile!

For years and years I tried all kinds of products for my teeth that promised to deliver intense whitening results, but I could never find something that worked for me. My teeth are really small, so whitestrips always moved around and didn't grip to my teeth. The whitening pens with the magical blue light? No results whatsoever. Even whitening toothpastes are more for maintaining a white smile, not for creating one from scratch. I felt like I was doomed to have a yellow tint to my smile forever, until I was contacted by Smile Brilliant.

I was super wary of this product because I had been disappointed so many times before, but this product truly changed my teeth. The system is similar to what you would get at your dentist - it's a custom tray that you create with your own molds, so they fit your teeth perfectly and are so comfortable to wear. After only three weeks, my teeth were noticeably whiter, and all with barely any sensitivity! Want to see my results? I filmed an entire video about my experience, as well as a demo so you can see how easy it is to make your own trays! And...SURPRISE!!! Smile Brilliant is hosting a GIVEAWAY on my YouTube channel, so one of you can win your very own teeth whitening kit!

For more information about Smile Brilliant, you can visit their website.

Want to see my results? Check out my review video!

xo Rachel

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.
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 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

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


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.

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!

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!

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.

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