Real Techniques Sculpting Set Giveaway

The holiday season is kicking my butt. You may have noticed that I didn’t publish content on Friday. I’ve been neck-deep in a project at work that had heavy last-minute involvement last week. I’m talking, working my usual 9.5 hour workday then come home and work until 10 or 11 PM. Intense. No time to make finishing touches on posts I had waiting in the wings. Fortunately, that project culminates on Tuesday!

And then it is only normal holiday madness to contend with. Thankfully, my shopping is already done. ANYWAY.

We all need a little grace sometimes and I can’t overstate how much I appreciate you bearing with my occasional blips in consistency! I’m shifting my November 2017 Favorites to this Friday, December 8 but will have content on Wednesday. In the meantime, what better time to kick off a holiday giveaway?

Givea-whaaat?

TWO lucky winners will receive a Real Techniques Sculpting Set. This brush trio features their:

  • Sculpting Brush – If you aren’t a contour wizard (I’m not!) then this brush makes achieving a nice natural-looking contour foolproof. It’s lovely for blush, too. It is one of my favorite brushes.
  • Fan Brush – I use this most often to whisk away eyeshadow fallout but it is nice for powder highlight, too. I just don’t tend to use powder highlight that often!
  • Setting Brush – Love this for the under-eye area. I pick up a bit of my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder with this and sweep it on to effortlessly set my concealer.

plus a brush cup to store your tools. I own each of these brushes and really enjoy them, so I was excited to see them being sold in a convenient value set (if not a little miffled that I bought these brushes individually back in the day, LOL).

Real Techniques Sculpting Set Details & Entry

Details on how to enter after the jump!

Read moreReal Techniques Sculpting Set Giveaway

The Sickness; Sephora and Ulta Haul Chatter

I seem to have a reasonably solid immune system and tend to only be taken down by the sick once or twice a year. Alas, this past week was one of those times. There’s been a lot of hot tea and chicken soup in this house in the last two weeks There wasn’t a whole lot (read: none) in the way of writing in the last week-and-a-half. The time I didn’t spend down and out (and re-watching Cowboy Bebop for the umpteenth time) I spent at work because I have a problem am a sucker didn’t want to leave things unfinished before my vacation (all are true).

Before The Sickness struck, though, I managed to get through my Ulta and Sephora purchases without going overboard.

Sephora Haul

Sephora still had Drunk Elephant’s Come C about Me set in stock, so I went for it. I haven’t gotten into any of the product yet; tragically the skin near my nose has been more reptilian than human since I received it. I’m excited to check out B-Hydra to see about the hype.

They also had had Adora marked as in stock so I jumped on it; at $12 it is scarcely more than a drugstore lipstick. I’ve never loved a lipstick shade as much as I love this one, so I figured it was worth it even though it was unplanned. I haven’t worn it yet, as it came right as I was getting sick. I imagine I’ll struggle with it and my Invisalign trays but.. man, it is gorgeous and the holidays are nigh.

That’s it! I really wanted an Hourglass blush, but ultimately decided to leave it out for now.

Ulta Haul

I bought a ton of stuff at Ulta. Some are presents I can’t share here because the recipients read this thrice-weekly drivel I publish. Some of it is a blog surprise. But here’s what I will share for now:

Tree Hut Bare Moisturizing Shave Oil – I’ve wanted to try this for a while but wouldn’t buy it off my no-buy. Uncharacteristically of me, I bought two without having tried it. You know when you have a good feeling about a product? This was one of those times. We’ll see.

Real Techniques Single Pocket Expert Organizer – I ended up using this somewhere other than my makeshift vanity. It lives on my fridge holding dry erase markers the neighboring board. It’s really sturdy! It would definitely hold brushes or pencils well. I like it a lot – so much nicer than markers perched haphazardly atop my ‘fridge.

OPI Avojuice in Ginger Lily – The manicure I received before my trip finished with this and it was really nice. Normally I hate scented hand lotions (seriously, hate) but I think this would my nice to mix with my usual unscented Skinfix or to finish off a pedicure. I even bought a bottle for my desk at work!

Ulta Haul ChatterMiss Spa Glitter Gel Eye Mask

This mask gets its own heading because it ended up being the MVP of the order. The purchase was frivolous to boot. My husband was helping me unbox this order and pulls this from the box. Incredulous, he looks at me, then it, then back at me. “What is this?! Did you seriously buy something like this?” I had visions of DIY spa-like treatments dancing in my head. He thought I was a dork.

Then, overnight a couple days later his round with The Sickness worsened. We’re talking fever, sweats, all that jazz. Meds weren’t quite breaking it, and we didn’t want to bring wet (cool) washcloths into bed. My 2AM brain had a, “Eureka!” moment and grabbed this. To our surprise, it helped. Immediately. Entirely unprompted, he apologized for teasing me about buying it.

I ended up catching The Sickness and needed it for the same purpose a few days later. This isn’t marketed as a medical device; it’s just a fun gel eye mask that you can heat or cool before wearing. I am so thankful we had it on hand because it helped us get control of a climbing fever.

The Bottom Line

In short, last week was a wash for me. I got some fun stuff that I haven’t really played with yet due to the mini-plague that has overtaken my home. I can’t wait to play with some of this more and to reveal some of the surprises I have in store.

For my fellow Americans, I hope you have a delightfully gluttonous Thanksgiving tomorrow. If you plan on shopping on Friday, please be safe because people are crazy.

No Buy Pause

No Buy

Before long it will be time to give my No Buy pause and make some calculated beauty purchases. Soon, the infrequent (and therefore precious) sales shall be upon us. I am not unrealistic – I’ll want to shop.

No Buy Pause Plan

The Bottom Line

There will be more purchased as I hope to maintain my Sephora VIB and Ulta Platinum statuses for 2018. If I plan and am deliberate, I am confident I can meet those thresholds without buying random stuff I don’t feel strongly about.

Fortunately, I continue to be underwhelmed by holiday collections. so there’s little temptation there. The only thing I have been stricken by so far are Urban Decay’s new Heavy Metal glitter liner shades. I love the one I own, but definitely don’t need to add more to my collection – so it is easy to get over.

August 2017 Favorites

August 2017 Favorites
August 2017 Favorites
1. Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush (part of a set), $9 / 2. Urban Decay Naked2 Basics, $29 / 3. Silkn ReVit, $80 / 4. Haier 1.0 Cu Ft Washer, $1.99

Details on my August 2017 Favorites after the jump. One is preeeetty mundane, but is a huge quality-of-life enhancement for me…so I’m excited!

Read moreAugust 2017 Favorites

Favorite Brushes – October 2016

Apologies for the delayed post – when I wrote this, I evidently thought today’s date was 10/29. Thanks for bearing with me.

Even if you have a ridiculous brush collection, I’m willing to bet that you reach for the same few over and over. They get use for a reason! Below are my favorite brushes; the ones that put in overtime, the ones that see the most use. Current pricing is listed next to it, many of the nicer ones are available in sets for a better value.

Sonia Kashuk 116 $6 – I’ve had this for years, and found myself agreeing with Sam Ravndahl when I first heard her sing the praises of this brush. It’s amazing for crease work, outer V work … anything, basically, that isn’t densely packing color. I’ve gotten great results using it for concealer as well. Now that I think of it, I need to pick up another one of these! Here’s hoping my local Target isn’t out of stock.

MAC 217  $25- For the longest time I was using a bdellium tools brush that was similar, but the quality and performance difference is night and day. This is one of only two MAC brushes I own at the time of writing this. Don’t buy this one in a set – although MAC does it, it’s a common for them to compromise on quality for the brushes released in LE sets and kits.

Makeup Geek Face Buffer Brush $18 – I haven’t found a new liquid foundation I want to commit to, so I’ve been wearing my Urban Decay Naked Skin powder foundation quite a lot and this is the brush to apply it with. Forget the included sponge-puff; apply with this brush and work your way to an airbrush (yes! with powder!) finish. All that praise given, I actually do not like this brush for applying liquid or cream products. Even though the bristles are lush and full, I find they aren’t as densely packed as I prefer for liquid and cream application. It is not a substitute for the next brush (but maybe their Foundation Stippling Brush is, I haven’t tried it)…

Read moreFavorite Brushes – October 2016