Memorial Day Haul: ELF & NYX

So when the Memorial Day sales rolled around, I did some major hauling. ELF had a 40% off sale and NYX had a 30% off sale online, and I did some damage. I ended up getting tons of brushes from ELF but not as much makeup. They were out of two things I wanted- the blush palette in Dark and their new brow pencils. From NYX I only hauled a few things, stuff I have been eyeing for awhile. Keep reading to see what I got!

ELF Haul


  • HD Mattifying Balm: I can get such an oily t-zone sometimes so I hope this can help with that!
  • Baked Highlighter- Blush Gems: Love the rosy gold shade, although the texture isn’t as smooth as I would like.
  • Lip Exfoliator: My lips have been flaky lately and this seems to be a well-liked product for that.
  • Lip Lock Pencil: I thought this would be a nice lip primer.
  • Matte Lip Colors-Natural and Tea Rose: I was curious to try these Matte lip colors and I’m glad I did, they are so pretty!
  • Nourishing Cuticle Pen
  • Studio Fan Brush: I decided I needed a proper highlighting brush, this one is a little too floppy though.
  • Essential Lip Defining Brush: This will be great for liquid lipsticks that can be messy to apply straight from the tube (looking at you Stila Liquid Lipsticks!)
  • Studio Eyebrow Duo Brush
  • Essential Eyeshadow Brush: A repurchase, can’t have too many of these! Although it is annoying how inconsistent the brush sizes are, I have 3 and they are all a little different from each other.
  • Essential Blending Eye Brush: Another repurchase, great for the crease.
  • Studio Contouring Brush: I was particularly excited for this dupe of the Nars Ita brush!
  • Essential Concealer Brush: I’ll use this to clean up nail polish around my nails.
  • Studio Slanted Eyeliner Brush
  • Essential Eye Crease Brush

NYX Haul


  • High Voltage Lipstick- Flutter Kiss: A very pretty MLBB shade.
  • Intense Butter Gloss- Spice Cake: Love this purple/berry shade! So fun.
  • Butter Gloss- Creme Brulee: A nice creamy pink shade.
  • HD Blush- Taupe: I originally wanted the regular blush shade in Taupe but they were sold out, so I picked this instead. I hope it will be good for contouring!
  • Micro Brow Pencil- Ash Brown: A lot of people say that this is a dupe for the Anastasia Brow Wiz so I was curious to try it. It will also be my only retractable brow pencil so that will be nice. It’s a pretty good color match too.


L to R: ELF Natural, ELF Tea Rose, NYX Flutter Kiss, NYX Creme Brulee, NYX Spice Cake

L to R: NYX Micro Brow Pencil ‘Ash Brown’, NYX HD Blush ‘Taupe’, ELF Baked Highlighter ‘Blush Gems’

That’s everything! As you can see, I’m practically swimming in new stuff. Let me know what you would like to see reviews on! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

xo Sandy

FOTD Soft Purple Smokey Eyes & Nude Lips

Hi everyone, happy Friday! Today’s post is a quick FOTD. I used the Morphe Brushes Jaclyn Hill Favorites palette on my eyes to create a soft purple smoky eye, and used Milani Nude Creme with NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair to create a pinky nude lip.

Products Used

 Eyeshadows: Jaclyn Hill Favorites Palette

Eyebrows: Anastasia Dip Brow

Mascara: Maybelline Lash Sensational & Covergirl Full Bloom

False lashes: Kiss SS02

Liquid Liner: Jordana Cat Eyes Liquid liner

Foundation: Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous mixed with Physician’s Formula Youthful Wear Serum

Powder: Maybelline Dream Wonder powder

Concealer: Maybelline Fit Me

Blush: ELF Blush Palette (Light)

Bronzer: Tarte Park Avenue Princess and NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette

Highlight: Mary Lou-manizer

Lips: Milani Nude Creme topped with NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair

That’s it, I hope you have a fantastic weekend! 🙂

xo Sandy

May Favorites

Hello my dears! Today I’m sharing with you my favorite beauty items from May.

Morphe Brushes Jaclyn Hill Favorites Eyeshadow Palette: I’ve loved experimenting with all the shades in this palette! It’s definitely the largest palette I have and all the colors are so pretty. The quality is pretty good as well.

NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette: After struggling a bit with the contour shades, I’ve finally figured out how to make them work for me! The key is to use a light hand and a stipple brush in order to blend them out easily. I’ve loved using the taupe shade to contour and the yellow or cream matte shade to set my undereye concealer.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer (Fair) After hearing so much about this concealer I finally bought it, and of course I love it. I think it beats out my Instant Age Rewind Concealer! It’s just so creamy and brightening.

Mascara Combo: Maybelline Lash Sensational & Covergirl Full Lash Bloom mascaras: Shout out to Bree of Always, Bree for this mascara combo! I read about it on her blog and it made her lashes look so great! It works really well for me too- I apply a coat of the Lash Sensational first to build volume, and then lengthen with the Full Lash Bloom.

Left: Jordana Easyliner Sedona Red Right: Milani Matte Passion

Lip Combo: Jordana Easyliner Sedona Red & Milani Matte Passion lipstick: Matte Passion has been such a fun color to wear out. I pair it with Sedona Red because it’s the most similar lip liner color I have to it, even though it’s much less orange and more red than Matte Passion. It works out though, because it adds some definition to my lips.

And that’s all! Do you have a favorite mascara or lip combo? Just one never seems to do it for me haha 🙂

Thank you so much for reading!

xo Sandy

Blog Tour Award

blogtourawardThank you to the lovely stashmatters and lifeofkristyn for nominating me for this!


• Pass the tour on up to four other bloggers.
• Give your nominees the rules and a specific Monday to post (please, post your story on Monday June 8th or let your followers know when you post).
• Answer four questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do.

1. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
I feel like I dabble in a few different thing as opposed to focusing on just one area-I do makeup posts, product reviews, nail posts, hauls, etc. Maybe one day I’ll feel comfortable expanding into different areas, like fashion. At this point I don’t know, I’ll just have to figure out what I’m comfortable with.

2. How does my writing/creative process work?
I brainstorm ideas throughout the week, and whichever I am most excited about I starts writing and taking pictures for first. Somedays the ideas aren’t exactly rolling in, which can be frustrating. If I really can’t come up with an idea I’ll try to find a fun tag to do.

3. Why do I write or create what I do?
I absolutely love makeup and beauty, and that is my motivation for writing about it.

4. What I’m working on at the moment?
I’m currently brainstorming ideas for posts!

I nominate:

Glam with Sam

Sober Ramblings about Life and Makeup

Filipino Inside Out

Alice’s Wonderland

Thank you all for reading! 🙂

xo Sandy

Review: Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow Paints

Hello my loves! After having these for awhile now, I am finally getting around to reviewing the Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow Paints ($5.49, 9 shades available). I have four shades to review- Beige, Peachy Apricot, Berry Chrome, and Manganese Purple (I actually had a fifth shade but it seems to have disappeared-makeup hoarder problems!) Keep reading to find out if these are worth your time!

Rimmel’s website description:

“Scandalous colour impact!
It’s the end of dull, subtle colour with this multi-dimensional cream shadow formula
Spatula applicator delivers high intensity coverage in one simple stroke
Waterproof & crease-proof with 8-hour wear”


Top: One swipe Bottom: Lightly blended out L to R: Beige, Peachy Apricot, Berry Chrome, Manganese Purple

My Thoughts

Packaging: These come in a tube and have a typical doe foot applicator.

Texture/Formula: The formula is neither thick or thin, it seems to have a good liquid-y consistency. They become slightly tacky when dry.

Application: These apply very pigmented when swiped on my eyelids or when swatched, but they blend out to be much sheerer. I kind of wanted them to look as good on my lids as they did swatched. I usually do a couple swipes on my lids and blend it out with my finger, and it becomes a nice wash of color. It does set rather quickly so I need to work fast. At most I do 2 layers, letting it dry in between. I feel like building it up to look as intense and metallic as the swatches results in a caked up mess. So for me, these can either be used as a subtle wash of color or as a base for other eyeshadows.

Wear: These wear for about 8 hours and they do fade slightly throughout the day. I noticed some minor creasing by the end of the day.


I’m kind of eh about these. I feel like I expected the shades to appear more intense on my eyes than they actually do. Blending them out takes away that nice metallic sheen, and if I do try to layer it on to get the full intensity color, it starts to cake and crease. So unless you are looking for a quick wash of color or are interested in using them as eyeshadow bases, I would pass. I’m wondering if these might be discontinued since I picked them up on clearance at Ulta and they aren’t on Ulta’s website anymore.

Pros: Affordable, nice color range, quick application, easy to use

Cons: Lose their intensity when blended, so-so wear time

Have you guys tried these? What were your thoughts? Honestly, I don’t find myself reaching for these much. If I want a quick eyeshadow look I would much rather use a cream eyeshadow stick or a Maybelline Color Tattoo.

Must Have Beauty Tool Tag


Hello lovelies! The lovely Sam of Glam With Sam invited me to do this tag. Thanks again Sam for sneaking me in! 🙂 These are my top beauty tools for everyday use. Check out Sam’s post here!


-Tag up to 5 people & let them know you tagged them.
-List what you want. If you got three things that are unbelievable or twenty… Don’t care, just share.
-Cannot be actual makeup, skin care, or hair care products – just the tools/gadgets you use

1. Beauty Blender

I love using this the most under my eyes for blending concealer. I just dampen it a little and it makes blending out concealer much easier, and helps absorb any excess to prevent creasing.

2. Spoolie

I love using this ELF spoolie (only $1!) to blend out product after filling in my eyebrows. It definitely helps it look a little more natural. Without it, my eyebrows would look all scribbled on haha.

3. Fluffy Powder Brush

I’m sure we all have one of these somewhere in our brush collection. I don’t have the Sonia Kashuk one but one from a Costco brush set that I got years ago (I couldn’t find a picture online). It lost its shape and became giant, but I love using it for bronzer. Since the brush is so big and fluffy and I bronze large areas of my face, I’m able to finish fairly quickly. It’s also easy to manipulate the shape of the brush by squeezing it if I want to get in the hollows of my cheeks.

4. Flat Top Kabuki brush

I do have the Sigma F80 as well as a more generic brand in the same style, and they are both great for buffing out foundation. I also love using it for powder foundation because it helps add coverage since the brush is so dense.

5. Conair Curling Wand

This is my favorite tool for curling my hair. It heats up really fast and is very easy to use. It creates tight, effortless curls very quickly. I find I’m able to curl my hair much faster compared to any other curling tool I have. The other curling irons I have are the kind with clamps, which I constantly get my hair caught in lol. So the curling wand I think is a little more fool proof for people like me who aren’t the best with styling tools.

I Tag:

Sober Ramblings of Life and Makeup

Alice’s Wonderland

Always Bree

Filipino Inside Out

Plus+ Beauty

That’s it guys and gals, my must have beauty tools. Thank you again for tagging me Sam! And as always, thank you so much for reading! 🙂

xo Sandy

photocred: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Favorite “My Lips But Better” Shades TAG

Hello my dears! If you are in the states I hope you are having a great holiday! I’m trying to resist all of the online Memorial Day sales and failing miserably haha. I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in awhile, I was kind of busy and also having trouble coming up with ideas for blog posts. I’m happy to be back and share with you some of my favorite “my lips but better” lipstick shades. These are easy to throw on shades that enhance my natural lip color. And since I’m curious what your favorite “my lips but better” shades are, I thought I might as well turn this into a tag! 🙂 The rules are simple: pick as many of your favorite “my lips but better” shades as you like and tag as many (or few) bloggers as you like!

Shades & Swatches

L to R: Brave, Syrup, Patisserie, Pops, Lovely Mocha, Honey, Zurich

MAC Brave (satin) A natural pinky mauve shade.

MAC Syrup (lustre) A sheer plummy mauve shade.

MAC Patisserie (lustre) A sheer nudey pink shade with a slight hint of shimmer.

NYX Butter Lipstick Pops A pinky mauve with a lot of shine.

L’oreal Glossy Balm Lovely Mocha A pinky brown shade with a lot of shine.

Revlon Balm Stain Honey A deep pinky mauve shade with a lot of shine (stains the lips as well).

NYX Soft Matte Lipstick Zurich A matte pinky brown shade.

I think my favorite out of all of these is MAC Brave.

I tag:

Always, Bree

Glam With Sam

Alice’s Wonderland

Sober Ramblings About Life and Makeup



Styled With Joy

Filipino Inside Out

The World of Cos


Not Quite London

Little Rants

Thank you so much for reading guys! I’m looking forward to reading your posts! 🙂

xo Sandy

Review: Milani Moisture Matte Lipsticks Review

Hello my loves! Today I’m going to share with you my thoughts on some of the Milani Moisture Matte lipsticks ($5.99). I got the shades Matte Innocence, Matte Blissful, and Matte Passion (there are 8 shades available). Keep reading for my thoughts on them!

Milani website description:

“Meet your matte. Your fantasy matte. The matte that not only feels great (yes, you read that right – it’s actually comfy) but also lasts for hours and has “a-mazing Instagram selfie” written all over it. Infused with grape seed extract imported from Italy, this smear-proof lip soother delivers mega color that won’t budge, even after a close encounter with a cappuccino cup. In eight luxe, go-the-distance shades, from the oh-so-sweet, pale pink Matte Innocence to the va va voom, fiery-red Matte Passion. This matte? So major.”


Shades: Matte Innocence is a light nude color with a bit of peach/pink  in it, Matte Blissful is a medium pink with a purple tone, and Matte Passion is an orange-based red.

Pigmentation: Matte Blissful and Matte Passion are very pigmented, while Matte Innocence is disappointingly sheer.

Application: These lipsticks apply easily out of the tube-no dragging whatsoever as they are actually quite creamy. The only shade I have an issue with is Matte Innocence-it doesn’t build up very well and starts to look cakey on my lips.

Texture: For these being matte lipsticks, they are very creamy and non-drying. They feel really smooth and lightweight on my lips. The texture reminds me a little bit of the Maybelline Matte lipsticks, but I think these are even creamier than the Maybelline ones.

Wear: These wear around 4-5 hours on me, with the exception of Matte Innocence which fades more quickly. The lipsticks do transfer, and they don’t dry down completely on my lips so I’m able to move the lipstick a little bit when I press my lips together. I feel like they are more comfortable on my lips because they don’t totally set on my lips, but it also makes them easier to wear off. Matte Passion does stain my lips.

Final Thoughts

Pros: Affordable, good color selection (unique shades), pigmented, comfortable to wear

Cons: Not transfer-proof, Matte Innocence was very sheer and hard to build up

Overall, I think these are great lipsticks. The cons I mentioned are not deal breakers for me at all. I will say that I don’t recommend Matte Innocence, since it doesn’t have the same pigmentation as Matte Blissful and Matte Passion. I love these two shades, and I feel like they are unique colors in my collection. I don’t own MAC Lady Danger but from pictures and swatches that I’ve seen of it, I think it could be similar to Matte Passion.

Have you tried these lipsticks before? What are your favorites shades? I’m eyeing the purple shade Matte Glam next. If you haven’t tried these yet, what is your favorite affordable lipstick brand?

Thank you so much for reading! Have a fantastic weekend!

❤ Sandy

Review: NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette

Hi everyone! I got swept into the contouring craze and bought this NYX highlight and contour palette ($24.99) at Ulta. I’ve been testing it for a few weeks, keep reading for my thoughts on it!

NYX’s Website description:

• What it is: Professional palette with eight highlighting and contouring colors.
• What it does: Easily allows you to enhance features like cheekbones, nose and jawline.
• Why we love it: The removable and refillable pans are perfect for building your own customized pro palette.
• How to use: After putting on foundation, apply the deeper, contouring powders to any areas you would like to shade and define. Next apply one of the lighter highlighting colors to any areas you would like to emphasize.


Packaging: Love the see through case! It looks fancy to me, and it’s pretty sturdy. You are able to remove each pan if you ever need to replace it. NYX’s website recently added the refillable pans to their website, and there are 12 shades to pick from ($5 each on NYX’s website).

Shades: The top row from left to right consists of a shimmery white/silver highlight, a pale matte cream shade, a pale matte yellow shade, and a shimmery light gold highlight. The white/silver highlight is more pigmented than the gold one, which is pretty subtle. The bottom row from left to right consists of a warm light brown shade (matte), a warm medium brown shade (sparkle in the pan but does not translate on skin), a cool taupe shade (matte), and a deep brown shade (matte).

Pigmentation & Texture: All of the shades are very pigmented, buttery, and finely milled. It takes very little of the contour/bronzer shades for it to show up well on my skin.

Application: All of the powders are easy to apply, but one thing I found with the contour shades is that they were slightly difficult to blend. I lightly touch my brush into them and apply the powder in the hollows of my cheeks for a contour, but it ends up looking harsh because I have a hard time blending it out to look natural. I have tried different brushes with the same problem. A harsh, unblended contour is definitely not a good look! Even when I use one of the lighter bronzer shades to warm up my face, it does not blend very well on me.

Wear: The powders last all day on me but do fade slightly throughout the day. I can still see the bronzer/contour shades on me at the end of a day though.

How I Use the Powders: I like to use either the matte cream shade or matte yellow shade to set my undereye concealer. I don’t notice any significant brightening effects with either of these, but maybe that’s just me. Since the powders are finely-milled and light-weight, they do not make my undereyes cakey or powdery looking. I tend to reach for the white/silver highlight more than the golden one since it’s more pigmented, and also it’s the only white/silver highlight shade I have like it in my collection. One slight letdown for me was the cool, taupey contour shade (3rd shade from the left). I thought it would be the perfect shade for contouring but it pulls a little warm on my skin, womp! Either way I’ll use that shade or the 4th one (sparingly since it’s so dark) for a contour. I’ll sometimes use the first bronzer/contour shade as an all over bronzer to warm up my face-it pulls a little more orange than I would like. I haven’t really used the second bronzer/contour shade.

Final Thoughts

Pros: 8 shades, refillable pans, pigmented, finely-milled, affordable compared to high-end contour palettes (each pan comes out to a little over $3 each)

Cons: Hard to blend bronzer/contour shades, bronzer/contour shades aren’t totally flattering for my skin tone personally

Overall, I do like the palette but wish the bronzer/contour shades were more blendable.

EDIT: I find that the key for using the contour shades is to use a stippling brush-I have a much easier blending out the darker shades this way.

What’s your favorite highlight/contour palette? Comment below! 🙂 Thank you so much for reading!

Review: NYC Smooch Proof Liquid Lip Stains

Hello my loves! Today I bring to you a review of the NYC Smooch Proof Liquid Lip Stains. I think these are new for Spring 2015, and there are 6 shades available at $2.99 each. I picked up the shades Unforgettable Fuschia and On Everybody’s Lips. Liquid lipsticks seem to be blowing up in the beauty world, so keep reading to see if this drugstore option is worth your time!

NYC Website:

Pucker up with this kiss ready lip stain. You’ll get weightless fresh color that’s never sticky or messy. Just a long lasting, creamy stain that stays in place so you can keep on smooching without the worry!

  • Easy application
  • Light weight
  • Non-sticky
  • Enhances color on lips
  • Does not fade
  • Stains lips
  • Intense color
  • Up to 4 hour wear

SwatchesMy Thoughts

Shades: Unforgettable Fuchsia is a lovely, bright fuchsia color while On Everybody’s Lips is a deep mauve color with a cool undertone.

Packaging: Packaging is pretty much like any other liquid lipstick, but one thing that sucks is that the shade names are not on the tube. They are on the plastic seal that you have to take off when you open it for the first time.

Texture: These have a thin, almost watery consistency.

Pigmentation: Unforgettable Fuchsia is very pigmented, while On Everybody’s Lips is more sheer.

Application: The applicator is a traditional doe foot applicator. Unforgettable Fuchsia is very pigmented and only take a couple layers to get it opaque. On Everybody’s Lips takes several layers to get it to its full intensity, and it starts to get very patchy as you apply more of it. It also dries weirdly around my lips and looks darker  You can see this in the lip swatch picture if you look on the left side of my bottom lip. Definitely not attractive!

Finish: These dry down to a matte finish after a minute or two and feel comfortable on my lips-they are neither moisturizing or drying.

Wear time: Unforgettable Fuchsia lasts around 4 hours on my lips and does leave behind a vivid stain. On Everybody’s Lips wears off pretty quickly (1-2 hours) and doesn’t leave behind much of a stain.

Does it live up to the claims? I feel like I agree with all of NYC’s claims about the shade Unforgettable Fuchsia but not for On Everybody’s Lips. On Everybody’s Lips is not as pigmented, does not leave much of a stain, and fades pretty quickly.

Would I recommend these? I think Unforgettable Fuchsia is great, and these are a steal at $2.99 each. On Everybody’s Lips was a dud for me and I wouldn’t recommend it, which is a shame because I love the shade. I just couldn’t figure out a way to make it work for me, it just had a different consistency compared to Unforgettable Fuchsia. I would be interested in trying some of the brighter shades in the hopes that they have the same pigmentation and staining power of Unforgettable Fuchsia. I would stay away from the lighter shades.

Final Thoughts

Pros: Only $2.99, Unforgettable Fuchsia was very pigmented and long-lasting

Cons: Only 6 shades, inconsistent formula between shades

So what do you think, will you be picking any of these up? Or if you have tried these already, what were your thoughts?

Thank you so much for reading!

❤ Sandy