Thursday, January 23, 2020

Sephora Birthday Gift - 2020!!!

The years are passing by way too fast! My birthday last year was great; I got to spend it with my family back home in India after many years and it was full of activities and laughter! I cannot believe that it has been a year already and my birthday is almost here - again! I think I am reaching a season of life where birthdays have started to come faster that I care to admit! :-)

But there is always free birthday gift from different stores and brands to cheer me up! :-) Almost every year during late December or early January I patiently wait to know the options for the free Beauty Insider Birthday Gift Sephora offers. I try to order it as soon as I can in January and blog about it. I enjoy this entire process! When I look back at the S Sephora Free Birthday gift posts from previous years, I notice that these are some of my most viewed blog-post ever! 

This year there are three (3) options for Beauty Insider members and VIB/VIB Rouge get one more exclusive option! If you don’t know much about the Beauty Insider program, keep reading to the very end of this post.

Just like the previous years, I picked up the makeup option. This year the makeup options includes one Mini deluxe Lip+Cheek and Kush Mascara from Milk Makeup. I have been using both of these for last 3-4 days and here are my initial thoughts!

Lip+Cheek (WERK): This is a tiny little blush with 0.21oz of product. On Sephora website, these mini size retails for $15. It is a beautiful everyday mauve shade but unfortunately it is a tad bit lighter on me! And I fear that it looks a little ashy on me! If you have a skin-tone that is similar or deeper than mine than it will probably not be the best shade on you. The formula seemed a little bit dry when I swatch it however on the cheeks it felt ok. It is not too intensely pigmented which is not a bad thing for a blush! It is easy to use a less pigmented blush and slowly build up the color. Personally, I had to swipe it a couple of times to get the color to show decently. I don’t really have that much patience in the busy mornings to sit and keep swiping it! It was still on my skin 4-5 hours later. I went to a yoga class one day with this on and I was still able to see a little bit of color and glow left on the cheeks still hanging on. I wore it to work last two days – it unfortunately did not survive toward the end of my 7-8 hr. work day.

Typically, these Lip+Cheek two-in-one type of product never works on my lips. I still tried it as a lip-shade and as I expected it felt & looked really dry, patchy on the lips.

Kush Mascara:  Hmmm! People seem to absolutely love this mascara! There are about 5k reviews on Sephora Website. This a tiny sample size and it performed just ‘ok’ for me. It is a dry formula and over the years I have realized that I like my mascaras to be a little bit wet. This mascara gave me just a little bit of definition and volume; nothing special or even worth noticing. I was expecting more! I was underwhelmed by its performance! Maybe it is just my lashes? It also fades towards the end of an 8-9-hour work day. It did not smudge but the lift and volume definitely faded away. Overall, I am not too excited about the mascara.

Sorry about the shadow on my cheeks. Lighting glitch :-)

Overall, it was a little bit of a disappointing this year. In fact, if I look back at the years, I have not been happy about the product curation for birthday freebie from Sephora for the last 2-3 years. Maybe it is because I have been a heavy beauty-product-consumer for a quite a few years now and I have tried and used a lot of products; it is no longer easy to impress me! 

What you guys think?

After 5 hours that included 1 hour of yoga!

After 5 hours that included 1 hour of yoga! Look at those dry lips!
Now that I have shared information in the makeup items, let’s talk about the Sephora's Beauty Insider program. It is a membership program which Sephora offers; you can register for it for free here online or in the stores. It rewards you with points against your purchases and later, you can claim sample reward products against those points that you have been accumulating. They also send you emails about some pretty cool promotional deluxe size products from time to time. (These emails have proved very dangerous to my financial health as I have purchased unnecessary items just to get the free products! I know :-) !!)  They have different levels for their membership with few added benefits with each level. In a calendar year, if you spend 350$ you become VIB and if you cross 1000$ you reach VIB Rouge status. One of the perks that I have TRUELY enjoyed is the free shipping for VIB rouge members.  I am no longer a Rouge though! So, even though you don't really shop regularly at Sephora, I suggest you open a Beauty Insider membership; it is a good thing.

Oh! Another thing! If you are not really very interested in the makeup kit you can choose one a haircare or a skincare item from following options. At least they are giving more options – that is always good. There is additional Jo Malone deluxe sample option for VIB/VIB Rouge members! 

Birthday gifts are redeemable in store (no purchase necessary) or online (you need to buy at least one merchandise to add this gift to your online order) during your birthday month. If you somehow forget to collect it during that month, you can always approach their customer service and they will reimburse you with beauty insider points in lieu of the gift (at least I have been told so, when I contacted them with the same query!)


Monday, January 6, 2020

Pan 20 in 2020 ::: Project Pan Intro

From the last few years I have been trying to use up some of my makeup products. Having that goal and picking a few products definitely helps in the process. In short, I am participitaing in #Pan20in2020 (or #Use20in2020) project pan from Instagram. I will update it every quarter if not atleast half yearly!

Here are all the products -

 And here is my goal with each of the products -

1A) Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water: As you can see, there is still a lot of left in the bottle. I love this primer water and do use it whenever I am applying foundation or whenever I am wearing a lot of face products. So, hopefully I can use up it.

1B) Marc Jacobs Re(cover) Perfecting Coconut Setting Mist: I was hoping to finish it in 2019 but I could not. But I am almost done. And that is why I am counting these two mists as one item.

2) Becca Backlight Priming Filter: This is one of my favorite product and there isn't a lot left. I am confident that I can use it up.

3) Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation: This is my holy grail foundation and my shade is Y415. It is very difficult to say how much is left in the tube as of now - when I took closely from the opening, I felt like 1/3 is still left. My goal is to finish up it.

4) Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer: This is my everyday concealer and my shade is Medium Dark Neutral. I can totally see this getting used up.

5) Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in "Sunlight": When I opened the cap and looked closely, I see that I have used up half of the product. Because it is so VERY pigmented and I only need a little bit per use, I am aiming to finish only half of what is left. So the goal is to use up 3/4 of the product.     

6) Smashbox 24 hour Photo Shadow Primer: I use this primer every time I wear eyeshadow but you only need little bit. So, hopefully I can Use up it.

7) Benefit POREfessional: This is such a tiny tube. My goal is to finish it up but I am doubtful; no matter I much I use it, it still does not end.

8) Hourglass Ambient Powder in "Dim Light": I feel like I use it regularly but I don’t see much dent in the pan. Fingers crossed I can use it up.

9) NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in "Himaliya": I typically wear this eyeshadow to work. To pan this is a bit ambitious but we will see.

10) Makeup Geek Eyshadow "Crème Brulee" & "Cocoa Bear": I know that I will hit pan on "Creme Brulee" any day now, so to aim to "pan" this shade in this project is kind of cheating. Although, if I pan it early in the year, it will be greatly motivating to me! Panning "Cocoa Bear" however is an ambitious goal because this shade is crazy pigmented and you really don't need a lot. 

11) RMS Beauty Living Luminizer: I have already hit pan on the highlighter a couple of days after I took this photo, so my goal is to use up it. I wear it almost everyday, especially to work. But it is very pigmented and you need just a little bit. So we will see I can finish it. 

12) RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer: I have already hit pan on the bronzer, so my goal is to use up it. I loved wearing this in the summer, and I will for sure use it next summer. I may or may not be able to use it up in it's entirety but I will at least get close to finishing it.

13) Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eye Liner in "Indigo" & "Midnight": These were in my 2019 favorites. I used these quite a lot this year - they are still going strong and I am sure I will be able to finish them.

14) NARS Eyeliner in "Via Vaneto": This is the eyeliner that would not die. My god, I have been using it for so long but there is still so much left.

15) Bare Minerals Bronzer: Another product that is not showing any sign of panning. This was the only one bronzer that I had and till this day I use it REGULARLY. It must be packed in so very tightly I don’t see ANY sign of pan! I am getting frustrated at this point.

16) Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronzer: Panning this 3rd bronzer is ambitions. If I am able to hit pan, I will be happy; if not that is also OK.

17) Pat McGrath Matte Trance Lipstick in "Elson": I loved and used this shade throughout 2019. See my Beauty Favorites for 2019 here. I have already used almost half of it. Fingers crossed I can use it up!

18) Bite Beauty Amuse Bouch in "Verbena": This is a perfect everyday shade. I love using it for work days. I don’t really use it everyday but again it is a very small travel size lipstick. So it should be easy to finish.

19) Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick in "Cin Cin": This is the first Bite lipstick I got and I have been hooked to the shade ever since. I use it a lot but I probably need to use it up before it expires.

20) Ilia Beauty Lip Conditioner in "Crimson & Clover" & "Nobody's Baby": My aim is to use 1/2 of both of these lip conditioners. They are lip balms so it is easier to go through. A bit ambitious goal but I can layer them over other regular lipsticks and over liquid lipstick, so I am hopeful.

Wish me luck guys! Let me know if you are also joining in, may be we can encourage each other.