Shameless Indulgence in Makeup and Beauty Products

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Urban Decay Naked2 Palette

Happy December 1st! Well what do you know? Just in time for the holidays Urban Decay just announced the release of the Naked2 Palette! 

 According to Urban Decay's website,"The most anticipated sequel of the decade. Naked2 has 12 pigment-rich, taupe and greige neutral eyeshadows, including FIVE NEW shades." It is available RIGHT NOW on for $50 with free shipping. I signed up today to receive e-mail updates and newsletters from UD and was sent a code for 10% off my next purchase. 5000 pieces are set to ship in the first shipment so I'm sure those will quickly fly off the shelves!

Foxy, Half Baked, Booty Call, Chopper, Tease, Snake Bite,Suspect, Pistol, Verve, YDK, Busted, and Blackout

The original Naked palette is a go-to product when I put my eyeshadow on in the morning. The Naked palette provides wearable colors perfect for the workplace and I'm sure Naked2 will not disappoint! Although majority are repromoted shades I do not own Chopper, Suspect, YDK. From the new shades I'm most excited about Pistol, Busted, and Snakebite. What are your thoughts on this particular palette? Will you be purchasing Naked2?   

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Get up to $500 Worth of Surprise JewelMint Pieces - for only $29.99!

Hi everyone! I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I surely feasted! In the shopping spirit of Black Friday/Cyber Monday I had to share a great deal by Jewelmint.

Jewelmint has gain much popularity on Youtube and the blogosphere. Briefly, the concept is each month Jewelmint selects various pieces of jewelry for you based on the answers you give on a style quiz. It is free to register and if you like what's in your showroom you pay $29.99 for a credit and you choose and receive one piece of jewelry in the mail. I signed up and browsed my showroom for a few months and they bombarded me with e-mails with special promotions.  I finally bought my first piece on Black Friday for $9.99!

Today I got an e-mail about a Mystery Bag, appropriately named OrnaMint. For $29.99 you receive two "mystery"/random pieces of jewelry plus a bonus gift which may be an Amazon Kindle Fire ($199), StyleMint Leggings ($29.99), Jewelmint AdornMint Box($59.98), or Stylemint, BeautyMint, or ShoeMint coupons valued at $10-$30.

I love surprises and I love getting things in the mail so you know I purchased this! I promise will do a haul post once I receive my jewelry. If you are interested I would hurry because there are only 10,000 available at this price and the offer ends November 11, 2011 at 11:59pm PST. Here's the link again JewelMint Mystery Bag. Happy shopping! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sephora Friends and Family Haul 2011

Hello all! It's been a minute since I last blogged. This is going to be a great post because.... I’m very enthusiastic to tell you what I bought during Sephora’s Friends and Family Sale which occurred October 20,2011 through November 2, 2011! If you haven’t heard about this sale then where have you been?! Don’t worry, this is the first year I actually bought makeup goodies during this sale. Anyway, I digress. Sephora Friends and Family sale is a special time of year where Sephora offered 20% off your entire online purchase. The best part is you don’t even have to be a Sephora employee or be their family member or friend to receive this discount. You were simply required to enter your e-mail address on and a special one-time use code was generated. Regularly, Sephora never has a sale this massive so you can only imagine how many of the beauty obsessed took advantage of this opportunity.

For a sale like this I had to have a battle plan. When compiling my shopping list I made it a point to purchase items I’m running low on, trying popular brands I should have tried sooner, and purchasing products from the high end brands- Lancome, Dior, YSL, etc.

A piece of advice, don’t procrastinate and wait until the last few days of the sale to make your purchase. Many of the popular products and gift sets were out of stock by the time I was ready to put everything into my cart. If you’re lucky, the products might come back in stock but I wouldn’t count on it. Oh, Diorskin Shimmer Star in Amber Lights! I was wishing on a star that you would come back in stock but my wish didn’t come true. Oh well, maybe I can ask Santa to bring me more makeup.  

I made a resolution to not touch or use these products until I have completely run out of what I currently have. Hence, no swatches or reviews of products with this post.  Before I get to the bulk of my order, let’s begin with the samples I received.


To my surprise I received a sample of all the shades of Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original, Sin, Eden, and Greed. It was a surprise because they must have run out of the sample of Bliss Triple Oxygen + C Energizing Cream I originally picked. Sephora substitutes so that is understandable. The other two samples I chose were Per-fekt Brow Perfection Gel and Marc Jacobs Oh, Lola Eau de Parfume. The brow gel was appealing to me because I usually apply the powder in my Benefit Brow Zing in Medium to fill in my brows. I’m a sucker for itty bitty perfume samples especially one with a spray already included. Oh, Lola is a sweet floral scent that I’m sure I’ll enjoy spritzing on. 

Tarte for True Blood 

I’m not even going to hide it. I’m addicted to eyeshadow and I know I didn’t need another eyeshadow palette. However, I made an executive decision to treat myself. I’m a huge fan of the show True Blood so when I heard Tarte was coming out with products influenced by the show I must have been glamoured into buying this. The Tarte for True Blood Palette includes 20 shimmery and matte shades with names giving a nod to the show such as Glamour Me (a deep purple), The True Death (a very shimmery silver), and “V” (a shimmery, deep crimson).  If you need inspiration, included is a card with 4 looks created by True Blood’s lead makeup artist, Brigitte Ellis.  

From Left to Right - Top: The Light, Fairy, Dusk
2nd Row: Dawn, Werewolf, Waitress, Nocturnal
3rd Row: Charmer, Glamour Me, Stake
4th Row: Bayou, Telepath, The True Death, Immortal
5th Row: Moss, Legend, "V"

Exclusive Looks created by Brigitte Ellis

Within the “Open After Dark” drawer, lined with a sultry red velvet material, housed a Lifted Natural Eye Primer with Firmitol; a Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara; and an emphasEYES aqua-gel eyeliner.  I’m most excited to try the eye primer because I’m very loyal to Urban Decay Primer Potion. The best part about these products are they are cruelty free and formulated without parabens, mineral oil, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances. 

Take a better look inside

For the mornings when I’m in a hurry to get out the door or when I’m in the mood for light foundation coverage I’m going to reach for Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 in Caramel. This tinted moisturizer is a,”sheer, lightweight, buildable foundation that can be worn by all skin types but especially those with acne prone, sensitive or oily skin.” Laura Mercier’s line of tinted moisturizers is regarded as the best tinted moisturizers by both Allure Best in Beauty and In Style Best Beauty Buy. To accompany my new tinted moisturizer I purchased the Hydrating Foundation Primer to ensure my dry face will hold the makeup throughout the whole day. Now I know some people don’t care for primers citing a good skin regimen ensures even and lasting foundation coverage but I beg to differ. My skin is a sponge and primer gets into those little nooks and crannies on my face to smooth everything out. Primers provide a great barrier between your face and your makeup, preventing the makeup to really sink into or clog your pores. For the same reason you would use a primer on your eye lids, face primer also prevents the foundation and powders from slipping and sliding and fading away. Laura Mercier is a brand I have been meaning to try for awhile so I hope she will help me achieve the flawless face I’ve been looking for.

Left - Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer, Right- Hydrating Foundation Primer

Urban Decay is my favorite brand and the company is based out of Orange County so I feel obligated to show them some love. Urban Decay is another great cruelty free brand and they even carry vegan products. Again, referring back to my loyalty to Urban Decay Primer Potion, I re-purchased this product in its newly re-designed packaging. I look forward to getting my money’s worth with this product because the old genie bottle shaped packaging was a pain in the butt to extract and de-pot the remaining primer. De-potting only made the primer dry out faster after putting it in a new container. I must also mention the doe foot applicator was useless because I rather use my finger to apply the product to my lids. All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray made it into my cart because my MAC Fix+ is on its last few sprays. SKINDINÄVIA partnered up with Urban Decay for this weightless, fine mist finishing spray that boasts to make your makeup last for 16 hours. I’ve heard SKINDINÄVIA products have a cooling effect on skin so that will be a unique experience for me.    

Left- UD Primer Potion, Right- All Nighter

The NARS Blush/Bronzer Trio with Orgasm, Albatross, and Laguna is going to be a staple in my routine. The sturdy hard case, mirror, and zipper closure makes this convenient for travel- for my suit case or in my purse for touch-ups. I must be the last person on earth to try NARS Laguna Bronzer but better late than never! I hit pan on my Orgasm blush and this is a great excuse to re-purchase it in a trio. Nonetheless, it was a great deal because a full-sized blush is regularly $27 and the bronzer is $33, so to get a trio (2 blushes and one bronzer) for $55 + 20% off = A STEAL! I know, I threw in some math there I hope I impressed you! 

From left to right: Laguna, Albatross,Orgasm

That concludes my haul! I can’t wait until next year’s Friends and Family Sale. I vow to do more research throughout the year and purchase everything when the sale begins so I don’t miss out on the products I really want. If you participated in F&F this year what did you buy? If you missed out, what would you have bought? Leave me your comments below, I love reading them! J

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 2011 Birchbox

I was away for the weekend and guess what was waiting for me in my mailbox all weekend? If your response was my November 2011 Birchbox, *Ding-ding-ding, you're a winner! Like every month I tore into this box with excitement. This month's theme is "Getting Gifty." Can you believe we're less than two weeks away from Thanksgiving and then it's Christmas?! A holiday theme is very appropriate this month  since I should start making my list and then be checking it twice.

For this month's post I remembered to give you  pictures of the handy dandy card Birchbox includes in each box. The card has a cute little message from the Birchbox team and a breakdown of the products you received with information about the full size and its price.

Here's what I got...

The Atelier Cologne was packaged in a parchment envelope with a fun postcard as an added bonus. The cologne smells divinely sweet and sugary vanilla. Most vanilla scents remind me of Bath and Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar. This scent is perfect for cold winter days. It makes me want to cuddle up with a special someone next to a warm fire place.

The Borghese Mud for Face and Body looks promising. From reading the description I can expect this to be a luxe treatment for my dry skin. It is a generous sample at 1 oz. so I'm confident I will be able to throughly test it out on my body and face.

LaROCCA Champagne & Shimmer Supreme Creme smells like applesauce or citrus. I dipped my ring finger into the jar and the product was incredibly soft and creamy. After rubbing it into my hand  I know I won't be bothered by the shimmer in the product because it is very fine, doesn't clump, and disperses over the skin evenly. It hydrates nicely upon first application but I will have to further test its longevity. The description leads you to believe this is best worn at night when you are going out.

The shining star in this box, hands down, is the Zoya Nail Polish in Izzy. This magenta jewel-toned polish is another great product for the winter. I wish I could have Christmas tree decorations in the colors of the new Zoya Gems & Jewels Holiday Collection. Birchbox should have sent me Holly, the bright shimmery green,  from this collection. They could have put two and two together and inferred I like green from my name. I am so excited to receive yet another Zoya polish! I have been gushing over Shay since I got it in my July box.
A little treat included this month were coasters from Two Paper Dolls. Thank you Birchbox for giving me something to put my cup on instead of my naked tabletop.  

Notable Products from Last Month:
- Befine Lip Serum - This is a full sized product but is a half of a lip treatment duo. I used it mainly before bed and when I woke up the next morning my lips felt the same as when I went to bed. Good stuff! 
-blinc Mascara- It is a great mascara for lengthening but not volumizing. It can be kind of a pain to remove the tubules from your lashes. I found that I removed a few lashes in the process.
You've done it again, Birchbox! I'm never let down by the products I get. The nail polish makes it worth it for me. I'm sure December will be a great box with Christmas and New Years coming up. In fact, a Birchbox subscription will make a great holiday gift for any beauty lover in your life. If you want more information or want to sign up follow this link and let them know I referred you! 

I can't wait for next month!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Jewelry Haul

The perfect cure for a gloomy, cold day is a trip to the (indoor) mall with Mom. I went a little overboard in Charlotte Russe this afternoon, oops! Charlotte Russe was having a sale on their jewelry so I couldn’t resist.  Majority of the pieces I purchased today were 2 for $10 (original price $6-$10.50). On top of that, they were promoting Happy Hour specials between 3pm and 5pm- Spend $30 get $5 off and spend $40 get $10 off.

Due to time constraints and the quickly disappearing daylight, I was able to photograph four out of the six pieces of jewelry I bought. Enjoy!

I had my pretty little eye on this necklace last time I was at Charlotte Russe. It is a gold chain featuring black enamel detailing. The necklace is lightweight, edgy, and will definitely make a statement even when paired with a simple black top. 

Taking inspiration from my nail polish, I chose this cocktail ring. It is comfortable to wear and is a one-size-fits-all kind of deal since the band is made with a stretchy material.

The ring says it all, Bling! Obviously they are not real diamonds, but anything shiny will make your outfit glamorous.  It borders on gaudy but that is what makes it appealing to me. It would look very classy with a French manicure. 

I saved the best for last. The pink bejeweled ring with the pearl in the middle is my favorite out of all the rings.  What drew me in was the sheer size of this baby. It’s probably the largest ring in my collection now. When I placed it on my finger, it gave me the effect of a pink firework that exploded on my hand. 

I have a tendency to gravitate to gold jewelry, as made evident by this haul. The fact is gold complements my warm-toned skin. I’m also a creature of habit. As a little girl I remember my mom always bought me 14K gold jewelry. Especially with earrings, I got allergic reactions to other types of metals. My ears would get unbearably itchy and red. Thankfully I don’t have these issues anymore. Gold, silver, platinum, diamonds- I'll take them all! Anyway, I’m very excited to style outfits with my new pieces of jewelry. I guess I have another reason to make another trip to the mall!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Grey Friday

Today was not a sunny day in Southern California. This morning I woke up to a grey and gloomy sky and the rain was coming down a little bit. The air was cold and during a lull in rainfall I took Trina, my long-haired chihuahua, out for a walk. She was being a princess and refused to walk on the grass because she knew she'd get her paws wet. After some coaxing, she did her business and I hurried inside.

Admiring the grey sky while driving home

The Fall/Winter season is starting to peek its head and it gave me inspiration to paint my nails. I wanted my nails to match the rainy, cloudy sky. So I rummaged through my collection and grabbed Rimmel London Lasting Finish Pro nail polish in Steel Grey.  

I have to give Rimmel some props. For a drugstore brand they produce quality products. You can't beat $3.99 + tax for nail polish! It's a favorite of mine because it only takes two coats to achieve the opacity I desired. The formulation allows it to glide on the nail easily and evenly. Believe me, in the past I used to glob on polish thinking it helped it look smoother but I'm wiser now. Today you'll find me patiently and gently layering a few thin coats. It also helps that Rimmel installed this uniquely shaped brush. Standard brushes in nail polishes such as OPI or China Glaze are thin and rounded, while Rimmel's brush is quite flat and wider in comparison. I prefer this brush shape since it allows me to cover a greater surface area in no time. 

Left - Rimmel Lasting Finish, Right - Standard brush shape

I'm not a meteorologist but I kind of hope it stays a little grey and rainy this weekend so my nails will be stylish and appropriate for the occasion. I'd love to know what nail polish you're wearing today or get some input on new colors/brands I should try! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

October 2011 Birchbox

Birchbox makes it feel like Christmas every month. It is the one time of the month I actually enjoy – because certainly no one enjoys that other time of the month. I discovered Birchbox while thumbing through an issue of Cosmopolitan and conducted further research on Youtube- WARNING: Birchbox hauls are highly addictive.

The basic concept of Birchbox is you pay $10 each month and you are sent a box containing 4-5 deluxe beauty samples from a wide array of high end brands. You do not get to choose what is in your box but if you fill out a beauty profile they can better cater to your beauty needs. Visit for the complete run down.

October’s Birchbox is about prep and finish. These products are made to help your skin, body, and hair looks its best for the fall season. Here’s what I got this month:

·         Pangea Organics Japanese Matcha Tea Facial Mask- For all skin types this mask also contains acai and goji berry. I received a facial cleanser so I will use those together when I get the chance
·         Befine Lip Serum with chamomile and beets- This product is allergen free, paraben free, and contains vegetarian proteins to heal dry lips. Initially, I noticed this product does not have a scent and its consistency is more like an oil than a balm.
·         blinc Mascara- A popular tubing mascara claims to not smear, smudge, or run. Washes off with warm water and a wash cloth. I actually purchased the full-sized product (0.21 oz) at IMATS LA in June. Check out the size of the sample (0.14 oz)!

·         Orofluido Beauty Elixir – A hair oil containing argan, linseed, and cyperus. My hair loves Argan oil so I look forward to trying it.
·         A little something Extra… Minteas in Lime Mojito- mints infused with antioxidants from yerba mate and cocoa. These are going in my purse!     

One complaint I have about Birchbox is the time it takes my box to arrive. Birchbox is based in New York so late arrival is expected. However, there have been many times when I have not received my box of goodies until after the 20th of the month. The anticipation almost kills me when this happens. I am guilty of obsessively refreshing the USPS tracking website to pinpoint the exact second my box is delivered. Other times I’m overjoyed when it comes before the 10th of the month. Birchbox, please give me some consistency or make an office on the West Coast so I can get immediate satisfaction!

Despite being impatient, I thoroughly enjoy my subscription to Birchbox the last five months. Birchbox makes me feel adventurous and has made me knowledgeable about many brands without having to break the bank from buying so many full sized products. 

Notable Birchbox products from past months:
  • Ahava Mineral Hand Cream- it has traveled with me in my purse and I’ve used every last drop of this nongreasy hand cream.
  • Zoya nail polish in Shay- the formula is thick and goes on smooth like buttah. This neutral is workplace appropriate and absolutely on trend this Fall.
  • Incoco Nail Strips – Think Sally Hansen Salon Effects but with cuter designs. Nail strips are
  • Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask –it smelled great and it made my hair soft and manageable
  • Laura Gellar Baked Blush n’ Brighten- The only full-sized product I have received thus far.
Try it out if you are looking to discover new products or brands. Or stock up on toiletries to take with you in your purse or on your next vacation. Until next month…

You have to start somewhere

Hello! My name is Emerald (people call me Emmy, for short). I'm 24 years old and live in beautiful Southern California. I would describe myself as girly, cute, laid back, open-minded, and lovable.  

The main reason I decided to start a blog is to share my fascination with makeup, nails, hair, and fashion with others as well as learn new tips and tricks. For quite some time now I have been following many inspirational women on the internet through blogs and YouTube. Finally, I'm coming out of the dark corners of anonymity and I want to get in on all the action.  

Let’s see what I can do here!