Holiday Beauty Haul

Has anyone else’s first week of 2017 been utter crap?  Mine has, and this blog post is a welcomed distraction to say the least.   And I am not even trying to carry over the “2016 was the worst year ever” BS that has been floating around social media.  In fact, lets go back to a perfectly lovely day in 2016.  Christmas.  Over Christmas I received some beauty items, in addition to a Sephora gift card from my in-laws.  So I figured I would share some of the aforementioned items and thoughts, as you do.  This goes without saying, but this post isn’t meant to be braggartly or boastful.  I am grateful for each gift, and enjoy sharing things with you all.  I am a simple human, and if you knew me IRL you would know, bragging isn’t really my style.


The first item on the docket is the Drunk Elephant Lippe.  I have been wanting to try this product out after hearing such good things about it from YouTuber/Blogger Jennifer Ross, of  This product is not only supposed to moisturize your lips, but also add volume.  Now I have only been using this product for about a week, so I cannot say that I really see a difference at this point as far as volume.  I do feel like my lips are moisturized, and that is really all that I was looking for.  I wanted something that would plump my lips a bit, yes.  But only so that when I apply matte liquid lipstick, they didn’t look like crusty, cracked, shed and discarded snake skin.  I do not notice a distinct smell or flavor of this lip balm, if you are someone that is sensitive to scents.  The only downside to this lippe is the shape of the balm itself.  It is quite wide, and concave in the center.  This lends itself to an uneasy application for the first few times.  Other then that, I will have to follow up with you to let you know if I see a difference in lip volume over time.


Next we have an item featured on my 2016 Holiday Gift Guide – For Her.  The YSL Mon Paris Eau De Parfum.  I had received a sample of this with a Sephora catalog and fell in- love-at-first-sniff. Initially this fragrance is fruity, but I also detect a floral scent behind the fruit.  The fragrance notes listed on are as follows; Strawberry, Raspberry, Bergamot, Calone, Pear, Orange Flower, Jasmin Sambac, White Peony, Datura, Patchouli, White Musk, Ambrox, Cedarwood, and Crystal Moss.  It is heavenly.


The next item is a palette from Tarte that wasn’t even on my radar.  Crazy right?  Especially since I consider myself a beauty know-it-all.  This elusive Tarte palette is called the Double Duty Beauty Eye & Cheek in Classic Courage.  My mom picked this up for me for Christmas, because neutral warm tones are some of my favorites.  The colors in the Classic Courage palette are rose, copper and brown toned.  There are five eyeshadows and a blush included, and my favorite would have to be the blush.  It is the perfect rosy nude, and I have used it on both my eyes and cheeks.  All of the colors are pretty great, and the packaging is perfect for travel.  To be honest, I was hesitant about including this one because I cannot find it online.  So I’m not sure if it is even sold anymore. However,  I do believe my mother picked this one up at Ulta.  Anyway, I felt as though it should be shared just in case you can still find it at your local Ulta, or if Tarte decides to come out with something similar.


The Tarte Double Duty Beauty eye/cheek palette in Classic Courage, shown in natural lighting.
The Tarte Double Duty Beauty eye/cheek palette in Classic Courage, shown with flash.  

If you saw my Sephora VIB 2016 Haul, you will know that I picked up the Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in the cult favorite Lolita.  Since then, I have been kicking myself for not also picking up the limited edition Lolita II.   I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the original Lolita.  Of course when I went back to my local Sephora to pick up Lolita II, they were out of stock!  To my surprise, I received Lolita II for Christmas from my fabulous mother.  She knows me so well.  Lolita II is everything I hoped it would be and more.  It is the perfect warmed toned, peachy nude, and I am glad to have it in my collection.


I’ve gone on and on before about the Kat Von D Ink Liner in other posts like My Makeup Essentials and Sephora VIB 2016 Haul.  To get you up to speed, in short, it is my all time favorite liquid eyeliner.  I usually only use the brown shade Hemingway, but I wanted to add black liner back into my rotation. So I figured why not try the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner?  I did just that, and picked up the classic black color Trooper.  The main difference that I have noticed is the applicator.  The Tattoo Liner has a brush tip, whereas the Ink Liner has a felt tip.  The brush applicator allows you to achieve a thinner line, which is a nice change.  It does require more precision though.  I also think the Tattoo Liner has more of a wet formula and a glossy finish.  Overall, I like it….However, I like the Ink Liner better.  What can I say?  I am a creature of habit.


The second to last product I picked up for myself on the recommendation of Makeup by Tiffany D.  She did a really pretty holiday sparkle look using the Urban Decay Liquid Moondust in the color Chem Trail.  Upon the first application, I was unsure about how I felt about this product.  If you are familiar with the original Urban Decay Moondust eye shadows, you will know they are all about the glitter.  This is a cream/liquid version of the original formula.  So if sparkle isn’t your thing, then don’t bother.  The Chem Trail color really appealed to me because I didn’t want anything obnoxious, and liked the idea of understated sparkle. And while you can definitely achieve that with this product, you can also easily go overboard if you apply too much.  The problems I am having are – one its gritty texture, and two the formula separates.  Once it is on it lasts all day.  Taking it off is just as painful as anything that contains glitter would be expected to be.  The verdict; I’m still uncertain if I will be keeping this one or not.


And lastly, this year as part of my “stocking stuffers,” I received two beautiful colors from the Essie Gel Couture collection, in addition to the gel topcoat. Remember when I said in my last post that my mom got every detail right, down to a particular nail polish color?  Well that color is  “off-duty style.”  I had tagged my sister in an Essie Facebook post with this color or a similar color, and my mom had taken notice.  She then went out of her way to find the green color, and got us each one.  The sweetest.

The formula of this nail polish is awesome!  I have only tried Off-Duty Style thus far, but it was incredibly opaque. It also applied smoothly, and the brush size and shape results in a much cleaner application.  The mistake I made was only applying one coat of the color itself.  Because the polish is SO opaque, I thought I didn’t really need a second coat.  That being said, the wear time probably would have been extended if I had applied a second coat of color.  I did get a good few days of wear, which is actually good for me.  I wash my hands frequently and have them in water constantly.  But like I said, I really believe that  I will have better results next time after applying two coats of color.



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