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Grand openings are supposed to be fun and exciting. In my experience though, they’re usually just loud crowded and frustrating. This Saturday changed all of that for me though. The grand opening of Riley Rose this weekend in our local mall was something I knew I was going to want to try out, but I was admittedly a bit trepidatious based on past experiences. That lasted about 30 seconds after I walked through the front door; from that point on, it was an absolute blast.
The initial glee experienced might have something to do with the table of glitter and shimmery products two steps inside the door. I must have spent 15 minutes at least poking through all of the options and creating a chunky glitter highlight on my right cheek.
There were also tons of festival inspired extras – light halo mermaid scale temp tattoos and these awesome rhinestone face accents. Heck, I even found tiny fluttery blue butterflies that came with 3D flower stickers so you could really get your inner flower hippy on.Oh yeah, and anyone who made a purchase got free strawberry cotton candy, which was surprisingly good. One of the most exciting things about Riley Rose, for me at least, was how many of the brands they carried in store that I’d previously only had online access to. After at least two years of hemming and hawing, I finally got my hands on the Winky Lux AND Sugar Pill lipsticks I’ve been wanting to try. There wasn’t just make up though; Riley Rose had a bit of everything: cosmetics, fragrances, hair products, skin care items, stationary, home goods and all manner of fun snack food. That sound that girls make when they’re really excited? I made that sound for about two solid minutes when I discovered these Compartes bars in their candy section. So much easier that having to have them shipped all the way from CA!After dancing around to the late 90’s/early 00’s songs being played by the DJ and checking out every last corner of this amazing place, I made my final selections and checked out. Since it was the grand opening and I spent more than $45, I got 20% off and a goodie bag filled with samples and freebies. This is going to sound a bit silly, but I really do think I’ve found my new favorite place.
I’ve reviewed a lot of products on this blog; I’ve tried even more over the years. I am a serial dabbler; if there is something new and shiny, I want to try it. In the last two years though, I’ve really started to see the wisdom in having a core of go-to items for my daily routine. One – it allows me to streamline my morning routine, and two – it takes a little of the stress out of my morning routine, and BONUS – with my go-to’s I have the space/time to add something new without it throwing everything off. So here we go, a few of the items that I use every single day.
Urban Decay Vice Lipstick – when Urban Decay debuted the Vice line I was one of those girls who showed up at ULTA the day it come out. Okay, I actually did both Sephora and ULTA, but you guys get the point, I was excited. I used a coupon and bought three different colors, all sheers, but I’ve branched out since then. Now the “metallics” are my standby and I always carry “Conspiracy” and “Amulet” in my purse. When I start to get to the end of the tube, I throw it in my desk drawer at the office or in my travel kit so I have backups strategically located.
Weleda Citrus Hydration Body Lotion – Andy is hyper allergic to EVERYTHING. I have had to change every single personal product I’ve ever used. This is the one lotion I have found that works for my skin and doesn’t make my husband break out if I touch him after I’ve put it on. Smells great, works great, doesn’t kill my husband. What isn’t to love?
Crystal Essence Mineral Deodorant – I do, I do wear magic hippy deodorant guys. I tried it on a whim and it worked and I really liked it. I’ve tried a few of the different options, but the Pomegranate scent is the one I always go back to.
Naked Skin Finishing Powder – For the longest time I was a Benefit girl all the way, but I picked this up on super sale and I’ve never looked back. For me, I use this because it sets my make up and lightly conceals. Also, there is rarely a day where one doesn’t find herself a little dewy and this helps keep the shine down.
Clump Crusher Mascara – I think getting caught up in labels can be a bit ridiculous when it comes to your personal routine. Investing in quality is fine, but it really all comes down to what works best for you. I’ve tried many many types/brands, and this is what works for me and my lashes. Good coverage, no smudges, and most importantly – no icky clumps.
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner – the last one is a recent addition to my arsenal. I loved the original black, but being so pale, it can be a bit harsh. The Mad Max Brown wasn’t an option until later and by then I already had a liner I loved. However, I got a gift card for Christmas and I decided to give it a shot. LOVE. It became first string the first day I used it.
What are your go-to must haves?
Guys, I am going to level with you for a moment. I am geeky, stupid, run around in a circle excited about the Alice Through the Looking Glass movie coming out next week. I know I am probably setting myself up for heartbreak and disappointment, but I love all things Wonderland (or Underland), and I loved the first movie so much. I’ve been trying very hard to be reasonable about my fandom, carefully considering the deluge of swag available before selecting the things I want most. The first purchase was the pallet and a lipstick from Urban Decay.
I stalked this collection daily online until I could pre-order it; I missed out on the last Alice pallet, and there was no way that I was going to let that happen again. Especially since I had gift cards, rewards points, and coupons that got the cost down to a very reasonable $20ish including the lipstick. I knew I need the lipstick too since A – it’s called Mad Hatter and B – it satisfies number 17 on my 30 before 31.
I haven’t been able to bring myself to use the pallet yet. It’s so pristine and perfect! I will be wearing it when I go see the movie, so at most, it’ll look this way for another week. I am interested to try the “Mad Hatter” and “Iracebeth” colors; I am mostly a sparkly neutrals kind of girl, but hey, why not? I have worn the lipstick a few times, and although purple glitter isn’t my usual choice, it looks really good on me. I have to say I feel just a smidgen like a bad-ass when I have it on.
This month’s $20 a month is a little odd. The normal retail for these beauty products would total closer to $30, but I had a coupon and caught some of the items on sale, so I figured you guys would forgive me since it meant there would be more to review. Here we go…
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipcolor – Nothing life changing, but a solid okay. Coverage was good, and there wasn’t any strange taste or texture. I had to reapply after eating, but I usually do that anyway. I picked up Smokey Rose (a mauve-ish natural pink) and Rose Dew (peach-y pink), both colors I could wear at the office and throw on without having to worry about lip liner. They both now reside in my desk as my part of my back up stash. I’ll use the tubes I purchased, but I don’t think I’ll buy a second round where they’re gone.
Paladio Retractable Waterproof Eye Liner – This product was a really pleasant surprise. I am a bit of an eyeliner snob; usually for pencil or twist up liners I only use the Urban Decay 27/7 liner. I’ve been looking for a good drug store alternative, and I’d heard good things about the Paladio brand, so I picked up Exotic Plumb on my last trip to Ulta. LOVE! While the formula isn’t as smooth as Urban Decay, it’s the closest thing I’ve ever come across. The twist up applicator is easy to use, and with a little extra time spent on building your line, you have something that looks nice and will last all day. Bonus: it costs less than a third of what I shell out for my Urban Decay liner. I’ve already picked up a second color (Eggplant).
Burt’s Bees Pink Grapefruit Towelettes – Probably one of the best face products I’ve ever tried. Drug store, prestige brand, special order, anything, it beats them all. The slight grapefruit-y scent is pleasant without being overpowering and fades away in an hour or so. The towelettes are durable and even on a heavy make up day I never needed more than one to get my face clean. I now use these every night to wash my face before I go to bed, which is sort of a big deal, because my skin can be a bit temperamental, and I usually have to alternate products every few days to avoid dryness or redness. This is also the first “no water needed” product that I haven’t felt like a needed to rinse my face after using. My face feels clean and lightly moisturized, and there is no soapy or oily residue left behind. Best beauty purchase EVER.
Tried some really interesting products this month with seriously mixed results; let’s dive in:
Sweet Ease Leg Waxing Kit – Right up front I am going to say I don’t know if I correctly used this product. The instructions were very minimal: rub strip between hands to warm, peel apart, stick on leg, and rip off. They actually had more illustrations on how to not use the strips then they did on how to use them. I tried warming the strips using my hands like the package suggested, but it barely made the wax warm enough to pull apart, let alone rip my hair off my legs. The best technique I came up with was sticking the strips in the back of my waist band and letting the heat from my back/the couch warm them up. Once I finally managed to apply the strips I had the worst time getting it to pull the hair off. I ended up applying the strip rubbing my hand over it a few times to warm it back up, then ripping off. That actually took about 2/3 of the hair off. 13 strips out of the 20 pack later I decided I was better off shaving my legs and threw the rest of the kit in the trash.
Contact Lens Case Case – I found this at Target in the stocking stuffers area and thought it would be good for traveling. I have the worst luck with my contact lens cases not sealing all the way, and I thought this would keep the inside of my suitcase/purse from being unintentionally wetted. It worked. It also had the added benefit of keeping my lens case safe from Oliver. He thinks the clattering sound it makes when it hits the floor is the best things ever, and it makes an excellent kitty toy once it’s down there. The bulky hard case isn’t nearly as much fun: he pawed at it, sniffed indignantly and decided he didn’t want to play on the counter anymore.
Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya – This was such a pleasant surprise; I am a little snobby when it comes to drug-store lip color, but I really like this product. I’m not going to say it’s as good as MAC or some of the other higher end brands I’ve tried, but it’s actually pretty close. Now, this isn’t going to be your thing if you are looking for a hyper pigmented lipstick, but it’s perfect if you’re looking for a sheer wash of color with a little sparkle. Heck, with the shade I picked, I didn’t even have to bother with a mirror when I put it on.
Body Shop Sink-In Moisture Mask – I’ve tried Body Shop masks before and I like them a lot, but this was horrible. The strong perfume smell came rushing out the minute I opened the pack, which was a little off putting, but not a deal breaker. I applied the cream to my face, carefully avoiding my eyes and lips as recommended, and set the timer for 10 minutes. After three, my face was tingling, but I waited it out the full ten and then wiped it off. After an additional five, I was in the shower scrubbing my face and neck because it BURNED! I was lucky, and aside from being a little pink and tender, my face was okay, but NEVER AGAIN!!!
Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask – After the previous experience, I decided I wasn’t going to try any more of these masks for a while.