Sephora Play! March Box

This was a great box! There were seven items total: three I love, two I haven’t tried, 1 I don’t care for, and we’ll talk about the 7th in a minute.

Didn’t bother photographing this myself. Again, the paper they use as padding makes everything super dusty and while the boxes are nice the stuff just doesn’t look that great inside it. Still love it, though!

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper $19

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I love this liner! Love love LOVE it. This is my favorite liquid liner, hands down. The sample size has the little foamy tip, but I love the brush tip on the full-size. Perhaps it’s because that’s what I “trained” with, but I find the brush tip easier to use.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser $38

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I love this cleanser! I had never tried it before, but needing a new cleanser for my travel bag, I threw this in before a recent trip to NYS. It smells so good, like fresh grass and other scents, it cleans amazingly, and it left my skin feeling great. One thing that didn’t make it into my travel bag was a make-up remover, and this definitely took care of my raccoon eyes the next morning. In fact, trying this cleanser in the Play! box convinced me to take the Fresh duo (includes this and a rose face mask) as my birthday present, instead of the Marc Jacobs liner and lipstick. And I’m usually all about that liner and lipstick!

Sephora Collection: Perfectionist Airbrush Sponge $12

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So I love this, but technically haven’t tried it. At least, not this one that was sent to me specifically, but I got a set of Sephora beauty blenders for Christmas, so I know I like this. I went years being too cheap to invest in one, and now I have 5. None of which I’ve specifically purchased. How great is that? I don’t know the nuances of sponges, but the Sephora brand ones seem pretty good to me.

Maison Martin Margiela “Replica” Beach Walk $25 (Rollerball. $135 for 3.4 oz)

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I mean, it’s not like this is bad scent or there’s anything wrong with it. I just don’t care. It’s supposed to “to evoke a familiar but forgotten moment—a walk along a sandy beach.” but “bergamot, coconut milk, lemon, pink pepper, and musk” aren’t smells that make me think of the beach. Sunscreen, sand, salt water, rotting seaweed and a hint of something fishy are my beach-smell memories (guess who isn’t a beach person?) and like I said, this is fine and unoffensive but whatevs. I can’t even care enough to emphatically dislike it.

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield $80

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Moisturizing + Priming + SPF??? I haven’t tried this yet but it’s hitting all my wants and needs! Too bad about that full-size pricetag though. I know Murad is a great brand but this would have to last a long ass time and basically change my life to get me to switch from the awesome primers that are half that cost.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil $42

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I love Smashbox’s regular Photo Finish Primer. It was the first-ever review I did for this blog! So I’m optimistic that this will be great, but a little concerned about the “oil” aspect. I know Oil cleansing is supposedly a great thing, and I’ve had great success leaving oil treatments in my hair overnight and rinsing them out in the morning. And sometimes I use a quick spritz or Argan oil as my face moisturizer, so we’ll just have to see how this works. I’m apprehensive yet optimistic.

The Final Item

Finally, there was a tiny little tub that you can take to the Sephora store and get a sample of a liquid foundation. When I unpacked the box one of my cats (I have my suspicions as to who…) promptly stole the little tub. Whatever, I don’t feel too bad. I prefer a powder anyways.

This box was definitely a hit for me! I haven’t received April’s box yet, but it’s looking pretty good and I can’t wait to try it!

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Cleaning Out My Closet

I hate Eminem but I get his stupid song stuck in my head every time I try to declutter. Tonight I am cleaning out my closet!

Every time I’ve moved in the past five years I’ve done a deep clean. Each clean gets deeper and deeper as I become ready to part with more items, and of course I accrue new stuff on the way. When we moved from Oregon to Massachusetts everything happened on a far more expedited schedule than anticipated, and I left two months before Manbeast. Our plans to carefully consider each item before packing where thrown out the window for the foolproof technique of Buy a Lot of Bins and Shove Everything in Them Hooray!

The problem was that then all those things had to be carried up three flights of stairs to our attic apartment, and when we move (hopefully) this year they will have to be carried down three flights of stairs and then who knows what awaits at the next destination?

So I’ve decided to do some serious downsizing, and if I can make a couple bucks before I crack and dump it all at Savers/H&M Conscious then that’s great. Security deposits are expensive.

THE FOLLOWING POST IS ALL AFFILIATE LINKS AND LINKS TO WHERE MY SHIT IS BEING SOLD, BUT MY REVIEWS OF THE SITES AND THEIR USABILITY IS MY OWN OPINION

Ok, disclaimer done, let’s look at our options for minimizing and getting cash:

Buffalo Exchange/ Plato’s Closet/ Local Consignment

Living in Eugene was a thrifter’s dream. Great cash-up-front consignment stores like The Clothes Horse and The Buffalo Exchange were everywhere, and anything they didn’t take you could bring to amazing local thrift stores that benefited the community like S.A.R.A’s Treasures. I haven’t had great luck finding things like that near me. There are two Buffalo Exchanges outside of Boston but both are terrible hassles to get to. I haven’t been to Plato’s Closet, but it is the same idea in equally inconvenient locations.  A local place did open near me but having been in it they don’t seem to do much contemporary dealings, and I don’t own much ugly 80s stuff.

Still, if you have one of these less than a traffic-riddled hour away from you they are easily the best way to sell your stuff. Cash up front, no concerns about shipping, if you’re looking to rotate your wardrobe you can try on stuff while you wait. Selling at the types of consignment stores is my preferred method to unload clothing.

The cons are, at least with BE, that they can be incredibly picky and sometimes snobby about it. They are trying to maintain a certain hipster aesthetic and it can be difficult to sell even new items to them. A pro is that they accept menswear.

ThredUp

ThredUp is an online consignment store that handles all the photographing and shipping for you. Order a clean out bag, fill it up, and send it back with the prepaid label. Currently the order fee is waived, but usually it is $5 to order a clean out bag. I’ve done two cleanouts with ThredUp, one is currently in processing and one paid out a whopping 8.70. Considering that one, just one, of the 8 items I sent in sold for $13, it feels like they were stingy with their payout.

They also make you pay $12 to get anything they don’t accept back. Last time I let them keep what they didn’t want, this time I’ve requested “return assurance” and created a spreadsheet of the items I’ve sent in so I can track what has been accepted.

Not getting return assurance and sending while the bag is free though, you really are only making money while unloading items. And the parts that I hate about selling online (descriptions, photos, packaging) are all taken care of. So that is nice.

They don’t take any menswear or jewelry, but they do have a large selection of children’s clothing. A lot of items are returnable to ThredUp, so if something doesn’t fit you can send it back.

I don’t love ThredUp, but it’s better than nothing. Here’s my “store page.”

Poshmark

Poshmark is… truly born of the internet. Like ebay, you are in charge of creating your listings, but the lack of bidding makes the site feel more like an Amazon Seller Page. But it’s still not exactly that either.

In many ways, it’s an online yard sale for (women’s) attire and makeup. You create a “closet” using their app and display items for sale. You set the price but users can also make their own offers, which you can accept or reject. I tried selling on ebay in the days before I had a smartphone, which meant creating listings was a giant pain. The Poshmark app eliminates that giant painy-ness of creating listings upfront, but they cannot be edited from a computer which makes crafting thoughtful descriptions frustrating (for me at least).

I’m still not sure I understand Poshmark, if we’re being honest. It seems like it is 90% a social networking site and 10% an actual sales site. People leave comments, follow each other, share items, like items… but there doesn’t seem to be much actual buying going on! There are accounts and listings just dedicated to gaining more followers. Well the four items I’ve sold haven’t even been to followers. I don’t care about growing my follower count, I care about growing my customer count! I have 700 followers and have only sold 4 things!

Also there are items that are not “posh compliant” but you can’t tell that by reading their seller guidelines or searching items for sale, you have to hope someone who isn’t an asshole directs you to the year-old blog where they tell you what isn’t “compliant!” Three of the four items I’ve sold were apparently non-compliant, but I found that out after making the sale. Oops. Apparently I have one more non-complaint listing if you count the fact that I’m selling a bundle of ties because they aren’t “womenswear” but I’d fight someone on that. Ladies can be wearing neckties.

A lot of makeup is being sold for higher than retail value, and a lot of people seem to be in this not to clear out their closet while making some extra money, but to straight up Make Money. And there are a lot of silly memes about bundles and pricing and all that shit and it’s like a game but I don’t want to play.

Poshmark takes $2.95 off every order you sell, so if you sell anything for less than $3 you get nothing for it. At least they’re upfront about that fuckery. They charge all users $6 for priority shipping but it doesn’t cost you, the seller, anything. So that’s a plus.As a buyer thought that high shipping rate can make or break a sale. I’m coveting this (non-complaint) listing, but when I tack on what I’ll pay for shipping I’m not actually saving any money not buying directly from Urban Outfitters.

Someone commented “is this still available” next to a listing I posted yesterday that doesn’t have a sold banner. Why wouldn’t it still be available? Is this a frequent problem on Poshmark?

So I’ve sold four cosmetic items. That makeup bag did need a clearing out but I was hoping to move some clothes, they’d be heavier! And then I bought some stuff- good times. I could literally dedicate an entire post to be baffled by Poshmark

I guess Poshmark is easy enough to try but it gets overwhelming fast. Here’s my closet.

Thrift stores all seem to be more interested in name branding than quality. I suppose I understand that online because it’s very easy to search for high end brands. In a traditional thrift shop I’m too focused on finding things that fit and that I like to care about what brand it is. I usually don’t think to check til I’m home. Maybe I’m an anomaly.

Honestly, Amazon is my favorite selling platform but it’s only really usable for books. I just appreciate the set up and the payout, and the ability to select different shipping methods as a seller and consumer. Here’s a link to my Amazon inventory… those books are heavy.

 

 

 

 

Sephora Play: First Impressions

I signed up for Sephora Play because the email made me feel special. Yup, that’s all it takes to get me. I’m also doing better than anticipated on the money thing because I got a sweet tax return. Thanks, Obama!

Actually, I should thank Drexel. The only thing grad school is good for is the tax break, and you know, the higher earning potential.

Enough about me, let’s talk about Sephora Play. This is Sephora’s new subscription box, which sends out monthly beauty products that can also be purchased at Sephora.

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The theme for February was “Now and Later,” described as “lip tips, hairstyle savers, purse essentials […] for looking your best day and night.” Aside from one product I didn’t see much now and later. The majority seemed more… reapply as necessary.

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I liked the box and packaging overall, but the white paper left an unattractive white residue on the darker colored packaging of the items and it was surprisingly hard to wipe off. Mostly for that reason I’m going to just use brand photos of the items as opposed to individual pictures.  All prices are the full-size retail cuz fuck me if I’m going to math out what a sample is worth.

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara, $21

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Woooo mascara. Didn’t even open this.

Lancome Drama Liqui-pencil in Noir, $23

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This is a good, black eyeliner pencil. Unfortunately for good eyeliner pencils and people who like a lot of text in a review post, there’s a lot more to be said about a bad pencil than a good one. I’m not going to run out and become a liqui-pencil convert… in part because I have enough black eyeliner samples to last my lifetime.

They do give instructions on how to pump up the eyeliner drama from day to night by going for a more dramatic wing, so I guess I see how this is a now and later item.

MUFE Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N9 (Copper Pink), $20

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God, I love MUFE lipstick (doesn’t everyone?). They just make such solid, wearable colors. I haven’t ventured very far out of their “my lips but better” shades and don’t own a single full-sized product by them, but they make a damn good lipstick.

Bareminerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil Balm in Plumberry Pop, $16

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Ignoring that something about the name “Plumberry Pop” makes me irrationally angry, this isn’t a bad product. The color isn’t intense, but it’s there (unlike Benefit’s posie balm…) and the forumla does feel creamy and hydrating.

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So here we have the swatches: Lancome Eyeliner, Bareminerals oil balm, and MUFE lipstick

Tom Ford Black Orchid, $45-$165

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This smells great but WTF at the price? A beauty expert says it is a scent for  “the person who doesn’t want to smell like everyone else,” or the person with a lot of extra money. As much as I do like this scent I don’t wear perfumes often and have a huge collection of scents that are rarely worn. I’m giving the sample to a friend who loves this scent though. Maybe I’ll make her write a guest post about her scent-hunting quest.

Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder, $12-$27

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Greasy hair by the end of the day? Throw in some dry shampoo! This is the item that seemed most “now and then” to me. I’m keeping it but haven’t used it yet… it had the misfortune of arriving mere days after my first dry shampoo purchase. I’ve stuck this one in my travel kit, but haven’t traveled yet. Hopefully it’s not too hard to apply a reasonable amount.

So overall I liked Play! and am looking forward to March’s box: The Perfection Collection. I’m hoping there’s some kind of conturing product in the box so I can give that a try, I’m too wimpy to commit to a full-size kit!

I would recommend trying play if you like getting a variety of different items, love getting things in sample size, and have someone who takes your cast-offs. At this time it looks like there is a waitlist for Play! There are also no referrals for the program, unfortunately.

 

Makeup on Mondays

I look just as “pretty” and professional without makeup as I do with. I think just about everyone does. Some mornings I’m don’t wear makeup because I’m running late, feeling uninspired, and sometimes I’m just lazy.

That said, I always try to wear makeup on Mondays. Why? My Mondays don’t always set the tone for the rest of the week (fortunately) I always try to make a point and do something, even if it’s the least amount of something, on Mondays. It means I start my week feeling motivated and pulled together, and it makes me more likely to put time into my appearance the rest of the week. I work in a pretty casual workplace that’s pretty desk-based, but I do have to make sure that I’m wearing something that will allow me lift and carry a variety of boxes, and I never want to wear something I don’t want to get super dusty. Also if it’s a super hot day I’ll want to wear something light enough that I don’t die on my way to or from work, but then I’ll need to throw on another layer or two once I get to the office. So sometimes all my outfit planning is for naught as I just end up burrowing into a shapeless sweater.

This morning I forced, really forced, myself to do my makeup. Just some black pencil eyeliner, some matte grey eyeshadow (yup, only one color on the whole lid) and some “my lips but better” colored lipstick. Not even a foundation! And I instantly felt more awake and more ready to take on the day. It’s always fun when I have the time to really craft a look but the something is better than a nothing.

By Wednesday I’ll probably be back to my usual Bridge-troll self, but it’s good to take that time for yourself on Monday morning.

*Never wear makeup? I would recommend finding another small thing that makes you feel like a put-together grownup and make sure you do that on Mondays. Maybe it’s blow drying your hair, or sitting down to drink you coffee. The ritual is more important than the what.

So Many Posts to Write and So Many Homework Assignments!!

Just wanted to stop in and note that for my “Information Access and Resources” course I have to create a “flat file” of something, anything, that is somehow related. After hemming and hawwing all through our viewing of Guardians of the Galaxy (And Manbeast’s unhelpful suggestion to just make a database of my grudges) I remembered something I have a lot of and is all related and easily categorized.

So now I have a file cataloging most of my non-eyeshadow makeup products.

Grad school.

Aromaleigh’s Sol Invictus Collection and General Roundup

Two Days left to buy Aromaleigh’s seasonal Sol Invictus collection! It will come back next winter but if you wanted to check it out this season you don’t have much time left!

I’m banging this out really quick so I don’t have swatch pictures, but my overall impression was that it was less pigmented than most of Aromaleigh’s other collections and was more of a frosty glitter finish. It wasn’t exactly what I had been expecting but I really liked it, it felt perfect for the holidays and the colors paired very well with different shadows.

Replacing the shadows will be the next seasonal collection, The Feast of Lupercal (I am having the frequently experienced problem of wordpress sites other than my reader being blocked as malicious so I can’t link to the blog post right now).

They are also offering a new subscription service: Ephemera. And damn if I don’t love that name (it’s my inner archivist). I will not be purchasing Ephemera, as I am in the process of getting a second job to cover my basic household needs (up yours, 40% electric increase from Nov-Mar) so a subscription box is just not in the budget, but if you head over to their Facebook page you can enter the raffle for a slot in the program (the slot is still a paid subscription, this system was just wisely enacted to avoid crashing the website).

Their Mythical Monster 2014-2015 collection continues to increase, and while we don’t know what February’s beast is, January was the Wendigo (the only color in the collection I don’t have at all… I went hard on Black Friday).

There is also the Asteriai Collection, another seasonal offering. I have not been able to purchase the collection (and may not get the chance before its season ends) but it looks great!

I’m back to school now, traveling out of town the next two weekends, picking up some part-time work in addition to the full-time, and job stalking a future retiree so my days are stuffed to the gills, though I still have a lot of Black Friday stuff to talk about. I’ll get there when I get there, I guess. In the meantime, I hope you’ll all bear with this sporadic posting!

Ten Three Labs Grand Reopening Collection

(Note: I wrote this post before I went to NYC and forgot to post it. The cat+finger trap situation was sorted for good this past trash day)

Ten Three Labs is ruining my life.

I didn’t get any sleep last night thanks to Ten Three Labs.

How could an indie makeup company possibly affect my ability to get a good night’s sleep? you ask.

Well you see, when my order of their Grand Reopening Collection arrived, a Chinese finger trap* was included and I think it was laced with catnip because it is my cat’s new favorite thing and I can’t hide it well enough from her.

So I spent last night listening to my cat pull this thing OUT OF THE TRASH and then prance around the room after it. When I got out of the shower this morning there she was sitting on my bed (she always startles me because I turn the light on and she’s just THERE with her intense eye contact) and the finger trap was on the floor. I picked it up and threw it on the bed and she just lost her fucking noodles going after that thing.

Come to think of it, she was just after every single thing I received in my order.

Then she tried to eat EVERYTHING

Then she tried to eat EVERYTHING

Ten Three Labs: They’ll ruin your life via cats.

IN ALL SERIOUSNESS THOUGH when they announced their Bob’s Burgers themed collection I said to myself “I’m interested but I have a lot of stuff so I won’t buy it unless they have an Electric Love color.” thinking that was kind of a long shot.

Jokes on me guys! And it’s my favorite color!

I purchased the sample size of the collection which included two scents, two smudge sticks, and twelve shadows.

Like my previous assessment of the shadows in the Bad Bitch collection, I liked the colors but found the payoff a little inconsistent. The darker ones especially went on thin and streaky with my brush, but were able to be built up nicely. I was an especially big fan of the blue tones, but aren’t I always? It also might be time for me to invest in a better brush. On January 15th the size of the shadow collections will be reduced based on sales figures, so if you really want something and aren’t sure if it will make the cut… get it now! As much as I like their shadows, this seems like a smart business move to me, as the area they really excel in are the scents.

Bells Bells Bells, The Buttler, Capoeira, Ehhhuagh

Elec

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The scents are great too. I now own three scents from Ten Three and am really impressed because everything smells exactly as it is advertised! Sometimes I get scents and when I take that sniff I just have no clue how any of the notes are actually in that hodgepodge. Always Carry Roses smells of roses. Organic Blueberries smells just like blueberries and hippies. I will be passing these along to a friend who is on the hunt for a scent that she can love and wear, I think she will like Organic Blueberries (she is a big fan of OHWTO’s Samovar scent).

I was worried about mailing the scents in the winter. I’ve had liquids in packages freeze and break their packaging/leak everywhere. I made a note with my order requesting that the scents NOT be sent if there was a freezing concern (we’ve had a pretty mild winter up here so far but you never know…). Discretion was used and the scents were included in my package and no harm was done to them or the rest of the order! Even if they had leaked they were in their own little baggie (a plastic one… they were also inside a nice little cloth baggie). I’m glad they were able to make it through the mail unharmed!

In my first order I tried one of the salve sticks, which I heartily enjoyed (it’s hanging out in my purse now!). The smudge sticks are tinted versions of the salve sticks, retaining the high peppermint scent. The colors are very nice, far less glossy than I expected them to be. I had swatches and now I can’t find the picture, but I did have this one of Hell Hath No Fury popped out of it’s sample case. I don’t know if they were supposed to do that but it meant I didn’t need a brush to apply them.

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This was a super fun collection with the perfect references to Bob’s Burgers. The next collection being released is Orphan Black themed, and I’m sad that I don’t have the money to make any makeup purchases for a long while. I really recommend checking Ten Three Labs out, especially for their scents.

*Is there a different/better name for these things?