Weekend Drugstore Haul


Who doesn’t love a good drugstore haul? I woke up before Mr. Boyfriend on Saturday and decided to adventure over to a Rite Aid I haven’t been in before, because according to the magical internet machine, that Rite Aid carries Black Radiance. BR is a Markwins brand, the same company that makes Wet ‘n Wild. 

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Free Shipping at Prestige Cosmetics

Woohoo, this just came across my inbox – you can get free standard shipping on all orders from Prestige Cosmetics now through 12/31. There’s no minimum order amount required, and no code necessary. That makes me squeal with delight because this line is already very affordable, but I hate paying as much or more than the item in shipping! New to Prestige? Find out my favs after the jump.

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November Favorites

It’s November favorites time!!! Woo woo! Since I started a new job in November I have been wearing a lot more makeup, but I’ve also been getting up super early and spending a LOT of time in my car, so I’ve just been keeping a few choice products in a makeup single makeup bag and “living” out of that bag (plus the various lip products in my purse…) [Read more…]

LOVE: CherryCulture Lip Balm

For those of you who don’t know (and seriously, are you new?) Cherry Culture is a site that sells a lot of brands of makeup, mostly inexpensive (like NYX, Styli-Style, Milani, and tons of others). They usually have some kind of freebie, which used to be a cheap lip gloss by I think Arissa that smelled like chocolate. It came with every order. Then they switched to a cherry-scented rollerball lip gloss that I found sticky (and occasionally leaky!) – and smelled like jr high.

Most recently, however, they have switched to the Cherry Culture Lip Balm as their freebie. I made a small haul several months back and since hey it’s free I went ahead and added the Cherry Culture Lip Balm in lime. I love lime scented/flavored things and I don’t often see a lime scented lip balm. Turns out I friggin love this thing. And it retails for $1.99 (on sale for 99 cents right now) or occasionally comes free with your order.

Down side? There isn’t one.

As shown in the picture, it comes in a bunch of scents. There’s actually even more than in that picture. The total lineup is:

  • Lime
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Banana
  • Peach
  • Raspberry
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberry
  • Grape
  • Bubble Gum

Formula-wise this is nothing groundbreaking or earth-shattering. The ingredients are nothing special. But I love this lip balm. It smells nice and makes my lips feel awesome. What’s not to love? I keep it at my desk at home and apply it while I’m working, and makes me very happy. ;)

If you’re thinking you want to get in on this Cherry Culture action, I have some great news for you! They are having a 20% off sale sitewide in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The code for this sale is PINK20.



Note: I paid for the products in the haul that got me this lip balm for free, but this post does contain affiliate links.

Editorial Experiment, Featuring Prestige Cosmetics

Sometimes when I’m getting to know a new makeup product I just want to play with it. I want to see what it does, how it moves on skin, how it responds to tools, its texture, etc. That’s what I was doing earlier today when I decided to turn this experiment into sort of an editorial artsy exercise. Yeah, these are edited pictures. But I had fun. All the products used will be listed.  [Read more…]

2012 Stila Warehouse Sale

The Stila Warehouse Sale is back! They haven’t had one of these in a while, so I thought it was worth posting about even though I’ve mentioned the basics of what you need to know before, it never hurts to have a refresher. First, the basics…

When: Saturday July 28th, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Where: The Doll Factory 1910 West Temple St. Los Angeles CA 90026

So if you’re in the area and want to cruise by, here’s what you need to know so you don’t make an ass of yourself or get very disappointed.

– Get there early. It says 8, but people start lining up EARLY. Getting there at 6 isn’t unreasonable. Bring some Starbucks and a buddy or a book or something.

– If you know you can’t or won’t be getting there early, bring water. It’s LA in July. It’s going to get hot waiting in line. Wear sun screen. Be smart!

– Don’t bring that giant purse or diaper bag or (god forbid) a STROLLER with you. They won’t let you in with it.

– They only let a few people inside at a time. It keeps things orderly so it isn’t a mad rush. Once you’re inside, they won’t rush you out. You have plenty of time to browse, swatch (usually there are testers), and decide. No need to push or shove. I’m serious, I got shoved a couple times before – totally unnecessary!

– Speaking of which…there are TESTERS. Don’t open products and swatch them on yourself! Either wait for someone to be done with the tester, or if you’re not sure where it is ASK SOMEONE on the staff to help you. Don’t just help yourself to a new tester.

– They take cash or credit card.

– There is a purchase limit, but it’s $600. And with the prices as low as they are, you’ll be fine. ;)

– Be nice to the staff. They’re there on a Saturday.

So what will be for sale at the warehouse sale? Usually it’s their Last Chance items, along with some core items. Previous holiday sets and palettes will probably be there, along with the odd bundle of things. For example one year I was there, they bundled together a bag of 6 eye shadows for like $28. Pretty good deal considering they’re usually $18 apiece, no? They were great basic shades like Chinois, Moonlight, Dune, etc.

So, who’s going? :)

SOHO Beauty Professional Brushes Review

SOHO Beauty makes small train cases and makeup bags, but they recently launched a line of makeup brushes that I was very excited to try and review. Of new product reviews I think brushes excite me the most. I don’t know why, but they just do. I’m a brush junkie. There, I admitted it. That’s the first step right? But I don’t want help with my brush addiction. :) ANYWAY. I was offered the chance to pick out some brushes to review. They have 2 lines of brushes, their Professional collection and their Silk collection. All of the brushes I tried are from the Professional collection.

Professional Kabuki Brush ($19.99) – I was really interested to try this brush because of its unique handle shape. As you can see it is rounded to a point. It has a little base to sit in, kind of like a poached egg! I thought it was too cute to pass up! The bristles are goat, and quite soft. However, I think I’ve become pretty spoiled with my synthetic brushes because I just like how they feel better than natural hair brushes now. As far as goat brushes go though, they did a pretty good job with this one. It’s dense without being obnoxious to clean, and I really like the handle design. It’s a lot easier to use than other kabukis I have. I use this for blending blush/contour etc. As far as using it for powder foundation, you could if you only want a light coverage or don’t mind doing lots of buffing. My dry skin gets irritated if I buff too much, so I prefer a softer synthetic flat topped brush for getting the most coverage quickly. But for blending or a light dusting of powder this brush is fab!

Professional Powder Brush ($16.99) – Okay I really love this brush. It’s pretty soft and doesn’t shed. I like to use this brush with my ELF Complexion Perfection powder. The ergonomic handle is kind of ‘whatever’ – not a huge factor for me because I hold the brush by the ferrule usually when I use it – more control that way. But this is really all you could ask for from a nice big fluffy powder brush. I’ve also used it for a very light diffused application of blush once or twice, but that’s not what I usually do. Like the kabuki, it’s very soft but not quite as soft as my synthetics.

Professional Crease Brush ($8.99) – This crease brush is another Randy Jackson product for me. In other words, “it was just okay for me, dog”. It’s pretty darn big to use for a crease actually. I have pretty big eyes but I think you could quite easily overdo it if you used this brush to lay down color in your crease. It is way too big for precise application. However, for those of you who like to windshield wiper style blend your colors, you will like this. It has a lot of give and bend to the brush so again, not super precise. But for a quick all over blended effect it’s functional. I like taking big fluffy brushes like this and a bit of my face powder and using them to diffuse the edges of my eye looks. This brush would also be good for lightly powdering the under eye area to set concealer. As a creasework tool though I’m not too fond of it.

Professional Angled Blender Brush ($8.99) – This was the brush I was most excited to try, and I’m really bummed because it’s so close to what I wanted it to be. It has soft angled brushes, but a full head that you can’t really see from this angle. It’s like a fluffy little “foot” you can blend with. Like an angled flat top I guess…but eye sized! So what’s the problem? It’s too…for lack of a better word, floppy. Even when I’m blending I still want precision, and I wasn’t able to quite achieve what I wanted to with this brush because the bristles have too much give and bend. Bummer. It’s very soft and feels nice on my eye though, at least!

Professional Small Shader Brush ($9.99) – You guys seriously don’t want to know how many brushes like this I have in my kit. It’s similar to a Stila #7, which I adore, and have 3 of. Seriously. 3. But I love me some shader brushes! I use them for just about everything. If I had to only use one eye shadow brush ever it would be something shaped similarly to this one. I really like this brush, and will continue to use it for my eye shadow looks. However, I practically find them all interchangeable. The only thing that really distinguishes this one from the masses is the handle. For this brush I like the ergonomic handle. I can hold it like a pen and get pretty good control. I like that the bristles come to a point, too.

Based on my experience with these brushes, I would recommend the face brushes for sure. I really like my pair of face brushes. I’m not 100% sold on the eye brushes, but I do like that shader. There’s a few other eye brushes in the professional line that I haven’t tried, so I’m not quite ready to say yay or nay on the eye brush line as a whole. I’d say they’re decent enough to check out if you’ve been curious! You can get them at Walgreens or from their online shop.

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation Review

I was recently contacted by a site called Blanc to Noir, which sells all sorts of makeup brands including NYX, Sigma, Face Front, and Real Techniques just to name a few. There’s loads more but that’s just off the top of my head. They asked me if I’d be willing to review some products from their site, and I was excited to see they had some of the newer offerings from NYX that I was interested in trying so of course I said yes! [Read more…]

Brush Guards for a Dollar

I have mentioned before on this blog how much I love the site Buy In Coins. I still do! And now it’s for another purchase – my $1 brush guards. I paid 98 cents for them. Each pack is 1 meter of brush guard tubing; I got 2 packs, and shipping was free. $2 and I have enough to make brush guards for everything. 
I have some of the “brand name” brush guards, and these do compare. You can tell they’re cheaper (they stretch a little easier than the other ones), but for $1 they’re serving my purposes just fine. I wanted brush guards to help my brushes keep their bristles in shape, but also to protect them from getting covered in cat hair. For those purposes they work like a friggin charm! :D I only have them on my face brushes and larger shadow brushes (they’re an eensy bit big for smaller shadow brushes, and I just keep my shadow brushes under a shower cap to keep them hair free). 
Here’s pictures of my brush guards “in action”–
There’s the long tube of brush guardy goodness, and my Royal & Langnickel powder brush waiting to get its new outfit.
Measure and snip snip…
Wriggle wriggle wriggle wriggle wriggle…
Now my powder brush has a sexy “bodycon” dress. Smashing!
Overall I’m extremely happy with these! I have more than enough for all my face brushes, and extra for if they fall apart (since they’re so cheap you never know – but they have held up great so far!). If you’re curious about brush guards or just want a cheaper alternative, try these!
For those of you planning on making a purchase on Buy In Coins, if you type in my nickname “alysonwithay” as your referrer, you’ll get a small discount. I think it’s like 5%. I think I get something too but I don’t even remember lol. 
This post contains affiliate information that helps save you money. Hooray. 

mark. Violet Femme Eye Shadow Swatches

Hello there! It’s been a little while since I’ve talked about any mark. products! I was immediately attracted to these eye shadows though because I love purples. These are released alongside mark.’s new fragrance, Night Iris. These particular shadows are referred to as Violet Femme shades, which is another reason why I was interested; I love the Violent Femmes and I thought the name was a cute parody. 
The mini collection of shadows consists of Pink Dusk, a pinky orchid color; Mystical, blue-toned lavender; and Violet Ink, a mid-tone blue-violet. 
I received Pink Dusk and Mystical to try. The product image is pretty much dead-on as far as what the colors look like in real life, with Mystical being maybe a hair pinker in person and Pink Dusk basically exactly like the photo. They are standard mark. eye shadow size (1″x1″ square pans) that come in a plastic clamshell with palettes available for purchase. They also work out great in Z-palettes and other similar magnetic palette. Aaaand swatches:
Top: mark. Mystical; Bottom: mark. Pink Dusk – swatched on bare skin, no primer
These two shadows are a satin finish, having shine but no glitter or shimmer. As I swatched them they did not feel chalky at all, but not super buttery soft either. They go on fairly sheer. The colors are buildable, but if you’re looking for really high-impact color these aren’t it. 
The Violet Femme shadows are pretty, but didn’t wow me. The colors aren’t particularly unique even if they are attractive. They retail for $6 each, which is kind of high considering the quality vs. other inexpensive shadows like Wet ‘n Wild or NYX, and considering these come in a pan without a palette. These would however be a great gift for a tween or young teen who is just learning how to apply makeup though, because they’re idiot-proof shades in that I don’t think you could make them look garish if you tried. 
mark. products are available from meetmark.com directly, or from representatives. I’m a mark. rep and if you are planning to make a mark. purchase I’d appreciate your business. :) 

Samples provided by PR for review consideration. All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review.
A link to my mark. store is included in this post. If you buy from my mark. store I receive a small commission.