Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hautelook Summer Essentials Bag

Okay, as promised, here is the in-depth review of Hautelook's Summer Essentials Bag! I'm still in the process of trying everything out, so this may be a sort of post-in-progress.

This was my first ever purchase from Hautelook - a website (sort of like an online version of Nordstrom Rack) that features crazy discounted prices on high end and designer products. I saw this Summer Essentials Bag listed for $20 and I really just couldn't resist. They claimed it was over a $120 value of products, so it seemed like a pretty great deal to me. Several of the products were full-sized, or a generous deluxe sample size.

Here's What's Inside:

Blow Pro After Blow, Strong Hold Finishing Spray, 1.5 oz (sample), $2.96
Get all-day hold from this quick super-spray that zaps frizz and flyways.

After quite a few uses I don't think I'm in love with this product. It smells nice - almost sweet and candy like - but it's lacking somewhat in performance. I didn't find it to be particularly effective at maintaining my hairstyle or combating flyaways, especially over the course of the day. On the plus side, it's not too heavy, so your hair stays relatively flexible and soft. I honestly think I get better results with my (much more inexpensive) suave finishing touch hairspray, so I don't think I'd invest in the full size. The small can will be handy when traveling, though, so I will definitely try to keep it with me for on-the-go use to use it up.

Lashfood Nano-Peptide Natural EyeLASH Conditioner, 0.5ml (sample), $8
Nature's most powderful ingredients deliver at the cellular level to feed and strengthen lashes.

I'm definitely going to have to try to work this product into my bedtime routine and report back in a month or so. The lashfood website claims that it takes 4-8 weeks for you to notice results, so I can't really give an accurate review at this point in time. It's definitely an interesting product, and not something I've ever used before. You apply it much like liquid eyeliner (except it is a clear serum) to nourish your lashes and theoretically make them grow darker, thicker, and longer. I guess we'll see!

L. Erickson Grab n' Go Pony Compact, 3 holders (sample), $7.20
Stay polished with fun, colored pony-tail holders that come in a grab-n-go, pocket-sized compact.

These are a trio of pretty standard elastic ponytail holders in pinkish/maroon hues. They seem pretty heavy duty, like they will hold up well to repeated use, but I'm not sure that I would spend the money on a full sized set. I'm partial to the ribbon look of twistbands right now, so perhaps I'm being a bit biased.

L'Occitane Shea Hand Cream, 10 ml (sample), $1.87
Enriched with Shea Butter, this super-creamy balm penetrates skin quickly to nourish and moisturize.

I love the texture of this product, but the smell is not my favorite. It reminds me way too much of baby wipes. It's such a shame because it's very moisturizing, but not greasy, which is a must for hand cream. Maybe I'd be happier with another scent of this same product.

Diptyque Eau de Toilette Fragrance, 2 ml (sample), $3.52
Made for women and men, this enticing scent uses only the finest raw ingredients.

This fragrance has a very herbaceous and grassy smell to it. I wasn't a huge fan. I understand that it is intended to be a unisex scent, which is probably why it doesn't appeal to me. I love very feminine fragrances, and I also love the smell of a lot of men's cologne. But the notes that are classic to each are missing in a lot of unisex scents, which just leave them kind of "blah" in my opinion. Quality wise it is a very strong fragrance, and has great lasting power. Unfortunately I didn't really want it to last so much, since I wasn't digging the scent.

Whish Orange Cream Body Butter, 15 ml (sample), $2.40
Try a truly indulgent body cream in a fresh new scent, exclusive to Nordstrom.

I would personally classify this as a body lotion over a body butter based on the thin consistency, but it smells so delicious that I'll forgive it for mislabeling itself. It smells almost exactly like an orange creamscicle. I have a feeling that I'm going to have random pangs of hunger when I smell it on myself. Formula-wise  it absorbs well into skin and isn't overly greasy. I'd say that this is a nice everyday moisturizer.

Tan Towel Half Body Classic Self Tanning Towelette, 1 towelette (sample), $2.40
Easy-to-apply self-tanning towelettes give you a sun-kissed look the smart way.

I've tried these tan towels at least once before, and I have to say that I am a fan. As a ballroom dancer, sunless tanning is a must, especially for winter competitions. But tanning lotions and sprays can be messy and difficult to apply. These tan towels make tanning yourself (especially your back) SO much easier. I find that they are also less streaky. You probably would need two of these sized towelettes to cover your entire body.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Naked, 0.03 oz (sample), $14.25
This pencil glides on smoothly to keep lipstick, gloss, and stains from feathering out of bounds.

Very creamy, and glides on with ease. Naked is a deep nude tone that would be a great base for most neutral lip colors. Super long lasting and will definitely help prolong the life of your lipsticks.

LORAC Special Effects Mascara in Black, 0.35 oz (full-sized), $23
Get a double dose of lashes with a primer on one side and a lengthening mascara on the other.

This is the first mascara/primer duo I've actually ever tried (shocking, I know). I dig the concept of using a nourishing primer under mascara, as some mascara formulas can be drying or damaging to your lashes. As it claims, this is a defining and lengthening duo, and it definitely delivers as promised. The plastic applicator helps to separate lashes and coat each individually. The end result is natural, but enhanced. If you aren't a fan of super-lush uber volumizing formulas, this might be perfect for you. I also did not notice any flaking or smudging with this product, which I was happy about!

Crown Brush Travel Brush Set, Sale price listed on site, $4.45
This travel set includes everything you need for makeup application on the go, all in a compact case.

I haven't tried these yet, but I was disappointed when I finally saw them in person. They look super cheaply made, especially compared to other offerings on the Crown Brush website. The mini lip brush and liner brush might come in handy, but the others might not even be worth keeping.

Miracle 10 AHA Cream, 10 ml (sample), $12.80
Rejuvenate skin with this rich, emollient cream to effectively exfoliate dull skin.

Still on the to-try list!

NYX Cosmetics Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Margarita, 4g (full sized), $4
The mineral-based formula offers a beautiful velvet texture saturated in summer's best shade.

Margarita is a pearlescent pink-coral shade that is very on trend for spring and summer. It's a little bit bright, so it's best paired with a neutral eye and face. Formula-wise I found that this was great for a $4 lipstick, but not quite on par with a high-end product. It had decent lasting power, but was a bit drying. It also felt a little bit greasy. I think that I will use this product on occasion, but I probably wouldn't purchase again or in another color.

Mirenesse Lip Bomb in #22, 3.1g, (full sized), $39
This innovative lip color combines gloss, stain and lacquer all in one multi-tastiking product.

I'm absolutely obsessed with this product. It's an ultra pigmented liquid lipstick that has fantastic lasting power. The color I got is an iridescent berry-plum that's super elegant and classy. It'll be SO beautiful for the fall. I have a feeling that I might not get as much use out of this for the remainder of the summer, because I tend to go a lot more natural and light with my colors at this time of year, but I'm sure it'll definitely make a reappearance in my daily routine in the cooler months.

Grand total: $125.85

I guess they didn't lie when they said this bag was valued at over $120! The $20 spent was worth it even just for the Mirenesse Lip Bomb alone. Even though I did break my no-buy rules to purchase this, I'm really glad that I did. I had so much fun trying everything out, and I've definitely found some products that I love and will be incorporating into my everyday beauty routine. If anyone else out there also purchased this bag I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Stay gorgeous all!