Wednesday, November 5, 2014


When you write a beauty blog, there is ALWAYS something out there you can't wait to get your hands on. Whether it's that cult favorite eyeshadow everyone's been raving about for years, or a brand new product launch, you've just got to find out for yourself how it measures up. Of course, us bloggers do have budgets, so we're always on the lookout for coupons, discounts, and other ways to get the most bang for our buck. Between a 20% off coupon at ULTA, an in-store sale on Rimmel, CVS Extrabucks and manufacturer's coupons, I was able to get this stash of beauty goodies for less than half the price. Here's a closer look at what I bought for testing and reviewing!

Real Techniques Nic's Picks ($30)
Real Techniques has quickly become one of my favorite brands for affordable brushes. Up until now I've always purchased individual brushes, but I was definitely intrigued by the selection in this set. I don't have a lot of duo fiber brushes in my existing collection, which are nice for a softer application of product. The silver handles are also super stylish and pretty. There are two face brushes and three eye brushes in this set, covering all of your basics for makeup application. I think this is going to be a really popular set for the holidays, and I hope to do a more full review once I've used them more and have a better feel for how they perform.

Maybelline Brow Drama ($7.99)
One of the biggest changes I've made in my makeup routine since I started blogging is to fill in my brows on the regular. It truly makes such a huge difference in the overall look of your face! One of my favorite go-to brow products has been Benefit Gimme Brow, which offers the benefits of grooming stray hairs and filling in sparse areas while being incredibly fast and easy to use. It does, however, come with a bit of a hefty price tag, so I've been on the lookout for a drugstore dupe. This new launch from Maybelline looks like it might be promising, claiming to sculpt and define brows.

Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation ($5.99)
If you saw my post last month about my current everyday makeup routine, you'll know that I've been all about a matte face. I've seen this foundation around for quite some time now, and with such a bargain price tag I decided I just had to try it. My skin is extra oily, so I'm hoping this will keep me looking shine-free all day long.

Rimmel Match Perfection Light Perfecting Radiance Sunscreen Foundation ($5.99)
This is another foundation I've heard quite a lot of buzz about, especially from the UK beauty bloggers I follow. It was particularly popular for the summertime, offering lightweight, luminous coverage and SPF to protect your skin. Even though I may be a season too late, I was curious to see whether this lived up to the hype.

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder ($4.99)
If there is one product my giant beauty collection is disproportionately lacking in, it's powder. I'm not sure exactly why that is. Maybe I'm just lazy and haven't always cared to take that extra step to seal in my foundation? Either way, it's something that I'd like to try more of, and while I was on a Rimmel kick, I thought I'd pick up this guy as well. I've heard great things about how well this simple and super affordable formula keeps the greasies at bay. I grabbed the translucent shade so that I don't have to worry about altering the color of my foundation.

Not Your Mother's Way to Grow Leave-in Conditioner (Travel Size) ($3.29)
Not Your Mother's is one of those brands that I've found myself wanting to explore more lately. I think they have a great line of products for different hair types and and for different styling needs. Their packaging is super cute, and looks way more expensive than the price tag actually is. So far I've tried a few things from their Beach Babe line (which I was a fan of), but I'd like to see how the Way to Grow products work next. While the shampoo and conditioner are still on my to-buy list, I decided to start with this mini bottle of Leave-in Conditioner.

Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in HD Petunia ($8.99)
Whenever I spot a new launch in the drugstore I can't help but want to snatch it up. These Ultra HD Lipsticks are so new I can't even find them on the Revlon website. While there were several colors to choose from I decided (unsurprisingly) on this bold berry shade called Petunia. Later on I actually snagged a few more colors to try so that I could get a better sense for the line as a whole, so be expecting a detailed review (and swatches!) coming soon.

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick by Kate Moss ($4.99)
You would think I had enough of the berry lipstick, but no. Apparently there's never enough. I've gotten so many compliments on the Hikari lipstick I got in my September Glambag, which is a rich matte cabernet red. Unfortunately it's only available for purchase online from the Hikari website, so I've been on the hunt for a drugstore dupe that I can recommend to my admiring friends and co-workers. This Rimmel lipstick in shade 107 looks like a perfect contender. Not to mention that it costs half as much as the Hikari lipstick!

Maybelline Color Tattoo Leather in Creamy Beige ($5.99)
When it comes to affordable cream eyeshadow, Maybelline Color Tattoos are where it's at. Their most recent collection for the fall is "Leather", which includes this rich, matte beige shade. I think it'll be perfect as a crease color for those days where I'm feeling extra lazy and don't want to break out the brushes.

So many things, so little time! I've already been experimenting and testing a lot of these products, and I can't wait to share my reviews with you later. There are quite a few that I was really impressed with! Stay tuned for updates.

What products have you purchased lately? Is there anything you're really excited to try?