This past week, I had the amazing opportunity to go to my very first launch party! IT Cosmetics, a brand I love and trust, held an interactive "ExhibIT" to announce and demonstrate their new items coming out this fall, and trust me there is some good stuff coming! These are some of my favorites from the night, and I've bolded the names of the new products so you can spot them within this long post.
I registered for the event the second I got the email invitation from IT, and I'm so glad I did! One of the sales reps I met said that all of the 1200 spots for the four sessions available were filled within minutes, and the waitlist had over 300 people. I've never been invited to anything like this before, so to say I was excited was an understatement. I even had business cards made for myself in case there were networking opportunities! I didn't know what to expect (or what to wear!), but I wanted to be prepared for anything.
After checking in with the greeters, I was led upstairs to the ExhibIT. First was a video preview of the new line and a brief message from Jamie Kern Lima, the creator and head of IT Cosmetics (whom I adore!). After the video, the real fun began. Each new item was housed in its own themed, interactive installation.
First was the new face wash, Confidence in a Cleanser, which goes with the recently launched Confidence in a Cream. To get to this exhibit, I walked underneath a "waterfall" that separated in the middle when you stepped beneath it so you wouldn't get wet. Unfortunately, because I'm a klutz, I embarrassingly slipped on the floor as I walked through.
I'm not a huge fan of Confidence in a Cream, it didn't absorb very quickly and was pretty tacky when I tried it out, but the cleanser has so many benefits that I'm intrigued. It promises to be a serum and a cleanser combined, leaving your skin looking rejuvenated and minimizing the appearance of wrinkles. As we all know, the key to good makeup is a good skincare routine, so this may be worth a shot!
Next was the Confidence in Your Glow which is already available at Ulta. These are gorgeous bronzer-blush-highlight palettes, that are available in three different shade collections. The real story at this booth, however, was the Heavenly Skin One-Sweep Wonder Brush, which somehow I didn't get a photo of. It is a flat, wide brush that can be used all over the face and eyes, and is designed to pair with these cheek palettes (but really can be used for so much more). This brush, as well as some of the other new brushes, is infused with anti-aging skincare ingredients like silk and anti-oxidants. The sales rep said that the brush has shown to retain these ingredients for over 100 uses and beyond, and that the skincare ingredients are actually added to the chemical blend that they use to create the synthetic brush hairs. Science is fun.
From here, the ExhibIT opened up into the main room with the rest of the installations. It was like Disneyland for makeup! I was greeted by women dressed in old-fashioned movie theater usher uniforms handing out popcorn in IT Cosmetic branded paper boxes and chocolate bars with IT Cosmetics on the label.
I didn't really know where to start, so I browsed around first before really digging in to any of the rooms. I, of course, got a souvenir selfie taken where I got to pose with giant cardboard cutouts of some of IT Cosmetics' fan favorite products. I prefer to be behind the camera, so taking so many photos of myself that night was a huge step out of my comfort zone. I've been working on losing weight, so I was pleased to see I didn't hate all the photos!
I've never had much luck with the line's famous concealer Bye Bye Under Eye, as it has always been a bit heavy for me, but the new Bye Bye Under Eye Concealing Pot seems really promising as an alternative. While having the same concealing power of the original tube version, this little pot promises to be lighter weight. This booth also offered a fun coupon grab box where you could win free shipping by grabbing a slip of paper with the coupon code on it. It reminded me of the Grab That Dough episode of The Golden Girls...anyone?
A very cool new foundation, demonstrated by my new BFF Cindi, is Confidence in a Compact which takes the benefits of Confidence in a Cream and infuses it into this solid-to-serum foundation. As Cindi showed me, it takes so little effort to apply yet gives amazing coverage (better than the famous Your Skin But Better CC Cream, but with the same SPF which is important to me). Just a simple dip and swipe in the compact instantly transforms the solid foundation into a cream serum on the brush, and one swipe is enough to cover at least half the face. I really loved that at each station, the reps, like Cindi, were so enthusiastic and truly loved IT Cosmetics and their products. It made me excited about each new release!
Another new foundation coming out is Bye Bye Lines, which my other new BFF Robert demonstrated and color matched for me. This buildable formula has the benefits of the Bye Bye Lines Serum, and it feels amazing on the skin. It is smooth, lightweight, and looks so natural. My only complaint is that there's no SPF, but that's minor compared to all its wonderful qualities. Also, I've never tried the Bye Bye Lines Serum before, but Robert sampled some on the back of my hand and it felt so hydrating and smelled good enough to eat. For a gal like me who is well into her thirties, it's time to start thinking about taking care of my skin for anti-aging, and this foundation seems like a great option.
To go with their Superhero Mascara, IT is coming out with Superhero Liner. Featuring a brush hair tip from their Heavenly Skin brushes, this liner was super pigmented. They tried it on my lids, and the brush felt so good, and it seemed really easy to apply. I wonder how easy it would be to wing it out. They had iPads at this station, and partygoers wrote who their hero was: I put My Mom with a little heart, because my mom is my hero always.
I've used the original loose Bye Bye Pores powder, and it's a great powder for setting foundation. It has silk in it, so it is incredibly smooth and soft. The ExhibIT featured the new Bye Bye Pores Illumination pressed powder, which takes the original formulation and gives it a glow-from-within look with the "Drops of Light Technology." The rep said that it was suitable for all ages since there's no glitter in it, so don't be scared! I actually liked this version of Bye Bye Pores better than my original loose style, it seemed to make my skin look more smooth and flawless despite my large pores.
Since Bye Bye Pores contains anti-aging silk, they had a gorgeous ballerina dancing among giant panels of silk hanging from the ceiling. She was beautiful to watch! This was my favorite photo of her since it looks like she knows a secret as she's peaking through the curtains.
Bye Bye Redness is a product that when it came out, I got my hands on it immediately. I have cystic acne-prone skin, with past acne scars, so any product that is a no-brainer color corrector to get rid of my redness is a blessing. However, it only came in one shade and unfortunately, that shade is too dark for my skin and I still have to use a concealer on top. One of the best launches of the night- IT is coming out with two new, lighter shades! Bye Bye Redness in Porcelain Beige and Light Beige are welcome additions to the line and I can't wait to try the porcelain shade.
Another exciting development to the line is the Bye Bye Redness Skin Relief Treatment Moisturizer. This rich moisturizer can be used day and night, and also contains anti-aging ingredients. It's tinted slightly green, and neutralizes the red tones in your skin while soothing it at the same time. It says it is formulated for sensitive skin, which is especially nice since I find that a lot of anti-aging moisturizers are harsh on my skin and break me out.
Speaking of breakouts, the launch I was most excited to see was the Bye Bye Breakout line. As I've frequently mentioned, I suffer from adult and cystic acne, and sulfur products (in addition to retinol) are what work for me. For example, the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is a great spot treatment and makes my large breakouts smaller and less painful. While cosmetics that promise to treat acne are nothing new, the new Bye Bye Breakout line contains sulfur which I've never seen in any items before! In fact, the Full-Coverage Treatment Concealer promises to be a concealer and a drying lotion in one!
While I mistakenly kept calling it Bye Bye Blemish (missed opportunity, IT!), I'm pretty sure the concealer was made for me- so much so that I bought it on sight (it recently got delivered, expect a review soon!). Also offered is a Bye Bye Breakout Powder, which comes in three shades (Translucent, Light/Medium, and Tan/Rich). I didn't buy the powder (yet) but I really liked how it felt on the skin, and it was not overly powdery and practically invisible. The powder also contains sulfur, and neither product had that "rotten egg" smell from the sulfur.
I purchased the Bye Bye Blemish Full-Coverage Treatment Concealer and the Heavenly Luxe Superhero eye brush (the coolest brush ever), so expect reviews on those soon. All these products are currently available at the IT Cosmetics website and some products will be available at Ulta in the fall.
While each session was technically only an hour long, I stayed well past that hour and kept joking with each rep that I didn't want to leave. I had the time of my life visiting each ExhibIT and playing with each new product. The stations were so well thought out and creative, the design and marketing teams at IT Cosmetics deserve raises. I was so honored to be invited, and lucky to have gotten in, and it will always be a very special night for me with wonderful memories. I've never had an opportunity like this before, and I hope to have more events like this in my future!
PS Handing out my business card is a thrill!
Let me know what products you're excited about, and don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with me!
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Money may be tight sometimes, we've all been there. But if you're like me (aka obsessed with makeup), being broke doesn't mean you can't have a blast with beauty. It just takes some creativity, some cleverness, and some luck. Here are my top tricks and lessons learned on how to be a Budget Beauty.
1) Don't be afraid to ask for samples. Sephora, MAC and many other stores will give samples of some products. Foundation can be a huge investment, so I will always ask for a sample before taking the plunge. I used to be embarrassed since some employees can tend to give attitude when asked for samples, but who cares?! I don't want to go wasting my money on something I'm going to hate. Bonus- the samples they give will usually last at least a few days of application so it's like a few days of free makeup!
2) Don't be scared to return something that doesn't work. I hate returning things, I seriously do. But if something doesn't work as advertised, or if it's the wrong shade, don't waste your money by throwing it in a drawer for it to never see the light of day again. Most retailers now will accept returns of makeup with no questions asked, and will often give a refund or at least an exchange. Again, I used to be embarrassed to return things, but it's my hard-earned money at stake! Just don't make a habit of returning things- see tip #1.
3) Bargain stores can be a fantastic source of makeup. In 2016, Wet N Wild repackaged their Fergie line of makeup just to take the Fergie label off and put it all under the general Wet N Wild collection. The entire line of perfectly good "Fergie" makeup (which was a decent line in general) was sent to Dollar Trees across the country. I literally drove to all the Dollar Trees in a thirty mile radius to stock up on the Fergie translucent powder because it is one of my favorites. So I was able to pay $1 for each "discontinued" powder compact when the exact same powder was repackaged and in stores for $4.99. Needless to say I won't have to buy that full price powder for a long time. I was also able to grab $10 eyeshadow palettes...for a buck. $3.99 lipsticks...one whole dollar. I adore the Dollar Tree.
Five Below also has a great beauty section, filled with Wet N Wild, City Color, and Beauty Treats. There are some diamonds in this section, all for $5 or less (oftentimes less). This Beauty Treats palette is a great starter set of neutral shades, and also nice to beef up any collection!
At bargain stores, just remember the adage "Buyer Beware." Not everything you get at discount stores is going to be wonderful- accept it. Do some research, take a chance, and hopefully score big.
4) Look for multitasking products. This is where creativity comes to play. When considering a purchase, or when looking through your collection, see if a particular item can be a multitasker. One of my favorite tricks is that a matte bronzer can double as a great eyeshadow color in the crease! BB and CC creams can double as your only moisturizer. The right shade of lipstick can work as a cream blush. A shimmery, pale eyeshadow can usually be used as a highlight. A blush can also work as a beautiful eyeshadow color. Bonus- use these tricks when you are traveling and you'll save space in your makeup bag!
5) Wait for a sale. This may sound like a no-brainer, but in the makeup game impulse buying is a constant threat. That pretty packaging, those pretty colors, all the new products- they all add up to less money in my bank account. Try and remember that at some point, that item your lusting after will be cheaper than it is now! If it's a drugstore item especially, there is no reason to buy it at full price- ever. Be patient and wait for a BOGO sale, or a coupon (or both!). If it's a high end item, wait for Ulta and Sephora to offer a prestige coupon. Sign up for email alerts for sites like MAC to be aware of their sales (rare, but they DO happen!). High end items are also constantly changing, so that eyeshadow palette you want will eventually go on clearance to make way for newer ones! #5 is all about patience, my friends, and this virtue will save you major dough in the long run. Bonus- Always check your email and also retailmenot.com for coupons before buying anything online! Sometimes I forget to check for any coupon codes in my inbox before completing my order, and I miss out on savings.
6) The holidays (and after) are the best time to buy. In November and December, beauty brands start to release their holiday sets. These are where you are going to get the most bang for your buck. These value sets will usually offer several products at below retail price, so take advantage of these deals. Check to see if the set is offering full size or travel size products, as this will often determine its value for me. I'm more likely to consider it a deal if the set offers more full size than travel or trial size items, and its therefore worth the money. If you're feeling lucky, as it gets closer to the holidays, and immediately following, these value sets will sometimes go on sale since the stores want to get rid of their holiday stock to make room for new products. Just keep in mind, the longer you wait for a set, the higher the risk that what you want will be out of stock.
7) Have a beauty swap. If you have friends who are as obsessed with makeup as you are, hold a beauty swap and trade! This is a great way to try new things, get rid of things you no longer want, and satisfy that craving for new-to-you makeup. This works great for products such as foundation, blush, bronzers, highlighters, and nail polish. ***** Disclaimer: Keep sanitizing in mind when you are swapping. For example, for things like eyeshadow palettes or brushes, you HAVE TO sterilize them first (check out Google for how to do it). I would never swap things that cannot be sterilized- mascara, lip gloss, loose pigments, etc. Just don't, it's not worth the risk. Please keep this in mind, safety first!!! *****
8) Some things never need to be high end. Sometimes, I get caught by the high end trap. A company has a great reputation, it's fancy, it's packaging is impeccable, the celebrities use it- these are all things that the prestige companies use to lure you in. Don't fall for it. For every high end product, there are most likely ten drugstore items that work just as well. Check out Pinterest for dupe lists and save some green by buying the cheaper alternative. There are some items that never, ever have to be high end. Mascara, for example, is generally a waste at the prestige level. It might have a long list of claims and swanky packaging, but I guarantee that you'd be able to find something at the drugstore that will make you just as happy. Why spend major cash on mascara that you'll have to throw away in three months? Maybelline has some of the best mascaras in the business that are under $10 and can easily be gotten on sale.
9) Reward programs are your friend. If you haven't already, go sign up for the reward programs at Ulta, Sephora, CVS, and Walgreens. Even MAC has a rewards program (go sign up, it's okay, I'll wait).
I am a proud Platinum member of Ulta's reward program, and it has paid off through coupons, free gifts, exclusive discounts, and occasional free shipping (although I wish it was always free shipping, pay attention Ulta execs!). I know what you're thinking- didn't you have to spend money to earn Platinum status? Yes, I did. However, since I was going to spend the money anyway, I made the conscious decision to concentrate my spending at Ulta to reach Platinum and therefore receive all those perks. These programs are free to join, so why not?
10) Shop your stash. When your paychecks don't match your caviar dreams, shop your stash. Dig through your beauty bins and rediscover those hidden gems that you forgot you had. Make the effort to use an entire bottle of foundation before you spend money to get the latest and greatest. Check out hashtags on Instagram such as #shopmystash and #projectpan for inspiration. I challenge you to create a "Top Drawer," where each week you go through your makeup and choose the products you are going to use for that week. Be sure to rotate products each week, because if you don't you risk becoming bored and giving in to your shopping urges. By shopping your stash and saving money longterm, you'll be using up your collection, and you won't feel any buyer's remorse when the time comes to start spending again to replace what you've used.
Bonus tip: If you can, put a little money aside occasionally. This will start to add up, so use this little nest egg to treat yourself. Splurge a bit on a new product, go get your nails done, get a facial, whatever you want. A budget doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself sometimes. You'll also be more inclined to stick to being a Budget Beauty when you don't deny yourself all the time.
What are your favorite ways to save money on makeup and be a Budget Beauty? Comment below! Also, be sure you are following me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook so you are always up to date!
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
With the holidays quickly approaching, and my bank account just as quickly shrinking, I love when I can find an affordable yet quality gift. My savvy shopper radar is always on the hunt for great gifts at fantastic prices. I want to use my powers for good and show you my Top 10 choices for great gifts under $10! Many of these are great to go along with larger gifts, or for those folks you're just not sure what to get (teachers, coworkers, neighbors, etc). All of the Top 10 are of my own opinion (and gift giving), I have not been sponsored to include anything. If you're friends with me in "real-life" stop reading, no spoilers!
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
The air is getting crisper, the leaves have turned golden, and it's time to break out all that makeup that wasn't "summer friendly." That's right, get your liquid foundations, your darkest lippies, and your boldest eyeliner out, because it's time to play. Fall is one of my most favorite times of year, primarily because I'm no longer sweating the second I step outside, but also because I get to use all my favorite makeup without fear of it melting off my face. Out of everything the fall brings, however, my favorite fall makeup trend has to be deeper eye looks. While summer is all about light and natural, anything goes in the fall!
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Hello, lovelies! Concealer is an incredibly important part of my makeup routine each morning. Not only do I suffer from acne, but I have dark circles under my eyes. What a wonderful combination! Foundation doesn't always do the trick, so that's where my hero, concealer, comes in to play.
Saturday, July 9, 2016
Hello, loves! I'm a huge foundation addict, I have a ton already and I'm constantly buying more. There's a definite sense of excitement when I buy and try a new foundation: could THIS foundation be the perfect one? Is this the magic foundation that makes my skin look perfect? More often than not, the answers are no, continuing the vicious cycle where I keep buying new foundations. All makeup has its pros and cons, and different foundations will work for different people. Half the fun of makeup is trying new things and figuring out what's perfect for you, hence my huge collection! Did I find my new favorite foundation in the Neutrogena SkinClearing Mineral Powder? Keep reading.
Sunday, June 5, 2016
It's getting so dang hot! Summer is definitely upon us once again, which means it's time to look at our makeup collections and switch things up! The heavier foundations are hibernating until winter, the deep berry lipstick will wait until November, and the just-in-from-the-snow look is traded for just-back-from-the-beach. The three blushes I've been reaching for as the weather heats up all remind me of the juicy strawberries, melons, raspberries, and apricots the season brings. Give me the fun, fruity colored blushes this summer, I'm eating them up!
These three blushes are not only gorgeous, but are wonderfully pigmented and all from the drugstore so they're affordable!
These three blushes are not only gorgeous, but are wonderfully pigmented and all from the drugstore so they're affordable!