Play by Sephora June 2016

I was one of the few lucky ladies that actually managed to get into the Sephora beta subscription a few months back, and I have to say, so far I’m impressed. Last month’s box was okay as far as the products went, but this one’s definitely a winner in my book.

I introduce to you the Minimalist Box:

You see that first bottle? That’s Becca’s backlight priming filter, which has a lovely citrusy essent btw, that has .20 oz. That’s probably worth $10 on its own and applying to the high points of the face, this could last a while.
The they’re real mascara is alright imo, I’m not a big fan of benefit’s mascaras. I will say, however, I’m glad they’re also using recognizable, popular brands rather than sticking to the less recognizable need-to-sell-more-of-so-let’s-give-away-samples brands. 

 The tarte is great, but considering I’m nearly albino 😅, I think I’ll give it away. 

I’m not crazy about hair products besides (hint at future post) hair serums, so I’ll probably give away the Bb creme too.

Now Bare Minerals Sheer Sun is just, WHOAH. Like, WHOAH. It’s so good – in essence it’s a sheer liquid bronzer, but it’s lovely, would look natural due to the blendability. Sadly the bottle is really tiny, so I doubt I could get more than 10 applications out of this, although that’s still a steal!

The tocca fragrance strikes me as a citrusy essent as well, which is similar to last month’s orange based smell, but they both smell expensive, so I’m okay with them. What’s best is this is an absolute freebie.

Overall, I’m really impressed with this box’s value AND their choice of brands. I also love the monthly Baggie, great for carrying makeup!

Are you subscribed to the Play By Sephora subscription box? Let me know!

Love, Nicole 👀


Benefit Minis Reviews

Looking through my makeup collection, I realized I had a bigger-than-usual amount of Benefit minis (just look at the picture above! Lol.)

So I decided to show them off write a quick review of them all!

I find their minis are really cute. I actually think Benefit is one of the very few brands, if not the only one, that carries most of their original products in sample sizes. They don’t skimp on them either!! I think their Hoola sample size (which I’m probably purchasing as soon as I finish it!) has lasted me about 3+ months of daily usage. So yeah, the samples have plenty of product for more than a couple of uses.

Their unusual cardboard-boxes do throw me off a bit, however, making them difficult to travel with (maybe that’s why they have so many samples .. hmm …)

Here’s a quick overview of the ones I have:

  1. Hoola by Benefit – Neutral-to-Warm brown shade best used for contour/bronzing (looks best on neutral/warm skin). Might tend to look orangey on cool skin tones. Highly, Richly pigmented. No shimmer. Fabulous “Hoola” carved into first layers of powder. Easy to blend. Warms up the skin nicely. Con: A tad too warm for pale skin. Tends to look orange on my light-olive skin during the fall/winter seasons. Dupe: NYC Bronzer.
  2. Watt’s Up by Benefit – Golden, Champagney Highlighter. Really fine micro glitter/shimmer. Visible Golden flecks in sunlight. Overall warm. Highly pigmented but easy to blend – with finger NOT a brush. Creamy. On the warmer side.
  3. High Beam by Benefit – Liquid Cool Silver highlighter. Applicable using a polish-like brush. Much easier to blend than Watt’s Up due to it’s liquid form. Easier to blend using a brush. Ideal for cooler tones or pale skin tones. Dupe: ELF baked blush in Pinktastic.
  4. Roller lash by Benefit – Lenghthens but does not curl like it claims. Does not Volumize. Waterproof (for the most part). Does not flake. Stays on for 8+ hours (have not tested for a full day.) Dries fast (For those with allergies!). Dupe: Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes.
  5. The POREfessional by Benefit – smoothes over pores. Not lasting from personal experience. Skin-like tint. Doesn’t smother skin (not very feel-able throughout the day). Does not control oil. A little goes a long way. For those with big pores (I think this is funny) this tends to close pores in an “elongated” manner (think of a toned stomach with a line-like belly button – the belly button being the pores). Dupe: Maybelline Baby Skin.
  6. Oxygen Wow Foundation in Petal (not shown) – light coverage. Warm, yellow undertone. Light tone (just before Light/Medium). Dupe: TrueMatch liquid super blendable foundation in W2.

Let me know if you’d like swatches!

Love, Nicole 💋

Allure Sample Society April 2015

I recently subscribed to both Birchbox and Allure’s Sample Society just to check out what the whole subscription box hype was about, and to be fairly honest, I was really surprised how well they measured up!

Here’s the April box, for those wondering what I’m talking about:


The products come packaged up in a sleek, tiny bright-red box.

Inside is a brochure that includes all the products contained inside the box.

April 2015 list & First Impressions:

  • Jane Iredale Rio Lip Plumper Mini – This is really, really tiny, but cute! Great for travel. Brownish shade.
  • Benefit Cosmetics the POREfessional – Really tiny as well. Fairly similar to all the rest of benefit samples (is it just me or is benefit one of the few brands with sample-sized products of almost every one of their products???)
  • Illume Tonka Noir Sample Tin – This is surprisingly big for a sample, and it is cute as well. Smell is pretty much the candle version of Victoria’s Secret Amber Romance fragrance (soft, semi-powdery, musky smell)
  • Mt. Sapola Lavender-Chamomile Lotion – have not opened yet!
  •  Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil – This is SO FREAKING TINY. I’ll be surprised if I can even cover my whole hair once with this stuff!
  • Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Fragrance Sample – This is normal-sized fragrance sample and smells very similar to Bvlgari’s Omnia Crystalline (summer, fresh and flowery smell) PS. I LOVE Omnia Crystalline, so I have a feeling I’ll be loving this too!


  • Jane Iredale Rio Lip Plumper Mini – Brownish shade  best suited for darker skin, so I will be giving this away 🙂
  • Benefit Cosmetics the POREfessional – TBA
  • Illume Tonka Noir Sample Tin – have not burned yet, will be giving it away as a gift instead 🙂
  • Mt. Sapola Lavender-Chamomile Lotion – Love/Hate. Moisturizes VERY well, but smell is god awful. It smells like herbal tea – bearable but awful. Scent does fade away with time, however.
  •  Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil – TBA
  • Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Fragrance Sample – Sweet, Summery, Floral and Fresh smell. Lasts a very, very long time, and the lingering scent smells soooo good 😋  I will actually be purchasing this as soon as I finish the sample. 

here’s a few (ahem) pictures of the items.



Ps. I have decided to no longer “copyright” my photos, simply because it takes wayyy too much time adding captions! Believe it or not, it can be very time consuming. Hope you enjoy regardless!

Love, Nicole 💕

Lancome Blush Subtil Palette Review

Looking through late at night is never a good idea. It’s like going grocery shopping hungry as sh**. You purchase everything in sight, right?

It seems to be the case when looking through cosmetics as well, you just end up adding 20 different things you want onto the cart .. Then sadly having to remove one by one because it’s far well above what you can even remotely afford. Or does that happen anyway..? #StrugglesOfAShopaholic

Anywho, apparently I either 1. Forgot to remove this item 2. Was so damn tired (& in love 😩) to purchase it anyway. Whether I would have been starving for the next week or not.

The palette I’m talking about is the ‘Nectar Lace’ Blush Subtil Palette by Lancome which retails for *hold your breath* $42. Blush gots me delusional, I know. But I mean, just look at it 😍👌.





Now usually, I avoid Lancome, for MANY reasons. One of them being, it is overpriced, and undervalued. That’s 2, but shush 🙉.

Lancôme is L’oreal’s older, fancier sister who prides herself on being expensive, always over estimates herself, and sadly just never delivers. That is until now.

On the last post, which you can check out here, I admitted to liking Orangier/Peachier blushes. And this just goes to prove how much I do.

The blush shade is the star of the show here. It is absolutely gorgeous on the palette, reminiscent of Nars’ Orgasm, in an orange tone. Elf’s Candid Coral is Orangier, less vibrant, equally shimmery. Deep throat is Pinker, darker, less shimmery.


It has a hidden red undertone, which can’t be seen on the pan, but is clearer once on, when the once-orange blush becomes an orange-red shade on the skin. Can be a good or bad thing depending on taste, but is particularly good for fairer skin tones – light/medium (with a light hand, please!)


Swatches in Natural Light from left to right: Benefit Watt’s Up, Lancome Highlight, Nars Orgasm blush, (under) Elf Candid Coral blush, Lancome Nectar Lace blush, Lancome bronzer, Benefit Hoola


Swatches in Direct Sunlight


Swatches in Indoor Lightning

The bronzer, I find, is not quite as impressive, then again not much is against my Hoola. It’s lighter and much cooler compared to Hoola (which is supposed to be a neutral shade – hence the versatility). Half as pigmented as well. It took 2-3 times as much of a swatch to get Lancome’s bronzer to show up, compared to Hoola. With a good brush, I’m sure it could do quite well for light/cool skin tones, or if the color suits 🙂

The highlighter is probably the worst of all three – not that any of them are bad, but.. Ya know 👀. It’s a bit powdery, though still buttery and blendable. Not nearly as beautiful as Benefit’s Watt’s Up (nor pigmented). Lancome’s highlighter is cooler in shade.

Overall I think this palette is great, though not nearly worth its price. The pigmentation is alright, the colors are surprisingly beautiful when applied together & they look surprisingly well on my neutral skin tone, the bronzer specially. The highlighter leaves a lot to desire for this drama queen, but it’s acceptable and perfect for those seeking a subtle glow!



Have you tried this palette or any of Lancôme’s products? Let me know!!

Love, Nicole 💕

Note: This post was not sponsored in any way at all. All thoughts, opinions, and ideas are my own. Thank you. x