Etsy Beauty Haul + Swatches

This post is not sponsored. I purchased these products with my own money, all opinions are my own.

Hi everyone!

As you all know, Sephora is one of my favorite stores for makeup shopping. But you probably didn’t know that I also do enjoy purchasing items, not just makeup, from small businesses.

A few months back, I discovered Pretties for Your Face on Etsy! PFYF is a handmade, cruelty free makeup company, based in MA, that sells gorgeous eyeshadows, highlighters, pigments etc. I had the Aphrodite highlighter in my cart for a good 2 months, until I finally purchased it last week during the holiday sale. This sale is actually still going on for the rest of January – use code HOLIDAY40 for 40% your order and a free shadow with purchase.

I am not going to spend a lot of time reviewing the products I purchased (honey eyeshadow and aphrodite highlighter) because you will be able to tell how stunning they are from the swatches! Both products are under $15 and totally worth the money. I wore the highlighter today and it is so sparkly! I felt like a unicorn/goddess/some sort of magical creature despite the freezing temperatures outside.

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If you can’t tell from the photos, the highlighter pan size is huge! I’m talking even bigger than a MUFE Artist shadow. And the eyeshadow is the perfect size to fit in a MAC palette. Both are super soft and pigmented.

Swatches below are not built up, only one swipe.

If you would like to see the live video swatches of these products, its up on my Instagram @marielelena_ 

What are your favorite makeup shops on Etsy? Let me know.

Love, Mariel

This post is not sponsored. I purchased these products with my own money, all opinions are my own.

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Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette Swatches + Brief Review

Happy Holidays! I hope you are enjoying your time with family and friends, as we prepare to ring in the new year.

As a Christmas gift to myself, I purchased the Too Faced Sweet Peach eyeshadow palette during its second release. If you were not aware, Too Faced Cosmetics has launched an all new peach collection, featuring their infamous eyeshadow palette, a new highlighter palette, a peach blush, and 8 peach oil lip glosses. These are available at Too Faced, Sephora, and Ulta.

I have been eyeing this palette since it came out last year, and am beyond excited to finally get ahold of it. The sweet peach eyeshadow palette retails for $49 – if you want to get $10 back sign up for Ebates using my link, or purchase on HSN (new members get $10 off – coupon code available online).

This palette is absolutely gorgeous, and almost every shade lives up to expectation! The stand-out colors are NectarLuscious, Bellini, and Caramelized. As you will be able to tell from the swatches, those shades are stunning!! The worst shades in the palette are Delectable and Talk Derby To Me (Too Faced can never seem to make a pigmented purple). Those two are very patchy and chalky.

The only other thing to be aware of is the peach scent. It is very sweet and overpowering; you may want to steer clear of this one if you are not a fan of scented palettes. Also, the majority of shades are warm toned, so only purchase this if you can see yourself using peachy bronze shades. Sweet Peach definitely lives up to its hype, but make sure you will enjoy the shades before jumping on the bandwagon.

I really love this palette, and would definitely purchase it again. There is a great mix of mattes and shimmers as well, so you would not need to bring any other eyeshadows with you to create a look.

Below are finger swatches of the palette:

 

What do you think of the Too Faced Sweet Peach collection? Will you be purchasing any of the products?

For an unboxing photo of the Sweet Peach palette, check out my Instagram @marielelena_

Love, Mariel

Kyshadow Holiday Palette Review

PSA: This is your last chance to purchase any products from the Kylie Cosmetics holiday collection! Stock is limited, but the eyeshadow palette is still available at the time I am writing this.

I decided last minute to write this review, so you will be getting two posts (check out my review of the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette) from me today. I received the Kyshadow Holiday palette for Christmas, and thought you might enjoy some swatches while the palette is still available for purchase.

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This palette retails for $42 and can be purchased on the Kylie Cosmetics website. You can buy it separately or as part of the holiday edition box sets.

 

Overall, this palette contains a beautiful variety of shades, both mattes and shimmers. I think the gold and silver colors are perfect for a NYE look, and the matte purple is so gorgeous! This is my first Kyshadow purchase, and I am very happy with the quality. Unlike Kylie’s other palettes, the holiday edition eyeshadow palette does contain a mirror.

Now to the best part, swatches!

I really like this palette and would recommend it to any eyeshadow collector or Kylie Cosmetics fan – you won’t be disappointed. The shades may not seem super pigmented at first, but you can build them up to full intensity. If you have been debating this purchase, grab it while you still can 🙂

Did you purchase anything from the Kylie Cosmetics holiday line? Let me know in the comments!

Love, Mariel

 

 

Milani Everyday Eyes Palette Review

I recently picked up the Milani Everyday Eyes palette from Target, after seeing lots of positive feedback about it on Pinterest. And – spoiler alert – I am happy to say that this palette does not disappoint! For only $9, the shades are of decent size, creamy and pigmented. There are four or five shade options, but I went with the 01 must have naturals version. I happen to think it is a similar dupe to the Too Faced Boudoir Eyes palette, $36 (see my review here: https://marielelena.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/too-faced-boudoir-eyes-palette-review/).  Just a heads up: I felt like changing things a bit, so I will not be following the usual format I use for my reviews: first impressions, pros/cons, and buy/pass. 

First off, this palette is absolutely stunning to look at! The gold detailing is gorgeous and even though this is a drugstore item, the packaging is much more high quality and sturdy than expected. You get 6 shades total, 3 mattes & 3 shimmers. I found each shade soft and buttery; both mattes and shimmers performed well too. In fact, I find this Milani set comparable to higher-end products, and I would choose this palette over some of my more pricey eyeshadows (I’m looking at you Naked 2). While there is a much smaller shade selection than a 12+ pan palette, getting ready can become a lot easier. Plus, you can always supplement a missing matte shade with something from another palette/single (maybe MAC soft brown or ABH dusty rose).

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finger swatches on arm, no primer

The brush included in this palette is surprisingly decent. When I first applied the colors to my lid for fun, I used the included brush and was happy with the results. Obviously going back in with my other blending brushes (my favorite is the It Brushes for Ulta Airbrush Blending Crease Brush #105) did provide a more desirable effect, but I was pleased with the included brush. In other words, I am quite happy this palette did not come with the standard sponge tip applicator.

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brush swatches, no primer (w/included bush)

In my opinion, this is one of the best palettes at the drugstore. The only downside is that it does not come with a mirror – but how much can you expect from a $9 item. I also used my Ebates cash back to purchase this palette, so it was actually free for me! Don’t forget to use your Ebates rewards, Extrabucks, manufacturer coupons, etc. to score the best deal possible. If you are interested in getting $10 when you sign up for Ebates, use my link here and you can order this palette for free too!

Let me know your thoughts! What are your favorite items from the drugstore?

Happy Holidays!

– Mariel

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. All opinions/photos are my own. Ebates link is a referral link that will provide new members $10, however this post is not sponsored by Ebates. 

 

Christmas Gift Guide 2016: Beauty Edition

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, but now that Thanksgiving is officially over and November is coming to a close, its time to start thinking about gift ideas. Last year, I made a Christmas gift guide for her, for him, and for the kids. You can check those out here! This edition however, is for the beauty lover in your life – whether that be your mom, friend, or significant other 🙂 My guide features the hottest gifts in beauty this year. Whatever you choose, I am sure your recipient will love!

  1. The first gift I recommend for a makeup lover is actually something I have been wanting myself! This Laura Mercier highlighter looks absolutely stunning! The shade I really want is Devotion, but there are a variety of shades that should work for every skin tone. The face illuminator retails for $44 and is available at Sephora and the Laura Mercier website.

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2) Next up is this Fresh Sugar Lip set! I have their lipstick in Petal and I absolutely love it. Gorgeous color and smells amazing! Pick up this holiday set at Sephora for $50.)

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3) The Tarteist Pro Amazonian Clay palette is one of the latest additions to Tarte’s eyeshadow collection. This palette features a stunning array of mattes, along with 4 shimmers. This is available at Sephora and Ulta – retails for $54.

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4) Red beautyblender!! A cult favorite, the beauty blender sponge, is one of the best tools for applying makeup. I love to use mine for foundation, blush, concealer and so much more! This red color is perfect for the holiday season. Sold at Sephora for $20.

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5) Next up on my list of gift picks is customizable! Buy your friend, girlfriend, or practically any makeup lover an empty palette and a gift card that he/she can use to purchase the eyeshadow shades of their choosing. If you want to make it a little more personal, fill half the palette with shades you enjoy, and let the recipient pick the rest. Brands such as MAC, Makeup Forever, Buxom, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and theBalm all offer customizable palette options.

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6) Second to last is a face mask! Who doesn’t enjoy a little bit of at home pampering 😉 The GLAMGLOW facemask is on my Christmas list for sure. They actually sell a smaller set of single use masks as well, so now you don’t have to spend $69 on the full pot! Check out the $22 set at Sephora, link above.

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7) This last gift idea is something I have heard great things about! The Smashbox Master Class Palette: Lighting Theory just recently went on sale at Sephora, and I thought I would mention it. This palette contains everything: from color correctors, to blushes, to bronzers, to eyeshadows! It retails for $45 (was $65) at Sephora.

 

 

I hope you found this holiday gift guide helpful! As I was finishing this post up I also wanted to mention that the Sephora Favorites kits are always great gift guide options as well – especially for someone who may be a bit more picky with their makeup. Those sets range from $25+ typically, and you can find them online or in store at Sephora.

Let me know what gift idea is your favorite! What are you giving your friends this year, and what’s on your holiday wishlist?

Love, Mariel

 

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, and all ideas are my own. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chewiest Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!

Hi everyone!

This is the first recipe post I have ever shared, so today I will be showcasing one of my favorite cookies! These chocolate chip cookies are some of the thickest, fattest and satisfying I have ever tried. I recommend this recipe if you are in the need of something easy to fill a cookie craving; its also a great way to get rid of leftover Halloween chocolate 🙂 The cookies have just the right amount of chocolate, a perfect balance of gooey cookie and cocoa without being too overpowering.

So here it is! My chocolate chip cookie recipe:

Adapted from: OMG Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies! Pure Nirvana!

Makes: about 2 dozen medium sized cookies

Ingredients

  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon pure maple syrup (cold)
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon grinded sea salt
  • Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – as many or as few as you want; Hershey’s chocolate bars (optional)

Directions (almost identical to original recipe, linked above)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 (or the setting closest to that – my oven is weird so I set it to setting 4 – up to 345).
  2. Melt butter in the microwave, but not all the way. I set my microwave to 30 seconds.
  3. Let butter cool for 2 min, then add it to mixing bowl with brown sugar and beat on low speed until blended.
  4. Add in the maple syrup, beat on low speed. Then, add in 2 eggs and beat again. This whole process should take only about 1 min (with standard stand mixer).
  5. Add flour, cornstarch and sea salt. Beat on low speed until it forms a ball.
  6. Stir chocolate chips in with spatula. You can use however many you would like, I ended up using 3/4 of a standard Nestle bag. At this point, I also chose to chop up a Hershey’s bar (great use for leftover Halloween candy) and fold it into the batter as well to make chocolate chunks.
  7.  Spoon cookie dough onto your baking sheet, pre-lined with parchment paper. I made fairly large dough balls (about 1-2 inches tall).
  8. Bake until lightly brown on bottom, but not too squishy on the inside. Keep checking on your cookies because it is easy to burn them or undercook the insides. I had mine in the oven for about 15 min.
  9. Let cool and transfer to cooling rack or paper plate.
  10. Enjoy!
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this picture doesn’t even showcase their true thickness!! try this recipe and you won’t be disappointed

And there you have it – the chewiest chocolate chip cookies! If you try out this recipe, leave me a comment below or tag me in the picture on Instagram (@marielelena_).

Love, Mariel

Juvia’s Place The Nubian Palette Review + Swatches

Hi everyone!!

I’m back with another product review! This time I will be sharing my thoughts on The Nubian palette by Juvia’s Place. I purchased this palette about two months ago through a blog sale, but you can buy your own from juviasplace.com. It is out of stock right now, so definitely check the site daily if you are interested. These eyeshadows are already in high demand, but with the Christmas season coming up I wouldn’t be surprised if it grows more difficult to pick this palette up.

First Impressions: This palette is stunning! I love the emerald green packaging; its eye-catching and I really like it 🙂 Filled with warm neutrals that arm swatch beautifully. The palette itself is a little smaller than I expected, but the large pan sizes make up for it.

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Pros/Cons: Pros – Super pigmented, buttery shadows that swatch nicely and also blend well on the eyelid. Packaging is very pretty and easy to notice. Warm shades and cruelty free. Cons – If you are more into cool toned shades, this palette is probably not for you. The packaging, while lovely, doesn’t seem durable. A mirror is not included, which makes travel a little difficult. Contains talc (not necessarily bad, but it is something to consider).

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Buy or Pass: If you are interested in warm toned eyeshadows, this is a buy! For under $30, a palette of this high quality is a steal. I think this palette suits most skin tones; it has a wide range of light to dark neutrals, mattes and shimmers.

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Where to Purchase: As far as I know, the Nubian is exclusive to the Juvia’s Place website. Check it out here: Juvia’s Place The Nubian Palette– retails for $35, but is on sale for $23.50 right now.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Have you tried anything from Juvia’s Place before? Also, don’t forget to check out my Instagram for swatches and mini reviews!

Love, Mariel

Fall Hometown Hunt

Hi everyone!!

To start things off I wanted to announce that this is the month I first created my blog last year  – so happy anniversary to us 🙂 Thank you for all your support, love, and comments this past year. Here’s to another great one!!

I will be sharing my favorite spots in my hometown, which is located right outside of Boston. The events and places included in this post can either be found in Boston or the surrounding areas.

First up on the list is:

1. Honey Pot Hill Orchards – It is a bit of drive out there, but the outdoor maze, hayrides and apple cider donuts are worth it.

2.  Boston Public Market – Join in on the fun at this year-round indoors farmer’s market        located on Hanover Street. There are so many vendors to choose from, so you can enjoy anything from delicious homemade ice cream to fresh fruits and veggies.

3. Bagel’s Best – In the center of Needham MA, Bagel’s Best offers a variety of bagels, pastries and drinks. My order consists of a chocolate chip bagel and hot chocolate, complete with a secluded seat in the back of the cafe that overlooks the town.

4.  Trident Bookseller’s and Cafe – While I haven’t visited this spot myself, its on my bucket list. This independent bookstore on Newbury Street is packed with novels and all-day breakfast foods! Every book and brunch lover’s dream 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post – maybe it will give you some ideas if you are ever in the Boston area. If you would like more information on events in your area, check out Eventbrite. You can view their sell tickets page here.

Love, Mariel

“Beauty Wishlist” Part 2 (ISO*)

Hi friends!

I posted my “beauty wishlist” a few months ago (click here), and I thought it would be fun to add a second installment. Just to update you, I have purchased almost every item on my previous wishlist at this point. This time however, I want to ask for your help in finding these items. Many of the products on this wishlist are not found at Sephora. So if you own any of these items, (preferably new condition), live in the US, and are willing to sell at a reasonable price, leave me a comment down below and I may contact you. Also, if you are in search of a certain beauty product as well, share in the comments section too.

Without further ado… my beauty wishlist.

  1. Juvia’s Place The Nubian Eyeshadow Palette
  2. Too Faced Romantic Eye
  3. Too Faced Love Flush Blush Wardrobe
  4. KVD Saint & Esperanza Palettes
  5. BH Cosmetics x Shaaanxo
  6. Allegory Story Primavera Lip Gloss
  7. Manny MUA X MG
  8. Tarte x Grav3yard Girl palette
  9. Urban Decay The Vegan Palette

*ISO = in search of

Spread the love in the comments section below, and don’t forget to share the products on your beauty wishlist 🙂

Love, Mariel

Artis Brush Dupe Demo + Review

Today I will be reviewing one of my new favorite brushes! I’m sure you have heard the hype over the Artis face brushes, but have you seen the price tag? I was not willing nor able to shell out $50+ for a makeup brush, so I turned to Amazon for a cheaper dupe of the product. I will link the exact brush I ordered below.

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First Impressions: Inexpensive price (tip: I used my Opinion Outpost credits and paid nothing for the brush); soft bristles; gorgeous rose gold color

Pros/Cons: Pros: Brush handle seems to be of high quality material. Good size for foundation, but also works for concealer and powder. Great price and free shipping. Blends liquid makeup into skin nicely. Cons: A few hairs have shed, but I think this brush will last a while.

size comparison: brush to average size concealer tube

 

Buy or Pass: For me, I would definitely say this brush is a BUY! How could you pass up a $7 brush? It is also a good way to test out a face brush similar to an Artis brush before you decide to purchase an expensive luxury item.

And for my very first demo EVER – check out my Instagram @marielelena_ . I posted a quick clip demonstrating this brush and a concealer. Here is the link: instagram.com

Artis Brush Dupe – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/

Thanks for reading! Leave me some love in the comments – I have so much fun reading and responding to you guys.

Love, Mariel

This blog post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.