12.09.2016

BEST Sephora Gift Sets + Ideas


I LOVE seeing gift guides on blogs. I get lots of ideas that way. But what I love even better is when the gifts from the guides have been tried, tested, and recommended. And that's the purpose of today--I have spent hours at different Sephoras (not a hard task for me) checking out the gift sets, seeing if they were worth the hype, if the samples were too small, and buying a few. For research ;)

I wanted to pick sets that were still sold online (many of you said you don't live near a Sephora) and sets that weren't too expensive. Here are my picks:


LIPS

Sephora Give Me Some Bold Lip--For the girl who really loves makeup and isn't afraid to change her looks $28
--I'd also add any of the other Sephora samplers--they are all really good. 

Best BITE Redux--Everyone loves this brand, and for $25, you get 4 of their lip crayons
--They have a lipstick set as well I love

Kat Von D Everlasting Lip Mini Set--I have been a fan of her liquid lipsticks for years, and this is a great collection of them $49
--I also recommend the Bow & Arrow liquid lip + liner set

Sephora Lip Pencils--Give the whole set or break it up and add them as stocking stuffers or as a part of another gift. I've mentioned these lots of times before, because they are so good! $25

FACE

Lancome Paris En Rose Hypnose Drama--6 of their best-selling products plus a full-size mascara $35

Foreo Luna PLay Mint with Benefit--Again, products I've featured on here before: Luna play, gel cleaneser, and the Pore Fessional $42

Becca Glow on the Go--My fave brand of highlighters, this gives you a liquid and powder version of Moonstone (you've seen them in my highlighter collection post/video). I suggest layering them for the ultimate glow.

Benefit Dandelion Wishes--5 piece, full-face set--lots of faves in here!

SKIN

Ole Henriksen Try Us, Love Us! On-the-Glow Essentials--One of my fave skincare brands, this set of 3 travel-sized skin care essentials is a great way to try out the line. I have loved everything I've tried from them. They have other sets too. $15

Dr. Jart Masking All the Way--That's literally what this is--a book of masks! Turn the page for a variety of sheet masks $37

Sephora Essential Rose Skin Trio--There's someone on your list (maybe you) who loves the scent of roses. Get her this for only $10!

L'Occitane Shea Butter Ornament--I always try to sound fancy when I pronounce the brand's name. And now you can feel fancy with this adorable set of hand cream, soap, and lotion. $14


Drunk Elephant Dayglow--This skincare brand has been very popular this year, but it's very expensive. Try this hydration gel and serum combo (they have a night version too) $28

Nest Ornament Candle--They have this in a couple of scents, and if you saw my latest Sephora haul video, this was one of the special items. I like to share extra stuff in my videos that I don't share on the blog in an attempt to get you to actually watch them! Anyway, NEST makes some of the BEST candles out there. And the size is great for $16. This one smells like the holidays and I've been burning it nearly every day.

Bumble & Bumble A Few of Our Fave Things--Great set of tried and true fave haircare products for you to test out! $39

Sephora Romantic Shadow Palette--This isn't a set, but I wanted to include it since it's such a steal at $7. A great stocking stuffer or gift add-on idea! They have a great blush palette I'd recommend too. I say skip their big eye shadow palettes--the quality isn't there for me.

I didn't include--fragrances. These are so personal unless you know what the receiver wears, but there are some Sephora sampler sets. I feel like the sets have a better value at ULTA.
I didn't include--nail polishes--none of the sets caught my eye for price/quality. I will share some picks next week from ULTA.

Which of these products caught your eye?

Extra Elle:
I have EVEN MORE recommendations--just let me know if you need more.
Next week will be my ULTA list!
Star Wars Pub Crawl tonight--just observing the fun.


12.08.2016

DIY Peppermint Macaron Bath Bombs

I admit it--I have a sweet tooth. My evidence: beauty products that look and/smell like food. Sometimes I buy them, like yesterday's post, and sometimes I make them. And they are SO easy to make. It's a fun way to sort of indulge myself without the calories.

A holiday sweet treat I make for myself and that's always in demand for gifts: peppermint macaron bath bombs! I usually keep these around for when I have a cold since the scent opens up a stuffy nose, but they're great whenever you want a bit of Christmas anytime of year. I also use these in my shower--just put in the floor and allow the steam and water to mix.


Ingredients:

  • bath bomb mold (I used a macaron mold)
  • 1 c baking soda
  • 1/2 c cornstarch
  • 1/2 c citric acid (online, canning section, health food stores)
  • 2 tsp water
  • red soap colorant or food coloring (I also added in some red pigment powder)
  • peppermint essential oil + 4 tsp coconut oil or oil of choice




Instructions:
Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl. In another bowl, mix the water and coloring (and oils if doing that). 

Very carefully add a few drops at a time of the colored water to the dry ingredients and mix. Be patient with this step because the mix will begin to bubble if you add too much at a time. It should look as pictured above. I made mine very, very red since normally the red will fade some once it dries--the powder pigment really helps with this.


This depends on your mold, but mine was a one piece macaron mold--sometimes they are halves that you put together. I wanted white in the middle, so I saved a little of the mix and didn't add any red coloring to it. 

I put red in the bottom of the mold and really pressed it in. Then I added white (aka no color added) mix to the middle. I didn't have enough mix so I added it around the edges and it turned out well. 

Then I added the red on top. For my mold, I had to make sure the top was level since this was the bottom of my macaron, so keep that in mind.



Allow to dry for an hour. Package or display. These keep for around a year, but you'll use them up before that, I bet!





12.07.2016

NEW Chocolate Chip Palette Reviews (White & Matte)



Hello, my name is Elle Sees and I'm addicted to buying makeup palettes that are adorable and/or look/smell like sweet treats. I don't see this addiction being cured anytime soon. Or do I?

On Black Friday, Too Faced released two new palettes, White Chocolate Chip (exclusively at Sephora) and Matte Chocolate Chip (TooFaced.com). If you "like" my blog's Facebook, you'll know I had posted about these coming soon a few months ago. Being a Too Faced fan, I had to have them. But are they worth the price at $26? Keep reading to find out.


The first thing I noticed was how tiny they are. Here's the Matte Chocolate Chip in comparison to the original Chocolate Bar. It does say it is a CHIP, but yeah, it's really tiny. And this caused a major upset online.


Here it is in comparison to the Naked Basics from Urban Decay. When those two palettes were released I don't recall there being such a fuss, but I'll get into why in just a moment.

Nowhere on either website does it list the size. It does give the ounces, so I *thought* I had a good idea of what to expect.


Here's the inside of the White Chocolate Chip.

You get 11 shades but the pans are TINY. I think this is the reason so many were disappointed. This looks like a play palette for kids. We are used to those huge-looking pans.

The Naked Basics palettes, while small and with only five shades, have larger-looking pans for $29!

The TF Chocolate Chip palettes have .02 oz per shadow (minus the top left shade which is .05), which is roughly $1.30 per shadow. This is the slightly smaller than the standard .05 MAC shadow,  or UD NB for comparison.



This palette has 6 shimmer shades and the rest are matte.

The lighter shades don't swatch well at all--you can barely see them--but they show on my light-medium skin tone. Barely.

However, I was able to get a look out of them. The pictures don't do it justice--I tried lighting, flash, everything to get it to show.

It doesn't show well on camera but it does show well in person and lasted on me, without primer, all day. That taupe-purple shade can be a little chunky with fall out. The shimmer black blends away too easily for my liking.



Then we have the Too Faced Chocolate Chip Matte

This also has 11 shades and this takes shades from the original Chocolate Bar (pic below) and turns them matte.

The packaging is a matte plastic.

Again, I cannot get good pics of these, but just like with the White Chocolate, I was able to get a full look out of these. They lasted the entire day on my lids without primer (I have dry skin, so most shadows will stay).

Here are the colors in comparison to the original Chocolate Bar.

The original CB has pans that are .03 oz (minus the white shade which is about an ounce). Remember a standard shadow size is .05. I would have guessed the original CB was .05.


But are they worth it? I liked the Matte Chocolate Chip much better than the White one. I don't think either are holy-grail status, but if you're TF-brand obsessed, you might want to get them. I'm not disappointed in either palette, and they will make excellent traveling palettes, but I don't think either is a must have. But they sure are cute.

Do you own either of these?

Extra Elle:
I was supposed to get another one of these for a giveaway, but only received one. Glad to say I finally heard from them yesterday and another will be sent.

Charlie and I finally got a tree up and decorated. I also completed about 98% of my Christmas shopping. Not a thing has been wrapped, of course! I'm a procrastin-wrapper.

Disclaimer:

All products mentioned are purchased by me unless stated.
All pics, thoughts, etc, are mine unless otherwise noted. Publishing or redistributing any content from this blog is strictly prohibited. Please seek permission first. Thank you.




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