NYC Beauty Purchases

by Joyce in

I spent a few days in NYC eating and shopping my way through the city. I definitely had fun revisiting old favorites and spending time with old friends! 

Fortunately for my wallet, I was relatively restrained with my purchases. Take a peek!

L-R: Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque, Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm, Aesop Rosehip Seed Lip Cream, Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser Sample, Aesop Skincare Samples

L-R: Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque, Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm, Aesop Rosehip Seed Lip Cream, Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser Sample, Aesop Skincare Samples

I managed to visit two Aesop stores during my trip, and I really wish there were more Aesop boutiques around the country. I snapped a few pics on Instagram, but I have to say that I just love the aesthetic of the boutiques and the friendly SA's that helped me.

I also discovered a few new to me products - Tuberose Lip Heal, apparently coming soon in new packaging, Damascan Rose Treatment, a lovely facial oil, and Ginger Flight Therapy, an aromatherapy treatment for nausea and motion sickness. They've definitely landed in my wishlist!

L-R: Bite Beauty Lipstick Samples, Bite Beauty Custom Lipstick & excess product in pot

L-R: Bite Beauty Lipstick Samples, Bite Beauty Custom Lipstick & excess product in pot

I also stopped by the Bite Beauty Lip Lab in Soho and created my own custom lip color! I think it was my lucky day, as not only was it not busy (unlike the first time I tried to go) but the SA accidentally made too much product and put the excess in a pot for me. Plus she threw in some mini lipsticks from Bite's regular range! Don't worry, I do plan to do a post on the lipstick making experience as well as a review of my custom lipstick. :)

Can you believe that is all the beauty stuff I splurged on? My best friend did gift me with Diptyque goodies and many other fun little tidbits from her adventures that you may see popping up here soon, but other than that the only other things I bought were tea from Les Palais des Thes and tea accessories from Pearl River Mart. I also fell for an adorable pouch at Alexander Wang that turned out to be an accessory for Beats earbuds, so in the end I didn't end up getting them. I may regret it later but I have to say I showed remarkable restraint! Ha!

What do you think about my NYC beauty purchases? Are any of these goodies on your wishlist? I'd love to know! :)

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October Beauty Purchases

by Joyce in

Here are all my purchases for the month of October. For a little while, I had given up on my low buy, but by the end of the month I wanted to get back on track. (Haha, how could I even have thought such things with the Sephora VIB sale approaching? At least I saved a lot of store credit!) 

I hope you'll take a peek at the video and let me know what you think! 

Products Mentioned
Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick in 502 Scarlatto 
Oscar Blandi Invisible Dry Shampoo 
Living Proof Thickening Cream
Skinfood Honey Jasmine Bath Salts
Skinfood Sheet Masks (2)
Skinfood Parsley and Mandarin Emulsion
Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Milk
Skinfood Foundation Brush
Skinfood Lip Brush
Skinfood Lip & Cheek Tint in Pomegranate
Skinfood Peach Sake Pore BB Cream in 04 Soft Beige
Skinfood Cream Eyeshadow
Chanel Rouge Double Intensite in Light Rose
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Brush
Laura Mercier Mini Caviar Stick Set
Chantecaille Pebble Compact
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Orchid
Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Lipstick in Myth
Sephora Brand Concealer 

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September Beauty Purchases

by Joyce in

I'm not even going to call this a low buy recap, because I find that I'm doing a terrible job! Well, I suppose this month wasn't so bad in terms of quantity of products purchased... but still. With the holidays fast approaching, I'm sort of over this whole no buy thing? Oh well, I think I am just being dramatic!   


As you might suspect, I was quite tempted by the Space NK beauty event early on in the month. Thanks to Gummy's help, we were able to split the GWP, and I chose a few lovely items that had been on my wishlist. Sai Sei Mineral Seaweed Bath Crystals, ByTerry Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon, and Laura Mercier Creme Eye Detail Brush all ended up in my shopping cart. 

Thanks to a Sephora gift card, I picked up the Nails Inc Gel Effect Polish in Kensington High Street and Bite Beauty Line & Define Lip Primer. Another late night shopping venture landed me with the Make Up For Ever 160 Blush Brush from their new Artisan line. 

What did you buy this month? I'd love to know! :) 

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New In: Beauty, Books, & More

by Joyce in

Did a little shopping the last week or two, and thought I would show you guys by video. :) As you know, the Sephora VIB sale is going on too, and I ended up grabbing some basic "essential" type items. I had some gift cards/exchange credits and got myself a few fun things as well. Don't worry, I didn't break the rules of my makeup no buy!

Watch the video, and let me know what you think! (More details in Youtube!) Did you grab anything from the Sephora sale? Have you bought anything fun lately, beauty or otherwise?

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New Haircut & Shopping Adventures

by Joyce in

The other day, I started thinking about how I really wanted to make some YouTube videos on a regular basis. After the somewhat successful setup of my Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation review, I was pretty encouraged to keep going. I'll be on camera every Wednesday for you, and possibly Sundays too, so I hope you'll subscribe to my channel and check back. :)  

I thought I'd start off the fun by sharing my shopping from this past week and also by showing you my new haircut! I was on the hunt for some dresses that I could dress up or down, as I currently have either super casual or more night/evening. I've also been looking for some ankle boots, but it seems like the perfect pair for me just doesn't exist right now…! (And since I'm on a no buy for makeup right now, I swear the beauty bits are purchased with a Sephora credit that I had been saving.)

Watch in YouTube to get all the details of the purchases and makeup that I'm wearing! And please let me know what you think or what you'd like to see next!

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December Beauty Purchases

by Joyce in

I vowed to spend less in December, and I definitely did better than my massive spending spree in November... At the beginning of the month, I somehow received a 15% off code at Saks that also worked on cosmetics... So with a gift card handy, I bought myself Kiehl's Rosa Artica Eye Balm, the Armani Nude Lip Kit, and Armani Maestro Eraser in shade 4.

Kiehl's Rosa Artica Eye Balm, Armani Rouge d'Armani Lipstick 103, Armani Gloss d'Armani 103, Armani Maestro Eraser 4
Origins 500 Point Perk, FairyDrops Scandal Queen Mascara, Eyeko Skinny Liner sample

Throughout the month, I made a number of purchases at Sephora, and there were a few products from November and December's purchases that didn't make the cut. Most notably, Fresh Umbrian Clay Foundation (too light) and AmorePacific Tinted Moisturizer (too strongly scented.) I was both depressed and relieved, LOL!

I did manage to grab a great Origins 500 point perk from Sephora, along with the eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner from a promo code when I bought FairyDrops Scandal Queen Mascara. There was another decent promo code in here somewhere, but I can't remember what anymore!

Becca Mineral Bronzer Duende, Stila Smudge Crayon Black, Sephora nude lip liner, sephora nano lipliner
Korres goddess beauty color collection, sephora pantone black magic liner set, bobbi brown long wear eyeliner pencil black plum, bobbi brown long wear gel eyeliner espresso ink

I finally decided to buy Becca Mineral Bronzing Powder, which I had wanted for quite some time. I also grabbed a few Sephora Brand Lip Liners, and Stila Smudge Crayon in Black. While Christmas shopping, I was sorely tempted by Korres Goddess Beauty Color Collection, as I had always sort of wanted that cheek trio. At $29, it was a decent price, and I also picked up Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Espresso Ink that day. In my quest to replenish some different shades of liner, I grabbed the Sephora + Pantone Black Magic Eyeliner set, which was super pigmented and budgeproof when I swatched it in store. And I also grabbed Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye Pencil in Black Plum because it is such a pretty shade!

Along the way, I grabbed a Rimmel x Kate Moss Lipstick that I found on sale on one of my many attempts to shop the CVS Beauty Clearance. (Why is Revlon not on sale?? Maybe it is now?) I also fell for the Space NK sale on the day after Christmas, and I cannot wait for my goodies to arrive. I grabbed By Terry Bronze Opulent, a couple By Terry Lipsticks, Jemma Kidd Light as Air Foundation, an eye liner, and lip liner, all on massive clearance.

I did also receive a few beauty items for Christmas that were on my list - Burt's Bee's Lemon Cuticle Butter, Maybelline Color Tattoo Inked in Pink, and a nice holiday set from Lush! But my Christmas gifts were pretty non-beauty oriented, and I'm still obsessing over some of the amazing things my boyfriend spoiled me with...

All in all, after gift cards, returns, and the like, I ended up spending only $82! Not bad, if I do say so myself... It could have been much worse, especially since the holidays always make me want to spend like crazy!

How do you think I did with my spending in December? How did you do with yours? Have you tried any of these goodies, or are they on your list of things to buy in 2013? ;)

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October Beauty Purchases

by Joyce in

As you may know, a few months ago I set out to follow a monthly spending limit when it came to beauty. While I was working in California, I didn't have to follow this spending limit strictly, since I didn't have to pay for food or gas for that 4 month long period. I came home in mid September, a month where I completely blew the beauty budget... So, I knew that the month of October would be a huge challenge! My monthly makeup budget was $25 (!) and I  have also a monthly personal care budget of $25. Sometime during the month, I returned a number of items for store credit and about $84 cash. My boyfriend and I determined that this return money could be put towards beauty as well, if I chose to.

So, how did I do?

lush haircare
sephora f&f

I was sorely tempted by Lush haircare early on in the month, and my entire personal care budget went to purchasing Lush Rehab Shampoo and Veganese Conditioner. Afterwards, I realized I still had quite a bit of shampoo, and ought to finish that first... Ooops! But I really can't wait to use up some products and try these! Of course, I was also tempted by the Sephora Friends & Family sale... So with my trusty online code in hand, I ordered a gift set from Becca, Boscia Peppermint Blotting Linens, a Lancome Dual Ended Liner Brush, and a few gift items (not shown). That took up my entire return budget!

misc purchases

The rest of my beauty budget went to a few miscellaneous items - Kiehl's Ultra Moisturizing Eye Stick and L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Blinged & Brilliant. Fortunately, I had a $20 Nordstrom Note that I used for the Kiehl's Eye Stick! 

real techniques

I also became very intrigued by the Real Techniques brush kits. I spent about $13 on each of these kits, with the intention of giving one to a friend... Hopefully I can follow through, because I am sorely tempted to keep them both! In the end, I *think* I will mix and match to make kits we'll both like! October Beauty Allowance: $134 Grand Total: $145 Grand Total - Minus Gift Items: $110


Now I'm carefully plotting my purchases for November, and hoping that I can stay within budget... I have about $69 of Sephora credit that I know I will put to good use during the VIB sale, but I'm becoming more and more tempted by all the goodies out there. Wish me luck!

What do you think of my October purchases? How do you think I did with my spending limit this month? Have any tips for staying within your budget? Please share! I'd love to know! :)

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July Beauty Purchases

by Joyce in

Here's a look at all the products I picked up this month. The next few months won't be as fun because of my self-imposed spending budget... Scary!

In the video, I am wearing Butter London Trout Pout (awfully chipped, sorry!), a bit of Lush Charisma, and Guerlain Rouge Automatique #103.

Products Mentioned

  • Ole Henriksen Aloe Vera Deep Cleanser
  • Ren Clearcalm3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser
  • Loreal Caresse lipstick in Cotton Pink
  • Revlon Photoready Bronzer in Bronzed & Chic
  • Lush Hair Doctor Julep box (not shown)
  • Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm
  • Tom Ford Private Blend Lipstick in Violet Fatale
  • Revlon Colorstay Nail Polish in Wild Strawberry
  • Revlon Nail Polish in Blue Lagoon
  • Milani Shadoweyez in Winter White
  • Lush Hottie Massage Bar
  • Lush Charisma Skin Tint
  • Also mentioned: Capri Blue Volcano Candle & theBalm Nude Tude

After gift cards, coupons, etc the Grand Total for July is about $135. I also returned $22 of items I purchased in June! Not terrible, but not great, which is the reason for my limited spending ban for the rest of the year!

What do you think of my purchases? Have you tried any of these products?

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Nordstrom Beauty Bash 2012

by Joyce in

I love the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and the beauty exclusives that come out each year. (Who doesn't, right?) I've gotten some pretty great GWP's too in previous years. As you know, my beauty wishlist is somewhat lengthy, so I was hoping that the sale would be a great opportunity to pick up a few of the items with a few extra perks. After some careful consideration, I decided that my one must-have item was a Tom Ford lipstick I had been lusting after for a while. (Can you believe I narrowed it down to one thing??) Yesterday morning, I attended a Beauty Bash that had a free gift for the first 300 shoppers. Here's what I got!

nordstrom samples

Much like a beauty trend show, this event had a DJ, breakfast items, as well as promotions for current trends and giveaways. Being that it was 7am and I was half asleep, I avoided most of this activity. I high-tailed it to the Tom Ford lipsticks, chose the shade I wanted and purchased it right away. I browsed a few counters in peace, then ran out of there to get to work at 8am.

I later realized that I forgot to check most of the counters for the fall collections... WHOOPSIES!  Here's a quick shot of the lipstick I purchased!!

tom ford violet fatale

Have you guys picked up anything from the Anniversary Sale? What are your must-haves from the list of exclusives? Have you tried any of these samples or the lipstick? I'd love to hear! :)

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