Double Take For Double Exposure

It seems all of my favorite beauty brands are clearing out some of their products (I see you, Urban Decay). I haven’t seen makeup turn over and new launches happen this quickly before. Gone are the days of permanent collections lasting decades. It seems like all of the cult favorite brands are constantly releasing new products and retiring old ones. The latest brand to MAYBE be retiring some favorites? Smashbox! It seems the Double Exposure Palette is being cleared out for $29 on smashbox.com! And $26 at Macy’s!! And yes that’s probably USD but that still works out to under $34 CAD. It’s still an amazing deal! Is it a sale or a clear out? I’m not sure, but is it really worth debating when you could be practically stealing it purchasing it instead?

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I did a haul/first impressions post back in March of 2015, ya foreeeeever ago. Well it’s safe to say that I have had plenty of opportunities since to play with this beauty. But let’s refresh your memory regarding my first post, because I love rereading my own ramblings …

I decided to take the Smashbox Double Exposure Palette home with me. The concept intrigued me, 14 eyeshadows that transform into 28?! How could that not wet my panties grab my curiosity? The palette itself is gorgeous. I don’t own anything like this. I tend to gravitate towards neutrals with occasional pops of color. This palette has a beautiful selection of colors and neutrals making it very versatile for creating a variety of looks. The palette also came with a mini Full Exposure Mascara and a double sided brush making it easy for travel. The palette itself is made from cardboard with a magnetic closure. You would definitely want it in a cosmetic bag during any intense travel as the top doesn’t click into place (being cardboard) but rather lays flat to close.

I love how the palette is divided into cool and warm shades by the white and black shadows in the middle. On the left, we have cool, purple toned shades, and on the right, we have warm pink/brown shades. There is a nice range of shimmer, satin, and matte shades. These 14 shades are supposed to “transform” when applied wet. To be completely honest, they don’t transform, they intensify. This is NOT unique to this palette. All good quality eyeshadow should get deeper/darker when applied with a wet brush. I actually feel like this palette works best when applied wet; the shadows become highly pigmented. When applied dry, the shadows are a bit more sheer and alot more product is needed to build them up. I also found that when applied dry, that blending made some shades appear muddy (I did not use a primer). I haven’t had time to fully play with this palette, that was just my first impression. I think using a primer and applying with a wet brush, will make a world of difference. I’m definitely not “wowed” by this palette, but I won’t make any further judgments until I have fully played around with it.

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The good. The bad. And the not so ugly. I still agree with all of my above points EXCEPT I have grown to really love this palette. The key to getting good color is to pack it on. Use a dense brush to apply and a fluffier brush to blend. If you don’t apply enough shadow the colors do still tend to blend muddy. However, when you apply with a heavy hand the results are stunning!!! These shadows definitely do their best work wet. I recommend applying with a wet brush and then “setting” them with a dry brush. Once I got this technique down, the shadows easily lasted hours. If you are someone who only likes a subtle eye look or a light dusting of shadow, this palette is not for you. This is a full effect, full effort type deal. To have the shadows blend well, you can’t be shy about taking it all off putting more on. Side note, always use a primer! I hadn’t used a primer in my first impression (because it was just that, a FIRST impression). When I did actually start using the palette and used a primer, I noticed a world of difference.

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Moral of the Story … this palette is only $26!! And for $26 it is worth every penny. It doesn’t seem that Ulta or Sephora is offering it for the sale price. And it doesn’t look like us Canadians have any access to an in-store sale (Shopper’s Drug Mart Beauty Boutique no longer has the product listed). But don’t bawl your pretty little Canadian eyes out just yet. We can get shipping from both Macy’s and Smashbox. Yay!!

Will you be picking one up?! 💄💄

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My First VIB Rouge Event

I had the privilege of attending the Beauty Before Brunch event at my local Sephora last month. This was the first event I have attended as a Rouge member. Although I have a few Sephora locations close to me, I decided to go to South Calgary. I have had terrible experiences there in the past, but the (NEW!!) Store Director, Sam, was beyond amazing and put forth a real effort in getting to know me as a valuable customer. Because of this, and because of my faith in her as a team leader, I decided to visit the Sephora I had previously loathed soo much. I’m so glad I did, because Sam and her team did a great job executing the event.

The event was a closed door event, meaning that you had to be on the list to get in, oooohhhh exclusive! When I first arrived, I was greeted by a Cast Member (associate) who took my name and gave us a run down on the event, including the mini classes they were offering and when. I loved that Sephora had someone at the door to walk you through the day’s event. In case you forgot anything, you could check the program they handed you during check in. No confusion. No missed tutorials. No problems. (Nordstrom, take note!!)

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Sam (the Store Director) went above and beyond my expectations. She had my “must get” purchases already put aside for me. I wish I could hug her to thank her, because it turns out the KVD Shade and Light Contour Palette was sold out. I only got mine because Sam was such a doll for holding my items until the event.

There was also a table with snacks and refreshments. And good refreshments too! Starbucks Coffee and Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade!! Great choices. And of course water bottles. They were regular water bottles; I can’t pretend that I wasn’t a tiny bit disappointed that they weren’t VIB Rouge label water bottles. I guess my hunt for one, will continue. They also had gluten free quinoa cookies.

During the event, they were having mini classes for skincare, brows, and contouring. I attended the brow and contour demos. Both were very well done. They were quick, to the point, and provided everyone with some great tips and techniques. After the brow tutorial (the last of the three), the Cast Member offered to do my brows for me. I loved having the opportunity to see how she did my brows compared to how I do my brows. I came to the event with minimal makeup, a much better canvas for a play day full of new products and techniques!

There were a few brand representatives on site, I talked with the Clarisonic and Clarins Reps. Both were very knowledgeable about their product lines. The Clarisonic Rep did a demo on my friend who was curious about the product and it’s benefits. The Clarins Rep was delightful to talk to and she recommended some products. We chatted about the Clarins makeup line (not available at Sephora) and about some of the new skincare products coming out. I would have liked to see more makeup brand (vs. skincare) Reps at the event, but I don’t think that this was organized by each individual location. In other words you get what you get.

I enjoyed having the store all to myself. And by “to myself” I meant with all of the other VIB Rouge’s. I have never spent so long at a store before. We were there for over 2 hours. We even stayed past the 11am event end. Browsing, chatting, testing. It was like Wonderland. The best part was that I never felt rushed or pressured to make a purchase (although I had tons of stuff that I planned to buy, I didn’t feel pressure to buy anything at all). Even once the event ended, we weren’t rushed. We were told the store was now opening up for everyone and that we would have to mention we were at the event, when we went to the till, to get the discount.

Overall, I feel like the event was well organized and had a great atmosphere. For such a big event, everyone was calm and aware of what they were supposed to do. I very much enjoyed my experience and look forward to the next event. I have to send a major shoutout to the Store Director, Sam. She is on top of her game. She knows what her customers want and she knows how to get it for them. She single handedly made me happy to shop at South Calgary again. I feel that location will strive with her guidance. It was such a complete turn around from the store I had visited previously. She not only welcomed me to the event personally, but she also said goodbye and gave us a few of her favorite Ole Henrikson samples to try at home. Thank you Sam!!

Now for the fun part, my VIB Sale haul!!! With EVERY purchase (no matter the amount) you got a free fold over clutch filled with samples (deluxe and packet) and a full size Formula X Nail Polish (I got the shade Extreme, a coppery red).

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Admittedly, this was only the first of three VIB Sale purchases I made. Oops. But they got smaller each time, I swear! This pic is strictly the items I got at the event. One of the best parts of a exclusive event is the samples!! I got quite a few at the event. I went back to a different Sephora later that same day to make a second purchase (items below), and got another bag in the process. (I was working on the other end of the city so I was unable to return to South Calgary). They were out of samples for the bag, so the Cast Member made me a bag. I actually liked it more than the first bag I received (even though it didn’t contain a full sized product like the bag I got from the event, she did throw in more deluxe samples to make up for it). I also redeemed 200 points for two deluxe samples of my FAVORITE lash primer, Dior Show Maximizer.

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KAT VON D SHADE + LIGHT CONTOUR PALETTE
Retail: $55 CAD
Steal: $49.50 CAD

KAT VON D SHADE + LIGHT CONTOUR BRUSH
Retail: $43 CAD
Steal: $38.70 CAD

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I am so happy that I purchased BOTH of these. They are a beautiful sight. I haven’t used either yet. I still need to stare at them and admire their beauty for a but longer before I mess them both up. Dirrrrrty. Filthy. Once I have tried them, I fully intend on writing a full review on the products.

HOURGLASS MODERNIST EYESHADOW PALETTE (Color Field)
Retail: $67 CAD
Steal: $60.30 CAD

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I love, love, LOVE these palettes. I already own Obscura (earth tones) and fell so head over heels, I knew I had to get another one. Not only do I love the shadows themselves, the palette is a literal work of art. I purchased Color Field (olive tones) during the sale for the pop of color it could add to my eye looks.

URBAN DECAY 24/7 GLIDE-ON EYE PENCIL (Smog & Electric)
Retail: $24 CAD
Steal: $21.60 CAD

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I love Urban Decay. And I love these pencils. They are creamy, pigmented, bold, and they don’t budge. I probably own a dozen or more. Color, brown, black, shimmer, matte, satin … I own it all, they have it all. These are hands down my ultimate FAVORITE eyeliner (Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayons takes a close second).

URBAN DECAY 24/7 GLIDE-ON EYE PENCIL TRIPLE THREAT TRAVEL PENCIL SET SMOKY MATTE EDITION (Smoke, Sabbath, & Perversion)
Retail: $22 CAD
Steal: $19.80 CAD

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I just told you how much I love these pencils. Obviously a threesome, a trio set was a no brainer! I love that they are all matte. And I also love that I didn’t own a smokey gray (Smoke) or navy shade (Sabbath) like this. I already own and love the matte black (Perversion), but who doesn’t need a back up of their fav black eyeliner?

BITE BEAUTY LUMINOUS CREME LIPSTICK DUO (Tangerine/Lingonberry & Fig/Date)
Retail: $15 CAD
Steal: $13.50 CAD

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I love the brights of the Tangerine/Lingonberry duo. I wanted a coral orange/pink for summer and was going to purchase the Sephora Collection Creamy Lip Stain in Watermelon. Then I noticed this duo. The Tangerine shade looks sooo orange, but once swatched, it has the most gorgeous hint of pink. The Fig/Date duo has the most flattering nudes, with some hints of mauve. Bite Beauty makes amazing lip products. My favorite thing is that they are all food grade and natural. Yes, you can eat it. My German Shepherd can vouch for that, he ate my Rouge Bite Beauty Welcome gift. The lipsticks are super pigmented, moisturizing, and creamy. I love the formula, it even has Resveratrol. Resveratrol “fights free radicals with potent long-term age-repair benefits. Each lipstick contains the Resveratrol equivalent of two glasses of red wine, reducing fine lines and wrinkles on and around the lip area over time“. And how practical are these dual ended sticks? Two colors, one tiny tube. Very clutch and travel friendly! Not to mention the value ($28 CAD) compared to the $15 CAD retail. A great purchase, I had to own both. I hope they release more duos, I would buy them all!!

Overall, I very much enjoyed this event. I did enjoy having access to the discount early and also a private event to make my purchases while there was still lots of stock available. I’m still a little mad about the Extrodinary Rewards b.s, but that is with the company directly, and in no way reflects my experiences at the South Calgary location. I love all of my purchases and couldn’t have better things to say about the Rouge event! I look forward to the next one. Did you attend the Beauty Before Brunch event?

NYX Niche

I might be a Sephora makeup slut. I might be a brand whore. But NYX has won my heart lately. Drug store brand makeup is not my typical go to, but NYX lip products are affordable GOLD. My addiction collection is quickly growing. Ipsy was my enabler, the one who introduced me to this obsession. I received a Butter Balm in Red Velvet in my December Glam Bag. Unfortunately, the Butter Balms are unavailable for purchase here in Canada, but I was able to pick up Holiday sets of the Butter Lipstick, Butter Gloss, and Chunky Dunks.
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I got amazing deals on the Butter Gloss and Chunky Dunk sets. London Drugs had all their Holiday sets clearance priced!

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NYX Sugar Rush Butter Gloss Set
Value: $23.97 CAD
Retail: $14.99 CAD
Steal: $7.49 CAD

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I have wanted to try the Butter Glosses after hearing so many good thing about them and loving the Butter Lipsticks so much. This set includes the shades, Sugar Cookie (bright fuchsia), Cupcake (hot coral pink), and Cherry Pie (bright red). It was a no brainer to pick up this set. These glosses retail for $7.99 CAD each or you can get the set, with all 3, for $7.49 CAD. The glosses themselves are buttery (as the name implies) and smooth, not at all sticky. I was surprised at the pigment in these glosses, they give a beautiful color and are definitely not sheer.

NYX xoxo Chunky Dunk Hydrating Lippies
Value: $31.96 CAD
Retail: $15.99 CAD
Steal: $9.99 CAD

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These were as close as I could get to tinted lip balms. This set includes the shades: Pink Bikini (bubblegum pink), Cherry Smash (bright red), Hibiscus Tea Punch (mauve), and Caramel Martini (caramel). These wear very sheer to the touch and are moisturizing. I actually love the pop of color that these add, just a little something. They are perfect for a carefree, low maintenance makeup look. This set was again a steal at under $10 CAD for all four lippies.

Am I the only one obsessing with NYX lately? Unfortunately, this brand is hard to come by in Canada. I’m already looking forward to summer US road trips so I can stock up in all my favorite goodies!