Thursday, October 1, 2015

Beauty Product Favorites | September 2015

Today marks a first here at Girly Things. I've finally started making favorites videos. I was intimidated by the idea for a long time -- afraid I wouldn't have enough material to make those kinds of videos regularly. But then it dawned on me, I try out a lot of products. And a lot of the time, I don't end up reviewing them because, time. Filming individual product reviews is time consuming. So sometimes, by the time I get around to reviewing each item, no one really cares about them anymore. So, I end up with a bunch of tested products that I don't end up telling you about.

Well, no more.

I think bringing favorites videos to you will help resolve that. I can quickly tell you about several products I'm digging all in one video. I'm a bit nervous about whether I'll have something to talk about every month. But then again, why does that matter? I can share every month. I can share every other month. As long as I'm sharing, that's what matters, right? After all, it worked well with my blog posts about my favorite drugstore products.

Maybe I should start doing those again... or turn them into a video series. Thoughts? Do you prefer drugstore and high-end in separate videos, or just a mix of favorites that include both?

While you ponder on that question, let's go ahead and check out my first favorites video. Then don't forget to tell me what you thought and share it with your friends.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ipsy Unboxing (Unbagging) | September 2015

YAY!!! My September ipsy bag finally made it! It was a little behind this month because I forgot to update my credit card info (oops!) and they had to send me a little email to remind me that they wouldn't send the bag if I didn't pay for it. Ha!

Regardless, I'm sticking to my promises and uploading, no matter how late in the month it gets. Because, consistency.

For anyone new to Ipsy here's the low down:
  • You can join Ipsy for $10 (+ tax) per month. Every month you get five (5) personalized beauty samples. They typically include at least one full-size product and the rest of the items are deluxe samples (usually travel sized). In other words, you get a lot more than $10 worth of products. 
  • You can get additional discounts using Ipsy discount codes if you decide to buy full-sized versions of the products you received. 
  • Also -- just as an aside -- I pay for my subscription out of pocket, so these posts are not sponsored nor are the items press samples. 
Now, on to the good stuff -- my video!

Like what you saw? Check out my previous Ipsy posts

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Swatches | NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks | *New*

NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick Swatches, @girlythingsby_e

Now that the eagerly anticipated NYX Liquid Suede Cream lipsticks are out on the market, I had to run off an get them.

Special thanks to my friend Jen, who alerted me to their release so I could sit on the edge of my seat until they were available.

These babies sold out fast on the NYX site, but luckily, they're also available at ULTA. My local ULTA hasn't gotten them in stock yet, so I ordered mine online. The best part about getting them from ULTA is that they're eligible for coupons (I used a 20% off full purchase coupon) and you can earn rewards points that later turn into cash back (stack additional savings with ebates too).

These retail for $6.99 and come in 12 different shades. At that price point (and with my extra savings), I had to get them all -- for research purposes, of course.

NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks, swatches, @girlythingsby_e

The 12 shades from left to right are: Stone Fox, Life's a Beach, Cherry Skies, Soft Spoken, Orange County, Sway, Sandstorm, Pink Lust, Tea & Cookies, Amethyst, Kitten Heels and Vintage. 

These are all highly pigmented, apply smoothly, and dry down matte. Check out my video to see all the swatches on my lips to get an idea of how they look. Then order your favorite shades. You're definitely going to want these. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Review | New Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Foundation

Maybellne SuperStay Better Skin Foundation Review, #BetterSkinChallenge, @girlythingsby_e

I know a lot of you out there like reading and watching reviews all about new drugstore beauty items. And today I'm here to please because that's exactly what I have for you. Influenster sent me Maybelline's latest foundation to test out as part of the #BetterSkinChallenge. As part of that challenge, I had to test out the foundation every day for three weeks so I could report my experience. 

Well ladies and gents, the three weeks are up and I've got stuff to tell you.

Let's discuss the foundation's claims:
  • Long wearing formula that improves skin's appearance every minute you use it
  • After three weeks you should see reduced spots, dullness and unevenness for brighter skin that is stress free (thanks to the antioxidant power of ingredients Actyl-C and Vitamin C)
  • Provides medium to full coverage

A few more things you may want to know:
  • The foundation retail price on Maybelline's site is $11.99, but it says prices will vary.  I have seen it at Target for $9.99 so my best advice is to shop around. 
  • It comes in a pump bottle for easy dispensing and to keep things hygienic
  • Available in 12 shades (I'm shade 25 Natural Beige)
  • Oil-free formula

Maybelline Better Skin Foundation, SuperStay, Review, @girlythingsby_e

After using this for three weeks here's what I can tell you:


The foundation has a medium consistency. It's not runny and serum-thin, but it's also not thick like a lot of long wear formulas. This sits comfortably in the middle. It blends easily and doesn't feel heavy on your skin. 

Maybelline Better Skin Foundation, swatch, Natural Beige, @girlythingsby_e
Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Foundation Shade 25 Natural Beige


I wore the foundation every day anywhere from six to 12 hours per day during a super rainy, muggy, and hot time of year down here in Florida. Everything melts off in this weather so the foundation had its work cut out for it. Let's break down my findings:
  • On its own (foundation and powder, no primer or setting/finishing spray) the foundation lasted throughout the day but with breakdown in my oiliest areas 
  • With primer and setting/finishing spray I got much better performance with significantly less oiliness breaking through. I still experienced a little breakdown in my oiliest areas but it was significantly reduced. 
  • To the naked eye, I didn't really notice much skin improvement. But after three weeks I was using a lot less foundation so I'm thinking some improvements must have transpired

Overall thoughts

I love the light weight feel, coverage and longevity of the foundation. However, I wish it had a bit more mattifying power. Considering the extreme heat and humidity,  I was still really impressed with how the foundation performed. I was expecting total product breakdown, but I was impressed to find that product breakdown experienced only occurred in specific areas where I was extra oily. If you have oily skin, you'll still need your blotting papers and be sure not to skip primer and setting spray to get the best results. What can you do? Oily skin will be oily. 

If you're looking for miracle skin improvements, you'll be disappointed. And honestly, if those are your expectations, it's time to visit the doctor. Prescription strength stuff might deliver the results you're seeking. While I didn't see noticeable changes to my skin, the fact that I used less product as time passed indicates some improvement did happen.

Now that you've seen the review and the product in action, what do you think of Maybelline's latest foundation? 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Haul | ULTA | August 2015

We should all know by now that I love to shop. There's just something about getting a new something (anything) that's rewarding and fires all the happy synapses in my brain.

I can't be alone here -- otherwise, why bother coining the term retail therapy?

Heck, I'm certain I'm not the only one. The popularity of haul videos alone suggests that even living vicariously through someone else's shopping has some kind of soothing/joyful effect on others.

By that logic, my shopping is a charitable act. I do it for the good of myself and society. Who knew doing good was this easy (and fun!)?

Being the do-gooder that I am, I engaged in some ULTA retail therapy recently because adulting is hard work and I needed to let off some steam by parting with my hard earned money. Also, ULTA tempted me with a 20% off (entire purchase) coupon.

You've heard me rattle on about my inability to resist this coupon and ULTA sends it out to its rewards members a few times per year. It's one of the many perks of their awesome rewards program. My other favorite perk -- your points convert to cash back that you can apply to future purchases. Points hoarders rejoice -- you can save up your points and get some nice money off future purchases. Once you hit platinum status, your points accrue even quicker and they don't expire, so you can hoard to your hearts content. All that awesomeness is also free, so go sign up now.

Back to the topic at hand.

I got my favorite ULTA coupon. I had some very busy and stressful weeks at work. I decided it was time to relieve some tension by buying myself gifts online.

Come see what I got.

What do you think? Anything you've been wanting to try out? Anything in my haul you already own and love?