Ulta Beauty Haul: ALL NEW

Hello lovely friends! Isn’t shopping the most therapeutic activity of them all? I swear I could spend hours at Ulta Beauty without even noticing. You know when you’re there for so long they offer you a bag, it was one of those days.

This week I’m sharing my latest spree at Ulta. Everything managed to a total of $57 so talk about budgeting. Nothing too extravagant or prestige, the catch is I’ve never used these products. I decided to branch out from my regular brands of consistent products. Let’s get to it. 

MAKEUP – 

Two products I knew I needed to refill was my mascara and lip gloss. They run out so quickly on me because I use them like everyday. Usually these products I stick to drugstore because it’s so much easier to drive over to your local Giant or Walmart and pick them up.

L’OREAL Voluminous False Fiber Lashes is a beautiful gold-packaged mascara promising full lashes and a durable wand. I chose the shade “Blackest Black” because that’s what flatters my eyes the most!

I’ve had the NYX Lingerie Matte Lipstick once and I wasn’t happy with it because the formula was too drying for me. So I decided to try the NYX Lingerie Shimmer Lipgloss for a poutier look. This is in the shade “Spirit” and it’s a light, shimmery pink gloss. You know I can’t stay away from my pinks!

FACE APPLICATOR –

Who’s just as excited Morphe is at Ulta Beauty now?! WOW ME TOO. Funny story, I was walking around the store looking for a diffused brush for a softer application on my bronzer, the first brush I walked by was IT Cosmetics and it was priced at $18. I kept walking around thinking this IT brush was going to be the best candidate, fair enough it has great reviews!

PLOT TWIST. I stumbled onto Morphe’s aisle and hunched down to the brushes row to see their brushes are like $10! I was over the moon! This diffused brush was $8 and much needed since bronzer has become such a key component in my makeup. I’ve actually never used Morphe’s brushes. Hollllla BH Cosmetics! But, I’m excited to see how they perform.

My other random face applicator is a short blade for peach fuzz and eyebrow detailing! I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it. It makes those small details on your face just disappear. Dermaplaning smoothes the skin and fine lines while also being able to exfoliate pores/hair. This is a perfect trick before applying moisturizer or foundation for achieving that smooth finish!

The last brand I used for this was Sally Beauty. It was okay, nothing special. I’m hoping to see more improvements in my skin like a cleaner finish as a result of the exfoliation. The packaging also looks a bit more professional and directed towards dermaplaning, it was priced at $9.99.

HAIR CARE –

What I’m excited for the most. I recently decided to get side bangs inspired by early 2000’s JLo. At first my hair was long…just long. Now it’s long with side bangs! I want to keep the fullness it brings to my face and add tousled waves. Hello Spring hair phase!

For this tousled control, I bought OGX Locking + Coconut Curls Mousse with a strong hold of 3 out of 5. Crunchy curls do not look good on me so being at a 3 is a perfect balance. I love OGX’s Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner so I’m not that worried over the quality and smell of this Mousse.

Grand finale, I wanted to keep the softness of my waves alive so I bought this OGX Hydrating Oil! I’ve been told to go an extremely soft hand with this because too much and it’ll look like you haven’t washed your hair in 5 days! My plan is to keep this strictly below at the ends of my hair with a peasize amount.

Why do I feel like talking about the reasons for your purchases is always so detailed and exciting? Just me? What products would you like to see a review on?

I hope your weekly reading here was inspiring and makes you think about your next Ulta haul 😉

XO Paulina

 

 

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The Miracle of Mascara

Welcome back my beautiful friends. How’s everyone organizing their time to get their business handled?! While you’re on break from being a boss, let’s admire the power of MASCARA. You know you couldn’t live without it.

I admit, I usually say eyebrows frame the face and contouring is life but talk about framing THE EYES. Masacara takes the crown. I look like a boy without masacara!

Three reasons why I believe mascara does this miracle of enhancement.

1. Length – This was definitely the goal we all first wished for when we were little gals trying out mascara. It wasn’t even about the eyes at this point if i’m being honest. It was about how long I can make these dang eye lashes. SO FUTURISTIC, SUCH SORCERY. Brands like Covergirl and Too Faced claim their mascaras do just the trick.

Long lashes barely touching your eyebrows is such a feminine charm. The best way to lengthen your lashes is to find a wand that offers alot of bristles instead of those big, foamy ones. Skinny wands as well so you can see easier as you work your way up the lashes!

2. Volume – Now that I’m in a different stage, volume matters alot to me. I love the fullness it brings all the way down to the root. I’m not a fan of huge gaps in between each lash, volume makes your rims look thick! It fills in the perimeter of your eyes giving off a complete look. That being said, I love clumpy/thick lashes!

I know most people call clumpy lashes “tree branches”, yes I’ve heard this before. But I refuse to wear mascara if I’m not going to make it obvious, if that makes sense. Either way I have to remove it with a wipe at the end of the night so make both products worthwhile!

3. Pigment – My most recent obsession is the absolute intensity change it has on your eyes but also the face. Brands create different colored mascaras, like NYX Cosmetics with shades purple, green, pink and blue.

NYX Color Mascaras at $7.99

Even with dark lashes naturally, the mascara color “Blackest Black” is a common drugstore shade thrown in. LET ME SAY IT WORKS. It’s better for a dark-lash girl like me! My friends with light lashes go through such a change, it’s beautiful! For a softer look, look for mascaras in the shade “Brown”.

SO, WHAT HAVE I BEEN USING LATELY? I use more than one because the more, the better! Honestly I don’t know why, but all you need is a long-lasting one for the layers. I also use a waterproof mascara for special events and even just as a final coat so I know these lashes are going to stay on! Universal use, right?

I also scout for the formula of mascara. I prefer a thick base than thin formula because of my obsession with stand-out lashes. It’s all preference and trial there! Some say high-end mascara is undoubtedly better than drugstore but if the formula is right, I don’t see a problem!

What’s your favorite mascara? Any tips to volumize lashes? Comment below ❤

XO Paulina

ABH Amrezy Highlighter did THAT

Happy, Happy Tuesday to everyone! Let’s talk makeup.

I’m sure you know about the famous and most sparkling highlight of probably 2018, the ABH Amrezy Highlighter. What a glow! You saw it everywhere on Instagram, Twitter and  even pinterest.

At a first glance, it’s that soft and effortless glow you get from the BEACH. It’s a light champagne that makes you smile, I would even say it reminds me of BECCA Champagne Pop x Jaclyn Hill. We all know how hard that product hit the sales floor across the country! So safe to assume, ABH and their continuing trends followed the wave and made one for us.

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BECCA Champagne Pop & ABH Amrezy Highlighter

So, who doesn’t know Amrezy? I mean, she only has the best Instagram layout EVER. With a breaking 5.6 million followers and counting, she’s found a special place in our beauty-lover hearts. I’m kind of upset she doesn’t make Youtube videos, but I find it impressive having a huge audience even without an important outlet like Youtube. YOU GO GIRL!

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Let’s talk about the actual product. On the front side is covered with gold stars surrounding the ABH x Amrezy mark. I think the stars represent the effect this highlight will have, STUNNING SUNSHINE.

This compact highlight weighs .31 ounces which is pretty average in the world of compact highlights. To compare, MAC Soft & Gentle Highlighter weighs .35 ounces. And to make our lives a little easier, ABH blessed us with a mirror. Thank you for all those trips you’ve saved me while doing my makeup in the car!

Fast forward to now, I bought the highlighter super late in the game and you guys are probably so annoyed I’m sharing this review now. SORRY! I knew since when it first launched it was going to be stellar, I mean just look at that glow. But I’m here now in 2019 confirming that this product is still BOMB. If you haven’t purchased it yet, do yourself a favor and treat your indulgences.

It hasn’t left me with textured skin and I’ve been wearing it for about two weeks now. How a product sits on my skin is really important to me because I struggle with occasional acne and it absolutely sucks to have those weird bumps underneath. So it also gets an A+ for sensitive skin Pauly!

I hope it lasts me a few months, we shall see. Maybe I should talk about which products run out too soon, EXPOSE THEM!

Have a blessed day, xo Paulina

Rant with Pauly: Shade range consistency

Hi everyone!

How’s everyone celebrating their Friday tonight? Another week has flown by and for some reason I always have this irritating, lingering thought of some palettes I’ve been seeing launched.

I’m sure they’re of great quality! Morphe and Kylie Cosmetics have had amazing reviews globally and their profits seem in good shape.

But let’s talk about color scheme, shall we. Has anyone ever seen eye looks and they detail in their caption how many colors they used and you just can’t believe it? Warm, bronzey tones have a lot of shade ranges in common so it’s easy for them to look opaque and just too similar..

Duh, these colors are so effortless for a casual and even sultry look. But the idea that they’re so general and easy to use, makes you even question if it’s worth buying. Here are some pics of Morphe’s and Kylie Cosmetic’s palettes.

I could give atleast 3 pans that literally look the same! The idea of placing your brush on your eyes and expecting pigmented, unique shades just doesn’t come across these. Is it even worth the purchase or effort into launching?

Morphe Oh Boy Eyeshadow Palette


Morphe 25B Bronzed Eyeshadow Palette


Kylie Cosmetics The Bronze Extended Palette


I was so excited for the Gigi Hadid x Maybelline series but the range was so shockingly sad! And similarly, they’re very warm, dull/opaque tones. The shades just seem the same and it doesn’t makes my eyes pop at first glance. It’s hard, I get it.


Maybe some creativity will inspire a new wave of warm, bronzer tones. I just want to see some different scheme brought to the table.

While we’re here, let me show you some palettes I’ve definitely been eyeing this week. Or maybe obsessing over!

Violet Voss HG Eyeshadow Palette


Continue reading “Rant with Pauly: Shade range consistency”

A blushin’ crush

I couldn’t wait to share this dazzling, baked blush that I’ve been trying out for some time! If you’re into light pink, shimmery blushes like I am, you’ll definitely want to see this. What better way to bring it onto my blog than right before we get hit with those glowy summer looks!

This blush is from Mary Kay Cosmetics! Although this brand isn’t in my top list to purchase from because it’s not easily accessible, I was given this as a package for Christmas and oh my goshhh, this blush blew me away. It’s like they knew my ideal blush color before they sent it to me!

Before I started writing this post for you guys, I did some research on this blush and its actually a part of a limited edition! WHY?! It’s so perfect, you guys need to get your hands on it. It also said it’s not available to purchase through their website and that you need to contact a Mary Kay Consultant in your area. Pretty inconvenient but they do offer other blushes on their website which I recommend looking through. Here’s the direct link to the blush category!

This limited edition baked blush is in the shade “Kind Heart” and sells for $18 USD with .23oz carved into a heart for a pretty packaging accent. I know we all appreciate cute, thoughtful packaging!

Enjoy these pics ❤

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What do you guys think? I love how this blush carves out my cheeks smoothly. On days I don’t want to use bronzer, this blush alone can sculpt my face for me. Another thing I look for in a blush is its subtly. If it’s too pigmented, I find it harder to blend out. Less is more: starting out light is the best way to build up the product. If you’re interested in this limited edition blush for the summer, check it out here!

That’s it for now! I love you guys and I’m so happy I have a family here to share my beauty/fashion experiences with. XOXO

Red heart, Red lips

Hi my beauties! Today I’m going to go step by step on how I achieved my vanity look. I was inspired by Fall, red bold lips and some shimmy-shimmy red on the eyes to pull everything together. Enjoy!

I spend a lot of my time working on my skin because I love a flawless, full-coverage face. I skipped the primer and drenched my skin with Tarte’s Marine Boosting Mist in their ‘Rainforest of the Sea’ collection. It’s not my favorite (sometimes it leaves my skin feeling greasy) but moisturizing your skin is KEY to a smooth canvas.

For foundation I used one of my holy grail, Maybelline Fit Me in the shade 122 (creamy beige). It feels super lightweight on my skin and gives me that medium coverage..trust me, its pigmented! I have super oily skin and although it claims it gives a matte finish, I start getting a shine within an hour. But no complaints here, I’m used to it!

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Because of acne scars, I use LA Girl PRO Conceal in the shade ‘Light Ivory’ over top my cheeks to fade away any scarring that my foundation couldn’t cover. While we’re concealing, I use LA Girl PRO Conceal in the shade ‘Peach Corrector’ to cancel out my dark under bags, it works like a dream; just make sure you blend! Over the peach corrector, I use my ‘Light Ivory’ to neutralize the peach shade and bring some brightness back!

While all my creams/liquids are settling in, I start to fleek out my eyebrows with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Pomade in ‘Granite’ with an angled brush. Granite is the darkest shade ABH provides and it works in my favor because ‘Ebony’ was beginning to be too soft for my brows. I have extremely dark, black eyebrows! I carve out my brows with some concealer and a small-tapered brush to give that sleek, polished look. To lock my brows in, I use my Urban Decay Brow Tamer in ‘clear’, it’s not my go-to because it doesn’t add texture but at least it holds my brows in place!

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Before I set my face with powder, I use this time to contour out my cheekbones with the Sephora Contour Palette in the lightest version. The reason I powder contour over my creams is because I don’t like the cakey, powdery finish if I were to contour over my face powder. In my opinion, after I set my face with my Bare Minerals Bare Pro in the shade ‘Light Natural (09)’, it diminishes the harsh contour shade and blends seamlessly once I apply my face shade; it just looks more natural!

I use my Milani Baked Bronzer in the shade ‘Dolce (09)’, I find myself applying more than 2 layers to bring that bronzy look to my face. It’s build-able if you have the time to layer it on. I skipped the blush and moved on to my Laura Geller Highlighter in the shade ‘Gilded Honey’, this stuff is AMAZING. With or without spritzing some mist, you WILL get that gold reflex.

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For my eyes, I used two of my favorite palettes, ABH Modern Renaissance and Morphe 350. I start with some light browns in the crease and build it up so my red shades won’t start so abruptly over my eyes. I bring the red shades into the outer corners of my eyes and blend up so it’ll meet with the light brown in my crease.

I decided to cut my crease and use a light gold to compliment the red transition in the outer corner. Finally, I love darkening the very outer corners because it elongates my eyes with some dimension. I use a dark brown so it’s not that intense and only blend in that area – not up!

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One of my favorite eyeliners is the NYX Matte liquid liner in the shade ‘black’, the pigment is super dark and glides perfectly with the brush. I applied it to the outer half of my eyes so the cut crease is dominant while giving that almond-shaped effect. For mascara, I used the Maybelline Lash Stiletto in the shade ‘very black’ to really bring my lashes to life without falsies.

Now, the grand finale. Bold, red lips! With such an intense color, I like to map out my lips with a liner so I don’t go crazy and draw outside of the lines. I used the Wet N Wild Gel Lip Liner in the shade ‘Plum Together’, it’s creamy and stays on for hours. I focus a lot on my cupids bow because I love defining my top lip for that heart-shaped pout.

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My red lips are all thanks to the NYX Liquid Suede in ‘Kitten Heels’. It’s a red-blue undertone which compliments my pale skin and brings vibrance. I was totally getting that Selena vibe and I was NOT disappointed!

That’s it for today! Please comment below if you enjoyed this mini step by step vanity look. I can start going into depth and add more engagements if you’d like. Also, comment below what look you’d like to see next!

xoxo

When businesses lack customer service

I’m not one to judge. We all have issues going on in our lives and unfortunately, life DOES get in the way of our most passionate hobbies, hanging with friends and even focusing on academics. However, I do believe that taking on a business/job/lifestyle does require commitment and consistency.

So here’s my story on a business that took 3 months and 21 days to send me my small package of 2 lip glosses. This story isn’t about how awful the business is because truly, I wouldn’t have minded the wait IF there was customer service involved.

Heres the break down:

I ordered my package from Oalika Cosmetics on August 19th. I received an immediate email regarding the order number which comes automatically with any purchase. On August 24th, I became concerned because I still hadn’t received my processing email or tracking number for UPS!

What did I do? I emailed Oalika Cosmetics with the email they provide us if we have any questions (like any other concerned customer). I wrote I was beauty journalist who was thrilled to try their cosmetics and write a review on my platform for PBC Mag.

11 days later and no response. So I decided to re-send my email! Keeping myself optimistic because I was aware Oalika Cosmetics is a small, emerging beauty business with only 11.6k followers on Twitter and 1,440 followers on Instagram. Small businesses are usually under the most stress. Entrepreneurs taking a leap of faith to build their own empire, I’ll give them that; it’s not a walk in the park!

Sadly enough, I still didn’t receive a response. So I took it to the one place they HAVE to answer me to avoid public embarrassment, Twitter. And what happened? They finally decided to answer me.

Below are my screenshots that I kept with Oalika Cosmetics, via Twitter DM’s. I slowly became frustrated because I thought this was a legit company, not a company who will ignore your emails but answer you via Twitter. Please look at the dates between all these messages, you’ll see they don’t reply for weeks at a time. *Disclaimer, my conversation with Oalika Cosmetics was hostile and I’ll own up to it. But there comes a point when you’re the owner of a business, stealing customers’ money and acting as if they’re nonexistent.

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Yes, I even decided to threaten with legal action. Moral of the story: if they don’t care, they truly don’t care.

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I decided not to publish with my newspaper, they don’t need the recognition.

 

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Oalika didn’t document me with any proof. And I’m not going to believe that when I’m being blatantly ignored for a reason. 

 

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Yes unfortunately, I’m the one saying thank you

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Meanwhile during this one way conversation, Oalika Cosmetics was tweeting about new, upcoming launches and retweeting pictures of women who had been flaunting their products. My problem with that is you can’t be investing in more products if you’re not even focusing on your current issues. That goes against any value in business. If you don’t treat your customers right, why should anyone care about your new launches? 

I was constantly tweeting at Oalika Cosmetics, I even took it to Instagram. And I guess once they noticed I took my problem to another social media platform, they decided to actually talk to me again.

At this point, I just wanted my money back. At the end of the day, it’s not about buying the best of the best, it’s about purchasing and supporting businesses that actually care about you. I had one goal with Oalika Cosmetics, to help their business with my platform by writing a review and possibly a mini-tutorial.

During September, they told me their policy states they don’t do refunds until 35 days of placing your order. I begged them for three months and 21 days (82 DAYS) to give me a refund. On October 28th, they decided to change their rules and say NO REFUNDS. I was furious. Who wouldn’t be?

Strangely, I wasn’t the only one involved in this. Julie, aka @jujubeanbeauty on Twitter reached out to me with the same issue she was facing with Oalika. As a makeup enthusiast, trying out products comes with exploring new businesses. After receiving no response from the company about a color change for her order, she started to become skeptical (like anyone else would too!) Julie recently updated me saying,

“I don’t even care about my money anymore, this is too tiring. I disputed it with my bank and I got credit for it. I don’t know what they’re gonna do to get their money from Oalika.”

If you needed to hear it from another person, there’s your witness. Or better yet, there have been hate accounts in Oalika’s name for their delays and lack of customer service. Please look it up, I’m not lying!

This isn’t meant to be seen as a bashing article. If that’s the case, you don’t take critique well. I wouldn’t have minded the wait if I knew there was going to be a wait. That’s my point. That is where the customer service is lacking. Oalika Cosmetics never told me they were going to fix the issue, when it would be done or any other reassuring response.   They simply ignored my DM’s and emails for weeks at a time and continued to glorify their newest products as if they had any room to do so.

That is why they won’t be getting any product recognition on my site. Their products are beautiful and chic, I won’t lie on that. If you saw the packaging and the products, you would be tempted to buy them because you saw pictures of them from my site. But that’s not my purpose for this article. Oalika Cosmetics does not deserve more customers because of the help from my site. I tried doing that once and they rejected me in the most unprofessional way possible. 

Regardless, every emerging business will have its challenges. If you do happen to fall upon their website and fall in love with a gloss, by all means, go ahead and purchase it! Instead of me telling you to screw them and block them on social media, I’m advising you that your products will not come in 2 weeks or even one month. Fortunately, mine came in the mail 3 months and 21 days later. I was also given a loose-glitter pigment and a third gloss; I’m assuming to compensate for the wait.

And if Oalika Cosmetics is reading this, your business has room to improve. Every business has room to improve. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s the beauty of owning your business, accepting its flaws AND working towards its goals.

As a beauty journalist, it’s my duty to inform my readers what goes on in such businesses, good or bad.

xoxo