Ebay Makeup Brush Haul– Real Technique Dupe?

Ebay Brush Haul & Review

Ebay Brushes

Hey, everybody! I recently made a purchase of some inexpensive brushes on Ebay and wanted to do a quick review for you. What caught my eye was the fact that they looked identical to some of my other favorite brushes from Real Techniques. I also have been eyeing more expensive kabuki-style brushes for a while now. When I saw this set of five was less than $10, I thought, “Why not?” That would be five brushes for about the price of what one of their brushes cost! If they worked out, great, I have a hit on my hands, and if not, then I am out like $9.

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HUGE!!! e.l.f. Haul

Happy 2015!!! I know I’m late on that one, but it’s taken me a hot minute to get back into the mindset to blog. Things got really hectic, and I just kept telling myself I’ll do it tomorrow, but that was a few months ago. I’m back now, and I’m ready to start this thing up again. I did plan on making a 2014 favorites post, but as I sat down to edit the photos, it turned out they were all really blurry for some reason. I’ll try to find time to take the pictures again, but if not I will be sure to include some in my January favorites. So stay tuned for that!

For Christmas I asked my husband for makeup (DUH!), and the night before he was going to go buy stocking stuffers, e.l.f. sent out a promotional email that their whole site was on sale. If you aren’t familiar with the brand, this does happen relatively often, but it’s always super exciting because their products are über affordable and they also offer free shipping over $35. Well, as you will see from the post below, hubby did good! I am so excited to share this with you. He was able to score some amazing things that have quickly jumped to my must-have list, and he also picked up some things I ran out of. Did I mention he did this all while staying within our budget? I know! He’s a keeper! Anyway, here is what he got me and the thoughts I’ve had so far.

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Hydrating Face Primer & Mineral Infused FacePrimer Tone Adjusting Green

The first two things were primers. The clear/white one is a hydrating primer I’ve been wanting to try now that it is the dryer, colder months, and my skin has a tendency to freak out. I really enjoy this primer. I feel like it helps add just an extra layer of moisture and helps keep what moisture there is from disappearing as quickly. It also doesn’t have that waxy feeling that some silicone-based primers have that will cling to dry patches. For occasions when I need my makeup to last, but I’m extremely dry, this does the trick. The green primer was a repurchase, and I love this one because it helps tame down the pigmentation on my cheeks. These primers are just as good as any other primer from higher-end brands and only cost $6 for 0.5 oz., so $12 for a full ounce.

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ColourPop Super Shock Shadow Haul and Swatches

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I recently ordered some eyeshadows from the brand ColourPop. I’ve seen swatches and reviews on these all over and finally gave in to the hype. Last month, I turned 30, and it hit me that I might not be able to wear sparkly and glittery eyeshadows forever, and I really need to embrace it while I can still pull it off. Therefore, when I saw how insane these shadows were, I knew I had to try some! They are sold through the company’s website, and everything in the brand only costs $5. They also offer free shipping on orders of $30 or more, so of course, I spent $30 because I will be damned if I spend $5 on shipping! (Am I the only one who will spend more just to get free shipping, which eventually costs me more than if I had just paid for the shipping in the first place?).

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Every package comes with a handwritten note, and they are pretty sassy and funny. I really liked the personal touch.

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October Starbox 2014 (Feat. Glow of Grace)

I received my Starlook Starbox about a week ago, and while I normally would be in a rush to get this up and share with everybody, I didn’t really feel the need because the contents were already revealed online about a month ago. I did, however, want to do something for those of you who didn’t find out and let people know my opinions on the box. For those of you who don’t know what Starbox is, check out my post here explaining it all.

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The October Starbox was curated by a YouTuber named Glow of Grace. She is a really beautiful and sweet makeup guru, and I have been enjoying her videos for a while now. If you’ve never seen her videos, you should check them out. She is actually one of the first people I heard about Starbox from. She even did an unboxing video and a tutorial using this month’s box, and you can watch that here.

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This box only came with one item, a brow kit, and I was actually pretty stoked when I saw what it was because I remember back in the day, when Sephora first started carrying Anastasia of Beverly Hills, she had something very similar. I used the crap out of that thing, and it eventually fell to pieces. I was hoping this would become my new favorite and go-to brow product.

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Nichole’s Italian Adventure !!! (Part II: South Tyrol and The Dolomites)

I have fallen behind on my blog posting, so please excuse the delay. Here is my second post about my time in Italy. After Venice, we hopped on a train and headed north to the beginning of The Dolomites in the area of South Tyrol. It was an extremely interesting and unique area, and one I would recommend to anyone who is traveling to Italy. This whole area was given to Italy after World War I as part of a treaty. The culture in this part of the country is much closer linked to the Austro-Hungarian Empire than what most would consider to be traditionally Italian. Therefore, the architecture, food and clothing are what one would expect to see in Germany or Austria, but not so much in Italy. The people there also speak German more often than Italian, and when they do speak Italian, it is with a German accent. This whole area feels like something out of a fairy tale, and I immediately fell in love.

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This is a shot of the street where our hotel was located in the city of Bolzano. I loved how colorful the buildings were, and the architecture was so different from what we had seen in Venice. I was taken back by how this seemed to be a whole different world compared to the first leg of our trip, and yet we were only a few hours away.

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This was a store window that displayed the traditional Tyrolean dirndl and lederhosen.

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This is the Cathedral in Bolzano and my first taste of some gothic architecture!

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A giant statue of Walther von der Vogelweid, one of the most famous poets in Germany.

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KIKO Make Up Haul – Makeup with an Italian Accent

For most of September, I went to Italy, as some of you might know. While I was there, I did what any addict does … I bought makeup! I did a little research online and found out one Italian brand of makeup you can’t pass up while you’re there is Kiko. The vibe reminds me a lot of MAC when you walk into the store, and the quality, in my opinion, is right up there as well. However, the best part is the prices are insanely inexpensive! None of the products I picked up cost more than 8 euros. I was on vacation AND it was (around) my birthday, so I didn’t really hold back and bought a nice bit of eyeshadows and blushes. I’ve really been enjoying the products, and I hope within the next few years the brand expands to the U.S., since they are not widely available here yet.

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The first eyeshadows I picked up and that caught my eye were the Water Eyeshadows. These are shadows that can be used wet or dry, and they really reminded me of the MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows and the NARS Duel-Intensity Eyeshadows.

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Bridal Makeup with Lover.ly

I should first start by saying that I love bridal makeup. Bridal makeup, to me, should be an enhanced version of the bride’s natural beauty and personality. I have always told people they should stick with what is comfortable to them, because this will most likely be the most important makeup they’ll ever wear. Not to mention, you want the photos to be something you can look back on and treasure, not haunt you because your makeup artist tried to match your eyeshadow to your decor. Whatever the bride chooses, she will always look amazing because there is a special glow she gets on that day that no makeup can recreate.

For inspiration for bridal makeup and anything else that goes into planning a wedding Lover.ly is an awesome tool that can help make your big day a lot easier. They have thousands of pictures that can inspire you, and the coolest part? You can search through them based on color, so you can find something that easily fits into what your dream wedding is. They even have a section where you can buy any item that you find on the spot, or they can help hook you up with a vendor in your area to help you achieve all the ideas that have inspired you. It is an awesome way to plan and keep track of everything you’ll need for your wedding day. If you, or someone you know, is getting married soon, then be sure to check it out! There is also an app you can download, so you can do it all on your phone or tablet while you’re on the go.

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For this look, I was inspired by this Watters dress. I love this dress! If my husband and I were to get married all over again, I would end up picking something similar. I find the lace bodice of this dress to be very feminine and the drop waist hugs your curves in all the right way. Adding to the allure is the strapless sweetheart neckline. It shows off just enough to make a bride look stunning without going over the top. The skirt and train of this dress are full and made with tulle, which brings in the romantic vibe, as does the chapel length. This dress is amazing because it has it all — soft, romantic, and feminine, as well as being subtly sexy in a very classy way.  You can see more of Lover.ly’s bridal dresses here.

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I wanted the makeup I chose to reflect the feeling the dress gave me, so I went with something I consider to be romantic, feminine, and ever so slightly sexy. This is how I imagine all brides want to feel on their wedding day. Am I right?! I went with a smokey eye to play up the sexiness that you see in the neckline and silhouette, but I kept it neutral because, like the dress, I just wanted to hint at it. For the cheeks and lips I used soft light pinks to mimic the romantic femininity that is found in the lace and the tulle.

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