My first Ten Three Labs order! Swatches of Hunger Games shadows, holiday salve and smudge sticks

Happy New Year!! My first post in 2015 is on some products that I’m really happy about.

OH MY GOD I was excited for this order, but Ten Three Labs has exceeded my expectations! I ordered the Rocky Blogger Sample Show, which includes 1 salve stick and 4 smudge sticks.  I asked Cara, the owner of Ten Three Labs, for any Hunger Games samples if she’s got some left over.  She sent me THREE FULL SIZE shadows instead!  Incredible.  I don’t think I’ll ever leave indie makeup now.

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From left to right: SHADOWS Not Real, Ash On Leather, Real SALVE/SMUDGE STICKS Gingerbread Haus, Princess, Nice List, La Maison Derriere, Naughty List

The order also came with some candy and a snap bracelet.  Remember those?  Helloooo my 90s childhood!  Everything is shrink wrapped, which I appreciate (PRO TIP: don’t be a dummy like me and rip off the shrink wrap on the salve/smudge sticks all the way.  Its perforated at the top so you can just take off the cap part and keep the rest protected).

Cara of Ten Three Labs is really amazing with customer service.  I emailed her with a concern about the salve stick, and she responded within the hour!  I’m also impressed with Ten Three Labs’ TAT, especially during the holiday season.

Ordered: December 18, 2014

Shipped: December 23, 2014

Received: December 26, 2014

The Rocky Blogger Sampler Show (smudge sticks edition) cost $18 plus shipping.

SHADOWS

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From top to bottom: Ash On Leather, Real, Not Real

I’m so psyched that these shadows were thrown in as freebies; I still can’t believe it since they’re all full sized.  The names of these shadows hit me right in the feels, especially Real and Not Real (OH MY GOD PEETA BABY!).  I think Ash On Leather comes from this quote, from Mockingjay:

“I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather.”

All shadows are swatched with Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer on the right and bare on the left.  In my opinion, the pigmentation is pretty good even without the primer (especially Ash On Leather), although the staying power is much better with.

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From top to bottom: Ash On Leather, Real, Not Real

NOT REAL

“I need tissue. I can’t deal.”

Ethereal white with multicolored shifts. Lip safe, contains glitter!

The glitter in this is very subtle, and the color as a whole definitely feels ethereal, like fairy dust.

REAL

“Right in the feels, man.”

Dark brown base with a green shift. Lip safe!

On me, the ‘green shift’ is really noticeable, lending a camo green feeling.

ASH ON LEATHER

“No spoilers here since this is from the very first page. Wait. Maybe spoilers if you haven’t read Mockingjay yet. Okay, I will avoid spoilers somehow. But Katniss walking around spoilers and looking around at spoilers, the ash on leather remark stuck with me.”

Blackened gray.

Whoops.  I guess I spoiled it already 😛 BUT it’s the first sentence from the first page so… please forgive me.  Ash On Leather is even more beautiful in person, because the camera fails to capture the full spectrum of shimmer.  To me, the shimmer is primarily green-blue-purple.

SALVE STICK

Salve sticks are lip balms, and they are made with avocado oil and mango seed butter. I have very dry lips and most lip balms don’t cut it for me (yes, I have tried them all).  So far, the salve stick is smooth without being oily and tacky.  I find the texture of the salve stick unlike any other lip balm, and I really love it. There is a little tingling from the mint on application, which goes away quickly.  There is a slight graininess (which I think is from the way different oils cool; e.g. Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy and Julep Luxe Lip is like this too), but this goes away immediately after being warmed up on the lips.  I emailed Cara about this, and she said that it’s due to the temperature fluctuations during shipping, and is not harmful.

If my lips are already peeling, then the salve stick doesn’t really help (unlike the Clarins HydraQuench Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm, which makes lip peelies go away), but it doesn’t exacerbate it either (damn you Burt’s Bees!).  Out of everything I received, salve sticks are what I want to get more of immediately, to make sure I always have one handy!

Gingerbread Haus has a light sweet Gingerbread scent with a touch of peppermint.  This scent was part of the 2014 Holiday Limited Editions.

SMUDGE STICKS

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From top to bottom: Naughty List, La Maison Derriere, Nice List, Princess

Smudge sticks have the same base formula as salve sticks, but are tinted.  With the ones I got, especially Nice List and La Maison Derriere, they were so pigmented that I think they are more like lipsticks.  Because the smudge sticks are in a moisturizing base, they feel great on the lips, but their wear time is short, and with some formulas, may get patchy over time (for me, Naughty List did this).

Nice List and Naughty List are part of the holiday collection, and La Maison Derriere is a Simpsons reference.  Cara says that the main collection of smudge sticks, including Princess, will be phased out on January 15 so that they can focus on the limited edition collections, so I’m glad I grabbed it now.

I like the oval shaped tube because it keeps it from tumbling around my desk, but I had a hard time applying these properly because of the oval shape. I’m getting better with practice. I actually don’t recommend using a lip brush with these.  The formula has a lot of slip for moisture, and when I tried using a brush the colors were just pushed around but not spread evenly. With the non-sparkly colors, I found that they actually make a nice matte lip after blotting.

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From top to bottom: Naughty List, La Maison Derriere, Nice List, Princess

All the smudge sticks are swatched straight out of the tube, with two coats.

PRINCESS

Peach with gold flecks, peach flavored

Because this one is not opaque, there is a noticeable difference between top and bottom lip.  I wish the base color was stronger so that it would look less like a gloss and more like a lipstick.

NICE LIST

Coral red

This is a great everyday color for me, mellow but cheery. It actually has pretty good coverage, even with just one coat.

LA MAISON DERRIERE

Put the spring back in Springfield while wearing this dark vampy color!

The Simpsons episode that it references is hilarious, and wearing this color definitely makes me feel a little burlesque-risque. This is my favourite color of all the smudge sticks!  It takes two coats to get even and opaque.  This tube was actually overfilled (more product, whoop).  In the swatch picture, it looks patchy because the tube was overfilled so not flat on the top like the others.  I promise that with two coats it looks perfect on the lips.

NAUGHTY LIST

Deep violet with a red sheen

I found that on me, Naughty List actually shows up closer to black. This one is really hard to get an even color on, even after applying a few coats with a brush.  Because of it’s moisturizing formula, it seems to slip a lot, and it’s very noticeable because of the color.  It also makes any cracks and chapping more noticeable.  I think it looks better after blotting, but then it looks a little grey and loses its sheen.  I’m a little disappointed in this one, but I think I have finicky lips, so YMMV.

This was my first ever purchase from Ten Three Labs, but it won’t be my last!

Julep Maven August Boho Glam Unboxing

Hi~! A few days ago I received my August Julep Maven box, in Boho Glam.  August’s collection is named The Art Walk, so of course, being an art historian, I had to have it.

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A cute thing Julep does is send little bonbons in every Maven box!

I’m really loving these colors for fall, and grey is one of my favourites year round.  I’m sure these two polishes, Erin (grey) and Mary Lee (burgundy) will star in one of my upcoming Manicure Mondays, so I won’t talk too much about them today.

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The plush pout lip crayon is an interesting hybrid.  It is a twist-style crayon, with a moisturizing core in the middle and lipstick on the edges.  First off, I know crayons are trendy, but I don’t see any advantages lip crayons have over conventional lipstick tubes, especially when they’re twisties and have a cap (if someone makes a capless crayon, then I’m on board).  The color and saturation of Plush Pout is really great, buuuuut that moisturizing core in the center really throws me off balance.  On one hand, with the moisturizing core, this is a nicely smooth medium-wear lip color.  On the other hand, the colorless core makes even application of the lip color tricky.  In my opinion, the way to achieve the most even coverage is by using a lip brush – which defeats the point of a carry-all crayon.    I’m not sure how much this Plush Pout retails for on its own, but as part of this fall set, I’m glad to have it.

If you love what you see here and want to sign up for your own fully customizable Julep Maven box or check out their full selection of great beauty products,  I have two great deals for you!

Only for the month of September, sign up for Julep Maven and get a Limited Edition Fall Neutrals 4-Piece Welcome Box! That’s two times the size of the normal welcome box!

If you’re already a Julep Maven, use code FABFALL to get gift set free with $25+ purchase.

Samples Showdown: Marc Jacobs and Benefit

Today I’m bringing two deluxe samples into the showdown, and I’ll tell you which you should buy and which to say buh-bye to.

MARC JACOBS LIP LOCK MOISTURE BALM WITH SPF IN 10 MAKEOUT

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Yes, even a clear lip balm gets a color code and name.
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You can count on Marc Jacobs for luxe packaging

I got this as part of a Sephora VIB exclusive lip-focused goodie bag.   I’m always looking for the next big miracle worker in lip balms/treatments because I have incredibly dry lips, and I looove products with SPF, so I had my eye on this before… but the price point is high, because Marc Jacobs.  This unfortunately, isn’t anything to go crazy for.

THE VERDICT: Don’t expect the inside product to match the outside luxe; though it wins points for having SPF (your lips need protection too!), it loses huge points for being so expensive yet blah.

BENEFIT THEY’RE REAL! PUSH-UP LINER

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The applicator is a slanted tip made out of flexible rubber, and the product comes out by clicking it up through the dispenser.
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Benefit comes up with the cutest names.

I’m sure you’ve allll heard the hype surrounding this new innovation in makeup technology – gel liner, in a pen form?? Oh my!  I love just about everything about it; the name (sassy!), the brand (Benefit is awesome!), the packaging (sturdy yet easy on the eyes), except… yeah.  The product itself is good, but doesn’t blow me away.  The gel formula is really long-wearing, to the point where it’s a little overkill.  I think I used half a bottle of makeup remover getting this stuff off!  The slanted tip is going to give you a nice application, but not as nice as a brush dipped in a gel pot or a liquid liner pen.

THE VERDICT: Girls, don’t throw away your liquid and pencil liners yet – this liner is worth buying but probably won’t replace your current favourite.