Flash Empties Round Deux

With 2017 right around the corner, I'm trying to do a little bit of housekeeping-- in real life and on the blog. That includes clearing out trash mountain to the best of my abilities. During blogmas I did my first round of flash empties and today I'm going at it again with round two.

If you're wondering what flash empties are, they're one sentence reviews on my empties. Bada bing bada boom!

P.s if you didn't know, I'm running a giveaway at the moment! You can find the full prize details in my previous post and enter in the widget down below.

Will Repurchase
Up & Up T Plus Therapeutic Shampoo
This is the generic Target version of Neutrogena's T-gel and it works just as well at getting rid of my dandruff (it also has a very similar formula); the major downside is that it's just as drying as T-gel πŸ˜’ .

Shiseido Facial Cotton
I used to be the person who laughed at fools who spent almost $10 on cotton but now I use it on the reg and will never go back-- so soft 😍

Muji Facial Cut Cotton
Basically the same thing as the Shiseido Cotton but it's a bit thicker and a lot cheaper. (The one I linked is the unbleached version but I usually buy the bleached version in stores where it's also cheaper.)

Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara
A very wet and cheap formula that works great at defining the lashes on my lower lash line (and I can forgive the shitty packaging since it literally only costs $2.50 when on sale.)

Dove Clinical Protection Cool Essentials Deodorant
It's a clear gel deodorant that's actually a clear gel plus it keeps da stink at bay.

Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips
My lips are too dark for the pink vaseline to actually show up but damn that won't stop me from continuing to use and repurchase it (although I prefer the round tin to this mini tub.)

Bath & Body Works PocketBacs in 'Crisp Morning Air' and 'Sunlight & Apple Trees'
Crisp Morning Air is one of my favorite Bath & Body Works scents so I'm a bit bummed it only comes around in the autumn-- the apple one is nice too.

Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Since Urban Decay keeps changing the packaging on their primer potion, I keep purchasing the old tubes on clearance...although I shouldn't because they literally last forever and the only reason I'm throwing this one out is because it started to turn funky but it still worked hella well at keeping my eyeshadow in place all day long and I know this is a run on sentence but I gotta lot of shit to say so.

Maybe Repurchase
Tweezerman Classic Lash Curler
This guy works reasonably well but the shape isn't the best for my eyes since it can't curl my outermost lashes.

Jason Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo
The gentles dandruff shampoo I've ever used as it is SLS free, but unforuntately it doesn't work as well at combating dandruff as the hair stripping stuff (like T-gel.)

Laneige Water Bank Serum
Hydrating, feels nice on the skin, and has a wonderful scent but there are more hydrating serums out there.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
Helps dry out whiteheads but at the same time doesn't last all night long since I move around a lot in my sleep πŸ™ˆ.

Peter Thomas Roth Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisturizer
This is a really lovely lightweight moisturizer with a wonderful airless pump packaging buuut it's also kinda pricey for a lightweight moisturizer so I may or may not purchase it.

Will Not Repurchase
Origins Maskimizer Skin-Optimizing Mask Primer
It's funny how much marketing impacts the success of a product because ingredient wise this stuff is similar to Mac Fix+ but it was marketed as such a weird item that it got negative reviews and as I'm writing this now I'm considering moving it over to the maybe repurchase category πŸ€”.

Garnier Texture Tease Dry Touch Finishing Spray
This is supposed to be a dupe for the Oribe Beach but I'm not repurchasing it because it makes my hair too sticky and leaves an unpleasant white residue if I use too much...which I do most times (although it does add texture too.)

Philosophy Kiss Me
Too pricey for what it does...and it's discontinued.

Enter giveaway here! a Rafflecopter giveaway

End of Blogmas Giveaway!

I had intended to do one giveaway a week for blogmas but time sort of got away from me. So instead I'll be doing a larger end of Blogmas giveaway, as well as another one or two in January.

Like I said in my Blogmas reflection post, thank you to everyone who read, commented, and shared my Blogmas posts. It was a lot of work but was totally worth it since I got to interact with so many lovely people. As a token of my gratitude, here's the giveaway!

The winner will receive:
1 Tonymoly My Shea Mask Sheet Box (includes 5 sheet masks) (read my review of them here)
1 Travel Size Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid in 'Moonstone'
1 Mini Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in 'Opal'
1 Full Size Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
1 Full Size Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel
1 Full Size Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in 'Sultry'
1 Full Size Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner
1 Mini Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara
1 Mini Tarte Tarteist Glossy Lip Paint in 'wcw'

The giveaway is open internationally to any country that USPS ships to (here's the full list.) You must be 18 or older to enter or receive parental permission. This giveaway isn't sponsored nor am I affiliated with any of the brands featured in this giveaway. Any additional fees or customs incurred after I ship the prize is the giveaway winner's responsibility.

The giveaway will run for a little over 2 weeks, ending on January 16th at 12:00 AM EST. After I contact the winner, she/he will have 3 days to respond otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

To enter, all you need to do is follow me on Instagram (@sharmtoaster) and confirm it on the widget below. There are also a few more of options for additional entries like following me on bloglovin' or sharing the giveaway on twitter.

If for some reason the widget is not working or appearing properly, you can click here to view the widget in a new tab.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again for all your support and good luck! 😜

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Farmacy Beauty Buzz Box Unboxing

It's a well known fact that making gift guides makes you more susceptible to purchasing gifts for yourself. And if it's not well known, I'm lettin' ya know now.

One of the most enticing things from all my beauty gift guides was the Farmacy Beauty Buzz Box. For $48 you get a full sized Honey Potion mask (which usually retails for $56), a small jar of raw honey, and a $5 donation to City Growers Bee Education Workshops and programs. Since Farmacy Beauty has been running promotions nonstop throughout the past month, I couldn't resist buying it as a Christmas present...to myself.

I was going to include this box in my end of the year on last haul-a-thon post but I thought it was special enough for a dedicated post. While I was so excited to snag it, I also know that I won't get around to using it for another month or two 😩.  But that's where this post comes in cause I get to fangirl about all things Farmacy beauty without waiting forever!

Most of the time, "green" products don't hold any special appeal to me since I assume it's mostly marketing (not that I don't believe in saving the planet and global warming but rather that the green company/ product is more green in name than it is in reality.) But Farmacy Beauty seems like a legitimately green brand!

The whole concept behind Farmacy Beauty really interested me since they took the "farm to table" approach but made it "farm to beauty products." They grow their own ingredients and raise their own bees in upstate New York. Even their packaging is green! You see the foam used in this box? It's easily degradable. When I first read that I could easily dissolve the foam in water I was a bit skeptical... but it actually works!

I don't want to really get into all the reasons why I was interested in this mask in the first place since I'll save that for my inevitable review πŸ˜‰

Another bonus that came with my order were the mini freebies. Man these are the most legit freebies I have ever received. The packaging on them is exactly like their corresponding full sized jars/ bottles all the way down to the heavy, wooden caps! When I placed my order, they were offering three minis with all purchases over $30: 0.5 fl. oz Rise N' Shine daily moisture lock, 0.27 fl. oz Invincible root cell anti-aging serum, and 0.5 fl. oz Sleep Tight firming night balm.

It was basically like getting 3/4 of their Perennial Picks Skincare Discovery Kit for free!

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Blogmas: A Review | Blogmas Day 24

Thank you to everyone who read, commented, liked, shared, and joined along on my Blogmas journey! I'm tempted to do an emotional ramble but thankfully I'm a bit too sleepy for that.

While my Blogmas didn't go as expected, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience... even the nights where I stayed up till 3 struggling to finish up a postπŸ˜…. And although Blogmas is basically over, I'm still going to be blogging like a maniac!

Because of the time commitment of Blogmas, I wasn't able to post as many reviews as I would have liked this month. Reviews for the new Maybelline cushion foundation, Becca blushed with light palette, and more will be up this week or the next. I've also got so many new things that I'm playing with and can't wait to share! Plus an end of the year haul! And an end of Blogmas giveaway-- the photo for this most is a sneak peek at some of the items included πŸ˜‰

Thanks again for all the support and love. Merry Christmas! 

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Addicted to Minis: Sephora Freebies Haul | Blogmas Day 23

Like most beauty enthusiasts, I freakin' love minis. Thanks to my Sephora PLAY! subscription I've racked up a lot of points at Sephora throughout the year. And since I've been doing a lot of shopping at Sephora over the past two months, I've been redeeming a lot of those points.

One of my goals for the new year is to use up the dozens of foils and minis I've been hoarding. They take up way too much space and it's silly to hold onto them forever. But until then, let's chat about the newest addition to my hoard of minis!

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm x 2: This is my OG cleansing balm and I couldn't resist picking up two minis for traveling. Because I travel so much πŸ˜’

Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner: Not gonna lie, this toner didn't interest me much because it has denatured alcohol pretty high up on the list. Buuut I'm a sucker for all things Sunday Riley so I figured I would give it a try anyways. Hey, it was free!

Glamglow #hellosexy set: Wowza was this set a great deal! Each of the minis in this set has a value of $15 to $25 value and you get 4 of them! The thirstymud and supermud are two of my favorite masks and I already gifted the youthmud away.

Fresh Soy Face Cleansing Milk: If you've read my flash empties post or any of my Sephora VIB sale posts, then you'll know that Fresh's Soy face cleanser is my go to. While I generally prefer cleansing balms over cleansing milks, I'm open to giving this new one from Fresh a try!

Omorovicza Ultramoor Mud Mask: Omorovicza is one of those brands that has dazzled me. What could of life-altering magical ingredients are they using that makes their products so expensive? This mud mask better be fucking life changing since the full size retails for over $100!

IT Cosmetics CC Cream in Medium: After hearing so many positive reviews about this CC cream, it was about time I give it a try, right?

Hourglass Mineral Veil: Another product I already love but picked up this mini for my non-existent traveling. I gotta say they nailed the lux packaging on this guy. It has a glass bottle and a proper pump just like the full size!

Farmacy Lip Bloom in Lavender Mint: The holiday sales have left me with a lot of Farmacy minis, and so far this is the only one that has disappointed me 😞. They nailed the heavenly lavender mint scent, but unfortunately it isn't too moisturizing.

Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Primer: The Hairdresser's Invisible Oil by Bumble & Bumble is probably my favorite haircare product of all time so I've been meaning to try more from their hairdresser's line. I usually enjoy Bumble & Bumble's styling products so I've got high hopes for this one!

I hope you're all having a Merry Christmas Eve :)

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The Ultimate Last Minute Gift: Book Gift Guide | Blogmas Day 22

If you haven't finished all your Christmas shopping yet...

In all seriousness you're not alone, and I've got the perfect present idea for you. Books! 

Most of the books on this list are books I personally would enjoy reading since I'm a beauty loving, Potterhead, wannabe foodie. But I'm fully convinced that there's a book out there for everyone, even for people who aren't bookworms. 

Think of this list as a starting point! Bonus: the image below is clickable πŸ˜‰

For the Potterhead:
For the one who regrets never taking that bartending class in college: 
I hope this was of help to anyone still searching for a gift! Good luck on all your last minute shopping endeavors and Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

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December Beauty Favorites | Blogmas Day 21

This month's favorites are comin' at ya a little bit earlier than usual since I want to post it before I get to my yearly favorites! And instead of my mindless chit-chatting, let's get into it πŸ‘‰

Complex Beauty Rose Glow Glycolic Mask
Ingredients: Rosa damascena [rose] distillate, Glycolic acid, Amorphophallus konjac [mannan] gum, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium glutamate diacetate

I'll be doing a more in depth post on some of my favorite glowy masks of the moment, but I couldn't resist throwing this one into my monthly favorites. It's got such a short yet elegant ingredient list, smells phenomenal, and gives you a glowy face!

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream
Ingredients + CosDNA breakdown here

It's hard to say what my absolute best purchase of the Sephora V.I.B sale was since I really researched and waited and saved for a lot of good shit, but this cream is definitely amongst the best of the best.

At first I was a bit skeptical about the efficacy of this cream since it's marketed as a ceramide-heavy cream... but ceramide is pretty far down on the ingredient list. But I guess all those extracts must be doing something because this stuff is quite possibly the best moisturizer I've ever tried.

I've been wearing it every single day, night and day. It keeps my skin hydrated without being greasy. Unlike a lot of other heavy moisturizers, it doesn't actually feel heavy. It's very lightweight and it doesn't take much to spread it out and pat it into the skin.

VERB Sea Spray
When I first bought this spray a few months ago, I was sad that it literally did nothing for my hair. Then again, maybe that was my punishment for simply buying it because it was the prettiest shade of turquoise.

I gave it another go earlier this month but this time used it before blow drying my hair. And this time it actually worked! Usually if I blow my dry my hair without any styling products, it turns into an fluffy, frizzy, half curled mess. But when I spray this Sea Spray all throughout my ends I get loose, beachy waves!

I should mention that this is the time of product that varies a loooot from person to person. My hair is naturally curly/ wavy so that's probably why this product worked for me. If you have naturally straight hair, you might not get the same results.

LancΓ΄me Glow Subtil Silky Creme Highlighter
I used to think Lancome was one of those "mom" brands that appealed exclusively to an older demographic, but I'm glad to say I was wrong (or perhaps I'm simply entering that older mom demographic now 😐) Either way I'm happy to be a new customer to the brand!

As someone who owns a decent amount of highlighters and has swatched even more, I was so baffled by this highlighter. It has a very unique gel texture. I don't think gel even properly describes it since it's stiffer than actual gel. But when you apply it it's a smooth, soft powder finish. How does this witchcraft works? I dunno but I am thankful for it since it is beautifulll. The witchcraftery also makes it very quick and easy to use, perfect for lazy bums like yours truly.

There is one glaring negative about this beauty. It smells heinous. Thankfully I don't spend much time smelling it as the scent doesn't transfer onto my face!

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Rose Gold
It's good to know that all the hype around the Laura Mercier caviar sticks is well deserved. This stuff seriously does not budge. My eyelids can get a little greasy throughout the day and the caviar stick still manages to stick around, even without an eyeshadow primer! It also makes for a fantastic inner corner highlight ✨

I do wish that they expanded the color range because the formula is phenomenal. 

Nars Velvet Lip Glide in Bound
I think this is the 23487234th time I'm saying this but Nars makes my favorite lip products of all time. Their velvet lip glides are their newest addition and as expected, I'm completely hooked.

These lip glides are part of a new family of lipsticks: liquid non-matte lipsticks. They're very pigmented and comfortable to wear, although they don't last as long as normal liquid matte lipsticks. But I think it's worth it since matte liquid lipsticks are often too drying for me to wear in the winter.

This is the mini size from the Sarah Moon limited edition set, but thankfully the color is part of their permanent collection πŸ™. I already know I'll be picking up the full size once I'm through with this one!

And those are my favorites this month! Have you tried any of them? What were your favorites of the month?

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Trash Talk: Flash Round | Blogmas Day 20

Usually when I do empties or favorites, I like going a little bit in depth on why I liked or didn't like a product...but today's post will be going a little bit differently.

If you saw my last empties post, then you'll know that I'm currently holding onto trash mountain. I haven't done the multiple empties posts I had initially planned to because of Blogmas but at the same time I would really like to clear my empties out for 2016. As a result I will be doing flash empties!

So the basic concept behind flash empties is that my reviews must be done in a flash! As someone who has the ability to babble on forever, especially about beauty products, I'm going to be limiting myself to one sentence reviews for each product.

Aaand go!

Will Repurchase
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
The best gentle cleanser out there which can remove leftover makeup residue and won't dry out your skin.

MISSHA All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45 /PA+++
The first Korean sunscreen I've ever tried and it's life changing-- not sticky, doesn't leave a white residue, blends in easily, thumbs up all around.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Toner
A really lovely pH balanced hydrating toner that preps my face perfectly for the rest of my skincare routine.

Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara
Quite possibly my most favorite mascara of all time since it makes my lashes look long and fluttery and keeps them curled all day long.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioning Treatment
For $3 this conditioner/ mask is hella moisturizing and smells freakin' awesome.

Maybe Repurchase
Batiste Original Dry Shampoo + Mini
Definitely the best dry shampoo I've tried from the drugstore but may exacerbate my whole dandruff issue...

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
A lightweight, pink gel moisturizer that's nice in the summer but not moisturizing enough for the winter.

Garnier Whole Blends Coconut Water & Vanilla Milk Extracts Hydrating Mask
Smells coconut-y and is decent at hydrating my hair.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 30
The best American sunscreen I've ever tried but gets its ass kicked by Asian sunscreens.

Will Not Repurchase
YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touche 
I bought this years ago when people were still touting this is a concealer rather than a highlighter and spoiler alert: it don't conceal a lot.

Ole Henrikson Sheer Transformation
This did nothing and the vitamin C thrown all the way at the bottom of the ingredient list is laughable.

Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment
Love the mask even though the price is exorbitant, but the jar packaging sucks and I lost at least 25% of it because it dried up πŸ˜’

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask
After hearing so many amazing things about this mask I was a bit disappointed to find that it didn't do anything a normal conditioner does.

Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
Denatured alcohol spray = dry as hell face.

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