2013 Beauty Favorites

Happy New Years!! Wow, 2014…It’s so cliche to say, but the last year came and went in a blink…a beautiful, memorable, fun, and adventurous, blink.

I posted a photo collage of my favorite moments in 2013 over on my instagram, so check those out if you want to see what my life (pre-blog) looked like.

I wanted to share all my favorite beauty products from the last year with you; the items I repurchase over and over again, and would hate to ever live without. I broke things into sections, and linked to everything that I could. What are your must-have products?

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 9.46.14 PM

HAIR

DermOrganics Hair Oil - This is what keeps my hair healthy & glossy…for those of you who ask me constantly. Shhh…top secret info! ;-)
It’s a 10 Leave-In Conditioner + Keratin
The Sultra Bombshell Curling Wand 1″

Wet Brush

SKIN CARE
Clarisonic
Origins GinZing Eye Cream
 
Cosmedix Pure C - antioxidant rich crystals (dot powder over blemishes or discolored areas and be AMAZED when they begin disappearing. Great for adding to your everyday moisturizer.)
Ren Glycolactic Exfoliating Mask
Embryolisse Moisturizer (Discovered in Paris, and hooked ever since. This stuff is so hydrating, and feels beautiful on the skin.)
Blistex Deep Renewal

BODY
St. Tropez Self Tanning Mouse
Laura Mercier Body Souffle
Organic Coconut Oil - I love using coconut oil around my eyes when they’re extra dry, and all over my body after I’ve shaved and exfoliated.
Aquaphor - I literally could NOT live without this. I put it on dry lips, my feet when they’re dry from wearing flip-flops all summer, my daughters diaper rashes, and on any other dry or irritated skin.

NAILS
Formula X by Sephora Nail Polish
Seche Vite Top Coat
 
Revlon Gray Suede

MAKEUP
Guerlain Lingerie De Peau
YSL Touche Eclat OR L’Oreal Magic Lumi
Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage
chanel-bronze-universal-chanel1587Chanel Bronze Universal
Nars Orgasm Blush

MUFE HD Microfinish Powder

Dior Shimmer Star Highlighting Powder – Amber Diamonds
Naked2 Palette
Stilla Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner
Shiseido Eyelash Curler
The Falsies Mascara - I curl my lashes and then apply 1 coat of this mascara in the WATERPROOF formula, which helps keep my lashes curled. I then apply a coat of Chanel’s Volume de Chanel mascara over this for big, long, dramatic lashes. (Skip the chanel mascara for everyday looks)

Le Volume de Chanel Mascara
Anastasia Brow Wiz
Chanel Glissimer Lip Gloss

PERFUME

Miss Dior

Michael Kors

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

Those are all the products I love, and have been using for the last year+, and will continue using throughout the new year. I always love trying new products, and will undoubtedly discover new loves to share with all of you in 2014.

On a side note, I just want you all to know how amazing the past few months have been for me, and what an incredible impact this blog and all of you reading it have had on me. I’ve met some of the sweetest ladies, blogged on some pretty awesome blogs, and worked with companies that put out the coolest products. All of the comments, tweets, and interactions on facebook and instagram mean so very much to me, and I just love getting to know all of you. I started blogging to create a happy place where people with similar interests as me could get together, chat, and support each other, and I’m SO in awe of all of you who are making that dream come true for me. I’ve always been a little shy in large crowds, and never really put myself “out there”, so starting this blog was a big leap for me but I’m so glad I jumped! You guys are constantly building each other up, supporting one anothers goals, and just making this little corner of the internet a happier place. For all of you, I am grateful. 2014 is going to be a really, really good year.

Happy New Years Friends!

XO – Samantha

Influenster: Jolly Vox Box

The nice people at Influenster sent me some complimentary goodies this week to test out and I thought I’d share my thoughts with all of you. You’re probably wondering what Influenster is, and why they’re sending me free stuff…Influenster creates a bridge between companies and bloggers (or youtubers, etc). If you’re a blogger, vlogger, or just have a large social network, then Influenster might be of interest to you.

influensterThis is my “Jolly Vox Box”, as they call it, which contained:

Rimmel London Show Off Lip Lacquer

NYC HD Color Trio Eyeshadow

Ducklings Mini (duck tape) Rolls

Skinny Cow Candy

Puffs Tissues

What an awesome surprise this was! All of the products are full-sized, which is great because sometimes it’s hard to really test a product off a sample. Things like skincare especially need full-size or generous sized samples.

I busted open the skinny cow chocolates first, of course, and they are so yummy! They have peanut butter filling and taste a lot like a reese’s peanut butter cup. These are the perfect late night snack when your sugar cravings kick in.

I’ve been wearing the NYC eyeshadows the last few days and I’m really impressed. I knew I would like the NYC eyeshadows because I’ve tried other palettes of theirs before. I am really loving the neutral colors in this palette, called Long Beach Sands, because they are slightly shimmery, and easy to wear day-to-day. They are a little bit chalky in comparison to a higher end palette like Naked’s, but have good color payoff and are a bargain.

I’ve also been wearing the Rimmel Lip Lacquer, and no surprise, I love this product. Rimmel is easily my favorite drug store brand, and I frequently order products online from them that aren’t available here in the US. The “Wake-me-up” foundation and concealer are two of my favorite products from them. I was actually lucky enough to try this lip lacquer prior to them sending it to me because I snagged one on my trip to Paris. You guys know I watch beauty videos on Youtube, and I had heard all my favorite girls raving about this product, so I had to get my hands on it ASAP. I had purchased “Big Bang” which is a gorgeous red, and I was just sent “Aurora” which is a beautiful pinky mauve. These lip lacquers aren’t sticky, they stay glossy for a really long time, and leave behind a beautiful stain so you don’t have to reapply constantly. I would compare them to the YSL glossy stains.

The Puff tissues are a no-brainer. I buy them constantly to keep in my purse, and they always come in handy, especially with a 2 year old. If you’ve never used a Puffs tissue, you’ve been living on another planet.

The Mini Duckling tape is so fun, and Camryn and I have been using it to craft this week. I got a paint splatter effect that is bright and colorful. These would be great alternatives to washi-tape for crafting, and I’ll be using mine to tape gift cards into Christmas cards this year. Speaking of Christmas….is it seriously less than a week away?! AHHHHH!! I’m in full-on panic mode now, and shopping and wrapping gifts like a mad woman.

Have you guys tried any of these products? Bloggers, are you Influenster members? What fun goodies have you received and enjoyed?

Have you entered all this weeks giveaways? Click on the “Giveaways” to the right of your screen to view all posts containing giveaways.

Come visit me over on My Simple Kitchen. I’m reviewing the food delivery company “Plated”, and cooking white bean chicken chili.

XO – Samantha

On the SECOND day of Christmas…Giveaway + Cyber Monday

Let’s kick off the day with my Second Day of Christmas Giveaway! Keep reading for Cyber Monday links, and product info, as well as a little chit-chat.

Too-Faced-Be-Merry-Bright-Palette-Set

Today I am giving away the Too Faced “Be Merry & Be Bright” face palettes valued at $45. Ulta describes them as ”12 merry and bright shadows, 2 perfect blushes, 2 sexy bronzers and a volumizing Lash Injection mascara - to create a festive face for every Christmas party. Or break apart and give one palette away and keep one for yourself! The two palettes are all in a purse-friendly kit (inspired by celebrity decorator and TV personality Mary McDonald) with a full-size Lash Injection Mascara, so you can create your look morning, noon or night.” These palettes are BEAUTIFUL, and I almost kept them for myself….almost. For a full review and swatches, check out this post. You can enter to win below. Good Luck! :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s officially December, and WOW, everyone is in the holiday spirit. I on the other hand haven’t even dug my holiday decor out of my closet. We bought Camryn her first Christmas tree, and decorated it, but my own tree is yet to find it’s way home with me. Ba-hum-bug. I blame my husband. Every time I even bring up the subject of getting a tree, or digging out our boxes of holiday decor, he shuts me down.  We officially have more stuff than we need, so we’ll be adding very little to our wishlist this year. I guess that’s why it’s taking us longer than usual to get in the spirit and start decorating…usually I live for tree shopping and turning my house into a winter wonderland. We’re going to have a very small, relaxing Christmas this year. Instead we’re putting most of our energy into making an amazing Christmas for a family we’ve “adopted” at the Ronald McDonald House who are very far from their home in Barbados, and have a 13 year old daughter fighting cancer at Dell Children’s Hospital. Shopping for them has been SO MUCH FUN!! I’ll post more on that soon.

Speaking of shopping, today is Cyber Monday. Here are the stores I’ll be shopping:

Starbucks: Take $25 off any purchase of $60 or more + free standard shipping. I bought a few of these over the weekend as gifts.

Tory Burch: 20-30% off (based on spend) with code HOLIDAY

H&M: 40% off your entire purchase + 25% off sale items. I bought these pajamas, more of my favorite skinny jeans, and a few gifts for the girl I “adopted”.

Old Navy: 30% off with code CYBER. I bought Camryn a few bits and bobs: PJ’s, shoes, and more shoes

Gap & Banana Republic: 40% off with code CYBER (My sister asked for workout gear for xmas, so I snagged these, and some other goodies. Sister, if you’re reading this, stop snooping. Geez!)

Lulu & Georgia: 30% off with code THANKS30

CWonder: 30% off everything with code GIFTS30. I absolutely love this monogrammed jewelry box.

Ulta: Deals on individual products, including 25% off Body Shop products. They are also offering $10 off all purchases of $50 or more, and a free gift bag worth $100 when making a $40 purchase or more.

JCrew Factory: 50% off everything with code HOLIDAY50

Lands End: 30% off everything with code WONDERLAND

ASOS: 20% (additional) off everything using code EXTRA20

Serena & Lily: 20% off with code THANKS20

And my personal favorite….Freshly Picked Moccs: 25% off your entire purchase with code BESTYEAREVER

Bath & Body Works is also running a bunch of sales, and are offering the VIP bag for $20. I bought this last year and was really happy with the products.

This is NOT a sponsored post, these are just places I’ll be shopping (or have already shopped for Black Friday).

I will update this list with any new information as I recieve it.

XO – Samantha

YouTube Beauty Guru’s

I love, love, love watching Youtube beauty guru videos. I might be an addict. I always watch a few at night, when I’m relaxing in the bath, or laying in bed before falling asleep. I’ve been watching them for so long that I feel like I know these people. I trust their opinions, and have bought countless products based off their reviews. Some of them are in the industry, and some of them are just makeup, skincare, fashion, and beauty product lovers like me. A bunch of you have been asking for my top 10 youtubers list, so here it is. (in no particular order)

1.|| Pixiwoo - Sam & Nic

These sisters are both professional makeup artists, and actually teach their own classes. When it comes to recreating a look, they are your girls! They are so incredibly talented, and they have the most fun personalities. They also have ADORABLE kids, which I’m a sucker for, as you know. :-)

2.|| Lisa Eldridge

Lisa is also a professional makeup artist (to the stars). “The list of celebrities she has made-up reads like a who’s who of the world’s most glamorous women including Kate Winslet, Katy Perry, Keira Knightley, Emma Watson, Eva Green, Cameron Diaz, Amanda Seyfried, Kate Moss, Helena Christensen, Cate Blanchet, Demi Moore and Salma Hayek.” So when Lisa says “this is in my pro kit”, I run and buy it! I love her fresh faced, flawless looks, and I think her videos are especially great for women over the age of 30 who are beginning to see signs of aging. Lisa is always aware of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, etc. and gives amazing tips on how to work with what you’ve got, and fix what you don’t like.

3.|| Zoella

Zoe is stunningly beautiful, and watching her is mesmerizing. Her videos are young, lighthearted, and easy. It’s like watching your favorite trash TV show. She gives good beauty reviews, and does a lot of “haul videos”, which I enjoy watching. It’s a nice way of seeing what’s new on the market, and getting a quick review without investing yourself. She’s definitely not who I look to for a tutorial, but more for a laugh, and reviews, and her voice is AMAZING.

4.|| Chloe Morello

Chloe started off modelling, and then began making youtube videos. She is very down to earth, and her videos never seem very scripted, or overly edited. She’s kind of like the beautiful girl next door, but with an awesome Australian accent. Chloe is the queen of contouring, and eyebrows. She’s extremely honest with her followers, and gives real advice that never seems biased or purchased by any makeup company.

5.|| Michelle Phan

Michelle is like the Queen Bee of the beauty gurus. She recently launched her own cosmetics line called “Em Cosmetics”. I love that she covers such a wide range of topics with her videos, and she is extremely skilled with makeup. Her videos are like mini movies, and I get most excited when I see a new video pop-up from her. She’s incredibly sweet, came from nothing, and built and amazing empire through Youtube. She’s also the brains behind the beauty social networking site and sampling program Ipsy. Her voice is so soothing, and her videos are just so enjoyable. Here’s some more about her…pretty inspirational!

6.|| FleurDeForce

Fleur is another youtuber I enjoy for easy, relaxing videos. She used to film a lot of tutorials, but has moved into more haul, tag, and review videos. She has the most adorable dogs, and watching her feels like watching an old friend. Fleur also films “lookbook” style videos which I really enjoy.

7.|| MissGlamorazzi 

Ingrids videos are always fun to watch. She has one of the most adorable smiles, and seems like a real girly-girl. I have tried a number of products that she’s recommended and have always loved them, so I am highly trusting of her. She does a lot of outfit videos as well, and has great taste in clothes. She’s the total package.

8.|| Tanya Burr

I found Tanya through the Pixiwoo sisters. She is engaged to their little brother Jim, and used to be a model in their makeup tutorials. She’s absolutely gorgeous, and creates really incredible smokey-eye looks. What I love most about Tanya’s tutorials is her mix of high-end, and drugstore products. She’s also a professional makeup artist.

9.|| Essie Button

If I had to pick a favorite YouTuber, it might just be Estee (her nickname is Essie). There is something so effortlessly chic about this girl, and she’s someone who I always think “I could actually be her friend”. She’s so down to earth, and real, and just so damn cool. She met her boyfriend while living in Canada (he lived in the UK), and after a few months of talking, he flew to Canada, they went on a roadtrip across the US, and a few months later she packed up and moved to the UK to be with him. They travel a lot, and vlog their trips, and they just adopted the cutest new dog named Reggie. Her boyfriend Aslan jumps in her vlogs and tries to be a part of her youtube world….they’re just cute, and I love them! Ok, enough fangirl talk… She posts tutorials, product reviews, and hauls, and her videos are very laid back and she’s also super funny. I also really love her vlog channel.

10.|| MakeupByTiffanyD

My sister started following Tiffany on Instagram a year ago, and told me I’d really like her because she’s a product junkie, fashion obsessed, but even better…a home decor enthusiast! Uhh…Yeah, she’s my long lost soul sister. :-) Sometimes her videos are long and chatty, and she takes awhile to get to the point, but I really trust her opinion and rely on her for reviews, tips and tricks, and beautiful tutorials. She has the most insane eyelashes you will ever see, and for the first few videos of hers that I watched, I swore they were fake. She’s always up to date on the most current, newly released, and “hyped” products, so I look to her first for reviews.

I follow so many other YouTubers, but these are just a few of my favorites. Do you follow any youtubers? Who are your favorites?

Playdates + Pearls Facebook page hit 100 followers today (WOW, you guys are amazing!!!), so thank you all for reading, following, and supporting my blog. I am going to host a Facebook only giveaway in the coming days, so if you’re not already following, you still have time to join. I have been having SO MUCH FUN writing this blog, and I’ve been meeting some of the coolest people (bloggers, readers, owners of companies that I’ve been able to work with). I have a lot to be thankful for, and y’all are high up on my list! <3

XO – Samantha

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