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


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

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

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.

Formula X by Sephora Nail Polish
Seche Vite Top Coat

Revlon Gray Suede

Guerlain Lingerie De Peau
YSL Touche Eclat OR L’Oreal Magic Lumi
Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage
chanel-bronze-universal-chanel1587 Chanel 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


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

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

Sephora VIB Sale Wishlist

You guys asked (over, and over, and over again) so I’m here to deliver! Wanna know what’s on my wishlist from Sephora? What new products will I be trying, and which products will I be repurchasing because they’re just that good? I hope you’ve been saving your pennies, and men, get ready to take notes because I know exactly what your lady wants under the Christmas tree! Click on any of the images below to purchase them from Sephora.

Let’s start with the items I’m repurchasing, and can vouch for in quality.


His & Hers Fragrance Sampler. I buy these for my husband and I every year, and love them because the sample sizes are perfect for travelling, and we can each redeem the certificate for a full-size of our favorite scent. Getting a man to go to the store and walk around smelling colognes is pretty much never gonna happen, so this is a great gift for every guy. Perk – this year Sephora has included a little bag with each sampler set.

The Kate Somerville goat’s milk cream is one of the most beautiful moisturizers I’ve ever used. It’s so hydrating, and feels luxurious when you apply it, but never leaves that greasy/oily residue. The thing that has me coming back for more is that it never irritates my skin, and is formulated specifically to calm and hydrate sensitive skin.

I have used this foundation for over 2 years, and I am still absolutely head over heels in love with it still. It is so incredibly pigmented, but never looks or feels cakey. It gives the most flawless finish, and is the foundation I reach for when I’m going out and need more coverage, and need my makeup to last. It’s not cheap, so I definitely don’t wear it around town to pick up groceries or take my kiddo to the park. The finish is satin, and is good for most skin types. I would avoid this if you have very dry skin, and oily skin types might prefer the matte velvet version.

I bought last year’s “Give me more lip” box and was so happy I did. Last year’s focus was on nudes, and “your lips but better” colors, so I am smitten with this years berry toned colors. This $59 box has a value of $209, an absolute steal!

I also purchased this box last year, but as a gift for my sister. I regretted only buying one for a very long time. This year, I will not make the same mistake. $45 for $145 value. Again, an absolute bargain, and the perfect way to try out high-end mascaras without the $20+ price tags. The YSL babydoll lashes is my favorite mascara, so if you haven’t tried it already, heres your chance.

This is the all around best gift box for makeup lovers. I purchased this box last year also, and loved every single product. Many of the products are repeats from last year, so I wont be purchasing this again, but I couldn’t leave this off the list. It’s an insanely good value, and I can vouch for 8 of the 13 products. If I didn’t already own most of the items, you can bet I’d be buying this!

If you are like me, and have already purchased the Superstars box from last year, then this might be the box for you this year. I am most excited about the Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee, the Urban Decay eyeshadow in Space Cowboy (which looks similar to Stilla’s Kitten, an all time favorite of mine), and the Too Faced multi-function eyeliner which has 3 points on the end….very interesting….

and lastly for products I’ll be repurchasing, my Ren Radiance kit.

You’ve heard me mention this mask before, and you’ll hear about it again I’m sure. It’s a staple in my skincare routine, and I would hate to ever have to be without it.

Now onto items I have never used, but have researched and read great reviews on, and will be purchasing for myself or as gifts.

Anastasia Brow powder (in color medium brown). I have used other items from the Anastasia brow line, and have heard nothing but rave reviews about this brow powder, so I’m jumping on the bandwagon and hoping it’s as good as all her other products.

Nars Creamy concealer in Custard. I prefer moisture rich concealers that set, but don’t look dried out on the skin. I have very fine lines under my eyes, and don’t want a concealer that will crease or settle into those lines. This concealer is a cult favorite, and I can’t wait to try it.

Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearls. I watch Lisa Eldridge, a celebrity makeup artist, on Youtube all the time and she highly recommends this product for a naturally glowing complexion. Watch this video for more highlighter information from her. This is a liquid highlighter than can be applied to the tops of your cheekbones, down the center of your nose, and along your cupids bow to create depth, and a more youthful appearance. I use powder highlighters in the summer because my skin tends to be more combination/oily, but in winter I like to use liquid highlighters and blushes because my skin is more normal to dry. If you want to try this product without purchasing a full-size, use code OPAL to receive a sample when purchasing anything over $25.

These ambient lighting powders may look like your traditional highlighters, but they are so much more. These are finishing powders which “ capture, diffuse, and soften the way light reflects on your skin.” I am so intrigued by these, and am eager to try anything that claims to give me that “candle lit glow”. This palette offers a limited edition shade, Incandescent light.

I mentioned this face mask in this post. I have been patiently waiting to get my hands on this mask, because everytime I mention it to anyone, I get an ear full about how AMAZING it is.

I am always trying new skincare products, and this is another one that I’ve heard really good things about. I have used the Origins Ginzing under eye cream and really liked the brightening effect, so I’m hoping this has similar results for my entire face. For a less expensive hydrating option, I might consider grabbing Dr Jarts Water Fuse Water-Sure Gel, a moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid to plump skin.

This mask gets a lot of hype in the professional makeup world. I saw this again recently on Lisa Eldridge’s video about fixing problematic skin while on set, and this was one of her go-to products for dry, irritated skin. This sheet mask is soaked in a fusion of “ vitamin, amino acids, minerals, and organic acids.” These are not cheap, but rather a luxury mask for days of pampering, or when your skin is desperate for a pick-me-up.

Laura Mercier’s Souffle Body Creme is another luxury product that I hope to find under my christmas tree. These are decadent, whipped yet rich and moisturizing, and leave your skin feeling incredible. The 4 scents are Almond Coconut Milk, Ambre Vanillè, Créme de Pistache, and Fresh Fig. Mmmmm!! This is the perfect high-end gift set for your mom, sister, or beauty-loving-friend.

Soap & Glory’s Sugar Crush body wash and body butter are the perfect combination for more frequent use, in comparison to the Laura Mercier body butters, and come in at a much more affordable price point. The body wash smells absolutely gorgeous, and friends have told me it leaves your skin feeling hydrated, and never stripped like other washes can. The body butter is formulated with shea and aloe, so your skin will stay soft and supple. The packaging is so over-the-top and girly, and I for one am a huge fan! :-)

For the nail lovers, this is the Mac Daddy set of Sephora’s newest nail line, Formula X. This nail polish is thick, and looks very similar to gel nails. Here’s what Sephora has to say about the color selection: “Creams provide ultralong wear and incredible saturated color in just one swipe. Neons are mega bright and dry down to a matte finish. Chromes glide on creamy and dry to a smooth, reflective finish. Xplosive top coats create the ultimate splatter effect with a matte confetti glitter that can be worn alone or over any nail color. “

And last, but not least, the item I hope to find waiting for me on December 1st….

The benefit “countdown to love” advent calendar. My mom has bought advent calendars for my sister and I every year since we were kids, and this year I’m skipping the little chocolates and hoping to open this little box of makeup surprises. The Pop Art box drew me in, but the promise of Benefit goodies, including 3 of their bestsellers is what sold me.

Hope you all enjoyed my Sephora Wish List, and if you’re a VIB shopper, don’t miss out on the annual 20% off sale beginning November 7th. As you can see, I will clearly be there.

XO – Samantha


It’s that time…time for one of you lucky ducks to win one of my absolute favorite things. Instructions on how to enter are at the end of the post, so stay tuned…

So lets talk about what the POPSUGAR must have box is. It’s a box of full-sized products, handpicked by the editors at POPSUGAR magazine, with a focus on fashion, beauty, home, fitness, and food. The box is currently sold for $35 per month, or you can save by buying a 3,6,9, or 12 month subscription. The box ranges in value every month, and speaking from my own personal experience, they are always a great value. Here are a few products that have been in some of the previous POPSUGAR boxes:

Here are the items that were in Octobers must have box, which have a value of $117.27 – Not too bad for having only paid $30, after applying my REFER5 discount.

Image Via

The POPSUGAR box is not only a great gift to yourself, but the items also make great Christmas or birthday gifts for loved ones. My mom and I both have subscriptions, and we are so excited each month waiting for our little surprise to arrive!

So, here’s how you can enter to win the November POPSUGAR must have box:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That’s it! The winner will be selected at random, and I will contact you for your shipping address.

Leave me a comment below telling me the item you’d be most excited to receive in the November box if you won. I would love a chunky knit infinity scarf, or a rich body butter to fight dry skin in the cooler months ahead. Some peppermint bark candy bars from William & Sonoma wouldn’t hurt either. ;-)

If you love what you see and are interesting in subscribing to PopSugar’s Must Have monthly box, use code REFER5 to save $5.

Weekly Lust List

Lust List Image

1.|| This delicious baked oatmeal casserole. I am making this tonight!

2.|| Serena & Lily are having their 20% Friends and Family sale. Use Code HEART20

3.|| These new Freshly Picked Moccs for Camryn (Walnut & Platinum). I absolutely love these moccs, they are such high quality, and so durable.

4.|| Gulliana and Bill Rancic’s home tour in Traditional Magazine. I could move right in to this dream house!!

5.|| Tory Burch just launched her new fragrance, with notes of peonies, and the most beautiful packaging. Add this to my Christmas wish list!

6.|| I just received this cookbook in my monthly Pop Sugar Must Have box. I love her “Deceptively Delicious” book, so I have high hopes. I’ll let you know how we get along. I’ll be giving away a November Pop Sugar box, so stayed tuned for how you can enter to win!

7.|| Febreeze Spray in “Falling Leaves and Spice” smells amazing!

8.|| This quick and healthy treat makes my mouth water!

9.|| All of my favorite shows are coming back. Are you watching Greys Anatomy, Scandal, Sons Of Anarchy, and Homeland? My hubs also got me to start watching Blacklist with him, and I can’t lie, it’s pretty good if you like action and suspense. I’m also get my once-a-week trashy TV fix with the Kardashians. What are you watching lately?

10.|| This beautiful bedroom makeover done on a serious budget, by the incredibly talented Kirsten of 6th St Design School. I’ve been reading her blog for years, go check her out!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: