Happy Monday bellas!
To say I’ve missed my blog and all you wonderful readers is an understatement. It’s been 2 months since my last post and as atrocious as that sounds, if you read these previous posts here and here, you’ll know where I’ve been and hopefully cut me some slack for slacking on the blog front. For those of you who are new here, WELCOME to my little space of all things beauty and if you like what you see, please be sure to click ‘Subscribe’ in the menu bar or further down below.
First of all, how do you guys like the new setup? I changed everything about the blog. Theme, colours, logo, you name it. I just thought a revamp was in order and wanted to express myself as well make it a pretty little space for you to enjoy in the bustle of the world wide web. In order to make the site easier to navigate and for you to find exactly what you’re looking for, I’ve added in loads of brands and categories which you can access by hovering over the titles in the menu bar. Lastly, I’ve changed the commenting system because I had problems in the past about comments not showing up after they had been approved and I love interacting with my readers so that had to be fixed.
Ok enough of the small talk, let’s get down to business and if the title didn’t already give it away, I have a surprise waiting at the end of this post for all you lovelies. I must warn you though, this post might be a bit long so get comfy, grab a drink and let’s get on with it.
So I decided to place an order with Too Faced directly last month because the items I wanted were sold out by my usual supplier/third party sellers and for custom orders I get told to wait over a month for the items to arrive. Little Miss Impatient that I am decided to take matters into my own hands and once I started browsing the Too Faced website, there was no turning back. Too Faced does not ship to South Africa so I used Aramex Global Shopper instead. I’ll explain more about that later in the post but first let me show you the items and give you my first impressions on them so you can get an idea of how things are calculated.
I also received two sample cards along with my order. One of the Cocoa Powder Foundation and the other containing three shades of the cocoa – infused matte bronzer, namely Milk Chocolate Soleil, Chocolate Soleil and Dark Chocolate Soleil. I haven’t tried these yet but boy oh boy do they smell amazing.
Too Faced Candlelight Glow – $30
By no means a new product to the Too Faced family, I’d seen this highlighting powder loads of times on social media. What sparked this purchase was a recommendation from one of my readers after I reviewed the Becca Champagne Glow palette here. She was kind enough to send me pics and swatches of hers and I was sold. The circular compact is made out of plastic but feels quite sturdy so I don’t think it will break easily. The lid is a cream shade with gold writing and lace border. The underside of the compact is more of a bronze-gold and I got the shade ‘Rosy Glow’. Upon opening the lid, I was presented with a duo of white and pink powder with a chandelier design embossed into it. In the lid is a full-sized mirror which can be used for touch-ups and such. There was no discernible smell which I don’t mind but looking at the colours I wished it had smelt like vanilla ice-cream with strawberry sauce.
The compact holds 10g of product which is the same size as the MAC skinfinishes and is sure to last a very long time. The formula of the highlighter is hard pressed but still transfers a fair amount of pigment with each swipe of the brush. It applies quite sheerly at first but it is very buildable for those of you who like your highlight to pop. As you can see in the swatches below, both the white and pink powders have a gold shimmer reflect but the pink powder gives off a rosier appearance. The split sides are quite large so there are no issues if you would like to use the colours separately. I myself prefer to lightly sweep my fan brush over both shades before applying the highlighter to my face. The white powder looks great as an inner corner highlight but when I applied the pink shade as an all over lid colour, it was basically all gold regardless of how little or how much I applied.
Overall, I really like this highlighter because it doesn’t kick up a lot of product and it gives more of a glowy-iridescant finish rather than glitter or shimmer chunks. The pink powder will suit all skin tones but the white shade might be a bit stark for very deep skin tones. I love the packaging, pretty design and glowy finish so it’s going into my draw of everyday highlighters.
Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara – $23
If there’s one makeup product I need, it’s a waterproof mascara. My eyes water almost everyday whether the lights are too bright or just a bit of wind gets in them. As soon as I go in to dab with a tissue, it’s a disaster. There are many mascaras that claim to be waterproof but out of the many I tried, the Bourjois and Maybelline ones I reviewed here are the only ones that completely live up to their claims. When the Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara was launched, people went ape and I saw it in almost every YouTube tutorial and blog post I came across. I decided to give it a try because not everyone can be wrong, right?
WRONG!!! The formula of this mascara is a lot wetter than other ones. I had the same issue with the deluxe sized Better Than Sex mascara I got as part of the Le Grand Palais Christmas collection last year. While the waterproof one does add volume to my lashes without a lot of clumping, it takes a while to dry so I have to wait before finishing the shadow on my lower lashline to prevent smudging. The hourglass wand is also quite huge so it’s easy to get mascara onto the lid while applying. Throughout the day there is no transfer or flaking until the waterworks start. The mascara runs immediately and I think the formula is more water-resistent than waterproof because it’s a biaatch to wash off. I don’t think this mascara is great for the beach or a funeral for that matter because you’ll just end up looking like a sad panda. The price tag also doesn’t do it justice because if you don’t sanitize and look after your mascara, you getting only 3-4 months use out of it. I’d definitely say give this a skip and get a drugstore one at a fraction of the cost.
Too Faced La Crème Lipstick – $22
I had no intention of buying any lipsticks while browsing but they were on special for $11 (half the price) and I thought why not. I checked out swatches online and I chose the shades based on that. With the Roaccutane I had been on (I’ll be doing an updated post on that later this week), I hoped the creaminess of these lipsticks would mask the cracks and flakiness of my dry lips.
The lipstick boxes are so cute in the baby pink and lotus flower designs. The lipstick packaging though is more minimalistic in a sleek, thin gold tube. The Too Faced logo is etched on the side and the initials on top. The bottom has a sticker with the colour and shade name so it’s easy to find whether it’s in a lipstick tray or drawer. There is 3g of product in the tube which is the standard of most lipsticks even though it looks a lot less with the naked eye. In the pic below, ‘Bon Bon’ is wound up all the way for interest purposes.
On to the formula itself. The lipstick is truly creamy and feels very hydrating on the lips. It contains lotus flower and power peptides which gives it the rich moisture. The lipstick does transfer when eating and drinking and doesn’t last very long on the lips. I find I need to reapply about every two hours to keep the colour looking good. It fades softly with no patchiness so it doesn’t clump when I reapply. It takes about 2 or 3 swipes to be fully opaque on my lips and a much needed warning up front not to open the tube too much before application. I didn’t realise just how soft and creamy it was until I snapped a huge chunk off when swatching the shade ‘Country Star’. Now I’m not sure if it’s just mine that’s like this, but I find ‘Country Star’ to be a lot mushier than the rest of the lipsticks and feels funny on my lips. I have to apply it with my finger or lip brush for an even finish. The others though are quite fine to apply straight from the tube and suprisingly ‘Lollipop’, which is a glitterish bright purple, is my favourite shade of the bunch. It’s fun and girly and something about it reminds me of the 90’s and those awesome glitter caps people used to wear. Damn I’m giving away my age.
Do I think it’s worth the $11 or $22 I paid for it? Not really. I own a lot of drugstore lipsticks that are just as hydrating and much longer wearing so I’d say only check these out if you’re looking to splurge.
Too Faced Peanut Butter and Jelly Palette – $36
I can’t remember the first time I saw this palette but I do know I wanted it in my life. I needed to have it. Forget the awesome fact that the tin packaging looks like a slice of bread with peanut butter on it, or that the shades are gorgeous and some totally unique, but the fact that it smells exactly like peanut butter and jelly the moment you open the lid. Yes I already own the Chocolate Bar palette that smells like chocolate and there’s products that smell like vanilla, but peanut butter? I mean c’mon that’s just friggin amazing. It reminds me of the Reese’s pieces candies and I just want to stick my tongue into it. Ok so I paused after writing that last sentence, dipped my finger into peanut brittle and had a little taste. Judge all you want on my crazy experiment but you know what, it tastes sooo yummy. Sweet but more a whiff of peanut butter than the actual taste. For those of you who have nut allergies, the product doesn’t contain any actuals nuts. Now that you know how insane I am, let’s just move on.
Inside the tin there is a decent sized mirror along with a glamour guide showcasing three looks that can be created using the palette. There are a total of 9 shades in the palette of which the three larger pans are intended for more often use.
There are 3 matte shades in the palette, ‘Extra Creamy’, ‘Peanut Butter’ & ‘Nuts About U’ whilst the rest have some sort of glitter or shimmer in them. The overall shade selection is warm neutrals with a pop of purple. The shades are soft and buttery with a little bit of fallout. They are very pigmented so a light hand is better even though they are easy to blend out. My favourite shades are ‘Peanut Brittle’ and ‘Jelly’ because they’re unique and nothing like I already own. Another reason why I like this palette so much is that the orange shades look great on my tan skin tone (I’m an NC42) and it really makes my deep brown eyes stand out.
This palette was the main reason for my purchase as no third party sellers had stock of it and it was sold out online for many weeks. When I went to see if I could pick up the new Sweet Peaches palette, even though it was sold out, this baby was in stock and I pounced on it faster than a hungry lion. It’s just the cutest, most awesome packaging in my drawer right now.
Now on to the nitty gritty. Remember I said I used Aramex Global Shopper to have these items shipped to South Africa. Well the way that works is you sign up with them for a lifetime membership at $45 and if you’re thinking wow that’s a lot then you can use this discount code here thanks to Luzanne from Pink Peonies. You’ll notice it says it has an expiry date but I just tried it and it’s still working. Also if you’re not happy with the service, you can request a refund of your membership fee within the first 12 months of signing up. Then, once you’ve signed up, Aramex provides you with multiple addresses around the globe from the USA to France to India. All you need to then do is go on to the international site you’d like to purchase from and once you checkout, add the shipping address you’ve been given by Aramex for the specified country. If you’re wondering how much shipping costs, you can check the prices out here. These prices are only for shipping and do not include any customs/duties fees. I’ve enquired with an Aramex consultant and if the package is of low value, like under R500, I believe there will be no tax charges incurred. If your package is more, like mine, it’s a whole nother story.
My Too Faced haul totalled in at $150 (around R2200) with shipping being R274 with Aramex. Now here’s where I was an idiot and totally took things for granted. When the parcel arrived at my Aramex address in the US (this usually takes between 3-6 days once it leaves the supplier), I got an email that a payment was pending. When I logged on, it was the charge of R274 for shipping and the customs fields were at a zero balance. Silly old me thought great, no customs, made it past the SARS vultures and paid using Paypal. I waited a couple of days before I received the next email saying that a commercial invoice is required to have the package released from customs. To save you the trouble if you ever order using Aramex or any other third party courier, always leave a comment to the supplier to include an invoice with the shipment to save time as an order confirmation or packing slip won’t suffice. It took me about 4 days to get one from Too Faced after which I had to upload it on to my Aramex profile on their website. I then received another email a day later indicating a pending payment. When I logged on to my account this time, I very nearly fell off my seat. I know customs charges are around 25% for beauty products, but factor in VAT and total package value, it came to a whopping $70. Not that it would have made much of difference in cost but had I been expecting separate payments, I think I would have been better prepared for it. At first I thought it was crazy (hell it’s still crazy), but when I broke it down and considered how much I would have paid from a third party seller here, I saved myself quite a bit of money. Once I paid the customs charges, I received my package in about 2 days. The total process should ideally take a week, but for me it took about 16 days. Do I regret purchasing using through Aramex? NO. Do I wish they could estimate customs more precisely up front before I place an order? YES. Would I order through Aramex again? YES. Why you ask? Because I receive my items in a fraction of the time, it comes with insurance to the value of $100 at no extra cost and it saves me from the inflated prices I pay for certain products from third party sellers. I’ll still continue to buy certain items locally if it’s for one or two products because then it’s not worth using Aramex. You know the exact price, no hidden costs or customs and if it’s in stock, you get it at your front door the next day.
Wow see I told you this was going to be a long post but lets get on to the exciting part. Since I loved the Too Faced Peanut Butter & Jelly palette so much and I know how hard it is to get our hands on limited edition items like these, you guessed it! I picked up an extra one (locally I might add) to give away to one of my lucky subscribers.
To enter all you need to do is use the Rafflecopter widget below to mark your entries
Too Faced Peanut Butter & Jelly palette Giveaway
Rules to Enter:
- The giveaway is open internationally
- The competition ends on 10th May 2016 at 11:59pm CAT.
- The winner will be announced on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter shortly thereafter so make sure you follow me on those platforms so you don’t miss out
- The winner will have 7 days to claim the prize after which a new winner will be chosen
- All entries will be checked and false entries will be removed
Thanks for sticking around and making it to the end of this post. Add the word wowzers to your comment so I know you made it. I hope all the info has been helpful and I wish you all the best of luck in the giveaway!