Nutcracker Week – Sugar Plum Fun Palette Review

Hi everyone! It is OFFICIALLY Nutcracker season, and since my Nutcracker performances are this week, expect some dance-related posts! I am so excited to be dancing in my Nutcracker, and I cannot wait to take photos in my costumes and share some Nutcracker history with all of you! Nonetheless, I figured I would start this week by sharing my review of my Sugar Plum Fun palette from TooFaced and HSN.

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If you have no idea what this set is, please refer to my first post (TooFaced SugarPlum Fairy Makeup Set) to get an idea of what this set is and where to buy it. I was so excited for this set, and I am sure y’all are wondering if it lived up to the hype. This set included the Sugar Plum Fun palette, a full-sized 24-hour Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer, a full-sized Better than Sex Mascara, and a full-size Lip Creme in the shade Sugar Fairy.

Of course the packaging is to die for with the foiled writing and the beautiful fairy design! Upon opening the package, I was met with the palette and the three full-sized extras! I took out the palette and immediately looked at the back to the cute description on the back of the palette. Click the images to enlarge them and read what it says.

Inside of the palette I found the beautiful decor around the large mirror (which is amazing!). Then there are four quadrants of different eyeshadows that are curated to be worn together! The colors are pretty neutral minus a few glitters and the dark plum color. I swatched all of the colors below without using the 24-hour Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer that came with the set. I was disappointed that a lot of the pretty matte shades are so powdery that without a primer they are almost not noticeable to the eye. The first image includes the top two rows, and the second image includes the last two.

Most of these eyeshadows are better applied wet and with a great eyeshadow primer or base on. I have found my favorite shades to be Metal Petal, Tutus and Tiaras, and Magic Fairy. They are the ones I reach for the most, and they give a better color payoff then some of the other shades. The 24-hour Eyeshadow Primer is good, but it doesn’t work as well as I hoped. I’ve found drug store eyeshadow primers to work just as well, if not better, than this one. But I will end up using the whole product because I am always using eyeshadow primer.

The matte lip creme in Sugar Fairy has to be the biggest disappointment in this set. I know with gift sets companies like to keep the color scheme neutral, however, this set is Nutcracker themed. And in the Nutcracker, there is no “Sugar Fairy”, the character is the “Sugar PLUM Fairy”. This formula for the lipstick does not sit well with the texture of my lips. Instead of applying smooth, it applies patchy and doesn’t make one cohesive color. It is also so creamy it smudges super easily. I wish they included a PLUM shade in a matte or semi-matte finish because it would make more sense with the set theme (**cough cough SUGAR PLUM cough cough**), and because the darker color is better for winter. This color is nice, but for something this light, the formula falls apart on my actual mouth. I am going to try to apply this lipstick using different lip primers and techniques and see if anything else works. But straight on the mouth, this lipstick is not great.

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As a whole, I would give this set a 3 out of 5 star rating (0 being the worst and 5 being the best). It is ok for a gift set, and for the price (I paid their special doorbuster price of $49 plus free shipping) it is definitely worth buying and checking out for yourself. Some of the shadows require a bit finessing to get them to apply evenly and smooth, and the lipstick may work better with your lip texture than it does with mine.

Nonetheless, if you’re a sucker for packaging and you love dance/ballet/theNutcracker you will be over-joyed to receive this set. It is so fun, and is very festive for the holiday season. This set is also a wonderful gift idea for the beauty-lover in your life, or for someone who is just starting to play with makeup and eyeshadow who wants a neutral set to experiment with. I will continue to play with it, and definitely use it for my Nutcracker performances this weekend! ❤ I will be posting looks and Nutcracker photos on my Instagram, so make sure to follow me @julias_leaps_of_faith!

I hope you enjoyed this in-depth review and have fun playing with your holiday makeup!

Until next time, Happy Nutcracker season!

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Bye for Now Ipsy Subscritpion

I am so sad to be writing this post. I decided I am going to stop my Ipsy subscription for now. I love Ipsy as a service, and they have great customer service representatives who are always more than willing to help fix any problems. As a whole, the business is an AMAZING one. However, I feel like after a year and 8 months (March 2016-November 2017), I’ve been receiving many of the same products, many products in similar colors they already sent me, products in colors I’ve specified in reviews I did not like, or repeats of products I already own. If you’ve noticed, I’ve stopped reviewing my glambags on here because I have not been very excited about the last few bags I received.

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Furthermore, I feel like I have so many of their little bags that I am actually running out of room in my makeup drawer because of it! I love the little bags because some of them are SO CUTE and perfect to throw in a purse. But the bags are hit or miss. Many times, the designs are strange or not cute and I don’t really have a use for it after I’ve opened it to see all of my products for the month.

Nonetheless, Ipsy has introduced me to many new products I love, which led me to go out and buy full-size versions myself! I am very satisfied with my time as a customer, and like I said I will be back to Ipsy eventually! But for now, a break is much needed.

In the meantime, what are your favorite beauty subscriptions? Do you like Ipsy? Which other one’s should I try?

xoxo

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Ipsy #BossBabe September Glambag Unbagging

Hi everyone!

As promised, I am going to show you what I received in my September glambag from Ipsy! I am so happy with this month’s bag, and I appreciate the badass black bag design!

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Included in this month’s bag were the following products:

  1. Luxie Beauty Luxie Rose Gold Angled Shading Brush 207
  2. Tarte Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara
  3. Pixi by Petra Beauty Blush Duo in Peach Honey
  4.  Elizabeth Mott Pop! Goes the Eyeshadow in Toasted
  5. NEOGEN Dermalogy Real Flower Cleansing Water – Rose

I have to say, the blush duo and the eyeshadow are very pigmented! I’ve tried both products on my face, and they lasted great through an 8 hour period. Here are swatches.

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Top swatch is Toasted and the bottom swatch is Peach Honey

The mascara is AMAZING! I mean, I really wouldn’t expect anything less from Tarte. I have had great luck and experiences with the Tarte mascaras I’ve tried through Ipsy. The NEOGEN cleansing water is also an amazing product! It smells great (a natural floral scent just like roses), and it does a great job breaking through my makeup from the day! Finally, the Luxie brush is so nice and fluffy, and it is great for blending eyeshadows through the crease (I love my crease brushes!).

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This bag was great and included a lot of functional products for me. I am SO excited for the October bag, since last year’s October design was the CUTEST ever!! ❤ The fall glambags are my favorite, and I can’t wait to see what’s next as the fall proceeds!

What did you get this month? Are we bag twins? What was your favorite product?

xoxo

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The Inspiration Behind my Blog and Etsy Shop

Hello beautiful internet people!

I wanted to tell you all a story this evening about the inspiration behind Julia’s Leaps of Faith! There are so many reasons why I started my blog, but the blog it is today is completely different than the blog it began as, and the direction my blog is headed now has a definite backstory I think is important to share! There are two influences that helped me shape Julia’s Leaps of Faith into what it is today, so here we go!

As a child/teenager, I danced a lot at my local studio. I was taking seven classes a week, and to be honest I was no where near my peers in the amount of classes they were enrolled in. Truth is – dance lessons are super expensive, especially for parents of three who are paying for three childrens’ extracurricular activities, sports, and living expenses. I could not afford to dance as much as my peers, but in order to continue dancing as much as I was, I partook in a workstudy program at my studio. I student-taught/assisted classes each week, and I was given an hourly stipend to cut the costs of my monthly tuition (to help my parents pay the bills!).

This definitely helped my parents afford my dance lessons, and all the while I was able to assist my favorite teacher, Miss Sarah, in her ballet classes. Thursdays were the best because I helped Miss Sarah teach for two hours in the evening, and then I took two hours of her advanced class at night. Plus, I would buy us both Dunkin Donuts coffee every week, and in the fall we would delight over our obsession with Dunkin pumpkin coffee (hot with milk and sweetner on the side). See, Miss Sarah was a professional ballerina and always came to class with her hair in a PERFECT French Twist slicked back and pinned, her eyeshadow was flawlessly done, and the colors of her eyeshadow complimented her leotard and ballet skirt, and it complimented her earrings (she wore the prettiest earrings!).

I always admired her eyeshadow and earrings, and I knew when I was the lead dance teacher in the future I was going to try to compose myself in the way Miss Sarah did so gracefully! Miss Sarah also was the only teacher who never waivered in her belief in me to suceed and achieve in dance, and in all of my other endeavors. She is a big reason I am where I am today as a dancer/performer. As you can see, I only have very fond memories of this teacher, and she clearly left a positive impact on me!

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Always leaping!

The same year I began student teaching with Miss Sarah, I also began dancing in my high school’s musical productions! It was the first musical I ever danced in, and I began experimenting with makeup A LOT. I never wore a lot of makeup – a little mascara and blush, but I didn’t wear eyeliner or eyeshadow. But since I was going to be performing on stage as a character, I needed to improve my makeup skills. I bought a Maybelline and a Wet n’ Wild eyeshadow trio, and I began my experimentation! I also tried to mimic the winged liner I saw all of the other dancers wearing!

Thus, this experience catalyzed my obsession with makeup and eyeshadow, and I have not stopped experimenting with makeup or beauty products since. I was 15 when this all began, and now as a 22 year old woman I am so thankful dance and makeup go hand-in-hand, and that I can merge my two favorite obsessions together! ❤

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Talk about a throwback… Here is 15 year old me experimenting with layering white eyeliner on top of my winged black liquid liner. This picture was taken in 2011 (check out my auburn hair!)

I started making makeup because I wanted to have my own makeup collection available to performers and people everywhere who need cruelty-free and quality makeup, whether they need to perform on stage or at their workplace! Doing your makeup makes you feel good, and when you feel good, you shine! I want people to shine and feel as beautiful as they can because they deserve to! And who knows, you may be the person who inspires another young kid to go pursue their dreams and work hard, and to have kick-ass eye makeup while doing it (like Miss Sarah did for me)!

If you would like to purchase any of the makeup I make, or purchase a custom palette, visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/juliasleapsoffaith! The link will direct you to my page.

Xoxo lots of love and positive energy

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Ulta Rewards Birthday Gift for my 22nd!

Hi beautifuls!

Who doesn’t love Ulta Beauty?! I could literally spend hours in the Ulta store testing products, and just staring at all of the beautiful beauty products they sell. What I really love about Ulta is their rewards program, and if you are a rewards member you receive a free “birthday gift” during your birthday month. Last year, I received a beautiful Urban Decay eyeshadow – worth about $18!! It is one of my favorite eyeshadows now, and since it was a full-sized product I still have a lot of it left (even though I use it almost everytime I do my makeup).

Anyway, earlier this month I turned 22, and this year Ulta offered an even cooler gift for those of us born in July! It was a NYX Eyeshadow Palette, that says “Happy Birthday” on it! I’m not sure if the colors in the palette were curated specifically for Ulta for this birthday gift, but I have not seen NYX release a similar palette anytime recently, so I assume it’s a special birthday color mix! It is so gorgeous I just had to share pictures with you all!

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The palette comes with 10 different eyeshadows. They are a mix of shimmers and mattes. Just from the swatches I made, some seem more pigmented and wetter than others, but with a little eyeshadow primer and wetting my eyeshadow brush before I apply them, the color payoff should be great.

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All of these warm-toned reds, oranges, and pinks are my favorite colors to wear, and to be honest, I feel as though those colors are seriously trending across the beauty scene these days. Also, can we just take a look at that taupe in the top right?! UGH so so so pretty! I love this mix of colors so much and I can’t wait to play with it!

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These swatches go from the left to the right (top row, bottom row), and unfortunately you can’t really see the first and the last colors from the palette because they are very flesh-toned. Nonethless, they will make great all-over the lid shadows.

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If you shop at Ulta and are not on their rewards program you should definitely do it! ❤ There are so many perks, and they make sure their rewards members feel special on their birthday!

Xoxo

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