So yesterday I went to Ulta, and used my 20% off coupon. I ended up getting a few higher end items and a few drug store brand items. Anyway, I wanted to give you all my first thoughts on all of the products. I will post pictures in the replies (from my phone).
The first product that I purchased was theSmashbox Full Exposure palette. I had read mixed reviews about the palette online. Many were saying that it didn't have good pigmentation. I would have to disagree. I've only used it once, but I used some of the lighter shades. I used 3 shades. I used the Soft Matte Creamy Matte Beige for my all over lid color and then I applied the Deep Golden Brown with gold pearl into the crease and deepen the outer corner with the Chocolate Pearl. If you look at the palette then the lid color is the 3rd in on the bottom row and I used the outer two browns on the upper row. The lightest of the three (the lid color) actually had far more color payout than I expected.
I did use the brush that came with the palette, and the mascara sample that came as a gift. In my opinion the brush is a decent brush. Its a double ended brush with a flat end and a fluffy end. IMO the flat end of the brush is excellent. The fluffy end....meh. Its nothing spectacular, or even great. I would say this end of the brush is average at best. The mascara is excellent, but I did find that it had one of the largest brushes on the wands that I've ever seen. I wasn't too thrilled with the size. It was actually a bit bothersome, but that may have been because it was the sample size and was on a short stubby little wand. I wouldn't rule this mascara out for a future high end purchase.
The second product that I purchased is the Anastasia Brow Duality highlighter pencil. Let me preface by saying that I have very high expectations from Anastasia, as I tend to use this line for brow purchases (Brow Whiz pencil is my favorite all time brow product). I purchased it in the Matte Shell & Lace Shimmer color. This is a more tan/gold color. There is also the Camille/Sand shades and they have a more pink tint to them. It does go on very smoothly, and works wonderfully to highlight the brow area. However, I was really hoping that it would function as a multi-use type of pencil and I don't believe that it does. It works well to highlight under the eyes and around the nose. It does not work well for other areas of the face. Overall, its a good product for those uses, but at 23.00, I just don't know that its worth it. If it could be used in more areas, then I would say its totally worth it. I also would like it more if the darker end were even darker. I think that I am going to see if I can find a cheaper and similiar option or a more versatile high-end product.
The next product is the Rimmel ScandalEyes eyeliner in Nude. I purchased this as a lower priced alternative to some of the other nude liners that I have used in the past. The purpose for this purchase was to use on the inner corner and/or the waterline area. I find that this liner glides on very smoothly. It has a lot of color payoff. It doesn't seem to rub off or irritate my sensitive eyes, and at less than 5.00, I will most likely repurchase this item in the future.
I also decided to try the OPI Gwen Stefani Polish in Push and Shove. This is a "metallic chrome" polish set that comes with a "Lay Down that Base" base coat. When I applied it, I was hooked instantly. Its a very shiney chrome polish. The instructions are to apply the base coat, 2 coats of the color, and then a top coat. I also used an OPI top coat for this product. I applied it as an accent nail because I wasn't sure how I would feel about it. I let it dry and really liked the look. I did my nails at around 10pm last night. By noon today the accent nails that I used this color on are REALLY chipped up. Honestly, I typically don't mind spending the money on OPI polishes because they wear really well. This product however does not meet that normal high quality level that I've grown to expect from OPI. I will not repurchase this product. In fact, I'm actually considering returning it which says a lot because I never make returns. I will post a picture of the before and the after in the replies.
Finally I purchased Philosophy's Loveswept perfume. I've been a big fan of Philosphy fragrances for quite some time. In fact, I'm a big fan of probably 95% of all Philosophy products LOL. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this perfume just yet. I picked it up and sat it back down probably a dozen times in the store. My favorite scent is Summer Grace, and I was looking for something to replace it as I have run out and its not available at the store yet this season. It is a floral scent, and I'm not a big floral scent person. Often times they give me headaches and make me nauseous. This one doesn't do that. Its a very pleasant scent, and if you enjoy florals its probably a great scent for you. I'm just not much of a floral gal. I'm going to give it a few weeks and see how I feel. It is a very soft scent, as is true with most Philosophy fragrances. I tend to purchase them for that reason because I can wear them to work without them being overpowering (I'm a nurse, and the last thing I want is a patient throwing up on me because my perfume is too strong).
UPDATE: SECOND USE THOUGHTS I used all of the products for a second time. I wanted to update with some additional thoughts.
1. The Smashbox palette: I want to add how blendable the colors are. These are extremely easy to blend, and almost error proof. I went for a slightly different look today. I used the gold shimmer for an all over lid color, the medium brown matte in the crease, and darkened it up with the darkest brown shimmer in the outter corner/crease area. Blended like a dream and looks fantastic. Yesterday, I wore it all day and still had excellent color when I took my make-up off after the superbowl last night.
2. I still feel the same about the brush that came with the Smashbox palette. However, the mascara is growing on me. The brush is still a bit large, but this is an exceptional mascara. It gives me length and fullness that I haven't seen in some of my other mascaras in qhite some time. In fact, I would venture to say that I like this better than my Benefit Bad Gal lash that I love.
3. My thoughts on the Anastasia brow duality pencil remain the same. Though I will add that I used it to highlight at the top of the upper lip (to make it appear fuller) and it did work in this area too, though I had to be very light handed because of the size of the pencil. I am going to continue to look for something that I love more though.
4. The Rimmel nude pencil - I used this a second time and I really do like it. its easily blended and corrected if you get a smidge too much in your waterline.
5. OPI - no change. I removed it. I will use this for something I'm sure LOL.
6. Philosophy Loveswept - I've decided after a day and a half of wear that I actually do really like this perfume. Its not overly floral. I don't think that I love it as much as my Summer Grace, and as soon as that is released for summer sale I will purchase it. However, this may be a close second. As I stated in the initial post, I'm a nurse so I can't wear a lot of heavier perfumes (I love me some Coco Chanel for date nights) and I really don't care to wear heavy perfumes that some may find offensive or over the top during daily wear. I really like this as a daily wear fragrance. Its not at all offfensive or loud smelling...just light and fragrant.