Beauty Review! Ally’s Lashes & Skin Care – Eyelash Extensions

Today I’m going to be sharing with you my experience getting Eyelash Extensions and 1 Fill with Ally Nguyen of “Ally’s Lashes & Skin Care”. Look at the bottom of the post for Before and After pictures!

I gave my experience with Ally 3 stars. I’m not 100% sure what lashes I started out with, but the Refill was 10C/11C Natural Set. The application process is really easy and pain free, but overall I thought the results were just okay & I’m not a huge fan of the Refill process. I found Ally’s services through Groupon. She operates out of “Exotica Day Spa” in San Jose, off Alamaden Expressway. Through Groupon I paid $79 for a “Full Set of Eyelash Extensions + 1 Refill”. Regular prices online are listed with the options for Natural $59 + Refill $50, Full $79 + Refill $55, & Dramatic $99 + Refill $60, however Ally mentioned that she offered specials that were not listed online.

First Application:
As I mentioned above, the application process was easy & pain free. I thought Ally was nice & friendly, but at the same time, she’s a salesperson, which I understand to a certain degree. She’s trying to make money to support herself so she definitely will try to upsell you the other Lash Packages. Unfortunately she does so in a way that I found very confusing and I’m not sure I can even properly describe here. She asked if I wanted Long, Full, or Natural. I told her I had the Groupon but wanted to discuss a game plan that would make my lashes look long & full, but still natural-ish, like I was wearing a pair of “Natural” False Eyelashes. That sounds contradictory, but if you wear False Lashes, you know what I mean. There’s a way to wear them that just amplifies & doesn’t look over the top, but there’s also a way to wear them that is dramatic & people know you have on Falsies, it all depends on what look you’re going for. I work in a fairly conservative office, so I didn’t want my lashes to look too crazy. She didn’t seem eager to listen to my game plan, she just kept insisting I pick a package and that my Groupon only offered so much & if I wanted them to be more Full or more Long I’d have to pay to jump up to the “Dramatic” Package. I understood all of that, but she was throwing so many figures and terms out that I became overwhelmed & decided to do ONLY what the Groupon offered. Having something written down would’ve definitely helped me make a more informed decision, but she told me later she doesn’t write down her prices because “her regulars know what she charges”. I found this odd because I’m not a regular so how am I supposed to know what’s going on? Later I found prices written down online, so I really don’t understand what she meant by that statement. I will address my thoughts on Ally’s personality in another section below.

Refill:
Ally makes you schedule a Refill appointment in 3 weeks or she doesn’t consider it a Refill – it’s another Set. I understand this logic, she doesn’t want ALL your lashes to fall out & then you come in for the “Refill” so she has to do the work of a Set at the price of a Refill. However, my lashes hadn’t really fallen out enough to warrant a Refill so I basically had a complete Set & then we added another set on top. Obviously I’m not a professional, but that’s what it felt and looked like to me. While my lashes were super thick and full, which was great for pictures, in real life they kind of looked like a bushy, tangled mess after a few days. While there were never any negative comments in general, only one person mentioned they noticed the original set. After the Refill at least 3 people made comments, something along the lines of, “Oh my gosh wow, you’re eyelashes are so…big!” etc. I was happy people noticed a change, yet at the same time, I felt uncomfortable because I wasn’t sure if they noticed because they liked them or because they were too over the top. The Refill lashes felt very hard & rubbery, which I didn’t notice at all during the first application. No butterfly kisses with these babies! Also, they fell out in clumps, no joke about 5 minutes ago, I had a clump of 5 fall onto my laptop. It does not appear that my natural lash came out with the clump so I’m guessing the glue dried up…? The most annoying thing about the Refill Lashes was that when they fell out, a majority of them got caught in the other lashes. I’d have this random clump tangled up among my other lashes and I’d have to pick it out with tweezers to avoid pulling any lashes that were still attached. It was a strange thing to experience.

Personality:
I’ve noticed in other reviews people have made comments about her personality and to some extent I think that’s unfair because the review is supposed to focus on the service you received. However, I realize that no one wants to give their hard earned money to someone they don’t like, so here’s a few things I noticed. My mom also had lash extensions done & we had totally different experiences. She felt that Ally was very quiet. When I was getting my lashes done, Ally played music on her phone & we had a great time chatting. I can’t say for sure why she acted differently, maybe she felt more comfortable with me because I’m young & we have the same name, haha! I was kind of uncomfortable during the Refill conversation because some of the things we talked about totally contradicted things she mentioned in our first meeting. Like I said, what do I care? She’s not my friend, it doesn’t matter to me what stories she tells about her personal life, but it was odd. As mentioned above, she is pretty direct about upselling. She communicates through text which I really appreciated because it’s annoying to play phone tag with someone when trying to make an appointment.

Overall:
As I mentioned above, I would rate my experience overall 3 stars. Based on my experience with Eyelash Extensions thus far, I could take them or leave them. I’m not absolutely in love with them, but I do enjoy having them because they’re pretty and convenient – for the most part. I was disappointed in the feel of the Refill lashes and the tangled mess situation. While I found Ally to be a…unique personality, I thought she was professional and polite enough. My main reason for not becoming a regular customer of hers is simply that I don’t see the need for eyelash extensions on a regular basis.

What do you think? Where do you fall on the Lash “spectrum”? – Do you have Eyelash Extensions, wear False Lashes, or just go with regular mascara? Let’s chat in the comments! Look below for my before and after picture! Thanks for reading 🙂

Eyelash Extensions with Ally Nguyen

Eyelash Extensions with Ally Nguyen

Beauty Review! Sephora Mini Contour Makeover with @itsnellydee

Hi everyone!
Today I’m going to be talking about the Mini Contour service that Sephora offers, plus introduce you to my new friend and Makeup Artist, Nelly.

As you can tell by my long hair in the pictures below, I had this service done about a month ago. I’m a VIB Rouge with Sephora & one of the perks is you can receive free Makeovers without having to make a minimum purchase. About a month ago, they were also promoting a free “Mini Makeover” specifically geared towards contouring. Before meeting Nelly, I had no interest in the Makeovers because of my experiences with other Sephora MUAs. Usually when I go to Sephora to try on make up, I don’t wear make up to the store. What’s the point? Why wear make up there, just to have to take it off? 9 times out of 10 this results in the Make Up Artists thinking I’m a high school kid, that I don’t know how to wear make up AT ALL, or that I don’t like wearing makeup. I’m by no means a professional, but I know how to apply my own make up & am always looking to learn & test new products or application techniques. I’ve found that because of these misconceptions when people put make up on me they tend to lean towards 2 extremes. One, they do a SUPER natural look, or two, they do something extreme to “shake things up”. When this happens I don’t feel like I’ve really learned anything because these generally are not looks I want to duplicate. Thankfully, this was not my experience with Nelly.

I went to Sephora at the Westfield Valley Fair Mall specifically to do the Mini Contour Lesson. I know above I said I wasn’t interested, but I specifically wanted to get some tips on Contouring & Highlighting. Plus, I knew I could report back to y’all about the experience and maybe save you some time if it wasn’t worth while. However, I had a wonderful experience with Nelly! If you’re able to make your way to Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara/San Jose area to go see her – do it!

I appreciated that Nelly went out of her way to get to know me & my beauty routine. The Makeover is only supposed to take 15 minutes – but we definitely went over that.
– We talked about the makeup I wear & my skin type to determine what kind of contour/highlight products I should be using. I thought you used a cream based product to create the “war paint” look, blended everything, then set it with a bronzer/highlight powder. Nelly told me that on my oily skin that would be a quick way to see everything crease up and/or look cakey – my worst nightmare!
– We also talked about the brands of makeup I use to see if I liked their contour/highlight options. Mixing and matching brands is fun & fine, but I think it can be smarter to stick to the same brand of face products. Companies make their products with the idea that they all work best together, they want you to wear their entire line! This keeps the ingredients you put on your face consistent which is a good idea if, like me, you have very sensitive & acne prone skin. If you know a certain brand has face products that work for you, why introduce another brand that may use different ingredients and/or makes their product differently & risk having a bad reaction? Just my two cents & of course, I don’t always follow my own advice, haha!
– An important aspect of contouring Nelly taught me is warm vs cool tones. I knew about there was a difference, but never thought much about it. We tested a contour stick I recently received as a Sephora sample & was excited to start using, but unfortunately it was much too warm aka orange! This is how she explained it, you’re trying to create the look of shadows/depth/dimension on your face. Shadows will have more of a grey/cool look to them, not an orange/warm/tan look.
– I had a general idea of where to contour and highlight to slim my round face, but Nelly gave me some tricks that I found helpful. For example, two lines of highlight, hugging the contour on my cheeks, really make that chiseled cheekbone pop!

Here are some of the products Nelly & I discussed, it was a Smashbox kind of conversation 😀 Click on the links to purchase!
1. Sephora Collection Pro Angled Contour Brush #75 – Sold out as of this posting, but just add it to your Loves List or ask to be emailed when it’s in stock.
2. Smashbox Step by Step Contour Stick Trio
3. Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit w/brush
4. Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Color in Hollywood & Highlight
5. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water

Below is the finished look! As I was not wearing make up Nelly was kind enough to apply a light Cover FX foundation before the contour/highlight lesson. To further complement my “no make up” look & attempt to stick to the timeline, she created a more natural contour/highlight & gave me tips on how to amp it up for a more dramatic look.

So there you have it! This review might seem a bit contradictory because I talked about how I don’t like extremely natural looks, & then that’s what Nelly did. I just want to clarify that I’m fine with this because Nelly & I talked about SO many things beforehand & I understood we were on a time crunch. I would have been peeved if I’d gone in expecting to come out looking like Kim Kardashian did my contour/highlight, and got a natural look. That’s not the case here. I knew the look would be very soft and subtle. I’m happy with my experience with Nelly – I left her a great review on my Sephora survey! – & I will go back to her for the other full Makeover lesson that comes as a VIB perk.
Please follow her on Instagram: @itsnellydee & go see her at Sephora at the Westfield Valley Fair Mall!
Tag me (Instagram/Twitter: @missal_leigh) in your before & after pics so I can see the amazing work she does for y’all!
Thank you so much for reading, please click the FOLLOW button on the top right of this page to be updated when I write a new post – stay tuned for a Review of the full Sephora Makeover!
Contouring

Charity & Event Recap! #YellowForSeth @bethematch & @lushcosmetics #freshlypicked Scavenger Hunt! 

Hey all!
I have a couple things to talk about today. Today I went out to San Francisco to participate in the Lush Cosmetics “Freshly Picked” Scavenger Hunt. More on that below…

My mom & I with the Lush Cosmetics Bunny  wearing Yellow For Seth during the LUSH Freshly Picked Scavenger Hunt!

My mom & I with the Lush Cosmetics Bunny wearing Yellow For Seth during the LUSH Freshly Picked Scavenger Hunt!

I also participated in another activity that hopefully some of you participated in as well. Today was “Wear Yellow For Seth”, a day of support for a 5 year old boy named Seth. He was born with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder (SCID), which basically means he has no immune system – no way to fight off infections. His only chance of survival is a successful bone marrow transplant. He had his first transplant at 7 months old, but his body rejected it. He’s now preparing for Round 2.  I’ve heard different stories but I was under the impression that Seth and his parents made a video asking his friends and family to wear yellow (his favorite color) today and send him the pictures so he can see how many people support him as he prepares for this next set of procedures. The video became viral and the hashtags WearYellowForSeth & YellowForSeth started popping up everywhere! I’ve also heard that the family made the video with the intention for it to go viral and spread awareness of SCID and the need for bone marrow donors. Either way, I think it’s a really sweet gesture we can all take the time to make for a sick little boy. They aren’t asking for any money or donations of any kind. They just want to see how far their message will spread and show Seth some support!

I’ve always been a big supporter of spreading awareness for the need for more bone marrow donors. I’m a registered bone marrow donor – although unfortunately I’ve never been called upon to donate. As soon as I turned 18, I signed up with Delete Blood Cancer DKMS & they added me to the Be the Match national bone marrow donor registry  – click here to read Be the Match’s FAQ & see if donating bone marrow is something you’d be interested in!

So today, in honor of Seth, because he is so brave in the face of so much adversity, my mom & I traipsed around San Francisco to participate in the Lush Cosmetic’s Freshly Picked Scavenger Hunt while wearing bright yellow shirts! The Lush Scavenger Hunt was really cute – I only wish it had been more of an adventure! They posted a pic on their Instagram: @lushcosmetics of their employees in an unnamed location somewhere in San Francisco & a secret code. If you figured out the location, you met up with the employees, told them the code, and they gave you the next clue which eventually led to a Lush goodie bag! I’ve been a fan of Lush Cosmetics for easily, about 10 years. I don’t shop there as much as I should or want to, but I have a feeling that’s about to change! For those that don’t know, Lush Cosmetics makes fresh, organic, hand made, 100% vegetarian, bath, body, and makeup products. Some of the products are completely vegan. They believe in packaging that can be recycled, no animal testing, and ethical buying of ingredients. The packaging and products are extremely creative and unique. I really feel like they sell something for everyone. Anyway, my mom & I figured out pretty quickly that the location was Union Square, so we headed out there to grab the next clue. In a kind of disappointing turn, the next clue wasn’t really a clue so much as a thank you note for participating. I was looking forward to figuring out clues and hunting around the city a bit, but it simply directed us to the nearest Lush store to pick up our goodie bag. This is where my disappointment turned around…

Peace Massage Bar, Miranda soap, Karma Komba Shampoo Bar + tin, American Cream conditioner

Peace Massage Bar, Miranda soap, Karma Komba Shampoo Bar + tin, American Cream conditioner

After a quick chat with a really sweet employee about the Lush products we already owned and what kind of scents we liked, we were given our goodie bags. These goodie bags were SUPER GENEROUS! I received a 3.3 oz bottle of American Cream hair conditioner and a Karma Komba shampoo bar PLUS a tin to keep the bar in. The Shampoo Bar & tin cost $12 & $4, respectively, I was extremely grateful to receive these amazing products basically for free! My mom received a healthy chunk of Miranda soap and a FULL SIZED Peace Massage bar – which retails for $14!! All in all, while I was slightly disappointed about the lack of adventure, Lush more than made up for it with their wonderful goodie bags. Thank you Lush Cosmetics!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Friday! If you didn’t wear yellow, there’s still time! Before you head out tonight, add something yellow to your outfit – it doesn’t have to be big! Snap a pic, tag me or mention me, @missal_leigh (on Twitter, Snapchat, & Instagram), and don’t forget to hashtag #WearYellowForSeth and/or #YellowForSeth. Also, let me know in the comments below what some of your favorite Lush products are – I need to start a shopping list! 😉 Thanks for reading, until next time!

Mini Review – Beautifully Disney: Fantasy in Flight!

Disney Haul!
You may be wondering if such a thing exists. When you work for Disney and get 40% off stuff during the holidays….yes…Disney hauls DO exist. I personally didn’t walk away with too much stuff, however, I did come away with two products from the newest collection from “Beautifully Disney” cosmetics line. This newest collection is focused on Disney fairies. Personally I think they could’ve shown some of the other fairies. They skipped any and all fairy godmothers. The main faces are Tinker Bell (of course) from Peter Pan, and The Blue Fairy from Pinocchio. Anyways, I picked up the Fantasy in Flighty Eyeshadow Palette ($36.95) and the 4 Nail Polish Mini Set ($21.95). They also had a brush set that looked really nice, but I have a ton of brushes already and I wasn’t sure what their quality was. They also had some new blushes that were really pigmented, but they had faces of villains on the front, and I didn’t want that. So anyways, here’s the pictures and some thoughts on what I’ve got. Enjoy!

Thoughts:
Nail Polish: Upon reflection I have no idea why I bought these. I have 393838 bottles of nail polish, and I really don’t need any more. I was probably stoked because with the discount these were fairly cheap. I’m annoyed because the two gold colors are pretty similar, which would’ve dissuaded me from buying them if I’d thought about it a little more at the store. I’m interested to see how the bigger pieces of glitter will actually lay once applied to the nails. I can do a full review on these nail colors if anyone would like – let me know! I’m most excited  about the red color, which I believe is “Star Struck”. I’m  not pleased that the names of these colors are not labeled on the bottles or labeled in any obvious way. Based on the ingredients in the packaging this is what I’ve decided – “Spriteful” is the darker gold with bigger pieces of glitter because the packaging says it has Red Iron Oxide & Yellow #5 in it. I figured the Red Iron Oxide is what made it slightly darker…? “Wish Come True” is the softer gold color because it only has Yellow #5. “Star Struck” is the red because it has Red #7 in it. Finally, “Something Sassy” is the blue because it has Violet #2 in it. I feel like a really dumb scientist right now. I hope those are right… 😦 I apologize if I’m wrong, and if anyone knows  for sure the correct names I would really appreciate if you let me know!

Palette: I know this is not the same line of products as the Disney by Sephora collection but I feel like they’re about the same quality, so I pretty much bought this based on what the packaging looks like lol, just like I did with The Little Mermaid palette. As you can see from the swatches, the pigmentation is mixed. I passed my finger over the colors at a medium pressure, you could see where my finger had left a trace in the shadow, yet the colors were hit and miss in terms of pigment. Perhaps with a proper make up brush and technique the pigment will go on nicely if you apply it with a patting motion. I think the colors are nice. Again, no names for these colors which makes me unhappy, but oh well. They all have shimmer in them so be aware!I’m really looking forward to trying out the white as a highlight, the rose gold next to it as a lid shade, and the copper brown in the crease. Another option would be the same highlight/crease, but using the yellow as the lid shade. For a more dramatic look, I would again use the white as a highlight, the blue (above the yellow) as my lid shade, then put the dark blue/black (above the white) as my crease color. Just some ideas! Were you inspired by any of these shades, share your ideas with me!

Let me know what you think about these purchases in the comments and let me know if you’d like to see some looks created or full reviews 🙂 Please follow this blog & follow me on Instagram and Twitter @missal_leigh