Thursday, December 11, 2014

bareMinerals *Holiday 2014* The BIG TOP

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, and step right up!  Prepare yourselves for splendor, wonderment, and a spectacle the likes of which you have never imagined!  I present, for your fascination and delight... it's the "20-piece blockbuster color collection" that will take your breath away, and it's brought to us for a limited time only by bareMinerals... it's the one... the only... *The Big Top*!!

Haha sorry, no elephants or trapeze artists in this grand circus tent (whomp, whomp).  Not that this box isn't terribly exciting, because it most certainly is... but it's no dancing bear!  I just couldn't resist the sensationalist zeal of a traditional circus  :)  And that about does it for me and having energy haha.  I'm going to interject on the products themselves just a bit, when I feel like I kinda have something to say, but mostly my focus for this review is to evaluate the value of the box itself, and for the rest, well, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!!  Of course, if you have any questions on a particular product, just shout it out in the comments!  xoxo

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While both of these have the finest, most beautifully prismatic shimmer ever, I gotta say, this exclusive "Bright Radiance" is something else!  I don't know if I'd actually brush it everywhere, as it is amazingly luminous and the pink does flash brilliantly, if from the tiniest particles possible, but it is so gorgeous on the cheeks.  "Clear Radiance" is part of the core line, and also has some pink sparks in amongst the lovely champagne shimmers.

"Clear Radiance" << ♥ >> "Bright Radiance"

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Lasting Liner "Always Charcoal" & "Lasting Brown"

I thought it was kind of annoying that they included two ivory eyeshadows; granted, one is more french vanilla while the other is more marshmallow, but they both are subtle shimmers and idk, two in one box and out of six eyeshadows it seems a little strange.  On the other hand, "Masquerade" and "Highwire" are both incredibly beautiful, unique, and so naturally very difficult to capture on camera... but believe me, they have this mad multi-dimensional sparkle that basically sold me on this entire box.  In my eye looks below I used "Burlesque" along the brow, "Cream Soda" in the inner corner, "Sugared Bronze" on the inner lid, "Highwire" in the crease", "Spectacle" in a V on the outer corner and feathered into the crease, and then "Masquerade" nested into that V on the outer half of the lid.  "Lasting Brown" is the darker of the liners so it went on top, and "Always Charcoal" a beautiful smoky shade that I loved under the lower lash line.  I was surprised at how much I adored all of these colors together, like smoky peacock jewels!  Pictures do the luminous impact of these shadows no justice at all, especially the decadent "Masquerade".

Top L-R: Sugared Bronze, Masquerade, Cream Soda // Bottom L-R: Spectacle, Highwire, Burlesque


"Cream Soda"



"Sugared Bronze"

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"Laughter" << ♥ >> "Perfect Rose"

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Both of the mini Marvelous Moxie lipglosses are set-exclusive colors, and for me they're a little hit and miss.  "Stylista" is so pretty in the tube, with its happy peachy base and pink shimmer, but is so sheer that it is essentially clear on the lips.  "Hot Ticket", on the other hand, goes on glowing; they weren't kidding when they said this was electric.  They're both kind of thick and tacky, though; not like Lipglass sticky, just a heavy, honey sort of drag when you rub your lips together.  It's not terrible, but I do prefer my lipglosses to be silky smooth so I'm kind of sensitive to it.  Also, these two glosses do have a strong cold tingle on the lips, and just the faintest kiss of mint, so if you're like my dear auntie and allergic to menthol you should proceed with caution.  I don't recall this with any of the myriad Marvelous Moxie samples that make their way into Ulta orders & the like, so I'm wondering if they just felt like the wintry sensation would be fun for the holidays.


"Hot Ticket"

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 I kinda thought these lipsticks were a bit ho-hum in the tube, but holy doly are they pigmented!  "Break Away", the box exclusive color, is a very flattering your-lips-but-better shade, though surprisingly demure for a holiday box with such a playful theme. "Live Large" is a deep, rich pink that goes on surprisingly dark and intense, much more so than isolated lip shots convey; it was a bit overwhelming with my already smoky eye look above.  I did get that old waxy lipstick smell from these (blech!), and while they are very cute and tiny (like fairy lipsticks!) the diminutive size does limit their functionality somewhat, so thankfully they are opaque enough that you don't need much.

"Live Large" << ♥ >> "Break Away"

"Live Large"

"Break Away"
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Establishing real value is the trickiest part about these holiday sets.  Some are mindblowingly good deals, some are not.  It can be really hard to tell, especially when "deluxe"/mini/sample sizes are involved, and sometimes the stated value isn't what I would consider to be accurate.  That's where I come in with my obsessive price-per-unit breakdowns, in which I derive the value of a "deluxe" sample product based on its size ratio to the full size product, then factor in what I have found to be the best possible price for that product... and that's how I decide if a box is a good deal, or a great one!

My conclusions on this box?  Well for starters, nearly everything in this box is a "deluxe" size product (I don't know if you can tell, but I really dislike this label, as I find it to be misleading); only the eyeliners are full size.  I generally don't care to pay for sample sizes because many are so easy to get for free as gift-with-purchase.  However, that doesn't necessarily make sets with sample sizes a bad deal; it's just a signal for me to pay attention to what I'm actually getting here.  As to that, well, here's the breakdown: (actual size/proportional price) {full size/retail price}

Mini Prime Time Foundation Primer (0.5 fl.oz./$12) {1.0 fl.oz./$24}
Mini Prime Time Eyelid Primer (0.05 fl.oz./$9) {0.1 fl.oz./$18} 
Mini Well-Rested Face & Eye Brightener (0.02 fl.oz./$4.40) {0.1 fl.oz./$22}
Lasting Line Long-Wearing Eyeliner {0.012 oz/$16 full size} x 2
          *Always Charcoal
          *Lasting Brown
Mineral Eyecolor (0.01 oz/$7) {0.02 oz/$14} x 6
          Burlesque - white gold
          Highwire - iridescent sage
          Spectacle - aubergine sunset
          Cream Soda - glowing ivory
          Masquerade - indigo teal
          Sugared Bronze - luminous bronze
Mineral Blush (0.02 oz/$12.67) {0.03 oz/$19} x 2
          *Laughter - coral rose
          Perfect Rose - peachy-pink luster
All-Over Face Color (0.02 oz/$12.67) {0.03 oz/$19} x 2
          *Clear Radiance
          Bright Radiance
Mineral Veil Finishing Powder (0.07 oz/$4.90) {0.30 oz/$21}
Mini Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss (0.07 fl.oz./$8.40) {0.15 fl.oz./$18} x 2
          Hot Ticket - electric pink
          Stylista - vivid peach
Mini Marvelous Moxie Lipstick (0.05 oz/$7.50) {0.12 oz/$18} x 2
          Break Away - luscious mauve
          *Live Large - berry rose

*denotes core collection color; all others are box set exclusives (though many, if not most, of them are making reappearances from previous sets such as Holiday 2012, so double check your stash).  Color descriptions by bareMinerals.

eyeshadow size comparison: full size "February", half size "Cream Soda"

lipgloss size comparison: full size "Hypnotist", half size "Stylista"

This box claims to have a value of $241; after all piecing and parceling, I found the maximum value of this box to be $186.76 (if you were to pay full retail price per product per weight).  The extra $54.24 is likely due to the markups on smaller sizes; for example, I spotted these half size shadows retailing for $11 on the BareEscentuals site (at that point, geez, just buy the full size for $3 more!). Then there's my "best possible" price, in which I took 50% off the mineral eyeshadows (per an Ulta 21 Days of Beauty this past September), subtracted out both primers and the core collection colors of blush & lipstick (examples of gift-with-purchase items that I have received), and then took 20% off all other remaining products (Sephora VIB & Ulta Platinum coupons), for a "best possible" price of $103.96.  Compared to the $79 price tag, that's a 24% discount plus plenty of gift-with-purchase bonuses, which hey, is actually a decent deal!  However you number-crunch it, you're getting more for your money than you can get at even the best annual sales.  And the fact that the majority of these colors are set-exclusives (some re-released from previous sets, but still, only to be bought with a box) make it all the more desirable to make-up collector crazies.

But it gets better.  The Big Top was $49 at Macy's for Black Friday, and Ulta also had it on one-day sale for $49 just last week, so keep your eyes open- I anticipate the markdowns are only going to keep coming!  However, on top of that I was able to squeak in an extra 15% off coupon on for their Black Friday sale (pretty sure that wasn't supposed to work but it did so HOORAY), and since I bought through Ebates (a free online shopping incentive program; basically, free money) I will also be receiving an extra 10% cash back in the mail... for a total price of $37.49.  Yup- that's 63.94% off even my stingiest low-ball best possible price.  Point is, there are amazing deals to be had when you play your cards strategically!

And that is how you can have your cake and eat it too.

Marisa + Sprinklepuff

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