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Monday, June 25, 2012

Reviews for YSL Rouge Volupte & Rouge Pur, A Repost

I found this old review I did a year and a half ago and since I still feel the same about these lipsticks, I wanted to repost it. Its super long, yes, but you will be entertained.

Photo taken from
I wanted to try the Rouge Volupte lipsticks from YSL after seeing the gorgeous pinks and creamy peach toned shade swatches on Her photos made the lipstick look truly amazing. The opaque pastels gave me spring fever in the middle of winter. But Temptalia must be some sort of magician because no matter how hard I tried, I could not achieve a similar look using the exact same lipstick that she did to create it. Now, on to the bashing.

The package is ultimate luxury and very much reminds me of the lipsticks my grandma used to carry around that were also fancy gold tubes holding very fragrant and expensive smelling lip color. Perhaps if YSL put less money into the over-the-top packaging and more money into whatever laboratory ingredient that chemists use to create lasting power in lipstick, I would be singing their praises right now instead of violently bashing them into the ground. 

No exaggeration, I looked in the mirror to apply this lipstick, looked down to put the cap back on, lifted my head back up to look at myself in the mirror to check my lipstick again and it was gone. The color had literally started sliding off my lips the minute I looked down. I do believe that the gravity from my head pointing in a downward position caused a wave of motion that was no match for a slippery little sucker like Rouge Volupte. It is no mystery why seeing as how the texture is like that of Country Crock. I also think that the slip-n-slide texture brought to life every imperfection that my lips had to offer, things that I didn't even know existed were suddenly put on blast. And I didn't like what I was hearing.

I got so caught up in my criticism that I didn't mention the shade I purchased which was Lingerie Pink which I had heard so much about and was the reason I bought it in the first place. So I did the only logical thing I could think of and that was to swap it on I knew it would quickly be adopted and would go to a better home than I could offer in the bottom of my "not really interested yet too expensive to throw out" drawer. Unwilling to admit defeat, I wanted to give YSL another chance. Much like a boyfriend who comes crawling back pleading with you that he's changed, I gave the YSL lipsticks another go around. And we all know how those situations end up. This time I'd try a different formula. Rouge Pur was described as being long-lasting. Maybe not in those exact words but it said something about lasting and that word solidified my purchasing decision. Perhaps I had misread the description because the only thing that lasted about the Rouge Pur was the the amount of time it spent "not on my lips." I purchased the Tea Rose shade because it was discontinued so naturally that made it more desirable. It was less of a "rose" shade and more "nude" but that was fine with me as long as it was better formulated than the Rouge Volupte. Much to my chagrin, it was basically the same texture with just a slightly different shape and slightly less luxurious packaging. 

I have heard from multiple lovers of that line that they have to re-purchase very regularly because of the limited amount of product YSL gives you. Personally, I think its less about the amount of product in the tube and more about having to put it on 25 times in 2 hours. That's basically equivalent to a month's worth of product in most other brands. I just pulled those numbers out of a random and possibly inaccurate place in my head so you be the judge.

A Review for MAC Blush in Lovecloud

I may have just found my perfect pink blush in MAC's Lovecloud which is a limited edition item that was released back in April of this year. I ordered from Nordstrom because it was sold out through MAC. Lovecloud is a bright, yellow-toned pink which I love and is a satin formula so it gives a very pretty subtle sheen to the skin. It's a very pigmented mid-tone shade of pink that you could wear sheered out or piled on for a heavier blush look. I find that while it is more of a yellow toned pink, it almost appears cooler toned the more that I apply. That being said, this shade would work for most anyone, warm or cool in the fair all the way to the medium-tan range. I swatched it next to NYX Peach and found them to be similar in color but since Peach is completely matte, they differ in their finish. The following photos are from, let's face it, she has the best pictures doesn't she? Hurry to if you're interested in this blush, it may be gone soon! Oh, the price is $20 USD. And you can't beat the free shipping Nordies offers all day every day~! 

MAC Lovecloud, photo from
MAC Lovecloud swatched heavy and lighter, photo from

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Nude Lip Look of the Day! One of My Fave Combos.

Here's how I achieved this lip of the day! 

*Sara Happ Lip Slip (or any lip balm) to start with
*NYX Pale Pink lip liner lined slightly outside the natural lip line and to fill in entire lip area
*MAC Smoke lip liner very lightly over the NYX liner to create the look of a fuller lip
*Too Faced Centerfold lipstick, blotted
*MAC Myth, a tiny bit tapped over the Centerfold in the center of the lips
*Clarins Gloss Prodige in Rose (best lipgloss ever!!)

And there you have it, a nice and full nude-mauvey lip look. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Top 5 Summer Blushes!

I thought I'd share my top 5 favorite blushes for summer that include two drugstore and three higher-end options. When I swatched all five on my arm, I realized that three of them look nearly identical to one another but I guess that explains my preference for peachy shades! So here we go, in the order they are swatched in photo below.

Lorac Baked Matte Satin in Exposed: This shade has been a favorite on many "favorites" lists and its on mine too! This is a gorgeous and very shimmery (but very fine shimmer) peachy blush. Some say Milani Luminoso is a dupe for Exposed but I find that Exposed is much pinkier. Although these blushes are called baked matte satin, they are anything but matte. They are the exact opposite of matte! Soft, silky, smooth, super pigmented, but not matte. $25 at ULTA.

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso: Similar in texture to the Lorac blushes, very silky with very finely milled shimmer, and let's not forget heavily pigmented! This shade is more of an orangey-peach with less pink than Exposed but pretty much an identical finish. Such a great deal for such a high quality blush and in my opinion, the best shade and texture that Milani makes. $5-$6 @ CVS and Target.

MAC Springsheen: Some say if you have NARS Orgasm, you don't need Springsheen but I actually prefer Springsheen. This is a gorgeous gorgeous blush, another pinky-peach that has slightly more pink in it than Exposed and very similar to NYX Pinched which is also a dupe for NARS Orgasm. Are you still with me? I don't want to confuse you with all the dupes and comparisons! This one gives a gorgeous highlighted look to the cheekbones and has the nicest glowy sheen of all of my picks. $20 @ MAC counters and stores.

NYX Pinched: If you want NARS Orgasm or MAC Springsheen but want a cheaper option, go with NYX Pinched. This is a fantastic and super close dupe for the more expensive brands. Pinched is a pigmented blush but required a couple of extra strokes when swatching on the skin to give the same color pay-off as the others. The texture is more along the lines of a MAC blush but not as silky as the Milani and Lorac. You will be pleasantly surprised if you try some of the NYX blushes, they are quite good and amazingly affordable! $5-$6 @ ULTA, and I see them buy 1 get 1, 50% a LOT!

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Fresh Pink: Finally, a bubble gum pink with no peach in it! This is a cream to powder finish if you haven't tried this line of blushes yet. Fresh Pink is just what it sounds like, it gives a gorgeous and natural pinky flush to the skin. I find it applies best with my fingers because it isn't creamy enough to really spread and blend well with a brush. These blushes definitely have mixed reviews and I've heard that some shades are more pigmented than others. Fresh Pink is sheer but buildable and very natural. $6-$7 at most drugstores.

Lorac Exposed, Milani Luminoso, MAC Springsheen, NYX Pinched, Maybelline Fresh Pink (from L to R, photo taken by me)

Mascara Review: YSL Shocking Volume Effect Faux Cils

I've been very loyal to Benefit They're Real mascara but the one drawback is that it dries up quicker than any mascara I've ever used. I have used the regular YSL Volume Effect Faux Cils mascara in the past which I've enjoyed and so I decided to try the newer version which is called "Shocking". It's supposed to give even more volume and I've heard mixed reviews about it. It is $30 and I purchased it from Sephora. 

The PRO'S:

*Gorgeous packaging and very expensive nice scent that is unlike many of the unpleasant "plastic-y" mascara smells out there. 

*The Shocking formula does give volume that is similar if not better to the original "Non-Shocking" version. 

*Works very well to add volume after using a lengthening and separating mascara first and then topping it off with the YSL. 

*Did not notice any flaking or smudging when worn all day.

*Rich black color, and very glossy finish.


*I was already very aware of what others noted as the biggest drawback to this mascara: it is very very wet! When you take it out of the tube, the wand is coated with product.

*Wet formula can cause extreme clumping if you aren't really careful with how you apply it. But this is a matter of preference, some people see the wet formula as a good thing. I am somewhere in the middle. 

*When used on its own, it is difficult to get separation and volume at the same time but when used in conjunction with a good separating mascara, the YSL compliments it nicely.

*Pricey $$$

Final verdict: I do really like this mascara but I am not sure that I can't live without it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

MAC Innocence Beware, Drugstore Dupe? Maybelline Nude Nuances!

I've searched high and low for the new Colorsensational Porcelain's collection from Maybelline after seeeing swatch after gorgeous swatch on other blogs. In my opinion, it is a daunting task to find a great drugstore nude that is similar to the likes of MAC Myth, Playing Koi, Shy Girl, or Innocence Beware. But I've found one from this new Maybelline collection called Nude Nuances. At first glance, I thought it would be a dead ringer for Playing Koi but its actually almost an exact dupe for Innocence Beware. I thought for sure IB was pinkier but side by side they look identical. I've swatched Nude Nuances next to Playing Koi, Myth, and Innocence Beware so you can see how it compares. 

I love the texture of the Maybelline Colorsensational lipsticks, they are smooth and hydrating with decent staying power and a pleasant scent. This shade in particular goes on opaque with a very nice concentration of color. Overall, a win win and a second trip to Walgreen's is in my future to pick up Afternoon Tea and Smooth Taupe from the same collection! Hurry, these are limited edition shades! (around $6.50 USD)

Photo Credit Maybelline Nude Nuances (above)

Photo Credit MAC Innocence Beware & Maybelline Nude Nuances
Photo taken by me. From L to R: Maybelline Nude Nuances, MAC Playing Koi, MAC Myth, MAC Innocence Beware

Thursday, June 14, 2012

NARS Orgasm Dupe? Try NYX Pinched!

There is no doubt about it that NARS Orgasm is one of the best and probably the most famous blush in all of makeup land. But the price isn't really as popular at $28 bucks a pop. I can remember a time when they were $25 a few years ago. So if you would love to try the infamous Orgasm but can't justify the cost, try NYX Pinched which is a super duper close dupe and about 1/5 of the cost. Currently at ULTA, NYX is buy 1 get 1 50% off which is a great deal. I am a big fan of NYX blush and eyeshadow and think they are by far the best quality "drugstore" items around. NYX Pinched shares the same peachy glowy goodness as Orgasm which makes it a perfect summer blush and really gives a nice sheen to the skin. If you're interested, have a look! 

Photo credit
NYX Pinched, NARS Orgasm, and Makeup Mekka Sparkling Rose. Photo credit

Monday, June 4, 2012

Review for NYX Matte Lipstick in Nude

Photo from
I really like matte finish lipsticks and so I was interested in trying the NYX Matte lipstick after seeing a a couple of swatches and hearing really good things about them. I was in ULTA today and luckily the NYX was Buy 1 Get 1 50% off which seems like the case every time I go in that store. I picked up "Nude" because it looked like a really peachy creamsicle type of color which is right up my alley. I also picked up the NYX matte shadow in Leather & Lace upon recommendation from a friend which looks like a really nice neutral pinky beige but I haven't swatched it yet. I tried the NYX lipstick on its own and over a lip balm because matte formulas do tend to be a bit drying. Overall, it has amazing pigmentation and applies really smoothly and opaque with a fairly thin consistency. However, it sinks into the cracks in the lips and magnifies any dry or peely patches you have going on. Even over a very nice hydrating lip balm. I tried to smooth out the cracks by smoothing out the lipstick with my finger but they return after you purse your lips together a few times. And I noticed when I smooth it out to a point that I can't see it in the cracks, its very sheer and thus becomes drying. The color is gorgeous and is similar to MAC Reel Sexy but less orange but I just think the overall formula and wear of the lipstick is what will prevent me from trying other shades. This formula really reminds me of the Revlon Matte lipsticks that are kind of tricky to work with and require a good lip exfoliation upon applying. As far as drugstore matte lipstick goes, I really like the Wet N' Wild MegaLast Matte and find that the formula is thicker which means they wear much better than NYX. I may try the NYX over a lip primer like MAC Prep and Prime which really gives a good base for applying lip color before I dismiss this product entirely but as a lipstick that you just throw on without multiple-step preparation, it fails.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Color VS Tarte LipSurgence Stain

As I was watching EmilyNoel83 on YouTube last night talking about some of the latest products at the drugstore, my ears perked up when she described the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable lip color as similar to the Tarte LipSurgence lip stain. I have had a few of the Tarte LipSurgence lippies but most of them I procured through purchasing a larger set of products. But I've used them enough to know they really aren't amazing. I picked up the new Revlon Kissable lip stain today to see how they measure up to its Tarte counterpart. CVS only had a few colors left and they were all out of the nude shades I really wanted so I opted for Honey, which appeared to be a pale mauvey-pink, good enough I thought. I have to say, I really really like this Revlon product. Revlon, in my opinion, has been killing it lately on the lip product front. First the lip butters and now these lip stains. Go Revlon. So let's break it down bit by bit.

Revlon VS. Tarte

Shade Selection?

The winner goes to Revlon, they do a great job giving us a great shade range of nudes, pinks, berries, reds, something for every skin tone. Tarte shade selection is decent too but I think Revlon edges them out. The pictures above only represent a few of the shades, there are many more to the collection. It looks like the Revlon collection could have some possible dupes for the Tarte shades. I see that the fourth shade in the Tarte picture above (Moody) looks similar to the first one pictured in the Revlon picture above. As does the fifth Tarte shade compared to the third Revlon shade above. We'll see!
Photo taken from The shade Honey is the far right, which is the one I purchased.
The Texture, Consistency, and Feel?

Very similar to one another as far as the cool-minty scent but Tarte's is a bit mintier. They both apply so smoothly but where they differ is that the consistency of the Revlon has a bit more grab where Tarte is a bit slippery and tends to slide off quicker. The finish on the Tarte stain is glossier but both have a glossy finish that kind of dulls down as they wear and become more of a stain. 
Both products are smooth and moisturizing and then kind of sink into your lips to become a stain as time goes on. I didn't feel that either brand was drying at any point. 


Very easy for both. They each are shaped the same with the crayon type applicator that you twist up from the bottom to get more product. I really like these types of applicators and they really help get precise coverage so that you may not need a lip liner. I did not use a lip liner at any time I've used these kind of lip products. Like I said, Revlon edges out Tarte because it has more grab to it which helps the staying power. 

The Coverage/Formula?

Buildable for both. You can apply a sheer layer or keep going to get a deeper color. I will say that the shade Honey appeared to be a mauvey-pink going by the packaging but turned out to be a deeper pink tone on the lips and became darker as I applied more. The shade Honey was a matte, no shimmer in sight, and while it starts out glossy, it dries down to a matte-finish. I can't speak for the other shades but I also have Tarte Moody (I have a separate post on this, if you're interested click right Here) Cherish, and Enchanted and there is no shimmer in any of these shades.


The million dollar question. Are either brand really a lip stain? When I think of stain, I think of something that looks like you painted your lips with a marker that will crease and crack, dry your lips out, and look like a big mess. Neither brand ended up like this on my lips but I hesitate to call either product a stain. And I definitely give the lasting power award to REVLON. I always had trouble with the Tarte LipSurgence in that they looked nice in the beginning and then wore off unevenly and rather quickly. Given that Tarte applies glossy and slippery, it makes you wonder how they last throughout the day. Well... they don't. Revlon lasted me a good few hours at the pool until I opted to put on Maybelline Baby Lips for the SPF20 factor (love the peach one!) but I did not go under water so I can't attest to the water resistance, not that Revlon claims that it has these capabilities. 

It's a no-brainer, Revlon is cheaper and better in my opinion. Slightly less glossy than Tarte but better staying power and consistency. Can't wait to try more shades!