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Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Small ULTA Haul Ft. NYX & Essence Products

I ran into ULTA today to pick up a couple of things I've had on my list for a while and lucky, most everything was in stock aside from the Essence Gel Liner which I hear is fantastic and only like $2.99! The last time I tried to buy it, I saw that it was tampered with and had to put it back. Someone put their grubby fingers in it which made me sick. But luckily my new purchases appeared to be mostly germ free. I picked up the Essie polish in DJ Play That Song, finally! I can't find any of the neon collection anymore at the drugstores. I also picked up an NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair. I would have gotten more but it was the first time ever that NYX was NOT buy 1 get 1 50% off. Figures. I also bought NYX True Taupe eyeshadow and Essence Silky Touch blush in Adorable. I must say, this blush is ridiculously silky. They weren't lying. It's so smooth and delicious and CHEAP! The shade is mostly matte with a slight sheen to it, a pale pinky color. The weird thing is there was another one that was way more pale, almost ivory and it was also labeled the same shade. Hmm.. not sure if what I bought is the true "Adorable" or not but it's an amazing blush and only $2.99. Go Essence. 

I have to put this out there. If you haven't tried NYX Butter Gloss, you must run to your local ULTA or order some online. Wow. The best texture of any lipgloss I've tried. It's not too much of anything, not too sticky and not too greasy. It feels amazing and looks amazing and the color selection is great. I bought "Eclair" which is just a pale pink neutral but I wanted every single color. I forgot my coupon and will also wait for another Buy 1 Get 1 sale before I go clean out their supply. I ventured over to the higher-end side but didn't have much time to look around and plus I was trying to avoid being asked 101 times if I needed help. I rarely, if ever, need help finding or buying makeup. That's one area I've got covered. 

Why are you still reading this? I told you, go buy you some NYX Butter Glosses!

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Collective Makeup Haul Ft. Drugstore & Sephora Products + Mini Reviews!

I have acquired a few new goodies over the past week from the drugstore and one product from Sephora and Ebay. I have used all of these things because I have no patience and usually open products immediately when they first meet my hands, so I've included swatches as well + mini reviews. 

L'Oreal True Match Blush C1-2 Baby Blossom: A really pretty pale pink with very fine particles of shimmer. This product is very smooth to the touch and goes on sheer but I really like it and am glad I found it finally because it is always sold out! 

Rimmel Lipstick Let's Get Naked: This is part of their new collection of lipsticks in the purple tubes. It's not exactly a "naked" color though. It's a really pretty shade of pinky coral. I can't quite put my finger on it but it whatever it is, it isn't nude. 

Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss Pink Pop: The Super Lustrous lip glosses have been around a while but Revlon has repackaged them and edited the shade selection. By editing I mean getting rid of some shades (Peach Petal, this doesn't make me happy) and adding a couple new ones. They kept the shade Pink Pop but I'm not sure if it's the exact same as the old Pink Pop because I don't own the old Pink Pop packaging. I will say, it's a beautiful bright pink that looks really bright in the tube but goes on more sheer. It's a color anyone could wear. I will also say that the Super Lustrous gloss formula is one of the best gloss formulas out of any high-end or drugstore brand. Seriously. It's perfect and smooth and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. 

NYC Sparkle Eye Dust Smoky Topaz: I'm not sure if anyone remembers but the NYC Eye Dust used to be sold in this really weird packaging with a screw top that I can't even explain. But now they are sold in tubes with a doe foot applicator. The colors are the same though and absolutely gorgeous! Smoky Topaz is the most beautiful shimmering taupe. It seriously looks like MAC Satin Taupe on steroids. The drawback is that it's kind of messy and you will almost be guaranteed to have fall-out. I really suggest putting some on your hand and working with a flat shader brush, pressing it on the lid rather than using the doe-foot that draws out way too much product that flies everywhere. It may work better with some sort of tacky base. But it's worth the $3 just to be able to stare at the swatch, it's that pretty.

Eminence Bronzer Mocha Berry: One of the only pressed powder bronzers on the planet that does not include silicone or Talc. This is 100% organic and it's really pretty. It's shimmery, yes, but it doesn't look that shimmery on the face. It gives a really pretty tanned look to the skin and nice highlighted effect on the cheekbones. Very impressed! 

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Glow Pads: This is a cool product. It's a self-tanner and a skin treatment all in one. It comes with individually packaged towelettes for your face and you apply it like you would any face wipe only you are left with a nice bronzed glow. The drawback is your skin will smell like self tanner and since you apply it right next to your nose, you will smell it a lot. I bought the small package to try them out. So far, I'm liking it but not sure I will repurchase.

L'Oreal True Match Blush C1-2 (Top), Eminence Mocha Berry Bronzer

Rimmel Let's Get Naked (Top), Revlon Super Lustrous Pink Pop Lip Gloss

NYC Sparkling Eye Dust Smoky Topaz (above)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Looking for a Drugstore Dupe for Dior Contour Lip Liner Pencil in Linen?

I absolutely love Dior Lip Liners. They are the best in my opinion because they last a long time, glide on smoothly, and really have a beautiful color selection. My favorite Dior Lip Liner, hands down, is Linen. Linen is a neutral nude-y brown tone that makes the lips appear fuller when its blended in and worn with a nude or nude-pink color. The Dior liners are around $30 which is pricy so I thought I'd show you what I think is a good dupe for Linen that can be found in the drugstore. It is the L'Oreal Colour Riche Lip Liner in Toffee. I think this shade is very close but slightly cooler than Linen which I actually really love. Please note, the Linen is photographing a bit warmer than it actually looks. 

Now, the consistency of the L'Oreal is much different than Dior. It is much more slick and doesn't wear as long but it's a great color. The tip is to apply this on and slightly outside of the natural lip liner very carefully, apply your lipstick in a nude shade over the lip liner and then blend out the liner into the lipstick so that it doesn't look harsh. A lip brush works great to blend but you can also use your finger. If your skin tone is darker, you won't have to blend much. You know what I'm talking about when I say harsh, think of really bad 90's lips when girls would wear a burgundy lip liner and then a really light pink frosty lipstick. Ugh. That visual is too much to bear. The L'Oreal Toffee can be found where the Color Riche lipsticks are in the drugstore. Sometimes they pair the liners with the shade of lipsticks they go with so this one is found in the "browns". 

Please note: fair skinned and lighter complexions CAN wear these colors. It's all in how you apply them and what you pair them with. These shades work best when you are trying to make your lips appear fuller but I wouldn't necessarily use this type of color to fill in my entire lip or anything unless I had a much darker complexion. **I'm MAC NW 25.

Lipsticks that I like pairing these liners with: Dior Rouge Dior in #123, Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Charmed (you need to blend that liner to make this work if you're fair/light!), Dior Rouge Dior #298 Beige Indecise, Tom Ford Lipstick Nude Vanill, L'Oreal Caresse Lipstick in Sheer Linen (absolutely beautiful shade on anyone). 

L'Oreal Colour Riche Lip Liner Toffee (Top), Dior Contour Lip Liner Linen (Bottom)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Interested in a Makeup Giveaway? Please Comment!

This is just a little post to test the waters and see who is out there that would be interested in a giveaway! I haven't done one in over a year and I used to do them semi-frequently. So please leave a comment if you're out there and also if you have any suggestions for good giveaway items? I was thinking maybe I'd do an assorted goodie bag of high-end products that would work for everyone regardless of skin tone. Let me know what you all would love to have! As always, my giveaways are open to everyone regardless of where you live.

RCMA Foundations First Impressions + Swatches!

I've heard Wayne Goss, aka GossMakeupArtist, on YouTube rave about the foundations from RCMA. What caught my attention most was when he mentioned that these foundations included none of the ingredients that we are most apprehensive about putting on our faces. Since I can't wear silicone-based foundation and that is what 99.9% of foundations are, I immediately ordered some samples from the RCMA website. I've been on the search for years for an amazing silicone-free foundation that was not in powder form. 

I was initially very confused because they literally have like 100 shades! This company is known for making foundations for the stage, TV, etc. and so their shade range is out of control. In a good way. After doing some research, I picked a sample from a few different shade ranges so that I could zero in on my perfect shade. For reference, I am MAC NW 25 and so I was looking for something neutral-cool toned. I chose KO1 and KO2, Olive1, Grey-Beige, and Olive 4 (for contour). Now, my opinion is that the KO range is more neutral-cool and the Olive1 seemed to have some grey undertones as did the Grey-Beige. The closest shade I found to my skin tone is definitely KO2. By the way, Olive4 is a great contour shade because it's a neutral tan-brown and does not look orange on the skin. I did apply the contour using a Real Techniques contour/highlight brush and it worked very well.

The RCMA foundations include 50% pigment which is double or more of what most foundations are. The good news is that you need very little because of this. The very best way to apply this foundation so that you can truly see how well they work is using a damp wedge sponge or damp Beauty Blender. This isn't a foundation that you blend in with a buffing brush or use your hands with. I was able to apply it with a brush as contour but can't see doing it that way all over the face. It would just take too much work. The texture is interesting. It looks very dense but when you touch it it's very creamy and melts easily. Hence, the need for a damp sponge applicator. I have already ordered a foundation quad which has the first four KO shades. This is a great idea because you can create your perfect shade! I hear they are pretty busy over at RCMA after Goss gave them a shout out. Their customer service is lovely. I spoke with Christian via email back and forth and was very impressed. 

Because it's confusing to find which shade you are because of their amazing selection, I thought I'd add what I have to the pictures that exist out there to help someone make their selection easier! As you can see from the swatches, the KO2 is warmer than the others and is a good neutral. 

Some Extra Bits of Info:

-RCMA does sell foundation thinner if you want more of a liquid texture rather than cream
-The samples are $1 each
-You can buy different sizes of the foundations from 1/8 oz to a full ounce. 
-They sell individual shades and the foursomes in each shade range. I bought "A" which is the first four shades in the KO range. The quads run $27 + $6 shipping

RCMA Foundations from Left to Right: Olive 1, KO2, KO1, Grey Beige. Photo credit belongs to me.

My First Burberry Makeup Haul.... Worth the Money? Read On!

I've been wanting to try Burberry eyeshadow forever after hearing only great things about them. The collection is full of amazing neutrals and easy to wear shades but also includes some rich deep tones that are absolutely stunning. And what is not to love about the sleek and chic Burberry packaging? The only drawback is that the single shadows are $29 each. It's difficult to spend that when you can get a full palette of eyeshadow for around $50 or $60 bucks. But I gotta say.... these babies are worth every penny. I ordered directly from Burberry which I highly recommend doing because they package the products beautifully (pictures included below) and the shipping is free. Nordstrom didn't have one of the colors I wanted and that is why I ordered from Burberry in the first place. I chose Trench, a pale beige-y neutral with a sheen to it. Trench is what you would get if MAC Brule and Urban Decay Virgin had a baby. It's the color of Brule but with the finish of Virgin. I figured if I was going to spend $29 on one eyeshadow, I was going to be a color I would get a lot of use out of. And I use this for an all over base and highlight. The other shadow I purchased is Almond. This is a must-have for brown lovers. It is a cool-toned, kind of milk chocolate medium brown with a beautiful sheen to it much like Trench. It's similar to Bare Minerals Pebble as far as color goes. Absolutely perfect crease color and blends flawlessly over Trench. 

So let's dish about what is specifically so great about these shadows.Swatch pictures below!

What I Love:

-The soft beautiful color range
-Super duper soft and silky texture
-Very easy to blend 
-Pigmented without being so pigmented that you have to be really careful
-They have a subtle sheen/shimmer that is just the right amount but not really noticeable
-Beautiful sleek packaging that will make your makeup collection look prettier 

What I Don't Love:

-Price? Although I think they are worth it so it won't discourage me from buying more!
-The packaging does get finger prints but not a big deal to me and not near as bad as NARS packaging as far as attracting prints.

Burberry Eye Shadow in Trench. Photo Credit Belongs to Me.

Burberry Eyeshadow in Almond. Photo Credit Belongs to Me.

Burberry Trench and Burberry Almond. Photo Credit Belongs to Me.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

List of Silicone-Free Skin Care, Foundation, Bronzers!

So I've been silicone-free with respect to my skin care and face makeup (aside from blush and highlight because silicone doesn't affect my cheeks thankfully!) for a long time now. I've done so much research, scoured every website, and followed up on any link with the words "silicone free" in the description. I've also tried a ton of products that are silicone free. I know that I find posts like this extremely helpful but unfortunately, there are not many of them. I thought I would share with other gals like myself who have an aversion to silicone and are forced into a life of jealousy watching and reading about others who get to use anything on their face that they want to. Sadly, I will never know what life is like while using the Dior Airflash foundation or Guerlain Four Seasons bronzer. Did I even spell Guerlain right? I would look it up but this post isn't about Guerlain so who cares. 

Below are products I have tried and that I recommend, unless I've noted otherwise. I'm sure there are more but I can't remember everything! And of course there are more than I haven't tried. I will update this list whenever I try a new product! *please note if there is an asterix, I've named an entire product line. By the way, if a product line says they are 100% organic, that also means they don't use silicone. Many products say organic or natural but that doesn't mean 100% organic. And "natural" doesn't mean "organic".

Silcone-Free Foundation/Makeup/Primers:

*Mineral Foundations usually do not contain silicone unless they are pressed powder form but they sometimes contain silica which my skin hates as well. There are many loose minerals brands that you can find on the internet that are all vegan and organic. I've tried to concentrate on liquid products that are silicone-free because they are much harder to find!

Laura Mercier Mineral Powder (my skin loves this)
Laura Mercier Oil-Free Supreme Liquid Foundation (reformulated, not as good as old formula)
Bare Minerals Original Foundation (the loose, not pressed, the pressed contains silica)
Korres Mineral Powder
BellaPierre (pressed mineral powder, hard to find but very nice)
RCMA Foundation (cream foundation)
*RCMA product line is silicone-free
Juice Beauty Foundation (made me break out but for reasons other than silicone content)
Eminence Antioxidant Mineral Foundation
Eminence Tinted Moisturizer SPF 25
*Eminence Entire Product Line is Organic, no silicone! 
OCC Airbrush Makeup (can be used without the machine)
OCC Concealer
*OCC products are silicone-free
Dinair Airbrush Makeup
Luminess Airbrush Makeup
Omorovicza BB Cream (probably the only BB Cream on the planet with no silicone, but very $$$)
Omorovicza Complexion Enhancer SPF
DeVita BB Cream (more like a tinted moisturizer)
*DeVita Products are Silicone Free, they make foundations too! 
*Juice Beauty foundations/tinted moisturizers do not include silicone
Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals Foundation (their pressed minerals are not silicone-free) 
Korres Silicone-Free Vitamin E Face Primer
Korres Quercetin & Oak Anti-Aging Face Primer 

Silicone-Free Moisturizers/Serums:

Korres 24 Hour Moisturizing Cream (highly recommended for normal/dry skin)
Korres Greek Yogurt Moisturizer
Korres Sleeping Facials (overnight facials, heard these are awesome!)
Eminence Acai Firm Moisturizer (just starting using this, it's LOVE!)
*All Eminence Skin Care is Organic, no silicone! Mentioned by Madonna, Jessica Beil, other celebs
Michael Todd Hydrating Serum
*Michael Todd skincare is 70-100% organic, no silicone! 
Kate Somerville Oil-Free Quench hydrating serum (make sure it says oil-free, they also make a non oil-free that includes silicone)
*DeVita Organic Skin Care Line/Makeup is Silicone-Free 
Devita SPF 30 Moisturizer/Sunscreen
Kate Somerville RetAsphere 2-in-1 Retinol (excellent product for nightime use!)
*Juice Beauty Skin Care is organic, no silicone!
Omorovicza Balancing Moisturizer 
Omorovicza Rose Lifting Serum 
*I am almost positive that Omorovicza product line is all silicone-free 
Ren Bio-Retinoid Anti-Aging Concentrate  

Friday, June 21, 2013

Best Volumizing Mascara Ever! Chanel Le Volume De Chanel

It isn't often that I find a new mascara that I am really blown away by. I'm faithful to my Benefit They're Real and I also love the Cover Girl Clump Crusher and Mally Volumizing mascara. I had never tried a Chanel mascara before but have heard really good things about the latest one, Le Volume de Chanel. Fancy name, fancy results. Chanel refers to the brush as the exclusive new "Snowflakes" brush which is a combination of long and short bristles. Whatever it is, it works. Really really well.

The volume that this mascara produces is outstanding and I also found it to be lengthening. I will say, this isn't a mascara that you just quickly apply and run out the door. It takes a little nurturing but the results are worth it. It is somewhat of a wet mascara and you need to let your top lashes dry before going on to the bottom because the product will transfer. That being said, you can get away with one coat easily. In fact, I did both eyes and bottom lashes without having to re-dip into the tube for second coat. Now that's impressive. Although, I did go back in for a second layer so what you see in pictures is two coats. More like one and a half. A third coat would produce some clumping so two is more than enough. 

And let's talk about the pigmentation, wow! This is a rich dark black, the blackest of blacks as far as I am concerned. But it also comes in blue, brown, and purple if you're feeling adventurous. It retails for $30 but you can find samples galore on Ebay if you want to try before you buy a full size. That's what I did and now I'm hooked. If you like the results of YSL Volume Effect Faux Cils, you may find the Volume de Chanel easier to work with.

* Please note, my lashes are quite average without mascara. They aren't short and they aren't long. And they are a very light brown.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Face of the Day Using Urban Decay Naked + Naked Basics Palettes

I haven't posted any face of the day pictures lately so I thought I'd bring those back. This is my "going to the dentist look". You know how you see "going to work looks", "going on a first day look", etc? No one ever shows you how how you should apply your makeup if you're going to the dentist. So I'm kidding about that but I do have a tip for going to the dentist, don't wear lip color, opt for something hydrating like a lip balm. And waterproof mascara if you're going in for something painful. In any event, I did a neutral eye today using my UD Naked Palette and UD Naked Basics palette. Here's what I used:

Michael Todd Hydrating Serum
DeVita BB Cream (medium)
Laura Mercier Mineral Powder (natural beige)
Trish McEvoy Correct & Brighten (under eye)
Cle de Peau concealer (beige)
Dior Rosy Glow Blush (petal)
Wet N' Wild Reserve Your Cabana (highlight)

Wet N' Wild Fergie Eye Primer (great stuff!)
Lancome brow pencil (taupe)
Naked Basics Palette: WOS all over from lid to brow bone, Crave eyeshadow as liner 
Naked Palette: Naked in crease, Buck in outer-v area 
Chanel Volume de Chanel mascara (amaaazing!)
Rimmel Scandal Eyes eyeliner on bottom lash line (taupe)

Sarah Happ Lip Slip lip balm
Tom Ford Private Blend Lipstick (Nude Vanille)
Rimmel Lip Liner (East End Snob)

Oh.... and my "going to the dentist hair", a semi-greasy low pony tail. I have been experimenting with Wen Treatment oil and went a little overboard. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

No Birthday is Complete Without the Gift of Makeup....

My sweet husband and daughters gave me some great gifts for my birthday so I thought I'd share the makeup-related ones with you. I don't remember a time that I didn't get at least one makeup item for a birthday or holiday or at least a gift-card to a makeup store. Makeup for me is like toys are to a little kid. I get giddy and excited when I receive makeup as a gift and at my age, giddy and excited are not easy to come by. I've used all four of these items and absolutely love three out of the four. I've included swatches below and my first impression of each.

Dior 5 Coleurs Lifting Eye Palette Lifting Ivory (Above)

Tom Ford Lipstick Nude Vanille (Top), Kevin Aucoin Lip Gloss Dahliana (Middle), MAC Eye Kohl in Phone Number (Bottom)

Tom Ford Lipstick in Nude Vanille: LOVE! The perfect lipstick, in my opinion. It's creamy but not slick, it's opaque coverage but not too matte, it has good staying power and a light vanilla scent. If you love the paler nudes, you will love this. It's close to MAC Myth but much more wearable and a prettier finish. Unfortunately, the Tom Ford lipstick is worth every penny. 4,800 pennies to be exact.

Kevyn Aucoin Lip Gloss in Dahliana: My first Kevin Aucoin lip product. This is a beautiful milky pink that anyone would love. Interesting applicator too. Very happy with this item.

MAC Eye Kohl in Phone Number: This is a great color if you don't want stark black but are looking for a more charcoal shade. It's creamy and gorgeous and it is great as a base on the lid and smudged under the lash line for a smoky eye. And it looks great paired with the above mentioned lip products! 

Dior 5 Coleurs Lift Eyeshadow Palette (Lifting Ivory): I was excited to get this but it's a piece of crap. The colors look so pretty and subtle but they are so subtle that they melt off your eyes almost instantly. Not to mention they are full of shimmer but void of any actual color, it's very odd. And the eyeliner it comes with is dry as a bone. I was able to make a decent winged line with it and it disappeared before I put down my brush. As if this wasn't enough, the palette comes with an eye base in the center that is full-on shimmer. So you apply a shimmer base under shimmer shadows. Not shimmery shadows, SHIMMER shadows. There is nothing there besides shimmer. All three of the shadows are this way. I didn't swatch these because I'm returning it after one use. Keep in mind, this is the first awful Dior product I've ever had. Dior eyeshadow is usually amazing.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Rave Review for NYX Extreme Lip Cream in Nude Peach Fuzz

I wanted to share with you a lip product that is definitely worth checking out! The NYX Lip Cream claims that "It's not a lipstick, nor is it a gloss. It's like nothing you've experienced before. It's liquid lipstick that goes on with full xtreme color and intense shine." And guess what... they're right! 

This is a really cool product, it is super opaque and you apply it as if it were a gloss with a doe-foot applicator but it feels and looks like a lipstick with amazing pigmentation and full opacity. And to make it even better, it lasts a LONG time but without getting super dry and crackly on your lips like a lot of long-wear lip colors. It isn't sticky but it sure sticks on the lips while remaining comfortable and easy to wear. And it does give a good amount of shine, although not exactly "intense" as NYX claims. 

The product has a nice scent, semi-sweet that is very tolerable. Another good characteristic of this product is that you don't really need a lip liner, you can actually use the applicator to line around your lips before filling in the color and it really works well this way. Oh, the color, I almost forgot! I have Nude Peach Fuzz and it's a perfect saturated peach that will look great on everyone. The shade is true to color in the tube. I am super impressed and will be purchasing more! Can be purchased at ULTA for around $4-$5.

NYX Xtreme Lip Cream in Nude Peach Fuzz (nails are Boom Boom Room by Essie!)

NYX Xtreme Lip Cream Nude Peach Fuzz (above, photo credit belongs to me)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Devita 100% Vegan, Organic Skin Care Review Ft. Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30 and Beauty Balm

I've been on the hunt for some sunscreen and tinted moisturizer that does not contain silicone. My only options are usually to find something organic or give-up. I'm not a quitter and I started my search for some 100% vegan skin care items. 

I had heard some good things about this company DeVita and their Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30. It has hyaluronic acid, is certified organic, no GMO's, and Gluten sensitive safe. I paid somewhere around $20 dollars for this on Ebay but the regular price is closer to $30 if I'm not mistaken. This sunscreen is supposed to be a moisturizer as well but I find it is not moisturizing enough to use without another product that provides more hydration. I have normal/dry skin but this may be the right amount of moisture for combo/oily skin types. This product goes on very nicely and smoothly, and you don't need a whole lot of it. It spreads very easily. It can ball up a bit when you use it in conjunction with other moisturizers but I don't find it to be much of an issue. I use it on my chest, neck, face, hands, and a bit on my arms. Gotta protect those hands and arms while you're driving to ward off evil sun spots. 

The next product I thought I would try from DeVita is their BB Cream. I know, not another freaking BB Cream right? Besides, American BB Creams are pretty much glorified tinted moisturizers anyway. And this one is too. But I do like it. Also certified organic, Devita describes this as a multi-beneficial beauty balm. And by multi-beneficial, I guess it means that it has SPF 15 and it moisturizes. This is not enough SPF for me to wear alone in the summer so I pair it with the SPF 30 mentioned above. This product comes in a light, a medium, and a tan shade. Given that these types of products do not usually give off a lot of color or coverage, I opted for the medium hoping that it would help to warm up my skin. It's kind of a watery formula but without being runny at all. I just mean you can feel that it is not a thick substance,  it's nice and light and spreads very easily over the skin. It does give off about the coverage that a tinted moisturizer would. Nice product but I would not depend on it to really do much but provide a little SPF. 

DeVita BB Cream Medium, DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30 
Overall, this is a nice brand and I would love to try their other products. They have a whole line of foundations that are also organic and contain no silicone. And get this, they are cream foundations that do not contain silicone. Usually when you see foundations that boast healthful benefits and are vegan, they are mineral powder. And I get tired of that.

I'm Back With a Sephora Haul! Ft. YSL, Obsessive Complusive Cosmetics...

Hi! So I've been gone since January! I was very busy with grad school and I am now done, yay! I don't know what to do with the extra time, aside from looking for a job (borrring!), and so I thought I'd dive into blogging again. And what better way to start off than with a nice little Sephora Haul? I only bought three things but got lots of samples and the 500 point Beauty Insider Gift (It's a good one!). 

Here's what I bought + Mini Descriptions:

YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in Nude Beige # 1: It's been a rocky relationship for me and Rouge Volupte. I used to hate them even wrote a negative post about them a few years back (gasp!). But I thought I'd give them another try since I started loving their other formulas. I purchased Nude Beige because it's gorgeous for starters. But also because for a nude, it has a lot pink in it which I like. This one is a keeper, the box can officially be tossed. Very opaque and very creamy, almost too creamy, but the color, packaging, and scent make up for it.

OCC Skin Conceal, R1: I'm so excited that OCC has concealer now because they are 100% vegan and guess what that means? NO SILICONE! Yay! Do you know how impossible it is to find concealers or creamy face products of any kind that do not contain silicone? My skin detests silicone. I've heard good things about this concealer in that its similar to MAC Studio Finish concealer which I love (not for under eye but for spot concealing) but creamier. Perfect! I picked out the shade R1, for reference I am NW 20 in MAC concealer. This OCC shade is more of a neutral tone and looks a bit yellow for me but when I apply it on the skin, it's actually a good match so don't be afraid. 

Tarte Maracuja Lip Scrub: Every time I go to ULTA, this is sold out and finally it was in stock. You know what that means, I HAD to buy it right? I didn't buy this at Sephora but I threw it into the haul because I just purchased it. This is great, its a lip scrub with very fine granules and a minty fresh scent. Of course you can make your own lip scrub with sugar and any oil you have in your house like olive oil and get the same results. But what can I say, I love the little oval container!

Tarte 500 Point Beauty Insider Gift: Finally, after denying the current 500 point gift time and time again, Sephora brought in something that I can get on board with. This little set contains a mini Maracuja Oil (not that mini, good size), a cream shadow in golden beige (although in the picture it looked like moss green, glad they changed it), Amazonian Clay blush in Exposed (been wanting this forEVER), Lights Camera Lashes mascara, AND the Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder (which I can't use because of the silica). I think this is a great Beauty Insider Gift by the way, hurry before it goes away and they bring in something lame. Crap I think they already did.


Promo Code Freebie: Murad Vitamin C Peel
Free Samples: Guerlain Cils Definer Mascara
Bond No. 9 I Love NY for Men
Buxom Lip Gloss in Katie 

All in all, it's a good time for freebies/samples/Beauty Insider Gifts at Sephora.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Review (Rant): Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion SPF 30

It took this terrible sunscreen made by Hawaiian Tropic to break my 4 month hiatus from blogging. Yes, it is that bad. I'm hoping I will feel better after I've expressed my frustrations to you. I don't know what is wrong with me, I can't be content just picking out some normal sunscreen that does what it is supposed to do. Rather, I am continually sucked in by products that claim to go beyond the realm of simply blocking UV-Rays and perform some extra magical task. Hawaiian Tropic, you've promised me the world for the last time. 

This product is SPF 30 and promises hydrating properties. I'm a sucker for the words "Silk" and "Hydration", what can I say? So I lathered myself up in this stuff and headed out for about 1.5 hours in the mostly sunny Carolina outdoors. Mind you I was not at a beach or in a pool, just out in my driveway for some kiddie pool supervising. I had shorts and tank and sprayed this stuff very liberally. Fast forward to later in the day and I have a blazing sunburn all over my chest. My chest is the spot I sprayed the most sunscreen because that is a sensitive area for most people when it comes to the sun. Imagine my confusion as I stared at my bright red burning flesh after having used SPF 30 for a mere 1.5 hours in the sun, taking breaks here and there to seek shade. So I get the little devil out and check the ingredients, it has mineral oil and about a 100 other oils. A-ha! This is what they had to do to make the product hydrating! Oil = BURN. Do we not all remember our mothers or aunts stories of rubbing baby oil all over to tan with back in the 70's/80's? Mineral oil being a prime suspect here and a key ingredient in this Hawaiian Tropic nightmare. I guess all of the oil kind of defeats the SPF properties because I do not burn very easily when I've got at least SPF 30. Hell, I don't burn at all if I've got SPF 30 and am outdoors for a little over an hour. 

Now, some of you may be thinking it is my fault for not looking at the ingredients first. While I can appreciate this sentiment, I am still pissed that this company or any other company even makes an SPF product with so much oil in it. I feel as though I've been deceived. All of the hard work I've done to protect the youthfulness of my skin over the last few years may be flushed down the drain if I suffer any visible signs of aging because of this. Thank GOD I didn't put it on my face. So, the moral of the story, don't buy this if you don't want to take the chance of burning. Who buys SPF 30 if they want to burn anyways? Lesson learned.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Makeupgeek (MUG) Eyeshadow Review

If you are looking for some really affordable and yet really high-quality eyeshadow, look no further than I have been consistently impressed lately with the products I have ordered from MUG and my latest haul is no exception. With 50 shades to choose from, I headed to the blogs to look at swatches and read reviews in order make a selection of four shadows. The shadows are available in pot or pan and I chose to order some pans to put into a new palette I received. The pans are $5.99 each and you get even more product than what is in a MAC pro-pan (size difference pictured below in last picture). The drawback? No magnet on the back of the pan! I would gladly pay a buck more to get a magnet... just in case anyone is listening. Luckily, after trying the shadows, I can say that the no-magnet issue is the only drawback to these products. So pigmented, so smooth, so easy to blend, and such gorgeous colors! 

Shimma Shimma is a cream color full of micro-shimmer, no glitter! It's heavenly and so buttery soft. An amazing inner corner highlight. It is a true must-have for anyone. Don't be thrown off by the name, it is a classy shimmer.

Unexpected is a warm mauve/taupe shade that has some purple in it. It is an interesting shade, reminds me of MAC Quarry but better texture. Great crease color!

Cocoa Bear is a fan favorite among the bunch and is a red-toned matte brown. It is a shade or so darker than MAC Texture (comparison below in third picture) and about two shades darker than MAC Soft Brown. It's a perfect outer-v shade and I know I will get a lot of use out of it!

Beaches and Cream is a sandy peach that appears matte but when you look up close you can see the faintest bit of a sheen. It's a great all over base color or highlight shade or to blend out darker colors. It is just one of those every day multi-purpose kind of shades that everyone needs.

Final thought. These shadows aren't just nice for $5.99, they are nice for any price point. Dare I say I am more impressed with these than my MAC shadows? It's too early to tell but I will definitely be making more trips over to soon! 

MUG Shimma Shimma (Top Left) Beaches & Cream (Top Right) Unexpected (Bottom Left) Cocoa Bear (Bottom Right)

MUG Shimma Shimma, Beaches & Cream (above)

MUG Unexpected, Cocoa Bear, MAC Texture (for reference)

MUG shadows + MAC Texture on the far right (above)

To compare size difference: Mac shadows (top row) MUG (bottom row)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Blackest Matte Black Eyeshadow You've Ever Used: MakeupGeek Corrupt

Corrupt by MakeupGeek (MUG) is the blackest black you've ever laid eyes on. Or rather, that has ever laid on your eyes. Mind blowingly black I tell you. If you don't know, MakeupGeek is a cosmetics company started by Marlena who is one of the original YouTube beauty guru's with an amazing talent for makeup. She has her own line of products that include roughly 50 eyeshadows. You can buy them in the pan or the pot and the pans run $5.99 AND can be incorporated into your Z-Palette or MAC Pro (without the insert). Corrupt is among the favorites of this collection and I can see why. It is ridiculously pigmented and smooth in texture. It absolutely destroys MAC Carbon (not hard to do) and it is blacker than UD Blackout, which I had previously used as my go-to matte black. Corrupt isn't for the faint of heart. It is for people who take their smokey eye seriously and really want that rich dramatic black to add definition or to smudge out their eyeliner. For $5.99, you get more product than a MAC Pro-Pan and all of the quality and richness that you'd expect from a very expensive eyeshadow. Only better. You need this color in your makeup collection now. 

I will be reporting back when I receive the four other MUG shadows I've ordered based on reading numerous rave reviews about the quality of these products. 

MUG Corrupt Eyeshadow (above), courtesy of

Courtesy of

Courtesy of (above) MUG Corrupt   

A Small NYX Lip Product Haul!

Currently, NYX lip products are buy 1 get 1 50% off at ULTA. I picked up four lip products, three of which are mine and one is my daughter's but it is not pictured here. I have been wanting to try out the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams because the colors look so pretty. I grabbed the "Milan" shade which is a nice medium warm pink that looks like it has a hint of mauve thrown in there. I also picked up two lip liners, "Hot Red" and "Cabaret". I love NYX lip liners and I had previously seen someone use these two in a nice red lip combo, using the Hot Red to line and fill in the whole lip and then  Cabaret to define the edges of the lip. This combination really gave the lips a lot of dimension which I think is important when wearing red. Hot Red is a gorgeous true bright red which is sure to make the teeth look whiter, while Cabaret is a deeper slightly burgundy toned red. I plan to use these with my beloved Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet. 

A quickie review on the Soft Matte Lip Cream since I put it on in the car before driving home, as any lip product junkie would naturally do. NYX isn't lying, this product is like nothing else I own, "not a lipstick and not a gloss, it's a lipstick cream that goes on silky but looks soft matte". Yep, that about sums it up. It applies with a doe-foot applicator as you would apply a gloss but has the formula of a lightweight matte lipstick. It has a very powdery silky texture which I find interesting. The lips absorb the product so that it basically looks like a lip stain by the time you're finished putting it on. I don't find it to accentuate any lip imperfections and  it goes on very opaque. I think this is going to be a love it or hate it texture for most people because some may find it drying. I don't find it to be too drying but it definitely feels more like a stain than a lipstick. It may be called a "matte cream" but there is nothing creamy about how it feels on the lips. That being said, I really like it. It has good lasting power and doesn't make my lips look flaky (yet). I think the color would be flattering on all skin tones and is a gorgeous pink that really livens up the face. I also find this pink tone works especially nicely for those with blue eyes. Swatches below!

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Milan, NYX Lip Liner in Hot Red & Cabaret  (above, below)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Best Cleanser Ever! Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel

I received a sample of the Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel with as part of a skin care sample bag from Nordstrom around Christmas time. I have used a few Mario products in the past and have always received good results (specifically the acne products, Buffering Lotion & Drying Cream are amaazing!). This cleanser is rather basic, just a minty green gel that doesn't foam as you cleanse. And the results have been great. I have noticed my face has been so much smoother and clearer since I've been using the Enzyme Cleanser. I've even used a couple of makeup products that usually break me out because this product seems to really clean deep into my pores and prevent build-up. 

The Enzyme Cleanser is the best-selling selling cleanser of the line and is described as a "gentle, non-foaming cleanser thoroughly removes makeup and dirt without drying the skin. Papaya and Grapefruit Extracts are exfoliating AHA's that help prevent dulling build-up that can cause blackheads and pimples." I feel like the natural exfoliating properties is what is really making my face feel so smooth. I usually have a couple of little clogged pores/bumps here and there but I have none to speak of at this time. Another plus, my face doesn't feel dry or tight right after I cleanse and pat dry. For the record, I have normal/dry skin that has become more normal and less dry as I've used this product for the past few weeks. Great for all skin types, according to the Mario Badescu site.

Other information: you can use the cleanser twice daily, avoiding the eye area. You can get 8oz for $12 or 16 oz for $20. I ordered a full size and I am anxious to get back to using it as I've already scraped every last drop from my sample sized bottle. Literally, I scrape the remnants out with the end of one of my eyeshadow brushes. I am not one to waste any skin care products. I have been known to cut open my tubes of moisturizers and face primers to get what's left in there. You'd be surprised how much is left in those tubes! 

This is basically a no frills product that actually works as if it has all the frills in the world. What I like about Mario Badescu products is that they are affordable in terms of skin care and they do what they say they will do. This is a very "problem-solution" type of line and I highly recommend it. 

Ingredients: Deionized Water (Aqua),Glycerin,Papaya (Carica Papaya Fruit) Extract,Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis Fruit) Extract,Monomide,Triethanolamine,Methylparaben

A Small Haul + Reviews: Fergie Center Stage Collection for Wet N' Wild Spring 2013

I picked up four items from the new Fergie Wet N' Wild collection including the lipstick in "Fergie Daily", the "Photo Op" eyeshadow palette, the eye primer, and the brown creme liner. I went in thinking that I would be one for four, the winner being the lipstick. I was kind of almost right. 

Photo credit belongs to me. Not pictured, the WnW Creme Liner
"Fergie Daily" is a warm toned nude that applies very opaque and very matte. This is a nude for the masses in terms of color because it is warmer in tone than the "concealer" nudes. If I'm not mistaken, there is an even darker nude in this collection as well. I find these lipsticks to be very similar in concept to the Mega-Last matte lipsticks, only slightly less drying. I happen to be a fan of the Mega-Last so this does not bother me. I will be back for some of the more colorful shades in this collection. The only drawback to is usually the only drawback to many WnW products and that is packaging. Don't you hate it when the angle of the lipstick does not line up with the angle of the tube it is housed in? That bothers me. Besides that, the package is a half a step up from that of the Mega-Last whose plastic tops seem to crack as soon as the lipstick hits the bottom of the makeup bag. I'm definitely willing to overlook the quality of packaging in favor of a quality product, which I usually get with this brand.

Wet N' Wild Fergie Daily Lipstick (above), photo belongs to me.

Fergie Daily paired with Boots No. 7 Nude liner (above), photo belongs to me 

Notice I said usually get....... 

The eyeshadow palette in Photo Op seemed to be the one that would be most complementary to my blue/green eyes. In this palette, you receive five colors: a beige shimmery highlight/lid color, a cool toned deep shimmery brown, a matte brown, a matte red/orange, and a shimmery orange shade. The shimmer is on the wearable side, nothing too crazy. The matte brown could also double as a liner and is probably the most pigmented in the bunch. I guess I am spoiled by the Color Icon eyeshadow trio's and 8-color palettes because the shadows in this collection suck. Let me rephrase, the Photo Op palette sucks. They aren't near as pigmented, smooth, creamy, or dreamy as the Color Icon shadows. Which is disappointing because I would have loved to have made that pretty beige shade my new go-to lid color. Ahh, I had such plans for you. The colors are pretty and I can make them work, but they will take much more work than I am used to to get some good color payoff. Not a huge fan. 

Photo belongs to (above) Fergie Photo Op WnW
Photo belongs to (above) swatches Photo Op WnW Fergie

Eye Primer: Similar in texture and appearance to a Too Faced Shadow Insurance or Urban Decay Primer Potion, perhaps a bit thinner in consistency. Overall, I would say it is a step up from the Elf eyelid primer but a couple of steps down from Urban Decay. It applies nicely and creates a nice canvas for shadow application and I will definitely use it, I just won't depend on it for all day lasting power. I found that my shadows held up pretty well when I wore matte colors but shimmery shades seemed to dissipate at some point during the day. I will say that dissipating is better than creasing. I'd rather have the eyeshadow evaporate completely than have remnants of it gathered up in inopportune places.

Creme Liner w/ brush, brown: Allow me to preface by saying that I am a fan of the Wet N' Wild Mega-Eyes black creme liner. Besides being a bit on the dry side, the Mega-Eyes is budge proof and among the blackest of blacks. This time, I opted for brown when trying these new cream liners. I went in optimistically and came out with a lack-luster reaction. Now, its not a bad liner. It does have good staying power but that is only a good thing when you like the color that is staying. In my opinion, the color goes on kind of weak and I needed a couple of coats to eliminate streaks and achieve a shade of brown that I could live with. It is definitely not a rich brown as the color in the pot alludes to, more of a medium tone. The texture is fairly creamy, I would say more so than the Mega-Eyes but doesn't pack near as much of a punch. I haven't tried the black in the Fergie formula but I am curious to see if it is any better. Almost forgot! The brush they give is OK, not precise enough for me to be able to create much of a wing in that it isn't angled but at least it is stiff and that is a must to apply cream eyeliner products.

As for the blush/highlighter products in the collection, I was not interested in testing those out after seeing reviews and swatches. Overall, I haven't been super impressed with the Fergie stuff for WnW as a whole. I just don't see why the brand would produce a line of less than magical products when they have the obvious capability of so much more. Hey Wet N' Wild, here's an idea, take the recipe that you use for the Color Icon collection and use it when you make all of your products. Problem solved.