Friday, June 24, 2016

Lip Product Challenge: Summer of Swatches

I don't usually admit to this type of thing, but I have a shit ton of lip products. Like...a lot. Every time I buy one, it's because I have to have it. I love them all. They're all beautiful. But you know what ends up happening? The same handful of lipsticks and glosses get stuck in my purse every single week. So I decided to challenge myself to wear a new lip product or lip combo every day for the rest of the Summer. I just want to get through enough of them to make me feel better about myself. Follow me on Instagram (@cellapaz) for daily updates, and check out my hashtag, #summerofswatches. Here are a couple of my favorites from the first week:

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick: Androgyny

Melt Cosmetics: Shady Lady

Mac Cosmetics: Haute Altitude

NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Creme: Prague

ColourPop Ultra Satin Lip: Petit Four

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Review & Video Demo: Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner

One of my first blog posts was a review on ELF's makeup brush spot-cleaner. I actually did a mini-review on my Instagram of that product, and it's what pushed me into making the blog. So even though it was a shit product, it did end up being good for something! I haven't tried any spot-cleaners since that day....until now. I picked up the travel-size of the Cinema Secrets brush cleaner a while back. My thinking was that if it works well, I can purchase the jumbo size, and continue refilling the travel bottle from that. If it doesn't work, then at least I only got the small size, and I didn't have to waste any money on the jumbo size.

Fancy paper towel background

My plan did and didn't work. I could tell you why, but it's much more fun to watch me fumble with the stupid bottle on video. So please head on over to my YouTube channel for that!

The Pros:
  • It works. This doesn't mean you never have to wash your brushes again. It removes enough of the product to freshen up your brushes and leave them ready to use again. I still do go through the whole rigamarole of washing my brushes. You'll see in the picture below, it doesn't completely eliminate glitter. It does do a good job of getting most of the actual pigment off.
  • The price. The 2 oz bottle I purchased was $8.00. I'm only halfway through that, and I've had it for a few months. For the aggravation it's saved me of not having my favorite brushes be clean when I need to use them, it's definitely worth it.
Dirty brushes

Ready to use again!
Tiny speck of left-over glitter.
I wish I could photograph glitter this well while wearing it!

The Cons:
  • The bottle is crap. Like you saw in the video, the spray nozzle pops out CONSTANTLY! I don't know if this is an issue with all of them, or if I just got the one terrible bottle in the bunch. Either way, I am super sad my master plan of having a travel bottle to refill didn't work out.
  • The scent. Even though the smell doesn't bother me (really surprised about that, actually), I'm listing this as a con. I've seen a lot of reviews on the Sephora site from people complaining about the smell. To me, it's a delightful mix of turpentine and vanilla. I happen to like those things. My nose is strange. I hate most smells, but I actually do enjoy this stuff. However, since I am fully aware that the smells my brain chooses to enjoy are completely backwards, I feel like I should let you guys know that a normal person may be put off by this.
The Verdict:
For as well as the product works, I can deal with the fact that I may have just gotten a bad nozzle. What I will probably do is purchase another travel size. For one, it's cheap and I'm cheap. Secondly, I'm hoping the second bottle isn't defective. Then, I can put my refill plan back in motion. IF the second nozzle is also a dud, I will just have to buy the full jumbo size, a generic travel spray bottle, and call it a day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Review: Jeffree Star Cosmetics Beauty Killer Palette

Hey guys! I feel like I've been talking a lot about Jeffree Star Cosmetics lately. To be fair, I did warn y'all that he was coming out with a lot of new products which I fully intended to buy. So I feel it's my duty to update you on that process....right?

When this palette first launched, I was fifteen minutes late getting to the website, and it had sold out. Complete devastation. Thankfully, it restocked just a few days later. I contemplated purchasing at least one of the Skin Frosts as well. I didn't get any (yet) for a couple of reasons. First, I just didn't want to spend any more money at that time. Second, I was honestly afraid that if I shopped around on the website any longer, the palette would sell out before I could complete my check out. So I told myself to just buy the Skin Frosts later, and grabbed the palette and a lip scrub. The lip scrub was already sitting in my cart, so I didn't have to waste time poking around the site to purchase it. Yes, these thoughts all did go through my head in the twenty seconds it took me to pull up the website and check out. I have problems. We've talked about this before.

I included a mini review about the lip scrub on my YouTube review of the palette. I'll either dedicate a separate blog post to the lip scrub or bundle it in with skin care posts (I have a few of those in the works!). For now, I want to just dedicate a whole post to this palette. Let me just show you...

I don't even know where to start reviewing this palette. The shades are so versatile. It's easy to take one look at the palette and think, "I would never wear those shades." But when Jeffree did his reveal of the palette on YouTube, he broke it down into "quads," which really made the palette easier to understand, and what really sold me on it. I mean....let's face it. I would've gotten it anyway. But seeing it in quad form just flooded my brain with ideas. So here it is broken down into quads:

  • Star Power: This is the perfect hot pink shade. I love that you can apply it lightly to blend out Vanity, Violence, or Confession.  But you can also use it on its own and it's just so pretty.
  • Princess: For a really light, baby pink, this is surprisingly pigmented. I recently reviewed KVD's Plum Shade & Light quad, and one of my beefs with it was that the lightest shade borders on translucent. So when I saw this super pale pink, I was worried that would also be the case with this shadow. But not so! It shows up really well.
  • Violence: This shade is SO gorgeous. I've always done well with purple shadows, despite the fact that I'm not particularly a fan of purple. This one is no exception. 
  • Rich Bitch: Can we talk about this gold? Lord help us all. It's just beautiful. I've seen gold pigments with this kind of color payoff, but never a gold shadow as beautiful as this. I did do a quick test of this one wet vs dry on the back of my hand. Scroll all the way down for a macro shot of this gorgeous shadow. In my opinion, it goes on a LOT more smoothly and evenly when applied wet. So that's something to keep in mind. It also faded pretty quickly on the dry side. The wet side stayed super vibrant until I wiped it off.
  • Courtney: Great transition shade. Also might be nice as an all-over shade. If I try that between now and when I complete this review and post it, I will include that photo as well. This shadow applies really nicely and blends so well. I can see myself reaching for it for a transition shade even on the days I'm not using the palette!
  • Expensive: This is the one really "different" shadow in the palette. I know some people might consider hot pink different as well. But what I mean is that the rest of the shades pretty much flow from one to the next. And then this one is just completely out of left field. That being said, it's gorgeous. And when you use it with the other shadows, they do actually make sense together. It's really pretty for a lid color, or for a bright pop on the lower lash line. I do find that I have to layer it on a bit, but it doesn't look patchy at all, which sometimes happens with shadows that have to be layered.
  • Confession: I was borderline worried about this color, because I envisioned it looking really bruisey really fast. Maybe my skin tone just agrees with it, but it doesn't look like an old bruise at all once it's on. I also thought it would be a little like MAC's Cranberry, but it's not. I don't know how to best describe it, but I like it!
  • Vanity:  I thought the name "Vanity" would have gone more with the bright pink..."Vanity" is a term that goes hand in hand with Jeffree - he has it tattooed on his face, after all. And that hot pink is also a signature color for him. So to see it used for this really dark purple was like....huh? But this shade surprised me. It's actually quite pretty and for a darker shadow, it applies really nicely. Some dark mattes tend to get patchy and don't apply evenly. But this one blends out really well.
  • China White: Jeffree Star uses this shadow as a base...lash like to brow. It really is perfect for that. The white isn't over-powering at all. It adds just enough color and also makes it easier to blend out the other shadows. This is another shadow I will probably be reaching for A LOT.
  • Black Rainbow: I took a macro shot of this one as well. The glitter in it is SO pretty. The reviews I've seen say that the glitter doesn't really stick around all day, which sounded kind-of disappointing. I tried it as a lid color when I got ready to film my review. At first, I did notice that the glitter didn't show up. So what I did was tap some glitter glue just on the center of my lid, waited until it dried slightly, then packed the shadow on top. That really made the glitter stick and stand out!

The look from my review video

Close-up of the same look

The Pros: 
  • The price point is amazing. $45 for 10 good-sized shadows. These are not like the tiny squares you get in ABH palettes. These will last you for quite some time. So to get them for basically $4.50 each is awesome. 
  • The quality of the shadows is really lovely. I love that Jeffree Star really does take his time to put out a good product. 
  • It's versatile. There are so many looks in this palette, just waiting to come out. You can do a subtle daytime look, or full-on drag glam. 

The Cons:
  • The packaging. It's not bad, but it's not great. I've mentioned this before - I'm not a huge fan of his brand packaging. I know it's weird because I like pink girly things. And this is definitely pink and girly. But it does look a little like someone put really great makeup in play makeup packaging. I'm sorry! I hate to say that! But that's just how I feel. And ti makes me sad to feel that way because I really do love the makeup!

The Verdict: 
Just go out and buy it. Duh. The pros greatly outweigh the cons. Especially if you think the packaging is cute...that completely eliminates my only con, and you're left with all pros. I think it's an excellent value, and I'm so happy I invested in it. If you end up getting it, let me know! I would love to see what looks you all come up with!

Rich Bitch

Black Rainbow

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Review & Swatches: Kat Von D Shade & Light Eye Quad in Plum

Earlier this year, I faced a difficult decision: Which of Kat Von D's Shade & Light Quads would I purchase? After careful consideration (read: I saw two great pictures on IG and I had to have it), I chose plum. The other quads look great, but I felt like I would get the most use out of either Plum or Rust. And I'm glad I did go with Plum, because Melt Cosmetics just released a Rust Stack, and I can justify buying it. All is right with the world.

The Pros: 
  • Same great formula as Kat Von D's other eye shadows. I hate when brands put out limited products, holiday sets, etc.,  and the quality is not up to par with the rest of their products. I've become really iffy on buying LE shadow quads for that reason. But with KVD, you can always count on the quality to be spot on. 
  • The packaging. I love that it's a nice solid case with a secure snap closure. Since the concept of the quad is that "it's all you need," the fact that it's not in flimsy packaging takes that idea to another level. You can literally throw it in your purse and run out the door or hop on a plane, and do your makeup on your way to wherever the heck you're going. Plus the mirror is surprisingly large for how small the quad is.
  • It makes a smoky eye easy. This really takes the guess work out of putting an eye look together. In my opinion, it would make a perfect gift for someone who likes makeup, but doesn't necessarily know how to put colors together in a way that makes sense. The shades don't even have names. They are labeled "crease," "highlight," etc. BUT, you can also get creative and place the shades wherever you want, obviously. You're not just stuck with ONE smoky eye look. Because the shades are made to go together, you can use them in a variety of eye looks and you always know you will look well put together.

The Cons: 
  • The dark plum shade, which I thought would be my favorite, is a little disappointing. The color is beautiful. But it is a little more difficult to apply.  It's not bad, by any means. It just takes more effort. I have to work with it for longer than usual to get it to look even on both sides and not patchy where it's blended out. Once it's on the way I like it, it looks amazing. I just don't like that it takes as much extra work because it does take some of the effortlessness away from the quad.
  • The lightest shade is lighter than I normally like. Mind you, I like a really obnoxious inner corner. This shadow is probably great for most people. It does add a hint of lavender and is not overpowering in the inner corner. So if you like subtle, then you'll like this shadow. I like obvious and overpowering. So I'm not a huge fan. However, the texture is nice and it's super easy to apply and work with.

The Verdict:
In my opinion, it's a pretty good little quad. I would definitely recommend it. I would give it as a gift. I will continue to use it, without a doubt. I especially love that the larger shadow in this quad is one that I will get a TON of use out of, since I also love it as a blush. Usually when I get KVD palettes, her larger shadows end up being my least used. So I'm happy that with this quad, it's the other way around. Let me know if you try this quad or if you have any of the others! And feel free to link to your reviews down below! Also, visit my YouTube channel to hear my ramblings about this palette! 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Dupe Alert: Jeffree Star Cosmetics Skin Frosts

Hey guys! Let me start by saying these are not exact dupes. At least I don't think they are! I don't own any Skin Frosts, so I can't really compare side by side. But if you're looking for a "different" highlight, these are three shadows I have been using to achieve that. You may look at them and think they don't look very highlight-y. And if you swipe them on like I did in the swatches below, you're right. They look like eyeshadows. But when you apply them like you would any other highlighter, and blend like I hope y'all do, they actually do make very beautiful highlights. I will also add that I am a huge Jeffree fan and supporter. I will 100% be purchasing Skin Frosts in the future. But since I missed out on the launch, I am using these shadows just to fill the void until the Skin Frosts are safe in my hot little hands.

From top to bottom: 
  • Ice Angel
  • Candy Crush
  • Kitten Parade

These are all Sugarpill shadows. Ice Angel was part of the Edward Scissorhands palette, which was limited edition, but it's currently being sold as a single shadow. The other two are part of their Sparkle Baby palette and I believe are also sold as singles. Let me know if you try these or the Skin Frosts!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

ColourPop: Haul and Swatches

Well, hello! I don't recall whether or not I've talked about ColourPop here on the blog before. I did do one mini haul back in the day.  If I've posted it...I will link it HERE. If that doesn't link to anything, that means I never posted about it. Is that incredibly lazy of me? Oh well.

Anyway, the short version of my previous CP experience: I felt like Goldilocks. One shadow was great, one was so-so, the other was terrible. So I kind-of wrote the whole brand off. I like cheap makeup as much as the next girl, but I don't want to spend even a small amount of cash if it's not going to be for a really  good product. Some people take this as me being a snob, because I generally stay away from most drug store products. I'm not a snob. I'm just cheap. And I'd rather pay more for something amazing, but feel like I'm getting my money's worth. Versus paying a couple of bucks for something that is of terrible quality that will never be used, and there goes my two dollars down the drain. Those were my two dollars. I went to work for that. I got up early, did my makeup, skipped breakfast, drank cold coffee, and went to work. So what I spend that money on better be good! But I digress. Did I say I was telling the short version of something? Geez...

Recently, ColourPop had a 20% off sale. A week or so prior to that, Jeffree Star had talked about one of their eyeliners in a video. It was gorgeous. So I decided to try them out again. I added what seemed like a TON of products to my cart. I figured I would just add everything that appealed to me, then weed through it all before checking out. And when I got to check out, I found that the whole crap-ton of products were only going to cost me $32. Amazing. So I got it all. No weeding needed. Here is what I got:

YES, I know. I got three shades of green eyeliner. Maybe a little weeding-through of my cart was necessary after all. But I can't say I regret any of the shades, and at least I know now that I'm set on green eyeliner for a while. Like...a WHILE.

Top to Bottom:
  • Punch Creme Gel Liner
  • Zulu Creme Gel Liner
  • Maybe Creme Gel Liner
  • Teaspoon Creme Gel Liner
  • Marshmallow Ultra Satin Lip
  • Petit Four Ultra Satin Lip
  • The Golden Child Super Shock Cheek

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Review & Swatches: Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Liquid Lipsticks (Androgyny & Celebrity Skin)

Hey everyone! In my head, when I say that, I hear crickets and an echo. I'm fully aware I haven't posted in........a very long time. So I'm not sure if anyone is still out there. If you are, thank you! If you're not, I hope you're frolicking in a field with all my lost bobby pins and left socks.

Anyway, for my first post back, I wanted to talk about a couple of my liquid lipsticks. When I first heard of liquid lipsticks, Lime Crime had that market cornered. I've posted about my former love of LC in the past...haven't posted about my decision to rescind my support, because...well, I just haven't. But long story short, I do not purchase their products any longer. Lucky for me, around the time I decided LC was not for me, every other company on earth started rolling out with liquid lipsticks. Which really made it easy to kiss LC good-bye!

Jeffree Star's Velour Liquid Lipsticks are probably my favorites among the ones I've tried. Now that I told you I like them, I hope you're still interested in the rest of the review. Spoilers, spoilers...

The Pros:

  • Great pigmentation. Even though I have two nudes, they show up well.
  • Long-lasting. These suckers stay put. I don't have time during the day to touch up my lipstick. I love that they last literally all day. I generally even forget to touch up after eating lunch, and at the end of the day, they're still going strong.
  • They are barely scented, and the scent that is there is not very strong. I've heard Jeffree mention something about a root beer scent? I haven't noticed that. But when it comes to smells, I'm most happy with less.
The Cons:
  • The packaging. I know some people love it. It's pink, everybody loves pink. But I think it looks a little cheap. I know...I can't believe I'm saying I don't like it, but that's the truth.
  • Cost. Like with most indie brands, these are not cheap. To me, they're worth the price. But it just means that I can't buy them all like I want to.
  • Always out of stock! Again...another draw-back of shopping indie. They just can't keep up with demand. I'm sure that's a good thing, from their perspective. But if you're dying for a shade RIGHTNOW,  you're probably out of luck.
  • Inconsistent formulation. While both lipsticks I have work very well, they each have a different  feel during application Celebrity Skin is almost mousse-like. Androgyny is more liquidy. They wear the same, and both last all day. But I have to change the way I apply them since they're both very different. Not a major negative, I just prefer things to be consistent.
The Verdict:
I will definitely continue to purchase these. Duh. They're great! I have a few shades in mind that I want to try. He's rolling out new shades for the summer, which I'm sure will be amazing. Plus, he's also introducing other products to his line. It's nice to see a company that only puts out products that they are proud of, and can stand behind. Too many companies just push out sub-par products....I'm looking at you, Kylie Lip Kits.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Review & Swatches: Sugarpill Sparkle Baby Palette

It's no secret that I love Sugarpill. I had been waiting semi-patiently for the official launch of their Sparkle Baby palette for what seemed like eight years. The one thing I don't love about Sugarpill is that they tend to tease their up-coming products for ages! Then suddenly, and with little warning, they're released and I have to sneak into the bathroom at work with my phone to buy things when I should be working. Is that just me?

Anyway...Sparkle Baby finally launched recently. Being a crazy addict, I jumped on the palette immediately. Being a terrible blogger, I took pictures of the palette, swatched it, and never wrote up this post. But here I am, finally getting around to talking about it and posting my swatches:

  • Kitten Parade: As you can tell from the swatch, it barely shows up on my skin. Initially, this was very disappointing to me, because it was the shade I was most excited about. BUT, during a Halloween experiment, I discovered that it actually makes an amazing highlight. Now, it's my most-used shadow in the palette. I love pairing it with peach and orange-toned blushes, or with an overall bronzed face.
  • Frostine: This is a really beautiful pale lavender. I wasn't sure that it would work with my skin tone, but I actually really love it. I've used it quite a few times with my other go-to purples from Sugarpill (2am & Poison Plum), and it plays nicely with them. This is the only matte shade in the palette.
  • Candy Crush: For me, this has been the most difficult to work with. The first time I tried it, I found it didn't look very pigmented on my lid. However, it swatches really nicely. I'm just going to have to play with it a little more, but it's definitely my least favorite shade.
  • Hotsy Totsy: This shadow is so pretty. I love that it's a deeper pink, with a little shimmer. I'm a huge fan of reds and pinks for my lids, so I'm very happy with this one. The only thing I haven't tried, which I'm very surprised at myself about, is using it as a blush...I'm sure it would be amazing!
The Verdict: Overall, I'm happy with the palette. I use three of the four shades pretty consistently. The fourth one, I just need some practice with. The single shadows are $12 a piece, but the palette is $34. So to me, it's worth it to get the palette even though it has that one bummer shade. 

What's Next: So if this wasn't enough, Sugarpill has decided to come out with MORE new loose shadows. Of course, they were available at IMATS. I'm not sure when they will be on sale for the general public. But here are some sneak peek pics, taken from Sugarpill's Instagram:

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