Tuesday, December 31, 2013

EOTD & Pictorial

It's New Years Eve!!!! And you know what that means...Party time!!!! My in-laws are in town, so we'll be hanging out with them tonight. I briefly thought of going neutral and maybe toss in some glitter. Then I thought...NAH!  I just love color. And even though I don't want to scare off my in-laws, I'm sure they'll understand the party is on my eyes tonight ;)

I had a long time to get ready today, so I decided to also do a pictorial! This is a first for my blog, so I'm excited and it's very "me" to do a first time thing on the last day of the year. This look is a re-creation of a recent YouTube video by Nikkie Tutorials. I just didn't have any of the colors she used, so I improvised! And here it is...I hope you enjoy!



1: Prime with your favorite primer. I use Urban Decay's Anti-Aging Primer Potion. Apply your highlight shade under the brow - I used the light shimmer shade from RiRi's Smoked Cocoa palette.  Then apply a light brown shade above the crease. Just a little will do for this look. It will all but disappear later. I don't know the name of what I used...sorry!
2: Fluff a light pink color over the brown. I used Sugarpill's Dollipop. This is a really bright, hot pink. I just used the tiniest bit on my blending brush.
3: Think of your lid in thirds, and apply a dark blue shade to the inner and outer third. I used Urban Decay's Sabbath. Don't bring this color up into the crease at all!
4: Blend a purple shadow into the crease, to transition between the pink and blue. I used Sugarpill's Poison Plum. I kept the Poison Plum only on the outer half of my crease.
5: Apply a blue base to the middle third of your lid. I used Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Radium. Blend out with your finger. This doesn't have to be neat.
6: Apply a light blue/teal to the center of your lid. I used Sugarpill's Mochi. Again..messy is a-ok!
7: Blend between the darker and lighter blues with a medium blue. I used Sugarpill's Afterparty. I also went back into Dollipop and Poison Plum, blending each one in until you get the desired intensity.
8: For the lower liner, I used Mac's Teal pigment on the inner 2/3rds of my lid, and more Sabbath in the outer third. Also drag Sabbath upward, to create the shape you want in the outer corner.
9: Apply a light frost/shimmer/glitter on the inner corner. I used Mac's Frost pigment, which is super pretty...like blue-tinted snow. Apply your mascara and/or falsies. I used a few mascaras, I don't even remember which. I didn't use falsies today.
10: That's it! Your finished look. There is a LOT of color in this look, but I feel like it's still really wearable.

Have a great evening, everyone! Stay safe and have fun! I hope you enjoyed my first pictorial...let me know if it's something you want to see more of!




Monday, December 30, 2013

First Impression: Vibrance Vitamins for Hair Growth

I recently received these vitamins from Eu Natural via Brand Backer. I've only had a week try them out so far, but I wanted to share my first impression with you guys.

Just from reading the label, this would be a good vitamin to take anyway. Basically...it has all the good stuff. I was also happy to see that these are what I call "everything-free." No gluten, no dairy, no fillers, binders, or artificial ingredients. And they're vegetarian. I'm not vegan or vegetarian at all, but I know a lot of people like to have that option.

The label does say that you get best results after using for three months. However, I've only been taking them for a week. So I can't give an end-result opinion, only a first impression.





The capsules themselves are easy to take. I like that they're in capsule form, because you don't taste anything! They recommend taking two capsules a day, before a meal, and will a full glass of water.

A lot of vitamins or supplements tend to cause belly issues or nasty after-taste, but I had no problems at all with these vitamins. I'm glad I got them while I had a couple of days off of work, because I was able to try them first in the safety of my own home! Since I didn't have any issues, I was able to toss them in my purse and continue taking them daily before my lunch break.

Obviously, after only a week, I can't tell you if my hair has grown, strengthened, etc. But I can tell you that if you don't take a regular multivitamin, this vitamin really has it all. Plus, if it boosts your hair growth, that's an added bonus! If you do already take a good multivitamin, I would definitely recommend to compare the ingredients so you're not taking too much of anything, and ask your doctor if you have any concerns.

AND...Eu Natural has generously allowed me to extend a discount code to you! Just use code: EUN15OFF when you follow this link: on Amazon.com. You can also follow the link if you'd like to read more customer reviews from people who have been using the product a little longer, or for more extensive product info and list of ingredients.



Sunday, December 29, 2013

Product Review: Lush "Brush Cleaners"

I mentioned in a recent haul that I had bought two products from Lush that I intended to use as brush/sponge cleaners, even though that is not their original purpose. After using them a few times, I wanted to share my results with you!

Prior to these products, I had been using Enkore brush soap, which I absolutely LOVE. The one thing I couldn't do well with my brush soap was clean my Beauty Blender. As much as I cleaned and scrubbed, there was always a spot of foundation embedded into the bottom/round part. Not only did this drive me nuts for aesthetic reasons, but for sanitary reasons too! I was starting to break out...something had to change!! I asked my friend Michael, who is also responsible for me having the Beauty Blender in the first place, what he uses to clean those suckers. He recommended the Dirty Spring Wash and said he uses it to clean all his brushes, too. Since my Enkore soap is down to a little nub and I found myself across from Lush later that night, I decided to buy it. I didn't know it's NOT a brush cleaner at the time. So when I went into Lush, I asked them for brush cleaner. The guy & girl behind the counter looked at each other, then back at me, and informed me they don't make a brush cleaner. I rummaged through my texts until I found what I needed, and they were both intrigued with the concept of using Dirty Spring Wash to clean makeup brushes. That's when Lush Lady told me she recently started using Rehab (shampoo) for her brushes. So now that I had TWO recommendations for non-brush-cleaner brush cleaners, I decided to get the smallest size of both. Purely for reviewing purposes. Allegedly.

Not gonna lie...I tried these out the second I got home! The results were unreal! My Beauty Blender hadn't been that clean since I took it out of the box! I was so excited, that I started washing the rest of my brushes, too! My brushes smell and feel sooooo clean now. I'm seriously addicted to cleaning my Beauty Blender. I wash it a few times a week, and it's so satisfying to see it clean and sparkly! My sad little BB does have a permanent discoloration on the bottom, which you can see in the last photo. It's from the time I was so annoyed with not being able to clean it that I sprayed it with ELF brush cleaner. That just turned it kind-of grey, which I'm very sad about. Besides the actual sponge being discolored, you can see how clean it is compared to how it looks when it's been used.




Dirty Spring Wash
$9.95 for 3.3 oz
It's made with Spearmint oil, sea salt, and baking soda. Smells a little like Zest soap, but stronger. I happen to like strong minty smells, but I'm sure it's not for everyone. The oils literally break down the makeup, and it just drains out of my BB.

Rehab
$13.95 for 3.3 oz
I'm a little sad, because Lush Lady told me there was tea tree oil in this product, but after looking closely at the ingredients, I just don't see it listed. What it does have is a nice variety of oils: peppermint, jojoba, rosemary, almond, lavender, and even extra virgin olive oil. I don't know if you guys have seen the olive oil brush cleaning method on YouTube, but once you see it, this will all make sense. I tried the soap/olive oil thing, and it didn't work for me. BUT, Rehab does work really well.

I think both of these are great on their own, but I've found them to be most effective when used together. I really only use a few drops of each and it's plenty. I know it doesn't seem cheap, but I've used these quite a bit since getting them and they barely look used...I don't know if you can tell from the picture above. 

If you have any Lush recommendations for me, please leave them in the comments or link to your posts! The more I try from Lush, the more I want to try! I just think it's a great company, and their associates are always SO helpful and friendly. My husband even noticed how much I loved their products and bought his step-mom a Lush gift box for Christmas. I'm borderline jealous! ;)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Unboxing: Wantable Makeup Box

My friend told me to expect an email regarding her Christmas present to me. I was immediately intrigued. The following day, I got an email from Wantable saying I had a gift waiting for me. Hmmm...If anyone is interested, these exact steps are very effective for luring me anywhere. I'm a sucker for mystery gifts! When I clicked the link, it made me create an account. Now I'm still intrigued, but a little suspicious. Next, I got to choose one of three different boxes: Makeup, Accessories, or Intimates. I briefly toyed with the idea of choosing one of the other two. But who are we kidding? Makeup it is! Then, they take you through what can only be described as the SATs of makeup quizzes. I mean...it was pretty extensive, and I felt like I should get a cap and gown when I finished. I don't mean that in a bad way, btw! It was great! They list all different categories, and you choose whether you love it, hate it, or are neutral about it. Lipstick, eye shadow, blush, skin care, etc. Then it takes you through each category you loved and breaks it down even further. Do you like bold lipstick? Sheer? Red? Vibrant? Neutral? You get the idea. At the end, it tells you they'll compose a custom box JUST FOR YOU, and it will be on its way shortly. I have to confess...I did manipulate my answers a little, in an attempt to receive more of what I want vs things that I already have and love. For example, I maintained that I was neutral on red lipstick, even though we all know that's a blatant LIE. I love red lipstick more than I love having opposable thumbs! I just didn't want another red lipstick when they can send me a pretty berry or wine shade instead.  Very cool! I filled out my survey on 12/23, got my shipping notice on 12/24, and it arrived today! Check out my unboxing mini video on Instagram, too! Here's the photo version of the unboxing:


The Box!

It came carefully packaged :)

The goods!

A better look.

Swatches of the lip pencil, brow pencil, lipstick, and eye shadow.


The sample.

What I got:
  • Starlooks lengthening mascara in Black. As someone with long lashes, you'd think I'd be happy enough. But as soon as a mascara promises to be lengthening, it has my full attention! We shall see...
  • Michael Marcus lipstick in Lucky. I tried to trick the system, but I got a red lipstick anyway. The universe knows me well enough, I guess. It's still a very pretty shade and a good every day red. I know I'll use it!
  • Sorme lip liner in Pure Rose. Such a pretty shade and really creamy when swatched. I'm excited about this one!
  • Mia Bellezza brow pencil in  Medium Brown. I've only tried a brow pencil once, but it wasn't a good/quality one. So I'm excited about this one, plus it's got a little spoolie on the end. I'll be putting this to use TODAY for sure!
  • Starlooks eye shadow in Wine. What a gorgeous shade! This is right up my alley...I'm sure there are people out there that wouldn't like this shade, but I love it. My mom asked me if it was a blush or lip pot and she kind-of cringed when I told her it was shadow. Lol. My mom is a neutral makeup kinda lady.
  • Sorme BB cream in Light Honey (sample). This will go in my sample bag/travel kit. So I'm sure I'll use it eventually! I don't like sample packets a ton, because I rarely really use them. But I don't have any BB cream samples...so I'm sure this one will get used.
According to the insert (not pictured due to the fact that mine and my friend's personal info is on there), the box has a retail value of $85.50.  According to the website, a monthly subscription runs $36/month. A one-time box is $40. I believe there are discount codes floating around, but I didn't personally try to find one. Overall, I really love this as a gift idea. It's really personalized, without having to do the work yourself. ;) 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Update: Bought It/Forgot It

Hey guys!  I just wanted to update you guys on the John Frieda products I've been using since my Redken heat protector ran out. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out my original post here. The products I'm using are both from John Frieda's Full Repair line. I've been using them since the beginning of December, so I figured it was about time to let y'all know how they've been working out for me!




Deep Infusion Serum
The thing I don't like is that it's a serum. It's so liquify, I feel like I don't even know if I'm applying it everywhere. With my Redken cream, I felt like I was getting a better distribution. What I do is take about a pump & a half or two pumps (if I'm feeling wild) and rub it between my palms. Then, I just run my hands through my hair, focusing on the ends, for probably a hundred minutes. I find that I do spend extra time on this step because of my distribution paranoia.  However, it must be working well enough because my hair has not fried at the ends like I know it would if I weren't getting the product in. Especially since it's dry and wintery. 

Style Revival Styling Spray
Honestly, I'm not sure if this actually does anything. The main reason I use it, is for backup in case the serum didn't cover everything. I do forget to use it at times, though. It's supposed to give your hair more fullness when you heat style it. My hair is usually pretty big anyway, and I don't notice it being any bigger when I use the spray. So I can't vouch for it actually doing what it says, but like I mentioned before, my hair has stayed pretty healthy since starting these products. So at least there's that!

The Verdict
Overall, I'm glad I used these products. My hair did not suffer in the process, which I'm really happy about! My ends look as healthy as they did when I got my hair freshly trimmed. And I use heat EVERY DAY. I know that's bad, but if you had my hair, you'd do it too. Would I trade my Redken for these permanently? I'd have to say no. I just don't like having two products that "probably work." I want my one product that I know and love! I need to make another hair appointment soon, and I'll definitely be asking my girl to have my little Redken bottle waiting for me! Mama's coming home!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas EOTD

Hey everyone! Merry Christmas!! I LOVE Christmas. This year was our first real Christmas in our house. We moved in just a couple days before Christmas last year, and barely had time to get a tree up. This year, we got our tree waaaaaaay to early and she's already dry, and probably a fire hazard. So I haven't been lighting her :( so sad! Both of us had the same tradition growing up of having Christmas dinner on the 24th and waiting til midnight to open presents. So we've kept that going. Our families aren't coming out til this weekend, so it was just us and the dog. I spent all day yesterday wrapping presents...I'm kind of a freak about wrapping, so it's best I do it when I have the house to myself. After harassing my husband for hours about opening presents early, I finally talked him into stockings at 11:00. Then of course...we fell asleep on the couch and didn't get to open presents until about 1:00 a.m.

Anyway, here is my eye from last night. I saw a similar look on Instagram (ValerieVixenArt) a while back, and decided to try to re-create it. All this, just to lounge around in my xmas jammies and watch Christmas Vacation!



The red is @#$%!, blended out with Dollipop (both Sugarpill). The lid is a mix of Sugarpill's Goldilux and Asteria pigments, and MAC's Vanilla pigment. The liner is Physician's Formula Eye Booster in Ultra Black. And the mascara is Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam. I couldn't get great pictures, because it was already dark and the lighting in my house is not great for eyeball pictures. But you get the idea! Hope you all had/are having a great Christmas.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Product Review and Discount Code: Studio Gear CC Cream

Hey everyone...I recently received a sample of CC Cream from Studio Gear via Band Backer. I hadn't heard much about Studio Gear until recently, and suddenly they're all over the place! They actually have a really wide range of products...Shadows, skin care, brushes, etc. And the prices are pretty reasonable/mid-range.

My sample, along with the info postcard


From the info card: "Micro-encapsulated pigments deliver a fresh dose of color that adapts to your own skin tone creating the most natural looking coverage. This lightweight, oil-free cream is infused with Hydra-Extend technology that provides up to 72 hours of continuous hydration. Skin nourishing and brightening ingredients help to correct and maintain a youthful complexion."

First impression...the info card shows three shades for this product. I received the shade "Natural." When I squeezed it out of the tube, I was worried because it was actually grey-colored! But once you start blending it, the skin tone comes out, and it basically disappeared into my skin.  This was not like the BB creams I've tried, which actually give a light yet noticeable coverage. It applies really nicely, and did give my skin a nice finish. If I didn't have a lot of redness from my rosacea, I would feel more than comfortable wearing this on it's own. I like that it has NO smell at all. I hate perfumed face creams with a passion!!

L: Straight out of the tube
R: The color once you start blending out



Mini review after nearly two weeks of wear

The Pros:
  • My skin looks really healthy...I would normally be having hormonal breakouts about now, but all clear so far!
  • Blends in virtually colorless. 
  • No smell!!
  • Good price. $34 for 1.1 oz. I browsed CC creams on my Sephora app and it's on the lower end of the price scale, but not the cheapest. 

The Cons: 
  • I've noticed a little patchiness after applying...you just have to be careful to really blend it in. 
  • Not available at Sephora...I like getting my points! So this is a big deal to me. 


The Verdict:
I really would love to try more from this brand. Especially their brushes and skin care. I don't believe that you have to spend a FORTUNE to get good results. This brand isn't super cheap, but for the quality, I feel like it's reasonable enough to invest in. 


The Discount Code:
Studio Gear has generously allowed me to extend a discount code to my readers! Use code: SGCC  at studiogearcosmetics.com for 10% off your ENTIRE purchase! Please feel free to leave a link in the comments below if you end up reviewing something you buy...I'd love to see your opinions!

Compiled from Studio Gear's Instagram




Saturday, December 21, 2013

Guest Post!!! Re-Review: Maybeline Fit Me Foundation Stick

GUYS! I'm sooooo excited to bring you this review. It's a very special guest post from my little sister, Pauline, but I usually just call her Little Sister, and my niece and nephew call her PoPo. I love my little sister...she's so cute and I feel like I'm home when she's around. When we were little...we bickered all the time. But now that we're older and wiser (I'm the wisest), we're buddies :)

For those of you who have been with me a while...you know I really did not care for the Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Stick, which found it's way to the very depths of my "unfavorite things" category. But, I know that my sister and I have very different skin, and gave it to her, hoping it would work for her! I HATE when a certain product doesn't work for me, but I have this weird thing about returning makeup. I just won't do it. I secretly think that returned makeup gets repackaged and resold. So it gives me the heebies. ANYWAY...this post is not about me. So here goes my sister's review!

Little Sister!


The Pros:
  • Blended well.
  • It's light, which makes it feel more natural.
  • Pretty much lasted all day.
  • Kept my oily forehead under control.

The Cons:
  • My skin was getting dry because of the cold/wind, and when I forgot to moisturize, you could really tell what part of my face was more dry.
  • I didn't have anything to apply it with, so I used my fingers. It was annoying having to wipe it off every time.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

NOTD with my new Julep polishes!

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I was lucky enough to win a giveaway by the lovely Vero. If you haven't read her blog, you're missing out! She's so sweet and I love her blog! Thanks a million for such a great giveaway, Vero!

I was so excited to receive these polishes, for multiple reasons. First, I've never won a giveaway. So this was a great first win for me. Second, I've never tried Julep polishes! I always wanted to, and even thought about signing up for their subscription box. I just hadn't taken the plunge yet. Third, I decided after my last fill & polish that I'm going to let my nails take a break from acrylic and gel for a while. My lady told me it's time for a new set...I honestly don't remember the last time I got a brand new set. So instead of having her take them of and put them right back on...I'm just gonna let them breathe a while. I don't want to put gel on while they're so brittle, because I know they'll bend and chip. So I don't want to pay for gel, knowing that it will get ugly after a few days. I can't stand to have chipped polish!! Which is why I get acrylic and gel in the first place! ;)

THEN...tragedy. Even though my nails were starting to lift last time I got a fill, which is why my lady told me they needed to come off this time...Today, they were so solidly stuck down! She got only two nails off, and couldn't even find a starting point for any other nail. So what she had to do instead was file down the acrylic on the rest of my nails as much as she could. Then she put a clear gel coat on top, and finally...the polish. Because of all that, my nails are not as smooth and even as usual, which makes the polish look a little uneven. I'm so sad! But hopefully I'll be able to get rid of the acrylic for good once it all grows out. It's just not the smooth transition I had hoped for!

Anyway, here are the polishes I received:

From L to R: Evelyn, Shoshanna, Celia


I had trouble deciding which ones to use. I ended up going just with Evelyn. I wanted to use Shoshanna on my party nail, but my nail appointment was such a disaster today, that I didn't want to try anything fancy. So here is the finished product. You can see it's not all even, but please trust me...that's not because of the polishes. It's because my nails are currently trashed :(





When I do my toes this weekend, I'll use the green. I don't usually match my hands and feet...plus it'll put my toes in the Christmas spirit ;) If you have any suggestions for must-have Julep colors, leave them below! I loved these, and I'm sure I'll expand my collection soon! I use regular polish for my toes, so I like to have a good variety :)

AND...Thanks so much to Brittnee at A Beauty Product A Day for asking on my Instagram how the heck to swatch these polishes! I had just torn off a little piece of cardboard from the packaging, dabbed it with polish, then swatched the lid. Someone was kind enough to comment and tell us both that the square top pops off to reveal a little round top! So next time I get a Julep polish, I'll know exactly what to do!



Dupe Alert: RiRi hearts MAC lipstick in Bad Girl RiRi

GUYS!!! This is pretty much an emergency situation, so I hope y'all are sitting down. We all know how coveted the RiRi collection was, and how many people missed out on it. I'm lucky to have a lovely friend who found my lippies for me, but not everyone has friends as stellar as mine! Lol. So I'm happy to let you in on a great, AFFORDABLE dupe. And the best part is...some of you may already have it!! Ready?



YES...This is the NYX lipstick that came in my latest Ipsy Glam Bag! So if you've already forgotten about this months Glam bag, go dig it out! There's a little hidden gem in there! In the photo above, I have the NYX lipstick on my top lip, and the MAC lipstick on my bottom lip. The only slight difference is that the NYX one has a slight sheen to it. But the color is exactly the same.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Swatches: RiRi Hearts Mac Holiday

I only got two things from the latest RiRi collection at MAC. I almost missed out completely, but my friend picked these lippies up for me and speed shipped them to my house! In case you're wondering....I have amazing friends!!

And here are the two lippies: Bad Girl RiRi and Pleasure Bomb. 



Bad Girl RiRi
Pleasure Bomb



I apologize for the different lighting situations! But aren't they gorgeous? Y'all know I've been searching high and low for an amazing nude. And I found her!! Bad Girl RiRi is a darker nude, and that's why I think I like her. I can't deal with crackhead nude on myself! This one gives me just enough color while still being a nude. 

Pleasure Bomb is suuuuper gorgeous! It's an intense fuchsia color. And the formula is so creamy..applies like a dream! As far as hot pink lippies go...this one, for me, beats Candy Yum Yum by a mile. 

I already have RiRi Woo from the original collection. And I decided not to order the bronzer because I just bought that Nars cheek palette. So I'm super content with having just these two lippies. At least until Viva Glam RiRi comes out! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ipsy Glam Bag: December 2013

Sorry it's taken me a few days to post this! But I'm making up for it by going a little more in depth with photos and swatches this month...yay! This month's Glam Bag was pretty good. Not the most amazing set of products I've ever laid my eyes on, but for ten bucks, it's really good enough. Especially because I really do like at least two and a half of the products, and I'll be using the bag for re-gifting purposes ;)

The complete bag


What I like about the bag itself this month, is that the zipper is on the front instead of on top. It's also a bit more sturdy than the bags usually are. It's a little too shiny and old lady for my taste. But I know someone out there will love it and think it's perfect.



NYX Lipstick in B52...at least that's what I think the name is. The best way I can describe this is like a taupey mauve. I think it's a really great shade for a smokey eye, but when you don't want to go fully nude on the lips. It's probably my favorite item in the bag.






Bombshell The One Stick in Sunset. This is the half item I like. I'm not sure about it yet, but I'll definitely use it. By the name, I'm assuming it's meant for allover use. It's a kind-of brick color with a very fine golden shimmer to it. As a lipstick, it would be ok...I'll have to try it. I've never tried a cream blush, because I'm a little scared to. It's a nice color for a blush, and hopefully the shimmer doesn't come out too much. I'm really curious about how it would perform as an eye shadow base. When I swatched it on my hand, it didn't go on very smoothly. So I'm on the fence about this one, but it's a good idea...in theory.






Pop Beauty Eye Shadow Trio in Smokin' Hot. These are swatched over Urban Decay Primer Potion. First impression...I'm not too happy with the color payoff. I really had to pack them on. But to be fair, I did use the little sponge applicator, which sucks. All three shadows are really shimmery. I don't see myself using it a ton, especially not all together. Three shimmer shadows at once? No thanks! But I'll probably involve them into looks at some point.






Nicka K nail polish in NY112. This is the other product I'm most excited about. I loooooove this color! I know it's not for everyone, but I love taupey polishes. You can't really tell from the picture, but it has a twinge of what I'm calling "purple, but not really." It's just pretty and this picture doesn't do it justice.




Andrea lashes in #33.  Ummm....I'm just gonna have to try these out to see if I like them. I don't wear falsies often. When I do buy them, I never reach for any that look like this. So I'll either learn that I should go out of my comfort zone with lashes, or I'll learn that I've been right all along! We shall see...



Sunday, December 15, 2013

2013 Favorites: Palettes

I decided to lump all different types of palettes into one post. I looooove palettes. I think it's because it makes it easy to trick myself into saying that "this is the only one I'll need when I travel." So I buy it. Then when I travel, I take eight palettes. And usually not the latest one I purchased. Long story short...I'm a liar. But I'm ok with that.


Images from Google

  • MAC RiRi Smoked Cocoa (LE): This palette did not get a lot of love in the blogging world, but I really like it. I've gotten so much use out of it, and have made noticeable dents in the two lighter shades. The darker shades are not amazing on their own, but they can be worked with and easily made to stand out. And the darker matte shade is great for deepening the outer v/crease.
  • Nars Guy Bourdain Blush Palette (LE): I went back and forth on whether or not I wanted this one. I mean....I wanted it. I just wasn't sure I wanted to pay for it. But I finally decided to go for it, because I DO need a good travel blush palette. I hate that I have to take several individual blushes, bronzers, and highlighters every time I travel. This is probably the one time I will actually use a palette for travel, the way I intended when I bought it. Plus I've gotten daily use out of it since I got it. All the shades are so pretty and flattering.
  • Sugarpill Cold Chemistry: I had been dreaming about this palette for the year it took between seeing the teasers on Instagram and when it was actually released on their website. I am in extreme love with this palette. I feel like each shade so perfect. I don't like sparkle all the time, but when I do, I reach for this little guy. They are all so pigmented, you barely need to touch them with your brush. So even though I've used these A LOT, they're almost brand new! 
  • Makeup Forever New Flash Palette: I'm not sure if this little guy has an actual name. So I just call him my Birthday palette, because it was my little gift to myself this year. I get a lot of use out of it, but I'm still learning how to really use it completely. Still...a great one to have. And now I want the original Flash palette even more!
  • Lime Crime Aquatenia: I'll admit, of all these palettes, this is the one I use the least. But it has those particular shades I don't have in any other palette. So when I need that color, I know what to reach for. 
  • Sugarpill Burning Heart: Sweet baby Jesus, this is probably my favorite palette of the year. I just love these shades tremendously. They are PERFECTION. Sure, it's not one of those you can choose as your only travel palette. But who cares. I've gotten so much use out of this guy. I can use the yellow alone as an all-over lid color. The purple, I use alllllll the time. The red is my favorite ever red shadow. And the orange....I can't even tell you how great it is. You can use it really sheer or pack it on, and either way, it looks gorgeous.
What were your favorite palettes this year? Feel free to link to your faves in the comments below!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Lush Haul and My Beautiful Week!

I'm taking a break from my 2013 Favorites posts to share my little Lush haul from last night! This week has been a series of fortunate events for me ;)

My gorgeous friend Michael scored the RiRi lipsticks I wanted, and USPS is quickly bringing them to my paws....so exciting. Swatches will be up as soon as they get here! I'm so happy, because I've gotten most of what I wanted from each RiRi collection. Which is pretty near impossible these days.

Then, I won my first ever giveaway...Julep polishes from the lovely Vero at Vero Says. If you haven't checked out her blog...go quick! She is a doll and I'm so thrilled to have won her giveaway. I've never tried Julep polishes, but I've been wanting to for a very long time. AND, this comes at an excellent time for me, because after my last fill, I decided to give my nails a little break from acrylic and gel for a while. So one of those polishes will be coming with me to my nail lady on Thursday! Stay tuned!!

Thennn...I got my Ipsy bag, and nothing was broken this time! Which reminds me...I need to write a post about this too.

THEN, I asked my friend (see: gorgeous Michael above) what he uses to clean his beauty blender. I love using mine, but I never feel like it gets quite clean enough. I've been using my Enkore brush soap, but there's still always a spot of foundation that lurks below the surface. Also...I'm almost out of the Enkore soap. He recommended Dirty Spring Wash by Lush. It's actually a shower gel, but he uses it for his brushes and blenders.

In an interesting twist...My husband surprised me with tickets to see Jay-Z! Afterwards, we went to eat at a restaurant which just happens to be directly across from Lush! What a lovely coincidence! So while we were waiting on our food, I ran over to Lush "just for the Dirty Spring Wash." (allegedly) Here is what I ended up with, thanks to the great sales associates. I never have a bad experience at Lush...Love, love, love them!




  • Dirty Spring Wash shower gel: Smells a little like Zest soap. Which I happen to love, and here's why: I never had it as a child. Same reason I love Cinnamon Toast Crunch and red lipstick. You know...all the finer things.
  • Rehab Shampoo: Smells a little minty. The Lush lady recommended this after I told her what I wanted the Dirty Spring Wash for. She uses it for her brushes, and because it's made with tea tree oil, she's seen positive results with her skin. My skin happens to like tea tree oil, so I got the small size of this and DSW and I'll decide which one to stick with going forward.
  • Mask of Magnaminty: I know I didn't plan to get this, but I just don't use my Glam Glow as often as I should because it is so expensive. Even though I used Viggle points to get it...in the back of my head, I know how much it costs. So my skin is not doing as well as it was while I was using MoM. 
  • Gorgeous moisturizer: Another Lush lady recommendation, but I just got a sample. I still have plenty of my Enzymion moisturizer, so I'll use the sample of this one and decide which one I like best when it's time for a refill.
By the way...I've already washed my beauty blender today. I actually used a mix of both cleaners and the results.................will be on another post. ;) 

Thanks for reading, sorry for rambling, and wishing you all a beautiful week!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2013 Favorites: Purple Lipsticks

This year, I discovered my love for purple lipsticks. I'd never tried them before, because I don't even like purple. But I do use it a lot in my makeup. I'd seen it on other people and loved it. So I gave it a shot, and it turns out, I'm a huge fan of purple lips on myself! Here are my favorites, they happen to mostly be from MAC, and for some reason, a couple are showing up more fuchsia on my screen, but I can assure you, these are all purple:

Images from Google



MAC (All LE):
  • RiRi Boy (Top Left). This is the lightest of the bunch. This is one of those perfect for me colors. Love it!
  • Midnight Mambo (Top Right). I love this one, even though I rarely use it. Mostly because it melted slightly at the UPS facility while they were holding it for me. Now every time I twist it up and down, it scrapes a little on the side. So I save her for special days.
  • Seductive Intent (Bottom Left). I looooove the formula of this one. It's a great shade and feels amazing.
  • Strong Woman (Bottom Right). This is a gorgeous, true purple. I bought it from a girl I follow on Instragram, and my mail man took three months to deliver it. Now that I finally have her, my life is complete. I love this one!
Melt Cosmetics:
  • By Starlight (Center). This is the darkest one, and ultra matte. I love wearing it and I get a ton of complements on it. Highly recommend!


Sunday, December 8, 2013

2013 Favorites: Skin Care

This year has had its ups and downs when it comes to my skin. I've tried to stick to a skin care routine, but I sometimes get cocky and fall off. :( My fault...I know. But here are my favorite skin care products of the year. I do switch products around every now and then, but these are the ones I've been most successful with.


Images from Polyvore and Google

  • Lush - Mask of Magnaminty. Definitely my favorite mask of the year. I feel like it's on par with Glam Glow, and it's a fraction of the cost.
  • Lush - Enzymion moisturizer. Even though it doesn't really work as far as oil control for me, it's kept my skin looking great. I usually am so dry during the winter, and I have no dry patches at all!
  • Dermalogica - Special Cleansing Gel. I love this cleanser. I need to cave in and buy the jumbo size...it really keeps my skin clear. 
  • Maybelline - Clean Express makeup wipes. These are my favorite wipes ever...I've tried so many different brands, and nothing compares. Especially since they're so inexpensive!
  • Dermalogica - Ultra Calming Serum. This does wonders for my rosacea. It really does what it says!
  • Philosophy - Purity cleanser. This is such a great cleanser, and it's such a gentle makeup remover, too. Love it!
  • H20 - Sea Moss scrub. I love this for a mini scrub in between using the brush. I love how smooth my skin feels after using it.
  • Dermatouch - Facial Brush. I've never tried any other brush, but this one does the job for me, and it's super affordable compared to some others out there.
  • Yonka - Toner. I love the smell of this toner. It's really soothing to my skin. I've tried other toners (cough cough clinique) that are so harsh on my skin and nostrils :/ This one is great.
And that's it for my current skin care faves! I'm waiting for my The Balm skincare to arrive, so maybe those will take over in 2014! We'll see ;)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

2013 Favorites: Red Lipsicks

I love red lipstick! I just thought I'd share with you my favorite red lippies from this past year. They are not necessarily shades that came out in 2013, they were just new to me! So here they are:


Images from Polyvore



  • Lime Crime - Red Velvet. I know I've talked about this before, but I love everything about this lipstick. The color is perfection. The formula is amazing...I haven't found another liquid lipstick like it! It applies like a gloss, and dries to a matte finish. And it will not budge until you take it off. I love it!
  • MAC - Charmed, I'm Sure (LE). This is just a gorgeous red. I'm not 100% on if the picture above is the exact color, but I'm pretty sure it is. I don't wear this one often, because it's just so pretty and I don't want to run out of an LE shade. Ugh. Life is hard.
  • NYX - Alabama. I love the formula of this one. It's so smooth and creamy. I love that it's a darker red, but still ok for daytime. Granted, my definition of a daytime look is not the same as the general population. ;) Also, it's a great inexpensive option while still being high quality.
  • MAC - RiRi Woo (LE). Ruby Woo was my first red lippy, and really what got me into buying lipsticks again. I thought it was the perfect red until I met RiRi Woo! For my skin tone, RiRi wins by a landslide. It's such a subtle difference in color between the two, but that little difference makes a big impact!

Friday, December 6, 2013

NOTD

Not the best picture, but here are my nails. I went with a super nude this time. I started to get stripes on the party nail but my lady was having a hard time with them. So she did these quick little stripes and I loved it! So that's what we went with. 


Thursday, December 5, 2013

First Impression: Naked 3

I don't know how many of you know this, but I had given up on Urban Decay after buying the Glinda palette. The shadows were chalky and I didn't like most of the colors on myself. After that disappointment, I decided to move on from Urban Decay.

When they announced Naked 3 was coming out, however, they reeled me back in! I still use Naked 1 & 2 all the time. So I ordered it pretty much the second it was released. I'm not kidding...I woke up, saw the email, and ordered it before I even got out of bed. I received it yesterday, finally, after a couple weeks of waiting! Here are the pics:



As you can see, the first three shades are very close to my skin tone. They do show up a little more on my lid though. I did my first look with this palette today, and I'm just choosing not to picture it. I'm a little sad...I didn't have a ton of time this morning, but I also found the shadows a little hard to work with. I used Buzz all over my lid, which was the one I was most excited about, and it had so little color payoff once I got everything blended. I had to add a dramatic wing just to salvage the look. Lol. I think I'll try these shadows with a white, beige, or bronze base in the future. They just did not do well with shadow primer alone. 

Another thing I didn't like was that it comes with little sample packets of Primer Potion. I loved that they used to include trial sizes with their palettes, but SAMPLES?! Ya gotta be kidding. The only thing those will be good for is to keep in my travel kit. 

The last thing that disappointed me is the amount of fallout. Not just regular Urban Decay glitter fallout. Even the matte shades ended up all over my cheeks. 

I will definitely keep trying to work with this palette, but I can tell you with 100% certainty, that I will never buy another UD eye shadow. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bought It, Forgot It!

I love this idea of Bought it/Forgot it...I saw it on a recent YouTube video by Casey Holmes. If you guys haven't seen her videos, please check her out! Her channel is one of my favorites lately. When she posted the video, I was so excited because I knew I could incorporate this idea into my blog. And I quickly found the perfect products to start with! Since I ran out of my heat protector, I decided to start using products I already had before repurchasing it. I'm using John Frieda's Style Revival spray and Deep Infusion serum. I've used the spray a few times but I only used the serum once or twice. So I'll let you guys know how these work out for me in a few weeks! Hopefully I like these little guys, because I'd like to have something more readily available than my Redkin heat protector, which I have to get from my stylist.




I'd love to see what items you guys have bought & forgot...If you write about some, please leave a link in the comments below!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

November Favorites & December Wish List

I can't believe it's already December! Time to break out the Christmas decorations!! I'm so excited...this will be our second Christmas in our home, but our first where we actually have time to decorate! Last year, we moved on December 20th. So we managed to get a tree up, but nothing major.

Anyway, the start of December usually means the end of November. At least in my recent experience. So that means...you guessed it...my November favorites. Most of the damage I did last month was online and last week, and those goodies haven't arrived yet. So I'll probably be featuring those things in my December favorites instead. This month's favorites which are currently in my possession are:



Kat Von D - Lock-It Powder Foundation:I've been using this every day since it arrived...Full review to come as soon as I re-purchase the liquid foundation...I ran out just as I got the powder. Go figure!

Rimmel - Scandaleyes Retro Glam mascara: I got this from Influenster and I loooooove it! If I haven't reviewed it yet, I will soon. I need to show you guys before & afters of this one! It's a keeper!

Urban Decay - Anti-Aging Primer Potion: I didn't have an opinion on wanting to try this, but I received it as part of a sample pack from Sephora and I really like it! I like the original primer potion a lot, but this actually tops it for me!

Almay - Makeup Eraser Sticks: These little things are great! I picked them up on a whim and I've already gotten a lot of good use out of them. My liner is always so uneven on the first try, so these have made my life way less stressful! I believe this was my first ever Almay purchase. So I'm glad it worked out for me. I may have to try my luck at other products.

Now something I usually don't add to my favorites post...my current wish list! Or part of it. If you follow me on Instagram (cellapaz), you've already seen this. But I decided to re-do the December photo-a-day that I did last year. Day 1 was wish list...I had planned to post a wish list a while ago, so I made this:



Then...I purchased the bottom half of the picture before ever posting about it. Obviously, I'm posting about the powder. And the Nars blush/bronzer is on it's way. Actually...I ordered the Guy Bourdin Cheek Palette which includes Orgasm/Laguna. So I'm even more terrible than we previously thought! But the top half is still on my list! Oh well. Tomorrow's photo challenge is "Mellow Yellow." Stay tuned to my Instagram...you all know I love yellow eye shadow!

The Empties

Guys. I'm so excited. This is like a dream come true to me. You all know I usually write empties posts one at a time, because I can't keep empty products around. But this weekend, something magical happened...I ran out of three things at one time. OMG. Happiest day ever.  So here they are....my empties! Plural!



I'm just gonna start by saying I'll be repurchasing all of these in due time. I love all three of these products. The first one I'll be replacing is my MAC Studio Fix foundation. I use it every day and I haven't found anything else I love as much that also matches me this well. I do love my Kat Von D foundation but guess what...I'm out of that too. So I'm currently almost foundation-less. Dear lord, help. I do have one more foundation, MUFE's Mat Velvet, which I don't love. So I'm anxious to get to my MAC counter. 

The next item I will replace is the Redken Satinware heat protector. This one, I'll have to ask my hairdresser to order for me, and I'll just pick it up next time I see her. I'm not in a super hurry to get it, because I do have comparable products in my arsenal, which I'll talk about in another post. 

The Mask of Magnaminty is another one of my favorite things lately. I just don't need to replace it right away, because I do still have my Glam Glow mud mask. I'll probably compare the two soon. So I do want to replace this one, but it will definitely have to wait!

And that's it...all my empties, and all products I love! :)

Sister Time!

My little sister came out to visit me this weekend! We had some great sister time!

Yesterday, we had a little day of beauty. After eight hours of searching, we found my local brow threader. I hadn't had my brows threaded since I moved, almost a year ago, so I was seriously over due. And now I know where the place is...so I will definitely be going more often!

Next stop...nails! Little sister tried gel polish for the first time...fancy! And I just got my nails done recently, so I only had a pedicure. To be honest...I didn't rally need one. But I didn't want to feel left out ;) I went to my usual place, but I got a different guy. And I'm glad, because I feel like he was more thorough than they normally are. I'll probably go back to black on my next mani, so I chose Lubu  Heels by China Glaze for my toes. It's a really pretty black with fine red glitter...highly recommend! I'm not a huge fan of China Glaze because most of their polishes are really thin and take too may coats to get good color payoff. But this one is pretty good...two coats did just fine.


Little Sister in the back.
How do two selfie queens only manage one picture together in a whole weekend?!

Then...I tried to go to MAC at Macy's. I just ran out of foundation and I recently got a Macy's gift card. So in my mind...it was meant to be. However, the mall was so insanely crowded. We ended up driving around the parking lot for a couple of minutes & then went home. I'm not good at waiting for parking. And the fact that they had traffic cops in the street and in the parking lot was not a good sign.

Today, we had breakfast at one of my local favorite breakfast restaurants. And now she's back on the road :( Some of you might remember that I tried and failed at the Maybelline Fit Me Stick foundation. I gave it to her, and she has been trying it out. So stay tuned, because she agreed to write a guest review for me!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Haul Haul

My little haul today has me seeing double! I didn't do this intentionally, but that's what happens when you go to the drug store in full zombie headache mode. I went in for Excedrine on my way home from work. I remembered I needed makeup wipes, because I've been using my little eye wipes for my whole face since I ran out of the regular ones. I go through them so fast, that I decided to buy two packs. Then I remembered I was out of my Organix deep conditioner. It was on super clearance...so I got two of those, too! I also picked up a pack of Almay makeup eraser sticks (sounded cool), and a lippie recommended by Laurie over at The Makeup Squid.



In case you're wondering...I did remember the Excedrine, I just didn't include it in the picture. We have a love/hate relationship. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

NOTD

Hello lovelies...I'm working on a few posts in my head! In the meantime, please enjoy my latest mani. I went with matte teal this time. I picked out a teal gel with a hint of glitter. I applied my own matte topcoat (Essie) at home. I love matte over gel because you can easily wipe it clean with polish remover and go back to a nice shiny nail. Or re-apply the matte coat when it starts to chip. The gel underneath stays in tact! I chose a glitter polish because it gives more of a satin look instead of flat matte. And here it is:



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

First Impression: Melt Cosmetics Summer

Guys...! I did it again. I know I said I wasn't planning on another Melt lipstick until sometime next spring. But they hit me with free shipping, and I couldn't resist. One of my complaints with them was that not only are their lipsticks pricey, but their shipping is high too. So they reeled me in! I wanted Summer anyway, so I went ahead and got it.

One of the things I need to remember with my life is that I'm not a pale girl. I have a bit of a natural tan. I don't try to tan, but I'm the kind of person that can step outside for ten minutes with SPF 1000 and still pick up some color. I try my hardest not to tan my face, because I don't want to be an old leathery person, but I do wear a foundation a little darker than my face to blend in better with my skin. What does that have to do with reviewing this lipstick, you ask? WELL...all the swatches I've seen of this lipstick were apparently on people with a much different skin tone than mine. It's hard to judge through photos, because even on my own Instagram feed...my skin sometimes looks very light, and other times it looks quite a bit darker than it is. So this lipstick is not THE most flattering on me. But I did find that I could make it work using Viva Glam 5 lip gloss on top. So I'm glad I could make it work, but I wish I could wear it as the gorgeous matte it was meant to be. * sigh *

Anyway, here are some swatches. As you can see...Summer is a mixture of Mac's Sounds Like Noise and Lime Crime's Babette:


Left: Melt Summer
Right: Lime Crime Babbette
Center: Top: MAC Sounds Like Noise/Bottom: SLN w/ Babette on top


The Pros:
  • Great Melt smell...I love it
  • Pretty shade, perhaps better suited to lighter skin tones than my own.
  • Fast/free shipping.
  • Nice formula. This is an ULTRA MATTE lipstick. It's not gonna glide on and feel super creamy. However, for a matte, it does feel pretty nice.

The Cons:
  • Pricey, even with free shipping.
  • Not great on its own for my coloring.

The Verdict:
I will definitely use this lipstick. I'm just sad that I'm not gonna be able to wear it on its own. I would love to wear it in all it's matte delicious glory. So I'm borderline sad. But still a great buy and I would definitely recommend giving it a shot.


A little toned down with Viva Glam 5 lip gloss




Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ipsy Glam Bag: November 2013

Guys! OMG. I'm a little late to the party on posting this. I received my bag and took the photos on Thursday (?), and even had most of this post written that night. But as I mentioned before...this week has been an adventure. Yesterday, I planned to do some catching up around here, but I received a cooking class from my boss last minute, and then I had a little date night with my husband! So yesterday was spent running around and getting ready for those two events. Thanks for being patient with me! I try to post and reply to comments regularly, so I feel bad. Sometimes, life just has a different plan than I do!

After previously having a bad Ipsy experience involving white nail polish and gardenia perfume, I cancelled my subscription. However, I've seen so many good bags after I cancelled. They reeled me back in! This is my first bag since re-subscribing and I'm pretty happy with it!



What I got:
  • Nailtini Polish in Caviar Cocktail
  • Em Lipstick in Cabana Beige
  • Bombshell Lip Crayon in Hot Damn
  • BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic Eyeshadow in Eclipse
  • Pixi Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched
  • Starlooks Gem Pencil Liner in Amethyst 





What I'm most excited about is that red lip crayon, and I love this shade of nail polish.  I'm super into finding the perfect nude lip lately...I did a quick swatch of the Em one on my hand. It's very sheer...so it looks like my search is sadly not over. The shade does look pretty, and I'm sure I'll wear it, but it will have to be paired with something.

The biggest disappointment is that my bronzer is completely shattered. I emailed them to request a replacement, and they've already replied telling me they'll send a replacement within the next couple weeks. Also, I'm wary of BH Cosmetics, and recently boycotted them, so I'm not super thrilled of the eyeshadow, but I'm sure if I use it soon, I'll get some good use out of it before it stops working.  I quick-swatches this on my finger, and it's kind-of a grayish purple? So it might be good for a touch of color on a smokey eye.

The bag itself is a little gold scaly number. I've decided to keep my Ipsy bags aside and fill them with little mini gifts for when I need to have a gift handy. This gold one is something I would give to my mom. It's not entirely unfortunate, I just don't need it, and I don't like having extra things.

If you all would like more in-depth reviews on any of the products, please let me know and I'll be happy to do one! Weeks like last week are rare for me, so I won't get this behind on blogging again for a while! (I hope!) Also, if you would like to see the real value of this month's bag, please visit +Shalunya TheChronicBeauty . She gives a monthly breakdown on the value of each month's items, which I love! Plus, you should be visiting her blog anyway...she's a gem!

Side note...I mentioned that cooking class at the start of the post. It was a cheesecake class! I was so excited because I love cooking and baking, but I've never attempted cheesecake. I was always told it was so hard to do, so I always just left it to the experts. But now that I've done it, I realize it wasn't anything to be scared of! I'm so happy I got to take the class at my local Le Cordon Bleu. Here are some pics:



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