Friday, January 31, 2014

First Impression: Sugarpill Loose Shadow in Smitten

Hey guys. I hate to bring you such a glorious review for an LE product. But if history is any indication, Sugarpill will probably release these again at some point. Either at IMATS NY, or online. So I'll go ahead and post this just in case it's ever made available again. Or in case you guys want to buy it from the greedy jerks on Ebay.

It's no secret that Sugarpill eye shadows are my all-time favorite. So when they announced this LE shadow, I knew I had to have it. Lucky for me, my friend attended IMATS and was able to pick it up for me. Now that I have it in my happy little hands, I wanted to share it with you.



The Pros:
  • Gorgeous shade with just the right amount of shimmer...check out my Instagram for a video showing the shimmer!
  • Great color payoff. 
  • Blends nicely. 

The Cons:
  • Limited edition :(

The Verdict:
Duuuuh...amazing. If I were you, I would stalk Sugarpill's Instagram in case they announce a re-release sometime.  But you seriously can't go wrong with any of their other shadows. If you haven't tried them yet, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to some!!



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: Willa Lavender Face Towlettes

I got these Willa makeup wipes in my last Ipsy Glam Bag. I love makeup wipes, and am always on the hunt for a great wipe. So I was happy to see these in my bag. There were only ten wipes in the package, and they're all gone now. So I wanted to share my review! The full sized package of 30 wipes retails for around $7.



The Pros:
  • Very light smell.
  • Nice texture.
The Cons:
  • Not the most effective...I had to use two wipes each time I took my makeup off. Granted, I do wear a full face of makeup, but with my other wipes, I only need one. And these did ZERO to remove my mascara. So I had to use a separate remover for that.
The Verdict:
These may be good for throwing in a gym bag and wiping the sweat off your face after a work out or something. I don't know...I'm trying to be positive. I wouldn't repurchase them at all. Which is sad, because the packaging is pretty cute, so I really wanted to love them!

Monday, January 27, 2014

What's In My Mail Box?

Hey all. Sorry I've been a little MIA lately. We had a rough week last week, and spent the weekend with family. We're just now getting back into normal daily life. I wasn't super prepared to post today, and I try to usually post early in the morning. But I wanted to get back on some kind of schedule, so here I am! Luckily, my mail box had a busy day today, so I have exciting things to share with you! I had mentioned last week that I was waiting on two things for today: My Sugarpill eye shadow and my Viva Glam Rihanna lipstick. I was happy to open my mail box and discover huge box of goodies from my good friend Angela.  She's one of the sweetest & genuinely kind people I know. I'm lucky to have a friend like her, even though she abandoned me last year and moved across the country. It's hard to keep in touch with people when they live so far, especially when they happen to be Super Woman - she is a working mother of three! And with the time zone difference...you would think she'd fallen off the planet. But she truly makes an effort to keep in touch and makes time in her busy schedule to reach out. So I appreciate her tremendously! Anyway...she has been saving some goodies for me and mailed them out to me on Saturday. I wasn't expecting them to arrive so soon! So it made me extra happy!! Here is what I got, including my shadow & lipstick, which I'll swatch later :)




Saturday, January 25, 2014

What I Bought During My No-Buy

So listen...I know I have a weakness when it comes to beauty products. I'm not gonna lie. I put myself in makeup jail for the month of January, and called it an "Unofficial No-Buy." I decided against a true no-buy because I knew Viva Glam Rihanna was coming out, and I knew I wouldn't be depriving myself of that. I allowed myself to purchase must-have limited editions, and of course, things I needed to re-stock. I know the month is not over yet, but trust me...I won't be purchasing anything else, so I feel confident in posting this early ;) Here is what I ended up purchasing:


Lush: Bath Bombs. Bath time is my happy time. I will literally drain and re-fill the tub a few times. I sit in the tub for a looooong time and watch Netflix. Trust me...these were a necessary re-stock item! And I decided to display them in this little bowl, because they're so pretty and I hate keeping them bagged up in the drawer. Also, as you guys know I'm so sensitive to smells but I do like my house to smell nice. So now every time I walk in my room, I get a delicious scent that at the same time doesn't make me nauseous. ;) I did browse the lipsticks and liners while I was there...I will definitely be going back for those! I don't know if y'all have seen them. The bottles look like little dropper bottles, but they have brushes in the lid. I don't know if that makes sense. They're gorgeously pigmented, and very unique colors. They can be used all over the face. So even though the liners come with a liner brush, you can use them with a lip brush for your lips, or as eye shadows. They're just so beautiful and I have at least three shades I absolutely need. Also, I want to get the Tea Tree toner. BUT...not during makeup jail! ;)



Sugarpill: Loose Shadow in Smitten. This was a limited edition IMATS release. "But you didn't go to IMATS," you say. True. You've heard me talk about my gorgeous friend Michael before (I believe "gorgeous friend" precedes his name every single time I talk about him, actually)...he was gracious enough to pick this up for me while he was there. Basically, it has everything I crave in an eye shadow. It's shimmery, pink, limited edition, and Sugarpill?! Sign me up! I loooove my other LE Sugarpill shades: Asteria and !@#%$. So I couldn't pass this little lady up! She should arrive in the mail next week, and I will definitely post swatches. For now, here's a teaser:

Image from Sugarpill's Instagram


MAC: Lipstick in Viva Glam Rihanna. Duh...the one item that kept me from being on a total no-buy! I had to have it. But I restrained from buying the gloss. I really love Viva Glam and what it stands for. So I wear it proudly. It's funny because I was never a Rihanna fan (to this day, I don't know if I'm spelling her name right), but her collections for MAC have been to die for. Same with Nicki Minaj...I'm not a fan but I jumped on her Viva Glam lipsticks as well! My absolute favorite Viva Glam though is VG5. That is one lip gloss I kept purchasing and repurchasing ever since I first tried it. Even when I was in my, "I hate MAC" years, I kept going back for it. VGR will be here on Monday as well, so look for swatches next week!

Image from Google


And that's it, folks! Overall, I think I did pretty well. I kept adding things to random online carts, but I never actually checked out. I even almost talked myself into the free Zoya polishes, but I didn't manage to convince myself that shipping costs don't count.  And since my car registration is due...having some extra cash is definitely going to come in handy! :(

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Guest Post: Review: La Femme Blushes

Hey guys! I'm SO excited to bring you this guest post from my best and oldest friend April. We met when she was new at my school in 4th grade, and have been friends ever since! I love her to pieces. She's also the person I constantly text to ask makeup questions, or to share new products, dupes, or deals. We both got into makeup around the same time, and I really trust her judgement. She's the one that introduced me to makeup tutorials on YouTube, and I talked her into Instagram (find her at LadyDarcSteel) for makeup. Even though we're far apart, we're also joined at the hip! 

One of the things we do that I absolutely LOVE is trade makeup challenges. She had this idea, and we've been running with it for over a year now. One of us will find a tutorial on YouTube and then the other one has to recreate it. It's great because we'll tell each other what looks/styles/techniques/colors/etc we struggle with, and then create challenges around those. Or if we both have the same palette, we find challenges that use it. Anyway, now that I've rambled on forever, here is her review! I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did! 






Hello makeup mavens! Let me tell you about these awesome blushes I purchased from Camera Ready Cosmetics! First, let me apologize because I heard about the La Femme blushes about two years ago and I was really just starting to get into makeup and watching tutorials. Girls, especially women of color, were raving about them! "So pigmented", "hella cheap" blah blah blah...I wasn't trying to believe the hype because I've learned that sometimes "cheap" is just what you get with some makeup.





OMFG WHY AM I JUST NOW OWNING ANY?!  So, I apologize to the makeup gods for not trusting public opinion! Being a woman of color, blush was always the one product I steered clear of because most of the shades available were not suitable for me...In other words, I looked like an ashy crack head! I could never find shades that really popped on my skin tone and didn't poop on my wallet. But, after finding the industry being more WOC friendly, I began to exploit my hidden lust for blush! Enter in La Femme...!


There's a wide range of shades and finishes. I purchased mostly matte tones and one Demi-pearl, as they call it, and I love love love them! The pigment is amazing, and a little goes a long way (unless drag is your thing)! Also, it's very easy to blend and layer to suit your needs or desired intensity, without becoming cake or settling in fine lines or pores! Lastly, they can double as eyeshadows, which is useful! Overall, I highly recommend these blushes! You get high-end quality at low-end prices (less than $3 a pan)!! The shipping was great, too, and the pans were meticulously wrapped!


Like I told Cella: You need these in your life!


❤️ LadyDarcSteel aka April 




Monday, January 20, 2014

Proenza Schouler for MAC

Oh sweet baby Jesus. This collection has my name written all over it. The packaging has been sent to me by the makeup gods! And those ombré blushes?! I'm gonna need both. I don't have a lot of info about this collection other than it's coming out in the Spring. Other than that, I only know I want it and it's beautiful.



Images from Google


From style.com, the line includes "Ombre Face Powders, Lipsticks, Pro Longwear Eye Liners and Lip Pencils, Nail Lacquers, and a 129SE Powder Brush"

TAG: Bloggers Made Me Buy It

Thank you to Shalunya for tagging me in this one! I always love finding out about new products, and she is usually the bad angel on my shoulder telling me to buy them. So I dedicate this post to you, my enabling friend! These are actually all products I've reviewed before, so I'll just link to my reviews instead of taking new photos...I hope that's not too distracting!



First up on my list: From the enabler herself, Covergirl's Clump Crusher mascara. I had been wanting a new drug store favorite mascara for a while, but there are sooooo many on the market right now. It's just hard to choose which one to try. She posted about this little gem and I ran out and bought it right away. I really love this stuff. It's a great mascara on it's own, but it also pairs well with every other mascara I have. There are a couple of mascaras that just need that extra oomph, and Clump Crusher always comes to the rescue. I'm so happy I bought it, and even happier I decided it to feature it in my most recent "Bought It/Forgot It," because it's really helped to remind me of how great this mascara is. Thanks Shalunya for the recommendation!

Disclaimer: I get most of my product ideas and suggestions from Instagram and YouTube. So my next items are thanks to those areas. I know this is breaking the rules of this post a little bit, but I'm not the best at rule following. So bear with me.

My second holy grail item was suggested by my gorgeous friend MKMakeupArtistry on Instagram. It's MUFE's Aqua Brow! I loooooove this stuff to pieces and use it every single day. I don't remember my life before I had this. I literally have had this tube for over a year now, and do you see how much product is still left in it? Insanity! I know girls who run through eye brow pencils constantly...that's a lot of money! This little tube is $20, but for how long it lasts....you can't beat it! Plus it looks great on, and it doesn't budge!

My last item changed my life forever. It's the Physicians Formula Eye Booster Liner in Ultra Black. I've seen it on two beauties who I follow on both Instagram and YouTube: Sokolum (IG)/Sokolum79 (YouTube), and ToriBiohazard (IG)/Biohazardous Beauty (YouTube). They are my two eyeliner inspirations. Like every time I put my eyeliner on for the day, I think, "what would Sokolum do?" I love that it has a very fine brush applicator, so it doesn't get blunted or fuzzed out like felt-tipped liners do. It's super black, and just looks great on. And it's so easy to apply! My wings now look like actual wings.

Please tag yourself if you'd like! And as always, you're more than welcome to link to your post in the comments below!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag: January 2014

Yay! My first Glam Bag of the year is finally here! I saw some great end-of-year Ipsy posts from some of you out there, so it's really inspired me to keep better tabs and notes of my Ipsy items. We'll see if I last the whole year as an Ipsy subscriber...!

So far, I'm not too keen on this month's bag. But I'll go ahead and post pictures just in case! Maybe I'll ends up liking one of these things more than I anticipate.



Willa: Makeup wipes. Probably the first thing I'll use/use up. You guys know how I am with makeup wipes. I will try anything! I borderline want to save these for travel, but I don't want to risk using a new product while I'm on vacation. So I'll probably open them right away.



Elizabeth Mott: Creamy Eye Pencil in Pearl. This is probably the most disappointing item in the bag for me. I expected it to be more like a NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil from the size of the box. Instead I got this little thing. This was also the only swatchable item in my entire bag. You can see from the swatch it's extremely light and shimmery. I'll probably try it out as a base, but I'm not too thrilled about it.




Sexy Hair: Soy Tri-Wheat Leave-In Conditioner. I got something from this brand in a previous Ipsy bag and haven't even touched it yet. Maybe I'll use both together next month and see how I like them! I spritzed some on my hair just now, and it has a very salon-y smell...which I happen to like. I'm guessing this will be my favorite product from this month's bag.



Apothoderm: Bright Skin Care Serum. I don't currently have any serums in my skin care arsenal. So I'm glad I got this little guy. I have had serums in the past that I loved, but I haven't wanted to spend the money to replace them yet. So I know I'll definitely use this. And it comes at a good time because my Lush Gorgeous moisturizer sample ran out. Judging from the description, this might be a good alternative. We shall see.



Malin & Goetz: Mojito Lip Balm. I just dabbed this on, and there is nothing mojito-like about the smell or taste. But I can always use a good lip balm, and this one feels pretty nice so far. So I decided to leave this on my night stand for when I forget to use my regular lip balm at night. Now I don't have to choose between getting out of my warm bed or dealing with dry lips.



Overall, I'm curious about these items, but there's nothing here I'm super excited to start using. From my past experience, I was quick to stop my membership after two so-so bags. And then they got good again. So I'll try to be patient and probably see what the next three bags have in store for me before I make an ultimate decision. There are other subscriptions I'd like to try, but I don't want to sign up for multiple boxes at a time. I wish there was a subscription for random subscription boxes! That would be genius! Ipsy one month, Birch Box the next, Julep after that...That would pretty much be my dream subscription! Oh well...I guess I'll stick to plain old Ipsy for now!

Friday, January 17, 2014

EOTD

After doing a neutral eye for three days in a row thanks to Bought It/Forgot It, I decided to do something colorful. Annnnd....I went a little overboard. Here is what I came up with:



I used all Sugarpill shadows: Tako for the brow highlight. Dollipop in and above the crease. 2AM in the crease and lower lash line. Poison Plum on the lid. Mochi on the tear duct. I used my Physicians Formula Eye Booster liner in Ultra Black for the wing. Mascara is Cover Girl Clump Crusher along with Rimmel Retro Glam. Lipstick is Summer from Melt Cosmetics.

I ended up being really happy with this look, even though before I applied liner, I thought it was a little too crazy. But the liner pulled everything together and it ended up being safe for work ;) I hope you guys like it too!

Close Up

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bought It/Forgot It

Hey everyone! Since I received some positive feedback after my first Bought It/Forgot It post and update, I decided to make it a regular thing. Especially because it helps me shop my stash, which is something I like to do every now and then anyway. But this way, it gives me an actual goal and deadline. So y'all are helping me help myself ;) Thanks for that! Since this is a new concept for me, I'm still working out the kinks. I think that from now on, this will just be a monthly thing. So next month, I'll update today's products, and choose new products to use. I also decided to choose a range of products this time, because let's face it...I have a lot of things I need to use up. And it's helping to remind my of why I'm currently in makeup jail.







Urban Decay: Naked 2
I still use this little guy every once in a while, but for my usual naked needs, the original Naked palette is my standard go-to. So I just feel like I need to show this palette a little love. Especially after the recent Naked 3 debacle. I used this palette alllll the time when I first got it. But it's been a little while since I busted it out. I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but the shade Tease is really kind-of messed up. It's got this weird not-quite-filmy thing. I've tried scraping it and it came back. If any of you can give me suggestions on how to bring it back to life, I would really appreciate it!

Sleek Makeup: Blush By 3 in Sugar
I was obsessed with this trio when it first came in. Ever since I bought my NARS palette, all my other brushes have been on the back burner. But these shades are amazing for Winter, and I can't believe I haven't used it lately. Seriously, I think it's been at least six weeks since any of these shades have been on my face. So I'll definitely keep her on my counter for the month...I can't let the winter go by without using these!

Covergirl: Clump Crusher Mascara
I loved this mascara intensely for like three days before I got Rimmel's Retro Glam mascara in an Influenster VoxBox. That Rimmel mascara literally took over my life, and I've been using it non-stop. I used my Clump Crusher for the first time since then the other day, and it made me remember how much I liked it before. So I decided to add this to my products to use this month.


Hopefully, by this time next month, I will have used up a good chunk of these products. I'm not expecting to hit pan on anything, but I'm hoping to at least renew my love for these products and get them back into my regular rotation.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hair Tragedy

Last Friday, I was getting ready for work in the morning, when something shocking happened...

No really, my curling iron shocked me. It seems the wire casing had cracked, leaving the wires exposed. And my sad little wrist got the business end of those wires. It shocked me so hard, I literally fell backwards and landed on my booty. And as I'm falling, I had to unclamp my hair, because all I could think was that the cord wouldn't reach and it would yank my hair out. So there I was...on the floor, with my curling iron at my feet, clutching my wrist, confused and sobbing. My husband had run into the bathroom after he heard me scream and he was freaking out because he didn't know what happened. I finally pointed at the stupid curler and said, "It shocked me!" He immediately unplugged it and took it to an undisclosed location. Really...I don't know what happened to it after that. I believe it's being held for questioning and torture somewhere.

Sooooo...I had to get a new one. Tragic, right? I guess that's one way to get out of a no-buy. And here she is: my new little curler.





It's a Hot Shot Tools "Helen of Troy" 1 1/4" curler. I got it at Sally's for something like $40. I'm really liking her so far. In under 30 seconds, she's super hot and ready to curl. And it cools down quickly, too, so I can get her put away before leaving the house. One thing I *don't* like, is that she doesn't come with a protective cover. But I can live with that. I'm really loving the results with my hair.  The little shocky jerk was a Conair, and I loved him for a long time. I believe it was the same barrel size. But the Hot Shot curler leaves my hair looking really smooth and silky. I didn't even realize my hair wasn't silky smooth until I used it.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Get This/Not That (Or That!)

Welcome to a very special edition of Get This/Not That. Special, because there are TWO "that" things that you shouldn't get. And only one "this" that is the most amazing thing you'll ever put on your face.


Still with me? Ok...lets continue.


GET THIS: 
Everyone knows by now...I love Lush's Mask of Magnaminty. When I originally reviewed it, I was on the fence about whether or not I would repurchase it, because I wanted to try Glam Glow's Supermud before making my final decision.

Mask of Magnaminty
$24.95 for 11.1 oz



NOT THAT (OR THAT!):
Well...Not only have I tried Super Mud, I've also tried Youth Mud. I do like both of them, and I like that they have what I call "little sea bits" in them. But I don't like them or their price point enough to switch them out for my trusty Mask of Magnaminty.

Super Mud
$69 for 1.2 0z

Youth Mud
$19 for 0.5 oz

WHY?!
Glad you asked! Super Mud is quite nice, actually. The main issue I had was the cost. It is soooo expensive. I did use Viggle gift cards to contribute towards the cost. But once I know how expensive something is, I can't un-know it. I was so cautious not to use it too much, that I actually used it not enough. SM is the smoothest in texture of the three, so it's not really exfoliating when you're removing it. When I do use it, I find it does almost the same job as Mask of Magnaminty.  The main differences are the texture and the appearance of the muds as they dry. MoM gets dry, slightly lighter in color, and a little cracky. Supermud gets a lot lighter, and you can see the little spots from where it pulls dirt out of your pores.  Once I wash them off, my skin with either option looks the same. And MoM is soooo much cheaper.

I couldn't make my FINAL final decision without trying Youth Mud. I know. I have problems. I do like Youthmud. It's a little spongy to the touch. It has more grit to it, so it really exfoliates as you wash it off. MoM is a borderline scrub, but doesn't have the grit that YM has. The major difference for me, is that YM is very tingly when applied...almost to the point of burning. I would definitely not recommend this if you have sensitive skin. The tingling does subside after the initial feeling of, "Oh my LORD, is my skin gonna melt off?" However, again...the end result is the same. I do like that YM comes in a smaller size as well, which was great for me, because the cost was a lot less. Although...once you factor in how much product there is and the fact that I gave $19 for it...it's still a less than stellar bargain.

So, I did finally re-purchase my lovely Lush mask. Because it's a cheaper mask and it does expire within a few months of purchasing, it actually helps me use it a lot more consistently. So even though the Glam Glows do the job...they don't ultimately work for me. MoM is the chunkiest of the three, so you will end up looking like a sea creature, but who cares? It has that minty feeling, but it's not tingly or burning.

This concludes our very special edition of Get This/Not That (Or That!). Please let me know if you've tried any of these masks and what you think of them! Feel free to leave a link in the comments below :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

What's In My Mail Box: Christmas Haul

Christmas lives on in my mail box! I got a couple of Sephora gift cards, plus a bonus little Lime Crime box arrived! I decided to hold off on posting all my goodies until they all arrived. So I've already had a chance to use a couple things. I'm a little peeved at myself for not waiting until the new year to order from Sephora...I didn't realize until later that VIB & VIB rouge start counting points at the beginning of the calendar year. It told me how many points I needed to get to Rouge status and I got over-excited :( Other than that...I'm happy with my little stash. Here's the last of my Christmas presents that have trickled in:




Lime Crime: Velvetine in Pink Velvet. This was on my Christmas wish list, and my best friend kindly ordered it for me! When I opened my mail box, I was a little confused because I know this is sitting in my limecrime.com shopping cart, but I distinctly remember not purchasing it. I had a little panic moment of, "did they process my order randomly?! Can they do that?!" Mostly because I'm a serial online window shopper. I have items in carts on websites I don't even remember going to. It seems like every time I click a link, there's a random item that I never bought. I suddenly had a flash of all these random items being purchased without my knowing. Then I remembered...April told me she had to wait for my present because it was backordered! THAT SNEAKY LITTLE DEVIL! So I'm so excited, because this was the one item on my wish list that I had denied myself. And now she's mine!!! I've been wearing this in the center of my lips with Lime Crime's Babette all over. It looks so cute...I really love the look! I haven't gotten a good photo of it yet, but I'll work on that this weekend.



Anastasia Beverly Hills: Dip Brow in Ebony. My brother sent me a Sephora gift card. And between the time I washed off my makeup that night and walked to my bed, I had already used it to buy this little gem. I'm really focusing on my brows lately. So even though I have been using my MUFE Aqua Brow for the past year and still loooooove it, I wanted to add something to my brow arsenal. I've seen this all over Instagram, and I like that it's a little darker than my Aqua Brow. So it helps me add more dimension to my brows. Loving it so far!

Kat Von D: Rehab Priming Elixer. My Sister-In-Law also sent me a gift card! So I used it for the rest of my little haul...I love my KVD Lock-It Foundation and powder. I was really torn on whether I wanted the concealer or the primer. I went with primer because I don't currently have a primer I love. But I do have a concealer I'm happy enough with. Plus, it's hard to tell online which shade would work best for me. And I didn't feel like going to the store. So now my KVD cake face kit is almost complete! I'm happy :) I've used the primer yesterday and today...it's working well so far! I'll probably just save it for non-work makeup from now on though.

Philosophy: Purity Cleanser & Makeup Remover. I looooove this stuff! This is actually a re-stock for me. I'm nearly out of my first tube, and I wanted to have a backup so I don't have to go a day without it. So this gift card came at a good time.




Point Perk: One of my favorite things about ordering from Sephora are the samples and point perks! This time, I got one of my favorite ever point perks: a Nars mini set! It's probably one of the cutest things I've ever seen! The blush, I'll take to work. I have emergency backup makeup at work (who doesn't?), but I don't have a blush there. So this is perfect. The shadow primer and highlight cream, I've tried a couple of times...Liking the primer. The highlight is something that is very easy to use waaaaaaaay too much of (oops), but it's pretty. The gloss, I still haven't tried.

And then I got some random samples, but nothing extra exciting. So that's the last of my Christmas goodies (I think!).  I'm on an unofficial no-buy this month, so I'm happy I had a few little items to make me feel like I was still getting stuff. YES...I know, I have a problem.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

NOTD

Hey all! So my nail drama continues! I needed a fill today. When I called for an appointment, they told me my lady "isn't here today and I don't know when she'll be back." I think that means she left me.

So I went to another place closer to my house. This was a scary idea, but is been curious about it and it had really good reviews on Yelp. They specialize in 3D nail art. So I went for it! I ended up reacrylicing my previously unacryliced nails (all real words here, folks. I promise). I really liked my new lady...she even posted a pic of my nails to Instagram...my kind of girl! And here is the final result:


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Product Review: Lunatick Cosmetics Labs Ancient Elements Palette

After recently raving about this product in my first "Get This/Not That" post, I just had to give a more in depth review with swatches. Of course, you already know I love this little guy, but let me just show you all the reasons why!

This palette is usually $25 on lunaticklabs.com, but I got it during a flash sale for I think 20% off. They have a wide variety of shades and palettes. I decided to go with this more neutral one, because I fell in love with Minds Eye, which is a really pretty terra cotta shade. And 13, because I needed a nice light grey. It shipped pretty quickly, which was great. It was packed better than any other makeup I've ever ordered. Not only was the palette wrapped in about 30 feet of plastic wrap, but there are little protective inserts over each shadow. The package info recommends using them for travel or to re-press shadows if they get damaged...which makes me wonder if they damage easily?! I haven't dropped it yet, nor do I want to try dropping it...Not even for the sake of reviewing! But I have used it almost every day since it arrived and he's holding up really well so far! No complaints.

Top photo shows the little protective inserts.
Bottom photos are packaging...love the confetti!

The Pros:
  • You guys know I love supporting small companies.
  • Great packaging. Very Nightmare Before Christmas-esque.
  • Cruelty-free, talc-free, and vegan.
  • Beautiful pigmentation.
  • Soft shadows, without being crumbly and/or having extreme fallout (I'm looking at you, UD).
  • Blend really nicely.
The Cons:
  • Not widely available - I took the plunge and ordered from the website without ever having seen or touched their shadows in person. Lucky for me, the risk paid off, but you never know!
  • I'm a little scared they'll crumble easily, just because they are so soft and they come with just-in-case pressing inserts.


Not sure why 13 is showing up so lavender. It's a lot more grey in person.

The Verdict:
Well duh...I highly recommend this palette. And I'm looking forward to purchasing more from this brand! I'm curious to see how they travel...hopefully with no fatalities. I will definitely use the little inserts if and when I do travel with this little guy.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Empty: Hard Candy The Perfect Cover Up Concealer

Hey y'all. So this is a product that has been almost empty for a really long time. I used it again the other day and decided there is not enough left for another use. I initially bought this because my local Wal-Mart didn't have my shade in the Glamoflauge concealer. But since they had this little guy, I thought...what the heck. I threw caution to the wind and spent my five dollars on it. I've heard so many great things about Glamoflauge, so I figured this other Hard Candy concealer would be good too.




The Pros:
  • Conceals really well.
  • Comes with its own little brush. Although you can see from the pictures, I didn't use it. I used my Beauty Blender.
  • Inexpensive.
The Cons:
  • It's not really meant to be used the way I used it: as a highlighter. I ran out in a couple of weeks. I stopped using the last little bit because I had only had it for a short time and was already out. So when I picked it up this last time, I actually hadn't used it in a couple of months.
The Verdict:
This would be a great product for spot-concealing. However, because that's not what I want to use it for, I will not be repurchasing. Even though it has a low sticker price, I can't be spending five bucks every two weeks instead of getting the Glamoflauge, which I have been using and loving since the end of October, for the same price. And it looks like it's still new. Plus...I ain't going into Wal-Mart every two weeks...let's just be honest.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

NOTD & How to Keep Polish From Streaking

Hey all! I had a little mini beauty evening at home yesterday, so I decided to take some pictures of my nail routine in the process. A while ago, I got this Zoya nail polish in an Ipsy Glam Bag. I hate white nails. With an extreme passion. The nail polish was just the tip of the iceberg with that Glam Bag. I got gardenia perfume, which makes me barf. And some other random things I didn't like. After a few so-so bags and this one bag which I HATED, I cancelled my subscription.

LATER, I realized that I quite like the polish for my toes. I don't know why...It just looks cute. So I've actually used it quite a bit. It's still the only thing I liked from that bag though.

Anyway, I had seen this video on YouTube by Tiffany D about how to apply light colored polish flawlessly. I hate having streaky polish, and I used to end up just taking it off and going darker. But now...thanks to her video, I'm able to wear this lovely off-white polish to my heart's content. And here's how I do it:

My last pedi, with Julep's Celia polish (Thanks Vero Says)

I keep my nail polish remover in an alcohol dispenser pump which I
snagged from work. You can find them at medical supply stores, and
I believe they may also have them at Sally's now.




T: Soaking!
B: 5 minutes later. Even shimmer polish slides right off with
the first swipe :)

I use Stickey base coat, given to me by a patient.
This stuff lasts forever!!
L to R:
Zoya: Jacqueline
Nails Inc: Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat
Milani: Gold Glitz
Sally Hanse: Super Shine Top Coat


One coat of Zoya followed by a coat of Nails Inc. ... Streak city!


Second coat of Zoya & matte topcoat.
Then added the gold glitter to accent.
The finished product. Streak-free!
Third coat of the Zoya polish.
Finished with Sally Hansen's Super Shine top coat.



I hope you guys find this helpful. I know it's done wonders for me! It does seem like a lot of steps, but it's really worth it to get a nice, non-streaky finish. By the way...I never clean up around the edges on my pedi. I just scrub my toes the next time I take a shower and we're done. I've tried cleaning up before, and I inevitably slip and ruin the polish.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

First Impression: Blinc Heated Eyelash Curler

I know what you're thinking...because it's what I used to think too! "Heated lash curler?!? You'll put your eye out!" However, my lashes are literally a growing problem. Even though I've cut way back on how often I use Latisse, they are still growing quite a bit. They look great...don't get me wrong...but they bump against my glasses and it gets annoying. I had them permed at work (we have an aesthetician on staff), but I didn't like the curl. Even with larger rollers, the curl was too severe. I bought a Shu Uemura lash curler when they were all the rage. I like it...but I needed something different. So when HauteLook had this Blinc heated lash curler on, I did a little YouTube research and decided to buy it.


L: The brush
T: LED indicator when just turned on
B: LED indicator when ready.

Post-curl, Pre-mascara


The Pros:
  • Works well.
  • Easier to control the curl.
  • You can easily focus on a specific area rather than just clamp all the way across.
  • LED indicator lets you know when it's ready.
  • The cap only closes completely when it's in the "off" position. So no danger of leaving it on all day and draining your battery or melting something.
The Cons:
  • The reviews I saw showed that it came with a cleaning brush. I guess they've decided to change the packaging and it no longer comes with that brush. 
  • Does feel a little too hot if you take too long. However, it's easy to take too long while I'm trying to get the hang of it. So I have to take curling breaks. Hopefully when I get a method down, getting ready will be a little faster again.
  • I know you're not supposed to curl your lashes after applying mascara, but lets face it...we all do that. I would never be brave enough to attempt that with this curler. So I'm definitely keeping my standard curler around. 
The Verdict:
I don't think this is a "repurchase" type of item, unless I manage to break it. I do like it. It's not as scary as I thought it would be. I know some people just heat their standard curlers with a blow dryer, but I still like this little guy better because it gives you more control. I also find the curl looks more smooth and natural. Sometimes you get that crease with a standard curler...this completely eliminates that beauty hazard. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

December Favorites

2013 is over! Yet my beauty addiction lives on. This month was a pretty good one for my stash. Here are my favorite additions to the family for the month:




  • Nars: One Night Stand cheek palette. Such a little gem! I love that I can travel with this and not have to pack separate bronzers, blushes, and highlighters. 
  • MAC: RiRi collection lipsticks in Pleasure Bomb and Bad Girl RiRi. These shades are gorgeous and so creamy compared to the rest of the RiRi Hearts Mac lippies. I'm in love. 
  • EOS Lip Balm: as the packaging would suggest, this is a minty lip balm. I'm a Burt's Bees kinda girl, so I never even thought to try EOS. My friend bought one and loved it so much, she went out and got me one the next day. I have to say...I love the smell. Plus, my lips feel great.
  • Studio Gear: CC Cream. I'm so glad to have received this as a sample, and will definitely be purchasing it. I see a positive difference in my skin since I've been using it. Highly recommend!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Get This/Not That

Happy New Year everyone! I wanted to welcome the new year with my latest little idea: "Get this...not that!" Which is basically where I compare two similar products, and tell you which one works better for me, and which one I wouldn't spend my money on again!!

I got this idea when I purchased my "THIS" product. I instantly thought, "awww crap! If I had THIS, I wouldn't have bought 'THAT'!" And that's when the idea for this post was born.

GET THIS



Lunatick Cosmetics Labs Ancient Elements Palette: Let me tell you how much I looooove this palette! I bought it during a 24-hour flash sale, and I've used it almost every day since. The colors are gorgeous, super pigmented, and blend really well. Basically, all the things I look for in a palette.




NOT THAT



Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette: We all know how much I DO NOT heart Urban Decay anymore. I bought this palette in a moment of "maybe this time, things will be different!" But things were very much the same. Ungreat pigmentation. Heaps of fall-out. Chalk city.


WHY?!
They look nothing alike, right? Well...the main reason is for LCL's rosy shade, Aura. It's sooooo beautiful! Basically, it gives me everything I wanted from UD's Buzz. Even though Buzz looks gorgeous in the pan and swatches pretty nicely, it doesn't look great once I have it on my lid. Buzz was the shade that talked me into buying N3...so the fact that it didn't really play well on my lid was super disappointing. Aura is such a gorgeous shade, plus it maintains that beautiful rosy color even when blended out. You can see from the swatches below that the two are very similar when swatched. Buzz does have more shimmer. Aura is a little deeper.


L: LCL's Aura
R: UD's Buzz



The other shades in the LCL palette are not in the rose family, where most of UD's shades have pink undertones (or are blatantly pink). However, that's where I find LCL has the greatest advantage. The biggest issue I have with UD's N3 is that once you start blending, all the colors run together, and become a big, pinkish blob. This is because most of the shades are variations of the same color. Some darker, some matte, some shimmery...but all basically pinkish-taupe. With the LCL palette, you can blend while still having good color payoff AND being able to tell one shade from the next. The colors complement each other really nicely. And if you don't want a pink eye one day...you can achieve that too.


Also, unlike with UD, all of the LCL shades actually show up on my skin. I don't have to manipulate them and try different bases to try to get them to pop. When using N3 alone, I even have to use multiple bases for one look. That's just too much work!!

Anyway...this concludes the pilot episode of Get This/Not That. Please let me know if this is something y'all would like to see more of! I will also be writing a more in-depth review of the Ancient Elements palette sometime soon...So stay tuned!

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