Friday, December 26, 2014

Review & Swatches of Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks in Sandglow, Rose gold, & Amethyst

My favorite cream eyeshadow formula of 2014 was easily the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color pencils. I first tried Sandglow, a golden bronze, and was completely smitten. I received a mini in Rosegold as a GWP from Nordstrom (with purchase of my Laura Mercier Artist Portfolio) and bought Amethyst in the Sephora Friends & Family sale. I love all three and plan to keep adding shades to my collection. In particular, right now I am lusting after Khaki, Moonlight, Burnished Bronze, and Cocoa.

When I packed to go home for Christmas, the only eyeshadow I brought was my faithful Wet N Wild single in Brulee and these three Caviar Sticks. For Christmas, I wore Sandglow on my lid with Amethyst in the crease.

Laura Mercier's Caviar Stick Eye Color pencils retail for $28 and contain .05 oz of product.

Left to right: Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks in Sandglow, Rosegold, and Amethyst 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Must have: Real Techniques Powder Brush

Regular blog readers know I have a soft spot for brushes. Today's feature - the Real Techniques Powder Brush - is a reliable stalwart among my collection of face brushes. I realized I had to write a post on this brush when I caught myself procrastinating washing it because I didn't want to wait for it to dry to use it again.

The Real Techniques Powder Brush retails for $9.99, but you can frequently get it for less with sales and coupons. I bought mine at Ulta.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Comparison: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade & Perfect Brow Pencil in Medium Brown

I have enjoyed Anastasia Beverly Hills' Dipbrow Pomade for a while now (since the launch of my blog, my review of the dipbrow shade Medium Brown has been one of my most popular posts), and I wanted to try another product from the brand for the Sephora VIB sale. I figured I would stick with the group of products Anastasia is best known for - brows. And, since I know the color Medium Brown works well for my coloring, I had to take a brow pencil for a spin.

In choosing between the two brow pencils offered by Anastasia Beverly Hills, I chose the lesser known Perfect Brow Pencil over the perennial YouTube favorite Brow Wiz. Check out the stats: Brow Wiz contains .003 oz of product for $21 and the Perfect Brow Pencil contains .034 oz of product for $23.
A little arithmetic shows the ridiculous disparity in price: Brow Wiz costs $7,000 per ounce of product, while the Perfect Brow Pencil compares at $676 per ounce. (Just for fun, Dipbrow costs $128 per ounce)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Lorac Plum and Peach Blush review & swatches

I don't see a lot of love or hype for Lorac's powder blush formula, but they are a pleasure to use. The new PRO formula offers more shades, but the standard powder blush line is worth taking a look at. Lorac blushes retail for $20 and seem to be on a semi-permanent $10 sale on the VIP Sale page. As always, the Lorac site offers free shipping with no minimum - a perfect setup for enabling makeup addicts.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tony Moly CatChu Wink Cherry / Innisfree EcoFlower Tint Azalea / Etude House Dear Darling Tint Berry

When I was first getting into experimenting with Asian beauty products, I was obsessed with lip stains. Lip stains are a cyclical obsession for me and I have come back around to my stains recently, so I wanted to review these three. I have the Tony Moly Cat Chu Wink tint in #1 Cherry, the Innisfree Eco Flower Tint in #04 Azalea, and the Etude House Dear Darling Tint in #1 Berry. I bought all three on Rose Rose Shop and received my order from South Korea about three weeks later.
Left to right, Innisfree Eco Flower tint in Azalea, Etude House Dear Darling Tint in Berry, Tony Moly Cat Chu Wink Tony Tint in Cherry

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Inglot Nude Matte Eyeshadows: 353, 341, 390, 344, 358

Today I bring you swatches and a review of my Inglot nude matte eyeshadows. My Inglot mattes are workhorses in my collection and get used frequently. The Inglot matte eyeshadow formula is a meat and potatoes formulation - absolutely functional but lacking the superlatives of luxury. In this post, I have swatches of 353 M, 341 M, 390 M, 344 M, and 358 M. Frustratingly, Inglot assigns their color products numbers instead of names, leaving only an initial to hint at the finish.

 I own quite a few Inglot eyeshadows, and this group is what I would recommend to someone building their collection of neutrals in a 5 pan freedom palette. In the same way that Urban Decay's Naked Basics is a great companion palette, these shades work well paired with any look and are very versatile.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Bare Minerals The Comfort Zone Ready 4.0 Eyeshadow Quad review & swatches

Bare Minerals' The Comfort Zone eyeshadow quad is a pairing of four subtle satin nude shades. I haven't seen many reviews of The Comfort Zone, which isn't surprising - this quad isn't for everyone. The Bare Minerals Ready pressed eyeshadow formula is a total winner and this combo is perfect for someone who loves a soft wash of color with a sophisticated sheen. The Comfort Zone retails for $30, I bought mine at Ulta.

If vibrant color is your jam, let me save you $30.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stila In The Know matte eyeshadow palette review & swatches

I love reviewing my well loved collection staples because I have spent a lot of time forming my opinion. I have owned the Stila In The Know eyeshadow palette for almost a year and still use it regularly. In The Know is all matte (and *real* mattes - no hint of shimmer in the pan) and contains 10 mostly neutral shades. The palette usually retails for $40, but I have seen it on sale for $20 at promotional events (like Ulta's 21 days of beauty) and in clearance sections. I bought mine at Sephora.

Stila In The Know matte eyeshadow palette

Note: This palette also comes with a Stila smudge stick eyeliner in halfmoon (dark grey). I used it a handful of times and disliked it. The eyeliner does smudge, but didn't set well on my eyes, resulting in transfer to my lower lashline. If you like the smudgy lived in eyeliner look, you might like this product, but I passed it along to a friend.

Friday, November 21, 2014

5 Disappointing Products - Recent Makeup Fails

I love reading about other people's disappointing makeup products, especially when the item in question is on my wishlist. The 5 makeup items below were total fails for me, but they might work for you just fine. I bought this all myself and I wish I hadn't.
Let's get started, shall we?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Benjabelle Daisy makeup brush drying tree review

Hi guys, I'm baaaaack! Sorry for the break - I took another mini-break from blogging to get some wedding planning done. Turns out, it's a lot of work!

Even when I'm not wearing a lot of makeup, there are some MVP products I use all the time. The Benjabelle Daisy Brush Tree is one of those must-have loved products for me - I use it every week in my brush cleaning routine. (I should have cleaned it off for you, but the water spots are in full force in the pictures below.)
I bought my brush tree on Beautylish for $19.95. If you purchase on the Benjabelle site, you can buy the Daisy tree in black, white, or pink.

Friday, October 31, 2014

How to fix makeup brushes ruined by Makeup Forever Aqua Seal or waterproof mixing mediums

A common complaint I hear about Makeup Forever Aqua Seal and waterproof mixing mediums or sealants is that it ruins makeup brushes by making them hard. MUFE Aqua Seal is a clear liquid sealant that is a waterproof mixing medium. I use it to make eyeliner to tightline that lasts all day - one drop of Aqua Seal on an eyeshadow or cake eyeliner creates enough paste to do both eyes.

The downside to Aqua Seal and similar mixing mediums is that it creates a patina, both on the product you use it on and on the brush itself. You can easily isolate the problem on a product (as shown demonstrated in my Naked Basics Crave), by only using it on a little bit of the pan, but the makeup brushes pose a larger problem.

A hardened brush can be easily remedied with a little olive oil. I soak the end of a small angled brush in a 1/4 tsp of olive oil for about 5 minutes while I am washing my other brushes. After a few minutes, I massage the oil into the bristles of the brush to soften them up and dissolve the remaining Aqua Seal. Once the bristles are softened, you can wash the brush as usual. I really like diluted Dr. Bronner's lavender liquid soap because it breaks up product really well.

Once you learn how to clean makeup brushes hardened by Aqua Seal or mixing mediums, the product is pleasure to use and I highly recommend it. Let me know how you fix this issue in the comments!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Makeup for Engagement Pictures & Special Occasion Photography

Planning makeup for important pictures, like engagement photos, prom pictures, or senior portraits, can be stressful. In this post, I'm going to show you what makeup I chose for my engagement pictures. I wanted products that would look natural and effortless in real life, but pigmented enough to show up in pictures.

I highly recommend doing a trial run for your makeup to make sure it photographs well. Make sure to check it in natural light, in artificial indoor light, and with flash. If you don't feel comfortable doing your own makeup for a special event, you can always hire a professional makeup artist or get your makeup done at a department store counter.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot O'Blushes comparison swatches

As promised in my review of the Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot O'Blushes holiday blush palette (here), I now have comparison swatches to share. Before purchasing this palette, I didn't own any Benefit powders. This limited edition palette includes Dandelion, Bella Bamba, Sugarbomb, Hoola, Coralista, and Rockateur, plus a mini cream Watts Up highlighter.

Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot palette swatches
From left to right, Benefit Dandelion, Bella Bamba, Sugarbomb, Hoola, Coralista, Rockateur

Keep reading for comparison swatches to other products in my collection. All swatches in this post were done with my finger on bare, unprimed skin.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Darling Girl Haul & Swatches: Blush and Eyeshadow

I love trying out indie cosmetics because indie companies offer interesting colors and great value! Today, I'm showing you my very first Darling Girl Cosmetics order. I chose a variety of blushes, including a contour shade and a bronzer, and a few satin finish eyeshadows. My order shipped out within the stated turn around time (TAT) and was packed in a pretty pink mailer.

Let's see what I ordered!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Disappointing First Impression: Original Beautyblender & Solid Blendercleanser Duo

I picked up the Beautyblender sponge and Blendercleanser solid duo from Sephora's Friends & Family sale recently. My trusty Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is on its last legs from daily abuse, so I had to give the name brand sponge a spin. The duo beautyblender and cleanser set retails for $25.

I apologize for the photo quality in this post - this is the result of impulsively snapping pics in my bathroom while cleaning my beautyblender.
I gave it all up in the title - this is one of the most disappointing first impressions a makeup product has given me in a long time.  Keep reading to learn why...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlights Set review & swatches

I took a mini-break from blogging this last week to take care of some wedding planning details, but I had to do some damage at Sephora. I had a friend share a Sephora Friends & Family Sale code with me, so I picked up a few items from my loves list. I have been wishing that Becca would make a mini set with their Shimmering Skin Perfectors because I know I would never finish a full size.
Becca's new Glow To Go Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlights is a limited edition holiday set that comes with three mini sizes of the cult favorite liquid highlighter. This kit comes with three shades - Pearl, Opal, and Champagne Gold. Pearl and Opal are from the regular line and Champagne Gold is a new holiday shade. Each Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight mini contains .17 oz of product, compared to 1.7 oz in the full size. This holiday trio retails for $25.

Friday, October 10, 2014

3 Bold Drugstore Blushes for Fall

I think good blush formulas are hard to come by in the drugstore - many are poorly pigmented, chalky, and don't hold up throughout the day. I wanted to share my top 3 bold drugstore blushes for fall, each of them pigmented and vibrant enough to make a statement, yet refined enough shades to be wearable. Plus, each of these 3 would work on most skintones, from fair to deep.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Real Techniques Nic's Picks brush set review & comparisons

When I saw that the holiday limited edition Nic's Picks Real Techniques brush set had 5 brushes I didn't own AND they had pretty silver handles, I had to jump on it. I picked mine up from iHerb for $30. I have also seen the set for sale at Kohl's and other retailers.

Nic's Picks set includes 5 synthetic brushes with limited edition silver handles:
  1. Duo fiber face brush (also in the Duo Fiber Collection, LE)
  2. Cheek brush (set exclusive)
  3. Angled shadow brush (set exclusive) 
  4. Base shadow brush (also in the Starter Kit, permanent)
  5. Eyeliner brush (set exclusive) 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O' Blushes palette review & swatches

I have been wanting to try the Benefit Box O' Powders for a long time now and I'm a total sucker for holiday sets, so I had to jump on the Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O' Blushes palette as soon as I saw it on Sephora's site. The palette contains mini sizes of Dandelion, Bella Bamba, Sugarbomb, Hoola, Coralista, Rockateur, and Watt's Up and is packaged in a tin that looks like it should have stale gingerbread in it. I bought mine at Sephora for $36 and the kit includes 1.08 oz of product.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Inglot neutral shimmer eyeshadows: 402 pearl, 31 shine, 419 pearl

Today I bring to you my review of the only 3 non-matte Inglot eyeshadows I own: 402 Pearl (taupe), 31 Shine (gold), and 419 Pearl (olive green). 402 P and 419 P contain 2.7 grams of product, and 31 S contains 3.2 grams of product. I purchased each of these eyeshadows from Beautylish for $7.

  • 402 Pearl, a golden mid tone taupe
  • 31 Shine, a sparkly light bronze gold
  • 419 Pearl, a tarnished golden olive 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Laura Mercier Custom Artist Portfolio review & pictures

I have been searching for a long time for a makeup and toiletries case for travel. I wanted a cosmetics travel bag that included flexible configuration, secure construction, and makeup brush storage. I chose the Laura Mercier Custom Artist Portfolio, which I bought at Macy's for $98. This item is limited edition, but Laura Mercier frequently comes out with new and updated versions so don't panic if you miss out on this version.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Makeup Favorites

This month, I have been loving a natural look with defined brows, bold (er) blush, and lots of mascara. I've been hanging on to summer and skipping eyeliner most days and keeping it easy with a minimal matte nude eye.

I wanted to round up what I have been reaching for most this month and share! Not every category of product is included here - I wanted to show you what I have been truly loving this month, day in & day out.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Top 3 Favorite Neutral / MLBB Drugstore Lipliners

I wanted to share my top 3 favorite drugstore MLBB (my lips but better) neutral pink lip liners. Neutral pink shades are the ultimate in versatility - perfect for everyday makeup, adding definition to nude lipsticks, and adding dimension to berry lipsticks. Even better, each of these is under $5!

Without further ado, my top 3:
  • NYX Lipliner Pencil - #860 Peekaboo Neutral
  • Milani Color Statement Lipliner - #03 Nude
  • Jordana Easyliner For Lips - Tawny 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Hakuhodo J521 Eyeliner Brush (D1 Flat) review

Hakuhodo's J 521 eyeliner brush has the smallest brush head in my collection, but is one of the most useful on a daily basis. This brush is designed for very controlled thin eyeliner placement, making it perfect for tightlining. Tightlining looks incredibly natural and adds subtle definition to the eye by placing product in between the upper lashes. This brush makes tightlining effortless and leaves you with fuller looking lashes and a defined eye. I bought mine from the Hakuhodo USA website for $14.

Brush Details:
  • Price - $14
  • Dimensions - Full Length: 132.3mm, Hair Length: 2.3mm, Thickness: 1.3mm
  • Handle - Wood
  • Ferrule - Nickel, Brass/Silver
  • Hair - Natural (Horse)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

NYX HD Concealer Wand in Green review & swatches

Have you ever wished for a 'mint chip ice cream green' concealer? Perhaps a pastel pistachio? Me either. Read on for a tragic story of a promising product led astray by an odd undertone.

NYX HD Concealer Wand in Green (CW12) is described as a "pastel green" that will "reduce the appearance of redness." This is a sound idea according to basic color theory, so I figured I would give a green concealer a shot. I have quite a bit of redness around my nose, a little acne scarring on my cheeks, and a few active breakouts. This normally costs about $5 at Ulta, but I bought mine on a 40% off sale.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation - Shade 02 review & swatches

While searching for the perfect wedding foundation, I kept coming across glowing reviews of Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk. Review after review promised I would love the natural skin look, effortless glow, and photo friendly formula. After a few weeks of deliberation, I placed my order at Nordstrom. Luminous Silk retails for $62 for one ounce, which tops my personal "most expensive foundation ever purchased" list.

I chose shade No. 02, the lightest shade on Nordstrom's website. Confession: I have never been to an Armani counter, so I'm not sure if Nordstrom's website carries all of the shades available. Shade 02 turned out to be a very good match for my very fair skin and works with my cool undertones despite having a little yellow. The undertone of the foundation is neutral-yellow, which works for masking my natural redness.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Milani Baked Blush in 05 Luminoso review & swatches

Milani's baked blush in Luminoso is stunning golden peach shade that leaves a healthy glow on the cheeks. I reach for Luminoso on the regular all the time in the spring and summer. Like all of the other Milani baked blushes I have tried (I reviewed the line here), Luminoso is pigmented and complex. I bought mine at CVS for $8.49.

Luminoso accomplishes something that is difficult to execute well - it is a full color blush that packs pigment without overwhelming fair skin. I have no trouble buffing this blush into my skin and find that it is equally beautiful in a saturated or diffused application.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

NARS Douceur Blush (nude pink) review & swatches

You have probably walked right past Douceur at a NARS counter. Compared to all of the beautiful shiny colors in the NARS blush range, Douceur could easily be mistaken as a nobody. In the pan, Douceur is a dull, matte nude tan pink. On your face, Douceur is pure magic - a neutral, goes with anything complexion boosting blush. If you have never tried a nude blush, you are missing out. I bought mine at Sephora for $29.

When I first bought this, I didn't talk about it for a long time because I didn't know how to say the name. Douceur is pronounced "doo-sir" (roughly), is of French origin, and means sweetness. Compared to racy NARS blush names like Orgasm, Deep Throat, Sex Fantasy, and the like, Douceur is a welcome change of pace. Douceur can also mean a bribe (presumably in a "sweeten the deal" type of usage), so its not a completely innocent name, but it is refreshing to own a NARS blush I can tell my mom about.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Wet N Wild Color Icon Trio in Walking on Eggshells 380B review & swatches

Wet N Wild's color icon eyeshadow formula is famous on beauty blogs for being superior to other drugstore alternatives, and for good reason. Walking on Eggshells is my favorite Wet N Wild color icon trio in the regular line - the neutral satin finish shadows work well together for a quick eyeshadow look. I bought mine for $2.99 at CVS.

  • "Browbone" - neutral toned cream, satin
  • "Crease" - warm toned medium brown, satin
  • "Eyelid" - neutral toned soft ballet pink, satin 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NYX Eyeshadow Primer Base 03 Skin Tone review & swatches

NYX Eyeshadow Base in #3 Skin Tone (ESB03) was one of the first products I purchased when I started looking for eyeshadow bases / primers that would even out my lid color and mask visible veins. NYX Eyeshadow Base is an emollient cream base product that promises to act as a primer and concealer for your lids in one. The product also comes in two other color options - white (01) and white pearl (02). I bought mine for $6.99 at Ulta.

Skin Tone is the type of product name that makes me rage a little inside - "skin tone" is not one color! (This shade is likely a good match for light to medium skin) I apply this by patting a little bit of product onto my lids and it blends into my fair skintone well with a sheer application, but I don't think the shade is as important when used as a true base shadow because you will be layering product on top of it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Favorite Drugstore Blush Formula - Milani Baked Blush

Milani Baked Blush is the classic drugstore tale of a great product hidden in unfortunate packaging. Milani's Baked Blush line contains an impressive 8 shades (plus a 9th - a medium bronzer) with a surprising amount of shade complexity. Of the 8, 6 are satin or shimmery and 2 are matte. These blushes cost $8.49 for .12 oz (3.5 grams) of product.

I have 3 shades: 07 Fantastico Mauve, 03 Berry Amore, and 05 Luminoso. (Separate swatch posts to come!)

  • #7 Fantastico Mauve is a shimmery red leaning berry with golden and bronze veining
  • #3 Berry Amore is a shimmery warm bronze rose with golden and bronze veining
  • #5 Luminoso is a satin warm peach with a hint of pink that comes off with a sheen on the cheeks (note: Luminoso is not a NARS Orgasm blush dupe - the Milani blush that was similar to Orgasm was called Luminous and is discontinued)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bare Minerals 5 in 1 BB Cream Shadow Candlelit Peach review & swatches

Let's get this off the table right away - the name of this product is ridiculous. "Bare Minerals 5 in 1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow" Seriously, they jumped on that BB bandwagon hard. Okay, let's move past that. The new Bare Minerals cream shadow is supposed to be a longwearing primer cream shadow, similar in claims to a Mac Paint Pot but in a more liquid form. I have shade Candlelit Peach, which came in the Bare Minerals Multi Tasking Stars kit (review here) and is sold on the Bare Minerals site. This product retails for $18 for a .1 ounce tube.

Candlelit peach is very accurately named. The shade is a warm toned creamy peach with a matte base and a little shimmer. The product doesn't have a pearl effect or any luminescence in the base formula, but has an odd spattering of shimmer particles suspended in a flat matte base. From a distance, the shimmer doesn't appear unless it hits the light and it shows as a satin finish. Up close, however, the sparkle particles are apparent.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Empties & Mini Reviews - Too Faced, NYX, Elf, Bare Minerals, Jack Black

I was inspired to share some empties today after doing an end of summer collection purge. All of the empty products below are *actually* makeup & beauty products. Anyone else get angry about body scrub and candle empties? Let's check out what I used up recently:

  • NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee (BLG 05)
  • e.l.f. Essential Wet Gloss Lash & Brow Clear mascara
  • Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm in Grapefruit & Ginger and Lemon & Chamomile
  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance
  • Bare Minerals Lash Domination mascara (black)
 Let's get into the mini reviews:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hakuhodo B 5521 BkSL Pointed Highlight Brush Review

The Hakuhodo B5521 BkSl brush is a small tapered egg shaped brush that comes to a gentle point at the top of the brush head. This brush is listed on the manufacturer's website as a highlight brush, but is also perfect for contouring, powdering small areas, and precise blush placement. I purchased this brush on the Hakuhodo USA website for $35. All of the brush pictures in this post were taken after about two months of daily use with multiple washings.

Brush Details:
  • Price - $35
  • Dimensions - Full Length: 169mm, Hair Length: 33.0mm, Thickness: 13.0mm
  • Handle - Wood
  • Ferrule - Nickel, Brass/Silver
  • Hair - Natural (Blue Squirrel, Goat / Sokoho)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Makeup Forever HD powder DIY dupe? TKB Trading Silica Microspheres & 30g Jar review

I was really curious about translucent HD powders, but I wasn't ready to shell out $34 for Makeup Forever's Microfinish HD powder. Instead, I bought generic silica microspheres and an empty 30 gram jar from TKB trading to see if HD powders are worth the hype. I bought 1 ounce of silica microspheres for $4.95 and a 30 gram jar with sifter for $.90.

HD Powders
HD powders are very fine powders that are supposed to be invisible on the skin. Many on the market, like the ever popular Makeup Forever HD and the elf studio HD, are silica based and translucent. Loose HD powders are great for applying a thin layer of powder over the face before applying foundation (a la Wayne Goss), setting foundation without adding extra coverage, and touching up during the day. Silica powders are notoriously bad for flash photography, so I recommend staying away from them for special events.

The Makeup Forever HD powder ($34) is comprised of silica microspheres and the elf studio HD powder ($6) is comprised of silica microspheres and fillers. I would like to note that not all silica microspheres are created equal - as with all powders, there are different particle sizes and some are more finely milled than others.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Etude House Lovely Cookie Blusher #6 Grapefruit Jelly / #3 Raspberry Tarte review & swatches

The Etude House Lovely Cookie Blusher line was one of the first Korean makeup products that sucked me into Asian beauty shopping. Each blush is packaged in a cute round bubble compact with a powder puff. I purchased shade 6, Grapefruit Jelly, and shade 3, Raspberry Tarte.

The Lovely Cookie blusher compacts are very cute as well as functional. The frosted bubble top is round enough to hold the puff, but isn't too hard to store. The compact height is similar to a Milani baked blush. The bottom of each compact is the the color of the product inside, making it easy to grab the shade you want the first time. I love the little bow on the puff, but I do prefer a brush for application.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

It Cosmetics Brushes for Ulta - No. 217 Angled Liner / Brow [review]

I can't help myself when I see a new brush line! I picked up a brush from the new It Cosmetics for Ulta line the other day and wanted to share pictures and my thoughts so far. I chose # 217, which is a synthetic angled liner and brow brush with a silver handle and ferrule. Angled brushes are a must have for me and I use them daily for tightlining and filling in my brows.

Brush Details:

  • Price - $16
  • Location - Ulta exclusive, made by It Cosmetics
  • Collection - Live Beauty Fully
  • Hair - Synthetic
  • Ferrule & Handle - Unknown material, feels light, maybe aluminum?
  • Length - 6.25 inches total length, brush head is .25 inches at the longest
  • Extras - Comes with a plastic protector cap for travel

Friday, September 5, 2014

Lorac Haul: Peach Blush, Star Quality, Serenity, & Pewter Eyeshadow swatches

I wanted to share my Lorac haul from the VIP sale page - I got their blush in Peach and single eyeshadows in Star Quality, Serenity, and Pewter. Lorac offers free shipping on orders of any size which makes it so easy to sneak sale items into your shopping cart. I was so excited about my order that I took pictures quickly right out of the box! Pardon my dirty windowsill :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Is it a dupe? NYX Butter Lipstick in Pops vs. Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Rush

My most worn lipsticks are my lips but better (MLBB) shades because they even out my lips while adding natural color. I love mid tone rosy pinks with a hint of mauve- anyone else buy the same color again and again? When I added NYX's Butter Lipstick in Pops to my collection, I realized it was similar to my beloved Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in Rush.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Urban Decay Freelove Single Eyeshadow review & swatches

Urban Decay's eyeshadow single in Freelove is the perfect warm peachy coral. I get lots of wear with this in the spring and summer when I want a peachy pink pop. Urban Decay singles retail for $18 for 1.5 grams / .05 ounces of product, which comes out to $360 per ounce.

Built up, freelove looks more pink, but sheered out the shade looks more orange. Freelove has an understated shimmery finish that contains light and dimension without glittery fallout or a metallic finish. I find freelove to be surprisingly versatile because it looks so different worn sheerly than worn at full opacity. You wouldn't know it by looking at the pan, but a light wash of freelove on the lid looks fresh and natural with a satin finish. I wear matte eyeshadows about 80% of the time, but this sheers out to a satin finish that looks subdued and not too shiny. Built up, you can easily achieve a brighter more shimmery look that really pops. I adore this formula - easy to blend and a smooth texture.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Inglot Gel Eyeliner # 89 Brown and # 77 Black review & swatches

Inglot's AMC matte eyeliner gel is one of my favorite formulas with a friendly price tag. I bought two shades - #89, a warm dark brown, and #77, a true black, on Beautylish.

Inglot is a Polish company and has a strong presence around the world, so these products are pretty easy to track down. I bought very traditional colors, but the line contains 22 shades so there is something for everyone! Inglot gel liners are a great value - 5.5 grams / .19 oz for $12, which comes out to $63.16 per ounce. By comparison, Bobbi Brown's gel eyeliner goes for $24 for .1oz ($240 per ounce), Mac Fluidline costs $16 for .1oz ($160 per ounce), and Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama gel eyeliner goes for $9.99 for .1oz ($99.90 per ounce). Inglot's pot of gel eyeliner comes with almost double the amount of product most gel eyeliners have at a reasonable price. Plus, their color selection rocks!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Elf Studio Small Stipple Brush review

After seeing Elf's small stipple brush from the studio line on EmilyNoel83's Beauty Broadcast Youtube channel all the time, I had to give it a spin. Stipple brushes feature bristles of two lengths - the longer hairs feather product onto your skin and the shorter, more dense, hairs buff and blend. The Elf studio line comes with black handles and ferrules, while the standard Elf Essential line comes with white handles and silver ferrules. Most of the Elf Studio brushes are $3 while the essential line is $1. I picked mine up at Target almost a year ago for $3, but my Target has recently raised the price to an oddly specific $3.04.

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