Saturday, February 21, 2015

Is it a dupe? Benefit Watt's Up vs. Becca SSP Opal

Today's "is it a dupe?" explores two popular highlighters - Benefit's Watt's Up and Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (liquid) in Opal. I bought both of mine at Sephora in mini kits - the Becca Spotlights trio and the Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot palette, respectively. Unlike most dupe hunts, these are priced pretty similarly. Benefit Watt's Up retails for $30 ($90.90 per ounce) and Becca's liquid Shimmering Skin Perfectors retail for $41 ($24.12 per ounce). While they are a similar up front cost, it is clear that Becca is clearly a better value for your money.

Writing "is it a dupe?" posts are some of my favorites - I see tons of casual dupe assertions in YouTube videos and in blogs, and it feels like some unproven pairings enter the zeitgeist as easily as salt and pepper. Frequent readers of this blog will know that I am a Miss Trunchbull style stickler for dupes. For me, a dupe needs to be a true duplicate - the same color, finish, texture, opacity, longevity, and functionality.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

NARS satin lip pencils, a geography lesson (Part 1)

The NARS Satin Lip Pencil shades are all named after parks and gardens, but I doubt many of us could find all of the places connected with our favorite shades on Google Maps. With a few exceptions (like Hyde Park, a "cardinal red"), NARS' shade names belong in a game of Trivia Crack. I love that NARS offers globally connected branding and large shade ranges, but for me the shades are more special when I can imagine the places the shades are named for.

I have researched the places in this post to the best of my ability and profiled the most iconic place for each name. I have also chosen a picture that shows both the natural beauty of the location and a color reference to the NARS satin lip pencil shade. If I have an error in my research, please leave me a comment and I will correct it ASAP!

NARS satin lip pencils launched in Spring 2013 and there are 16 shades available currently. This post covers the first eight shades and part two will cover the remaining eight.

1. Biscayne Park - Pink guava | Florida, USA
Biscayne National Park is in southern Florida, near Miami. 95% of Biscayne National Park is water, as the park protects its namesake, Biscayne Bay. I feel like Stefan, but Biscayne National Park seems to have everything: shipwrecks, coral reefs, incredible aquatic life, and is close to the Everglades and Miami.

Photo credit: USA Today / NARS

Friday, February 13, 2015

It Cosmetics celebration powder foundation in fair [review] [swatch]

I purchased the It Cosmetics celebration foundation in fair from the It Cosmetics website a few months ago while looking for a powder foundation. I was swayed by claims of excellent coverage and the color match. I went through Ulta and swatched all of the powder foundations available, and the It Cosmetics fair was one of the best color matches for me. I have cool toned fair skin, but I prefer powder products that skew slightly yellow to help combat redness in my face.

The It Cosmetics celebration powder foundation sells for $35 for 9 grams / .3 ounces of product. This powder comes in a black rubberized compact (similar to NARS) with a mirror inside. I find the compact itself to be very standard, with no real complaints or standout features.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sephora birthday gift 2015: NARS Rikugien & Cruella

Sephora's 2015 free birthday gift for Beauty Insiders is a NARS lip pencil pairing - Rikugien and Cruella. NARS satin lip pencil in Rikugien is described as a "rose pink"and contains pearl. Cruella, a velvet matte lip pencil, is described as a "scarlet red." I was really excited to receive my birthday gift - NARS lip pencils are cult products and I have never tried the formula before.

Sephora Beauty Insider 2015 birthday gift

Happy birthday to me!

Friday, February 6, 2015

My top 3 favorite colorless beauty products

I usually focus on color products on this blog, but I thought I would do a post honoring my favorite colorless products. Colorless cosmetics are easy to overlook, but each of these three are absolute must haves in my collection. Plus, each of these cost under $5.

Without further ado, my favorite three colorless products: the NYX Matte Blotting Paper ($3.99), Essence All About Matt Fixing Compact Powder ($3.99), and adhesive magnetic tape (about $5).

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Spotted at Ulta: new releases & first impressions

I love browsing beauty counters and stores just to see what's new. I went to Ulta a few days ago and saw quite a few new spring releases, particularly palettes. I couldn't resist taking some pictures on my phone to show you - a few of these surprised me and a few slipped right through my radar. Unedited phone quality pictures and impulsive first impressions ahead!

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