Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Empties

Every month I try to finish up a few of my makeup products, in hopes of justifying my ever-growing makeup collection…Ideally I would just have a little more restraint, but for months when self restraint is unsuccessful I really try to make sure I’m using up the things I own. I also figured sharing my empties would let me share a brief mini review about each product since I’ve seen it from beginning to end.


Tarte BB Cream (sample size) - Not going to review this here, but I’ll include the link to where I did an in depth review on this product.

Mac Moisture Cover Concealer, NW35 - Love this concealer! It’s very moisturizing and has a thinner texture, which I find is great in keeping it from creasing. I will probably repurchase this after I use up my Bobbi Brown concealer.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara (sample size) - I really liked how this made my lashes extremely voluminous. I don’t think it added much length, but that’s okay because I typically go for a volumizing formula. It lasts all day and doesn’t flake. The only downside is that it makes your lashes really hard and not flexible, which I don’t love but isn’t a deal breaker. I’ve got another sample of this to use up still.

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden - Oh my gosh this took FOREVER to use up. This is the only one of the Urban Decay’s primers that actually helps with my eyeshadow creasing. I like that it is matte and flesh toned to neutralize the eyelid. It’s a good basic primer, but I prefer the Nars eye primer so I won’t be repurchasing.

Bliss Hand Cream Blood Orange and White Pepper (handbag size) - My hands get pretty dry in the wintertime and I think that this is a good nourishing hand cream. I absolutely love the smell of this, its just really refreshing and amazing. It does take a little while to settle into your hands, so I usually rub this in when I’m on the go either walking or taking the bus. I will most likely repurchase the full size and just refill my handbag size for travelling convenience.

That’s it for empties during the month of love! What have y’all used up?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Skincare Routine

I find that an essential part of how my makeup lasts really depends on whether or not I’ve been consistent with my skincare routine. As a person with combination skin (oily T-zone and drier cheeks) I suffer from oil breaking through my makeup when my skin is over producing oil. I try to keep my skincare routine on the simpler side because at night time I’m usually tired and a long process would just lead to me skipping it altogether.

Anyways, on to the routine!

1. Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towlettes or Bioderma

Depending on how lazy I’m feeling, I’ll use one of these two to remove my face makeup. I find that the Neutrogena wipes are fairly saturated and readily available. They don’t do as good a job as Bioderma at removing makeup but it’s fine when you are in a hurry. I usually use Bioderma with cotton squares, 1 for each half of my face. 

2. Clarisonic with Clinique Wash-Away Gel Cleanser

The Clarisonic really changed my skin, and I definitely swear by it. I’ve never suffered from large pores, but my skin needs to be exfoliated on a regular basis or I can get dry patches on my cheeks. I also love how clean my face feels after using it, and it keeps my hormonal break outs at a minimum. Plus, it comes in so many cute colors! I personally have the pastel yellow version and like using the sensitive brush heads since they are the least rough. The Clinique cleanser is one of the few cleansers I’ve found that doesn’t excessively dry out my skin or break me out. For some reason, I’m really sensitive to cleansers (for example the Philosophy cleanser wreaks complete havoc on my skin).

3. Burt’s Bees Garden Tomato Toner

I usually pour a little of this onto a cotton pad and apply to my face. It’s a little bit zingy (not quite a sting but a tingle) and removes any traces of shine or oil on my face. This toner is okay, but I’m definitely open to trying some other things. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure whether or not toner does anything at all.

4. Clinique All About Eyes Rich Eye Cream

I suffer from really dry under-eyes. As a result if my under-eye area isn’t hydrated my concealer creases like mad, even after being set with a powder. I love that this eye cream is rich enough to hydrate, but not so rich that it creates milia (the small bumps around the eyes from congested pores).

5. Benefit Cosmetics Total Moisture Facial Cream

I love this facial cream! I discovered it through a sample, and it’s become my go-to night time face cream. It’s thick and rich, and I usually put two dime size dots onto my cheeks and use most of it there, then get my nose/forehead/chin with whatever is left over on my hands. 

After all that, its time to tuck myself into bed and get some quality dreaming after my long day. Zzzzzz….

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday pampering continued with hair and face masks :)

Saturday morning pampering and manicure! I felt inspired to do emerald green nails since it’s the Pantone color of the year.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Matte Matchup: My Favorite Matte Eyeshadow Palettes

I LOVE matte eyeshadows. Don’t get me wrong, shimmer and glitter definitely attract me, but I honestly just get the most wear out of my mattes. Matte palettes are my go-to during internships where dress code is business casual/business since they don’t attract too much attention and tend to come in a variety of neutral colors. With that said, let’s get down to my top picks!

1. Meet Matt(e) Nude

I ordered this on sale through Hautelook (0.9 oz, $42 regular retail but I got it for $21). The eyeshadow portions are quite generous and there’s a mix of both cool and warm tones split amongst the 9 colors. The texture is very smooth and buttery, and while the finish is matte, I would describe it as a satin matte (similar to Lorac’s baked matte eyeshadows). I love how the names are all different ethnicities, and who can complain about a picture of a handsome man? This palette is really well rounded and includes a little bit of subtle color, pale yellow and grey purples, for people who like to stretch their definition of neutral.

2. Too Faced Matte Eye

This is the first matte eyeshadow palette I bought (0.39 oz, $36). I went into Sephora in search of a palette because I didn’t want to pay for individual shadows since that always ends up being more pricey. The sales lady immediately ushered me over to the Too Faced counter, and at the time it was the only all matte palette they carried. The palette contains 9 colors, all of which are on the cool side. The texture is once again, very smooth and buttery. The palette comes with “look” cards, which can be really useful if you are just starting out and aren’t sure what will go well together. The palette is laid out in sets of three to guide you if you don’t know what to put together. My only problem with this palette is that the highlight shades are much bigger than the lid/crease shades. I would have really preferred to have equal amounts of all the shadows. Too Faced recommends sweeping the highlight color all over the lid and brow bone, which is why they include a larger amount of it. If you love cool tones, this is a great palette to get.

3. Stila In The Know

Oh man. This is my favorite one. The colors are just so gorgeous and you can really build anything from a “no makeup” makeup look to a dramatic smoky eye. The palette includes 10 eyeshadows and a smudge stick eyeliner in halfmoon (0.49 oz, $39). Again, similar story for the textures. This is a more truly “neutral” palette. The only exception would be the color fire, which is a beautiful rusty orange and is amazing for warming up the crease. Most of the colors lean on the warm side, with only a few cool toned colors. I never get tired of using this palette and I find that the combinations you can create are endless. It’s a nice bonus that it comes with an eyeliner, which fits into a slot so you can carry it with the palette. The packaging is sleek and simple, and I love the earth inspired theme.

That wraps up my top three palettes. There are other matte shadows which come individually that I also love, but I really think you get the best deal in terms of quality and price when you go for a palette. Let me know what your favorite matte shadows are!

Photos of Products and Swatches!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Nude Tude and Meet Matt(e) Nude! Yay for Hautelook sales :)

Just a quick snap of the products I used for today, its a casual school and running errands day.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Review: Bare Minerals The Aphrodisiac Blush

I posted a picture of the things I picked up recently from Bare Minerals on Valentine’s Day, one of which was this blush. Bare Minerals holds a special place in my heart because the foundation is the first one I ever really used, and I’ve never gotten over how natural and smooth my face looks when I use it. i’m also completely obsessed with their line of Buxom lip glosses which make your lips tingle. Anyways, on to the details about The Aphrodisiac.

The Aphrodisiac is one of the pressed compact blushes (0.21 oz, $22) and is described as a peachy coral on the website. I would say that is definitely accurate. The finish of the blush is satin, which is my favorite kind of finish for a blush. I wore this on my cheeks for about 9 hours and it looked just as nice as when I had first applied it. So far, my skin hasn’t had any reaction to it either. The blush is very finely milled, super smooth, and very easy to blend. It’s not as crazy pigmented as some of the NARS blushes, but a swipe with your brush will be plenty to cover your cheek. All in all, I’m really pleased with this blush, and I actually prefer it to my other peachy coral blushes (namely Nars Orgasm, which I’ve compared with this in a swatch below) because of the finish and the lack of shimmer. If you want just the beautiful color without it being too flat and matte, this is a perfect peachy coral blush to pick up. 

Photos of Products and Swatches!




Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bare Minerals Valentines Day purchase! Since I’m single I figured I’d just spoil myself and treat myself to some new things. I purchased the blush and the four eyeshadows, and received the lipgloss/liquid lipstick for free :) Reviews and swatches coming soon!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rave Review: Sephora Double Contouring Cream Blush

I really haven’t seen much in the way of reviews, or even mentions, of this lovely lovely cream blush. I picked this up at the beginning of fall and it has been my go to for everyday wear. I’ve practically blown through about half the product and am dying to get my hands on some of the other colors. As a result I’m trying to use up my other cream blushes so that I can justify getting another one from this line!

Anyways, I picked it up from Sephora (0.2 oz, $16) and fell in love once I swatched it. The texture is really smooth and creamy and definitely packs some good pigment. Not to worry though, even if you put it on a little strong at first if you just keep blending with your fingers or a brush the product will lighten. This blush blends effortlessly into the skin and sets in place with a slightly cream-to-powder finish. I highly recommend this for the winter months, and if you have dry skin it would be great for the summer as well. The shade I have has glitter in it, which in the swatch appears to be strong is definitely more subtle on the cheeks (if you have Nars Orgasm its a similar type of glitter/sheen). There are 3 shimmer and 3 matte shades to choose from, so a decent variety in colors and finishes. The only other brands whose cream blushes I have tried are Urban Decay and Mac, and while I like both, this is better and cheaper. If you like cream blushes, you absolutely need to try this!

Photos of Products and Swatches!




Saturday, February 9, 2013

Lovely birthday present from a friend! So excited to try this out, it’s the perfect little piece of luxury from my favorite store in the world. :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Review: Loreal Shine Caresse Wet Shine Stain

Everyone seems to be talking about these, particularly because there are a lot of claims that this is a dupe to the YSL Glossy Stains. I’ve never tried any of the glossy stains and for me to purchase something from YSL it has to be a product I’ve been coveting for a while and can’t get out of my mind. The glossy stains just didn’t seem to have that kind of appeal for me, but when I saw the Loreal version in the drugstore a month ago I figured why not.

I picked up number 188 Coral Tattoo. They come in small little containers with a doe-foot applicator that has a hole in the center (0.2 oz, $10). Apparently this is so the applicator can pick up more product, which in this case seems sort of necessary. On first swipe across the lips it feels super wet and has a really pale, sheer color. This color slightly resembles the color of the product that you can see in the see-through panel that comes on the packaging. However, its a pretty sheered out version. So, I figured I’d apply some more layers to see if the color was buildable. Good news, its definitely buildable. Bad news, it looks nothing like the color of the product itself. Instead of a pretty pinky-coral, I got an intensely bright glossy orange. Now, I have nothing against orange, but in my mind I was definitely expecting a pretty coral and was thoroughly disappointed that what I purchased was nothing like that. The finish is extremely glossy and is fairly transfer resistant. Once it “sets” it feels just slightly tacky on the lips but isn’t uncomfortable. I don’t find that this product stains my lips, but the color lasts for a few hours typical of most glosses.

Overall, this was okay. I’m probably not going to be picking up any other colors just because it’s a wildcard as to what the color will turn out to actually be and there’s no way to swatch these in the drugstore. Also, the name implies a staining property which I just don’t think it had. I can purchase drugstore glosses with the same opacity and shine without worrying about whether they will be true to bottle color. Based on this, I’m probably not going to be trying out the YSL version either unless a swatch somewhere really blows my mind.

Photos of Products and Swatches!




Sunday, February 3, 2013

Favorite Red Lip Products for Valentine's!

This February (I know it’s only been 3 days in) I’ve been wearing red lips nonstop. I always gravitate towards red or pink lips during this month. Not that I’m a big fan of Valentine’s Day because I rarely ever do anything for it, but the “holiday” gives me an excuse to do it.

Anyways, here are the products that I’m loving for red lips!

1. MAC Ruby Woo - matte lipstick, true blue-red with a very retro feel (0.11oz, $14.50). This is seriously the boldest and brightest red I have found. For people who don’t like having their lips feel dry this lipstick might be problematic, but I find that soaking my lips with some good lip balm an hour before I apply really helps. I also make sure that my lips are smooth and exfoliated because matte lipsticks will tend to emphasize any residually clinging skin. The blue undertone really brings out the whiteness in your teeth which is a big plus! I find that this lipstick will transfer, but it still lasts me through eating and drinking without much fuss.

I personally like to pair this with MAC Cherry lip liner (0.05oz, $14.50) underneath for an extra boost to the lasting power, and when I’m in a glossy mood I sometimes will pop some of MAC Russian Red lipglass (0.17oz, $14.50) in the center. In general, I’m a bit wary of red lipglosses because somehow I manage to get them on my face or teeth.

2. Kat Von D Foiled Love Lipstick in Adora - bright metallic true red, and my go to for Christmas time because the finish reminds me of a shiny ornament (0.11oz, $19). I basically only wear this around the holidays because it is a lot of color and the texture is eye-catching as well. Again, this lipstick is on the drying side as well even though it doesn’t have a matte finish so lip balm beforehand is your friend. During meals the base color lasts even though the lipstick will transfer, but the metallic finish can fade away, so I usually touch up just a little bit afterwards. I like wearing this with winged liner and mascara so that all the emphasis is on the lips.

3. MAC Diva - dark red, matte finish (0.11oz, $14.50). I LOVE this color. In fact, I wear it much more frequently than either of my bright reds. I’m not sure if it’s just because I’m more comfortable with a deeper shade or if it’s just because I’m automatically attracted to any rich red shades I see. This lipstick is opaque and I skip any form of lip pencil when I use it. Again, it does transfer and fades slightly after eating and drinking. It’s not as drying as MAC Ruby Woo even though it has the same finish.

4. Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet - again, lovely dark red but with a glossy finish (0.13oz, $7 but you can get BOGO deals if you are on the lookout). If you’re looking for comfortable wear on the lips, this is the one to go for. It feels moist and hydrating on the lips but still packs a lot of color. The major downside with this is that it will wear away on its own after about 3 hours (even if you haven’t eaten or drank anything) so you have to carry it around and check on it. Plus you use it up a lot faster than the other lipsticks I mentioned.

5. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Adore - dark red with a glossy finish (0.095oz, $8 but again you can get BOGO). As the name states, it truly is a “balm stain”. It will definitely stain your lips, but on the plus side its pretty transfer resistant. This would be good if you are going on a date on Valentine’s day and want to be able to kiss your date :p Instead of a traditional lipstick type bullet, it’s a chubby lip pencil which makes it really easy to apply and especially good for beginners. You don’t have to sharpen it since it will twist up on its own. I often will layer this underneath the Revlon Red Velvet in order to make it last longer, so that even when the lip butter fades I still have a good amount of color stained onto my lips.

Photos of Products and Swatches!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Birthday present from my mom! I’ve been meaning to try nail stamping for ages now but had never gotten around to ordering the materials. Are the Konad nail polishes necessary to make these work? Or can I just use the polishes I already have?