July Favorites!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

So July was...rough. I found myself stuck between the stress of work and school and - for lack of better explanation - and emotional rut so to speak. Couple that with my camera being on the fritz and what you get is very inconsistent blogging on my part. Sad part is, I've actually been reviewing a lot of new products and working on some awesome projects, and those things deserve to be posted! Things are looking up and I'm getting my camera repaired soon - and I've been able to sort out the photos that I did take with my phone, so hopefully August will be a super efficient blogging month for me. Long story short - I'm sorry for the inactivity.

As far as favorites this month, I've actually found a lot of new things that rocked my world, so I'm most definitely excited to share those with you guys!

Eyes - 

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- In the back is something worth noting - I finally got a MAC Pro Palette. I decided to forgo the 15 pan insert because I wanted to fit as many shadows in there as I could. Right now I have all of my MAC and Urban Decay singles in there and I only have one spot left! Needless to say, I'll either buy another one soon or a ZPalette - I'm running out of room! I really like the clear top of the palette and the sturdiness to it - the magnets hold well and the lid closes with a magnet, which is nice.

- I have three eyeshadows that were getting a lot of love this month, and two of them are stuck to the outside of the palette. The shadow in the bottom left of the photo is Urban Decay Sin, which I depotted. I ran out of this one in my Naked palette  and I'm  not over-reacting - Sin is the most versatile shade in my collection. I love it.

- The shadow on the outside of the palette in the middle is MAC Shale. It is part of the permanent range, but I've somehow managed - as I did with Sumptuous Olive - to find this at my local CCO. Score! I love this shade because its not quite gray, but not quite purple and it works with so many looks. 

- On the right I have Prestige Total Intensity Eyeshadow in Hocus Pocus. I had to have this after I read the review that Carly from TheScienceofChic posted. Its like MAC Club on crack. OMG. One of the best duochrome shades I've ever tried.

- Across the bottom is Urban Decau 24/7 Eyeliner in Zero. I somehow lost my holy grail black eyeliner - Smashbox Limitless - So I've been using this quite a bit. It gets the job done and doesn't really budge from where I put it. I think its pretty great, so if Perversion is superior like everyone says it is, we may have a new HG liner. Though...I really do miss my Smashbox one ='(.

Lips - 

- I didn't really branch out lips wise this month, but when I did wear a pop of color, it was usually NARS Roman Holiday. I liked the candy stain like effect that this one gives. Not a long wearing shade, but very summery and flattering.

- MAC Demure is actually something that I'm really starting to fall back in love with - big time. Its a slightly warm, pale, baby pink, but the showstopper is the blue microglitter. It gives of a very subtle duo-chrome that is SO COOL. I've been wearing this a whole lot this month.

Cheeks - 

- Eeesh, awful photo! I can't wait to have a working camera! On the left I have Darling Girl's April Showers Spectral shift. I'm just fair enough to be able to use this as either a blush or highlight, but this stuff is awesome. Its a pale creamsicle color with a strong blue duochrome. Incredibly unique and definitely a compliment getter.

- If I've been doing something bold with my eyes, chances are I've been wearing The Perfect Cheek by MAC. This was part of the Marilyn Monroe collection - but something like Tarte Exposed or Clinique Mocha Pink would work for the look as well. I really like the texture to this one, as it blends incredibly!

Face - 

- I'm very excited to have found a drugstore primer that actually works for me. The Revlon Photoready is actually faring quite well on my oily skin. Sometimes for a more airbrushed look, I'll layer a bit of Benefit Porefessional over my worst pore areas and its phenomenal.

- I also gave in and got the Urban Decay De-Slick setting spray and I'm glad to say that this stuff makes a HUGE difference on my skin. I'm flying through the travel size, and I will definitely repurchase the full size!

- If you have oily skin, you need to go to your closest 24 hour drugstore and get the Olay Fresh Effects Shine Shine Go Away. This cleanser makes a HUGE difference on my oily skin. Its amazing, a little goes a long way and I just can't get enough.

- I picked up the Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Mask in a sample size the other day at Walmart. The internet tells me that this exists in a full size, but I've yet to find it. I love the way this feels on my skin - it almost feels like a slight warming sensation when I apply it and it exfoliates the skin wonderfully when you rinse it off. When I find the full size of this, I'm definitely going to pick one up.

- I've tried almost every makeup remover wipe on the market, and its usually just for when I'm swatching - I normally use a liquid eye makeup remover for my eyes. I picked the ELF ones up because they were cheap and used them on my eye makeup in a pinch - and it turns out I love 'em. Who knew!

Brushes - 

- Another awful photo, but I've hit the brush mother load this month. The brush on the top left is a Sonia Kashuk Domed Powder Brush from the Limited Edition Part of the Tribe collection. This is the best blush brush I've ever used. Perfect size, shape and density!

- The next brush is also by Sonia Kashuk - The Large Shader Brush. I've been using this as a base color brush, and it works well with shadows that weren't 100% pigmented enough to show intensity when I used my Clinique All Over Shadow brush. The shape and density are great!

- Really? A lash and brow comb? Hear me out. This has to be the best brow comb I've ever used. The fibers are very firm have a staggered, imperfect quality to them that make it super easy get my brows into place. It also helps distribute the color a bit better in them if I happen to overfill them. This one was also part of the Part of the Tribe Collection.

- The last eye brush is pretty much the little sister of the Large Shader Brush. It is another one of the Part of the Tribe Collection and it basically has all the things I liked about the Large Shader, just...a bit smaller. Great for lid work.

- The last is the EcoTools Face and Body Sculpting brush. I've primarily been using this to blend my contour to something natural and believable, but I've used it all over my face to set my foundation a couple times. Its SUPER soft and does a great job blending without completely removing the work you've done.

Fragrance - 

- Bath and Body Works hit it big time this month with Coconut Water Chill. I HAD to have the lotion and body wash to go along with the mist so I could layer this and, of course, I picked up the hand sanitizer..I love this fragrance because its not your average Coconut and Vanilla kind of Coconut fragrance. It has a touch of a pineapple-y feel to it but it just definitely smells like a coconut!

- The Body Shop Shea Mist - This smells like the correlating body butter, but more sophisticated. I just can't get over how good this smells!

- I've had this set since Christmas, but I can't get over how great it is. This contains the four core Philosophy fragrances - Amazing Grace, Inner Grace, Pure Grace and Living Grace. There isn't one fragrance in here that I don't like. There's a fragrance for every occasion in here. 

The last is just makeup related...my mom surprised me with a Betsey Johnson makeup bag that she found at work. Its super cute and its big enough to hold my day to day stuff!

So that's it for July! What were you all loving this month?

Review - Kat Von D Everlasting Blush in Bellisima

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Note - I received this product in a Deluxe Sample size as a Sephora 100 point perk.

You know when there are those makeup brands that you keep intending to try out but never get around to it? Thats how I am with Kat Von D's line for Sephora. Just looking at it, you can tell its definitely right up my alley, so why they heck have I not immersed myself in it yet? Given that situation, I felt that trying one of the blushes from the line would be a good place to start. And to be honest, it definitely draws me in and makes me want to try more products!

The packaging of mine will look different than the full size, which is housed in a plastic black compact with a tattoo-esque design.

Sephora describes Bellisima as a "peachy pink" which is pretty close - yet I find it just a touch more coral on my ever so fair skin. It gives off a nice warm, summery glow. Keep in mind, as I'll come back to this a bit later, its a very popular shade family, which makes it quite dupeable. 

The real showstopper of this blush is the formula. I was quite pleasantly surprised the first time I swatched this after I got it home - its incredibly soft! Without any overreacting, I feel that it may be one of the most finely milled blushes in my entire collection. Along with the soft texture, it lends a whole lot of pigment and blends out with no issue - definitely something to be desired in a pricier blush. It feels like it would be worth the $25, maybe even more.

In terms of longevity, it sticks around for the average on my skin - but it doesn't beat out my few long wearing blushes (but really, nothing does for me..). In short, its not going to last a 10 hour day, but its not going to be completely gone before lunch hour either.

The formula is really the focus of this product, rather than the shade - as I noted before, the hue itself is quite dupeable. I dug out three blushes that I felt it quite similar to, but in reality, it does lean a bit superior to them.

From left to right there are; Kat Von D Bellisima, Benefit Coralista and Milani Luminoso.

Bellisimma is the deepest and coolest toned of the three, while Coralista has a similar base shade, but the sheen to it makes it look a bit pinker and lighter. Luminoso is a bit warmer toned and does have a more glittery texture, so its not quite as smooth. On the cheeks, Luminoso looks the most similar to Bellisima, but in texture Coralista feels and applies more similarly. Luminoso may work if you can't get your hands on Bellisima or if you're not feeling the $25 price tag, but Bellisima superior across the board.

In terms of price, the full size of this blush isn't the most extravagant that I've come across. Keep in mind; a NARS blush contains 0.16oz of product - which would be $181.25 per whole ounce, which MAC blushes contain 0.21oz of product and retail for $21 - making this $100 per whole ounce. This blush retails for $25 for a whopping 0.25oz of product, making it the same price per ounce as a MAC blush. Definitely not the worst deal that I've come across - we all know how much I LOVE NARS blushes, so this one is a bit more palatable. 


Pros - 

- Incredible texture
- Great pigmentation
- Blends easily

Cons - 

- Could have a longer wear time
- Slightly dupeable

This blush, plain and simple, makes me want to try more of the Kat Von D line. Its a dream to work with and it feels like a great quality for what one would pay for it in the full size. As far as the shade range, I don't see anything all too unique, but I'll probably end up doing some swatching to see if theres any more that suit me, as the formula is really just phenomenal.


No Need to Fret, I'm Still Here!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My apologies for the lack of posts as of late. As most of you already know, my camera is giving me problems, so that's providing me with a bit of a setback in reviewing newer products. I do have products pending testing and review that I've already photographed, so I'm trying to bust those out as quickly as I can.

I've also revamped my grading system to go along with each product's review so it doesn't feel quite as haphazard, and I'll be rolling that out as early as this evening.

Thank you guys so much for sticking with me during the holiday down time!

Review - Milani Brow Tint Pen in Natural Taupe.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

If you had told me when I was say, 15 or 16, that I would one day be using a felt tip marker of sorts to fill in my brows willingly, I would have probably laughed in your face. While I do in fact have a brow "holy grail" in the Maybelline Master Shape Brow Pencil, I'm always up to trying new products, and Milani has always served me well brow wise - so why not?

Basically, it doesn't replace my Maybelline brow pencil, but this thing actually is pretty great!

The product itself is housed in a pen with a quite sturdy cap. The cap locks in place and seems airtight, as to not let the product dry out. Its also quite secure - if I fling this thing around, the cap won't fly off.

The product itself is a very fine tipped felt pen, only the slightest bit thicker at the base than your average super thin liquid eyeliner with a felt tip. It comes to a very thin point at the top - and for those in artistry, this makes some SUPER believable freckles!

The left swatch here is a couple of passes to showcase the color, while the right swatch shows shorter, more hairlike strokes. Natural Taupe is definitely that - it ended up being a very believable brow color on me, neither too dark or too light. There are two colors in this range, this being the lightest. My haircolor is a very auburn toned brunette, that is neither all too light nor too dark - definitely in the very middle. There is a much darker one of these, that would be suitable on those with dark brunette to black hair. That makes me a little nervous - Natural Taupe worked perfectly on my medium hair, so I'm wondering how it will fair on those with blonde hair or hair that is far more ginger than mine. 

Aside from the color, I was quite pleased as to how natural this looked. It is very easy to achieve natural looking, yet fuller brows with this, mostly due to the super thin tip. It has a very thin, hair like finish to it that I really enjoyed.

Longevity was another important thing to this product, especially since it's now summer and I live in Florida. Its almost been too hot and humid to have the desire to wear makeup lately. The above swatch was wiped off with a makeup remover wipe with a good amount of pressure almost immediately after application. I was able to get the very light swatches off for the most part, but some remained, and the built up swatch wouldn't budge. Perfect! Its a good feeling when you don't have to worry about sweating your brows off...



- Longwearing.
- Natural, hairlike finish.
- Easy to work with.


- This is the lightest shade, and I worry about how it would fare for those with lighter hair than I have.

This wasn't only more natural and easier to work with than I anticipated, but the longevity was really the showstopper for this one. If you have lighter hair than I have, do some research to see if it will work for you, but its definitely worth a try.


More Darling Girl Goodies!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I received my long awaited Darling Girl Cosmetics haul yesterday, after my lovely post office miss-sent it! Boo! Don't you people know that such a small, unassuming package is filled to the brim with sparkly and duochrome-y goodness??!?

Lets not waste a second more, take a look at what I picked up!

I hauled six products in total - three shadows and three blushes/spectral shifts. The remainder are samples and a GWP!

Now for a closer look at each one and some swatches!

Blue Flame Eyeshadow

Muddy Waters Eyeshadow

Brocade Eyeshadow

Star Child Eyeshadow - GWP

Forget Me Nots Spectral Shift

April Showers Spectral Shift

Living Dead Gurl DuoChrome Blush

Raucous Eyeshadow - Sample

Equinox Eyeshadow - Sample

From left to right these are; 

- Blue Flame
- Muddy Waters
- Bracade
- Star Child
- Equinox
- Raucous (across the bottom)

As well as;

Forget Me Nots

Living Dead Gurl

April Showers

I'm super excited to start playing with these - I've actually already taken all swatch photos for individual reviews (both alone and with a mixing medium) so I'm ready to jump in at wear test them. The Duo-Chromes are definitely speaking to me, especially Blue Flame and both of the Spectral Shifts - but one of the samples is calling my name as well, because we all know that Darling Girl can execute a great metallic, and Equinox already swatches like a dream. 

Stay tuned, as I still have a bunch of reviews to bust out this week!

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