Drugstore "New In's"!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Slowly but surely, we're seeing fall collections pop up in the drugstore. You have no idea how much joy this brings me! I was able to locate the Maybelline Fall Fashion Week Collection and the Wet N Wild Tough Girl collections in my local Walgreens - and just because I can, I'm going to sneak in the Jordana products that I picked up at Walgreens as well and the NYX I got between ULTA and Target (and a bit of a backstory to that situation...)

I just have swatches for you now, but as I'm able to test these I'll be posting reviews and comparisons as well!

Get ready!

 Maybelline Fall Fashion Week 2013!

The amount of restraint I had to have with this collection...man. This has me written all over it. Lots of dark vampy, purple and plummy shades and a lot of cool tones. I didn't partake in any of the eyeshadows - and you'll see why in a moment and the nail lacquers didn't appeal to me as I'm not much of a textured nail person, but the lip products had me over the moon!

 From left to right, I picked up; Violet Intrigue, Lavender Voltage, Midnight Plum, Flash of Pink and Purple Royale. I'm sorry, I just can't get over all of the PURPLE! That gloss? I can't wait. I may have some MAC similars to post when I review these out, but I'm super stoked!

Wet N Wild Tough Girl Collection.

Anddd...this is why I didn't pick up any of the Maybelline shadows. I picked up most of this collection - but left "I Don't Do Camouflage" because I really don't wear blues enough to partake (and I already have the Blue Had Me At Hello palette as well) or Support Our Troops because it was a whole lot like Don't Steal My Thunder (even though I really like the name of this one!). I may or may not have done a little dance when I found these.

Zero Dark Flirty

Enlisting For Beauty 

Spoiled Army Brat

Soldiers in Charms 

I'm glad these are so inexpensive, because I couldn't make up my mind. I really like how unique Spoiled Army Brat is and I can definitely see myself getting a whole lot of use out of Soldiers in Charms and Enlisting for Beauty. Testing starts tomorrow!

And now I'm cheating - Jordana!

I've heard great things about these and their staying power, and to be honest I was wary because they were so cheap! I have super oily lids so cream shadows are either a holy grail or a complete and utter miss for me. From the swatches I can tell that these may be pretty budgeproof!

From left to right these are; Eternal White, Pink Evermore and Endless Emerald. The packaging feels a lot nicer than what the price point suggests and they swatch like a dream. I'm hoping that Eternal White will replace NYX Milk for me, because that one was a total fail on my lids - though I'm making it work in other ways (but thats a secret for another post!). I'm slowly hoarding shadow bases so I have quite the collection by now.

And NYX!

Okay, so my rant about NYX and Target - I definitely did not realize that to get NYX in Target, I'd be giving up Milani! My local target clearanced all Milani and put NYX in it's place. I mean...I'm torn. On one hand, its nice to not have to go to ULTA for NYX all the time, but I love Milani too! They also don't carry the entire NYX line at Target, but rather the most popular pieces. I got the Smokey Palette at ULTA, while the Butter Glosses are from Target.

The swatches above the top are from the Smokey Palette while the bottom two swatches are Eclair and Meringue. I've heard people rave about these glosses lately on Youtube, so I had to partake. 

As of right now, these are the only fall collections I've seen pop up in my local drugstores, but I'd anticipate to see more brands following suit soon. Stay tuned, because I'll be trying to bust these reviews out ASAP!

August Favorites!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Let's just heave a sigh that its now over. August wasn't too much of a vast improvement over July, between school and work and just all around feeling icky. Needless to say, I'm trying to approach September with a better and brighter attitude and renewed creativity. And a new camera battery. *Cue Hallelujah chorus*
But fall is approaching - and you can see it in the drugstore. I can't wait to break out my berry and vampy shades!

For how little I actually got excited about this month, I actually have a decent amount of favorites - and most of them are new ins! Retail therapy? Probably.

Can we count my desk as a whole as a favorite?? I've had it for about 2 months now but I love it! I needed a workstation - badly.


The two palettes are:

- Too Faced Pretty Rebel - I was actually pleasantly surprised with this one. I was able to get several cohesive looks out of this, which is the test of a great palette - I wasn't having to reach for a different browbone shade, etc. There really lacks a dud in this one, and some of the shades are really out of this world. I reviewed this one here.

- Bare Minerals The Power Neutrals - If its Bare Minerals and 100%, we all knew it was a must have for me. I like that this is a cooler toned neutral palette. Did I need it, since I already have the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette? Not really, but I can't get over how great of an eyeshadow formula Bare Minerals has on their hands. I reviewed this here.

The four singles and primer are:

- Darling Girl Brocade - This is a one and done shade. I applied it dry all over my lid and into the crease and then applied it with mixing medium to bring out the golden shift on the inner two thirds of the lid. I will likely be wearing this a lot this autumn, its incredible!

- Maybelline Pomegranate Punk - I've been feeling this kind of shade lately, reds and cranberries and burgundies. I used this as a base under LORAC Garnet from the LORAC Pro Palette and oh my everloving goodness was it lovely. I use at least one color tattoo as a base at least 6 out of the 7 days in a week. I love them!

- MAC Patina - I overlooked Patina for so long, thinking it wouldn't flatter me. I'm in love with it because its warm, but not so warm that I can't use it all the time. Very unique shade, and I now see why this is raved about so much in the blogging/youtube community.

- MAC Brun - I've been wanting this one for some time now. I needed a really dark crease/liner/whatever else shade for when Copperplate just wasn't enough (gasp! Don't freak out, Copperplate is still one of my all time faves!). It has great pigment and works with almost everything I put it with. I'm slowly building my MAC palette to a one and done palette - but since I moved my Urban Decay shadow's into their own palette, theres still a lot of room to fill up!

- Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy - This lives up to it's hype, I'll tell you that. I don't know if it is the thicker and stickier texture, but this stuff is like glue. I'm glad I finally tried this. I am in desperate need of doing a post about mixing mediums!


From left to right - 

- MAC Pink Plaid - I've probably featured this before, but this has been the only lipstick I've really wore this month. Its a medium cool pink on my skin and looks polished without being overly bright - which I just wasn't feeling this month.

- Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Rose - My birthday is in December, so I just recently ran out of the clear version of this that I got from Sephora for my birthday. I really love the formula, so I've been using this one to moisturize my lips. Its kind of been a copout, since it does have the light tint in it, I've just been kind of choosing this in lieu of an actual lipcolor.


Minus Illamasqua Katie (which shouldn't surprise anyone) this - Tarte Fantastic - is one of the only blushes that I've actually worn more than once this month. This was part of a holiday set, but Tarte does make very similar shades in the permanent range. I've been doing a "shop my stash" of sorts with my blushes, and wearing ones that needed a little love.


I, for some reason have been hoarding foundations this month, and theres been a whole lot of testing going on. From left to right I have:

- Maybelline Superstay - I actually really like this so far. The formula is matte without being cakey or accentuating my pores. So far, so good.

- Wet 'N Wild Coverall - I can't believe how much I like this versus how cheap it was! $3.99! I'm okay with that! So I got the pressed powder that goes with it and I've been mostly using it as a setting powder, but it gives enough coverage for me to wear it alone with a primer if I'm, say, running to the grocery store or something of the sort. Love!


We all know I hoard brushes, so these are all new ins. From left to right these are;

- Ecotools Sheer Finish Kabuki Brush - My sister absorbed my other duo fiber brush, and I was in desperate need of a new one, so I picked this up. I'm normally not much of a Kabuki person, but I really like it. Its soft, easy to hold onto, and kind of makes me feel like I'm sitting at a vanity putting on makeup in a black and white movie. 

- Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Buffing Brush - I love my Real Techniques buffing brush, don't get me wrong, but this one is a little bit bigger and thus, faster. I use this on larger areas and my Real Techniques on smaller areas most of the time. 

- SOHO Contour Blush Brush - I got this at Walgreens on sale, and its not listed on the website, so I'm assuming its been discontinued. I really like angled brushes for applying lesser pigmented blushes, because I feel like the flat side of them picks up the product evenly rather than the regular dome of a blush brush. 

- Ecotools Deluxe Fan Brush - This is the believable highlighting brush,  my friends. If I try to highlight with my ELF fan brush using anything else but something like NARS Albatross, nothing is going to show up. This is dense enough to pick up some product, while still being thin enough to deposit product in the right areas. I've used it across the whole cheek with a very pigmented blush for something more understated as well, and it works great. All around great brush.

- Ecotools Angled Eyeliner Brush - This has a great amount of density to be used in the brows without being too thick. I personally like the Real Techniques Eyeliner Brush a lot, but for people who found that one too big, this may be the answer.

- Ecotools Concealer Brush - Its brush cleaning day today, don't judge me. I primarily use this for cream or pigment eyeshadows, as you can see by the war between Maybelline Waves of White and Fyrinnae Wizards' Wedding Cake on it. I love these kind of brushes for cream shadow purposes, especially in terms of bases, because of the larger size.


I've become so lazy with my hair now that it is finally long enough to put into a tiny little bun. Its my curse. However, when I've actually been styling it, I've taken to the Got2B Ultra Glued Invisible Styling Gel. Seriously, where was this stuff during my younger punk days. It has the most strong hold I've ever come across and accentuates my layers in a really awesome, spiky manner. It also smells like lemongrass to me, which is a win in and of itself.

I've also heard everyone and their dog rave about Aussie 3 Minute Miracle - so I figured that since I have a little bit of volume to spare thanks to my shampoo and all around shorter hair, that it wouldn't weigh me down too much. It actually did nothing to weigh my hair down, but did everything to improve my hair. I used this a week ago and my hair still is in wonderful shape after several washes. I definitely get the hype!


I've been all about taking better care of my skin this month, and I've already seen a difference in it! These aren't my extensive day to day products of choice, but rather the ones that really stuck out to me and are new in my rotation. From left to right these are;

- Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil - I've been using this in two places; the furrow of my brows to stave of frown lines and on the sides of my chin where I have hormonal dry skin. In terms of frown lines, its definitely more of a precautionary measure, but for my dry skin it has definitely made a huge difference.

- Make Up For Ever Sens'Eyes Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser - This has such a strange consistency but it doesn't irritate my eyes in the least and gets off every single bit of makeup (even my Maybelline Illegal lengths, which I accidentally bought in waterproof and is a pain in the tush to get off!)

- Mario Badescu Strawberry Face Scrub - I received this as a sample and I thought I was going to hate it at first. Basically, its strawberry seeds suspended in a creamy cleanser. Turns out I'm in love. It exfoliates my skin without being too abrasive and the cleanser itself just feels and smells wonderful.

- Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid Powered Contour Cleansing Brush - I noted how much I love Olay Fresh Effects Shine Minimizing cleanser, and this brush came with a sample size of it! I really like that the brush does more to buff the cleanser into the skin rather than being a harsh exfoliator.


From left to right:

- Essie Mochachino - I don't care how much of a fall color this is, its stunning. Its kind of a brownish taupe with shimmer and its literally at all time favorite status by now.

- Essie The Girls Are Out - This polish has a phenomenal formula. Its nearly opaque in one go and the shimmer is there, just kind of subtle. Very pretty.

- China Glaze Refresh Mint - This is on the bluer size of the mint spectrum, which sets it apart. Its on my toes as we speak.


From left to right these are;

- Bath and Body Works Caribbean Escape - It wouldn't be a favorites post without a Pocketbac! This one has been on my desk all month, so its been getting a lot of use. This one is very fragrant! Funny fact, I have these stashed everywhere. One in my bag, one on my desk, one in my car and one on my nightstand. Germaphobe? Maybe.

- Victoria's Secret Bombshell Forever - This fragrance has a touch of boysenberry in it, which makes it really different! Its fun and fruity without being obviously fruity, if that makes any sense.

- Bath and Body Works Sexy Dahlia Rush - This has been a great transition into fall fragrance. I've definitely been enjoying it.

Phew! That was a lot! To be honest, I'm very excited about what this autumn will hold makeup wise. I've seen a lot of awesome collections popping up, so I can't wait!

Darling Girl Cosmetics Haul - Yes, We're Doing This Again!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Listen here; don't judge me. I know I have a small addiction going on here.

The sad part is - Darling Girl should be coming out with their Halloween 2013 line soon and I super neeeeed them all!!

I've said it once and I'll probably say it again - there's a reason that I keep hauling from DG; The products work, the shades are unique and the customer service is one of the best I've ever experienced.

Now for the main event - the wonderful sparkly goodness!

Some sparkly stickers and the brand's business card. Quick note too; I hoard all the business cards that I receive from indie brands and keep them in my purse, just in case someone compliments me on the shade so I can kind of promote the brand. Its something I just like to do.

The first two shadows are simply called Pretty Mistakes. These are discounted sample size baggies of shadows that were more or less accidents, but were to pretty to throw away. They aren't shades that you're ever going to be able to get again, so try not to fall in love...like I did.

The golden brown on the left is one of the most buttery pigments I've ever had the pleasure to touch. OMG. The pink shadow on the left is also very pretty - it reminds me of a paler version of Nestling.

These shadows are either part of the blogger kit or free samples. 

From left to right, the shades from my blogger kit were Nerpette, Teenage Dream, My Little Pony, Curious Crocus and Scarab. I may be needing all of these in full sizes - they're friggin amazing!

These two shades were free samples and are a sneak peek to the Halloween 2013 collection (Can. Not. Wait!) The shadow on the left is Bad Ash and the Spectral Shift (we all know how much I love Spectral Shifts!) on the right is Razzles! I don't know when the Halloween 2013 collection will be live, but I may be stalking the site until then!

DG recently changed their packaging. The pots now have a square base (think along the lines L'Oreal Infallible's packaging) and a white lid with the logo on top. I feel like these might be easier to store, since they aren't going to be rolling all over the place anymore. The shadow on the far right is a GWP sample, so it looks a little different.

From left to right these are; Miss Kitty Kaboom, Cut Me Deeper and Pumpkin Frappe (which was a GWP and I HAD to have it). I didn't realize when I purchased them that Miss Kitty Kaboom and Cut Me Deeper would work so well with each other. And Pumpkin Frappe? C'mon. Look at it!

I also decided to try some new stuff with this haul. One of the new ranges that I tried was the Diamond Dust. These are similar to the eyeshadows, but have a TON of sparkle.

From left to right these are Hope, Persuasion and Verdant Dream. Hope and Persuasion are definitely "me" colors, and I chose Verdant Dream on a whim, because I don't have much else like it. I can't wait to play with these.

The last new range I tried were the Pixie Sprinkles. These are loose glitters that are unique blends to DG. We all know the whole hoopla about if glitter is cosmetically eye safe (and the brand does have a warning on the sale page for this product). Glitter is a use at your own risk product across the board.

Candy Corn actually looks like candy corn! I love it, and I can't wait to start playing with this - definitely wearing it on Halloween! Its super fine glitter too and seems like its going to be easier to work with than I anticipated.

I'm super duper excited for all of these and I can't wait to start playing with them all. In the meantime - I'm waiting for the Halloween 2013 collection and I'm building up my next wishlist!

The Chequered Lily Apothecary Sample Haul!

Monday, August 26, 2013

I'm literally addicted to independent cosmetics brands. Its official. I've been able to find some of the most unique colors at incredible prices by going the indie route. It started with Darling Girl and now I just can't stop.

I was able to find this shop - The Chequered Lily Apothecary on Etsy - through a blog that I read, Portrait of Mai. She actually has a whole tab dedicated to Indie Cosmetics swatches! Check it out!

I actually had a hard time narrowing down my choices as to what I wanted to order from CLA - there were so many shades I wanted to try! Not to mention, the customer service was PHENOMENAL. Very quick shipping for an indie brand, hand written thank you on my receipt and great communication! I'm telling you - there's a reason that I keep buying indie; I'd much rather spend my hard earned money somewhere where I not only know its appreciated - but I'm shown  that its appreciated!

So for the main event, this is what my little haul consisted of!

There's something quite satisfying about a pile of sample baggies! I chose the blogger kit, which allowed me to choose 7 shades to try out, as well as an extra shade thrown in as a free sample by the seller. I also picked up a trio of shades that benefits victims of domestic violence - and I HAD to be part of that!

These are the 8 samples that I chose! I tend to hoard me some neutrals, but I found that a lot of these more "non neutral" shades were really wearable!

Some preliminary swatches - dry swatches with no base or primer! From left to right, the top row is; Invocation, Snow Glass Apples, A Dustland Fairytale, Stormbreak and Charlotte - and the bottom row is; Captain Jack, Haute Cocoa and The Penny Arcade. Nothing truly neutral and I just can't wait to start playing with them!!

These three shades are part of a set that donates $1 of the very palatable purchase price to victims of domestic violence. I'm not entirely sure what specific charity that it is, but I'll definitely let you all know when the seller's store is back up, as they're on vacation until tentatively the end of September. I'm assuming that it is a charity based out of the shop's hometown of San Diego, CA.

The three shades in this set, from left to right are; Brand New Day, New Beginnings and Moving On. I didn't notice it when I bought it, but these three could totally be used for a full look. Coincidence? Probably not, I'm just probably not all to observant. Again, these had no help or primer in the swatches!

At my own first impression, these seem like they're going to be pretty great to work with - they don't need to seem to need a lot of help to get color payoff, which is sometimes difficult to do with loose pigments. The colors are great and the customer service rocked - so I cannot wait to start testing and reviewing these!

Review - bareMinerals READY 8.0 Eyeshadow Palette in Power Neutrals.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Let me just begin with a rant here...

Maybe its because I work in retail, or maybe because I keep my self so informed on new products - but either way, one of my biggest shopping pet peeves is when employees are not aware of the products they have in their store or newly launched products that they will soon be getting. At any retailer I've ever worked for, if theres going to be something new, we knew it inside and out before it was even remotely available to customers. So imagine my frustration when I was searching for this palette - having already seen at least 5 blogs with in depth reviews and swatches, along with Sephora's own website noting that this was already available to buy in store - and that there were some available in my local store. But when I actually go to buy the palette I am not only unable to find it, but the sales associates have NO IDEA what product I'm talking about? What???

So I waited about a week and a half and found this at a Sephora inside JCP instead - which even if this location carries less product, I get INCREDIBLY superior customer service to my much larger (metropolitan area) store.

Just my frustrations...If you're still here, read onto the review!

As with the other READY 8.0 Eyeshadow Palette I've tried (The September Issue, reviewed here), the palette itself is held in a highly reflective, metallic plastic case that is basically mirrored. This one is gold rather than the silver of the previous one. It looks quite nice and luxurious, but it is definitely fingerprint city! The size of the palette is quite small - its almost the size of my hand. 

All shades are labeled on the back rather than in the actual palette.

The eight eyeshadows are organized in rows of four, and there is a full sized mirror in the top lid. The mirror has some suspension to it so it doesn't just flop down, which is useful if you're on the go and need to use the mirror in this to do your makeup - you won't need to prop it up against something. 

From left to right, the top row shades are - 

Boss Lady - a pale vanilla, very similar to my skintone, with very fine microglitter. The microglitter makes it a little to apparent as a brow highlight, but it works great as a very soft lid color or built up in the inner corner for some shimmer. I was impressed that there was literally no glittery  fallout with this shade!

Moneymaker - a matte khaki gray shade, quite similar to MAC Coquette (maybe a touch darker). Its a really creamy matte and not chalky at all.

Schmooze - a light, taupey bronze shade with a good amount of metallic shimmer, but no glitter. This one is super reflective and buttery.

Boardroom - an espresso matte. Slightly chalky, but not so much that I can't work with it. It has a slight warm, reddish quality without being too warm.

From left to right the bottom row shades are - 

Exec - a gunmetal gray with very subtle purple tones and the same kind of fine microglitter that Boss Lady had; and the lack of fallout. This one is also super soft and almost has a subdued metallic quality to it.

Payday - a pale, gray taupe shade with a matte finish. Incredible pigmentation and blendability. Its like butter. LOVE. (And, you know, its taupe, so...)

Magnate - a champagne shade with a golden sheen to it. Great pigmentation and nice metallic quality to it.

Get Ahead - a matte, dark, brownish taupey shade. Same qualities of Payday. Super buttery and blendable and alltogether goodness.

The major thing about this palette was; do I really need another neutral palette? Not really - and this one had an especially similar feel to it as the Urban Decay Naked 2 did, in that it was mostly cool toned. However, the quality of this one across the board made it a must have. My favorite shades are Payday, Exec, Get Ahead and Schmooze, and I only really have mild complaints about Boardroom, which could have been better.


Pros - 

- 7/8 shades had great pigmentation.
- Cooler toned neutral option
- Glitter shades did not have fallout.

Cons - 

- Boardroom was a bit chalky.

The only thing holding this palette back from a 10/10 is the chalkiness of Boardroom, but despite that one shortcoming, Power Neutrals is a pretty darn great palette.


Review - Too Faced Pretty Rebel Eyeshadow Palette

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

You know those palettes that you just know you need from the moment a brand hints to it?

This was one of those. Be it a great mix of colors or a whole lot of witty marketing and packaging - and it was probably both - I was very drawn to this from the get go.

While this isn't my first Too Faced palette by any means, it does have it's differences - and in all honesty, these differences show improvement.

The packaging is rather cute - gold with black ribbons. Kinda edgy but still cute and girly.

The palette houses 10 shades total - two mattes, two glitters, one duochrome and five shimmers.

As with all of Too Faced Eyeshadow Palettes, this one comes with a insert that has three step by step how-to's for three separate looks using this palette.

...and a quote pertaining to the theme of the palette, which was nice.

The packaging is actually rather nice - it feels a lot like the Urban Decay Naked Palette in the fact that it is slightly magnetized at the lid. Its also not too incredibly thick, which is really nice for storage reasons.

In terms of organization, most of the neutrals are toward the left side of the palette, but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of organization to it in terms of looks.

So - finally - swatches!

The top row, from left to right, is; 

- Dainty - I swear its there! Its actually literally nearly the exact color of my skin. Its completely matte and works great as a brow highlight or an all over base shade - its really natural. Despite the swatch, it actually has great pigmentation and was super easy to work with.
- Charming - This one is a matte cool, dark brown that is actually pretty freaking fantastic! Its super pigmented and not the least bit chalky.
- Girly - Girly is a brownish/green duochrome. Its not the most dramatic duochrome I worked with, but its really nice to have something in the palette thats almost a neutral, but not really. I'm interested in trying this with Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy to see if that plays up the duo chrome a bit more
- Totally Fetch - If you put a Mean Girls reference in a palette, I'm going to buy it. This one is a bright, hot pink with a shimmer finish. It actually performs much better and truer to pan than most shadows of the same color. It was nice to see the same color on my eye that was in the pan.
- Miss Sparkles - This one is a black with silver microglitter. Nothing groundbreaking - I have so many of these from random palettes. However, the lack of fallout I experienced from this one was incredibly impressive.

And the bottom row, from left to right are;

- Ringleader - A rosy champagne with a shimmer finish. These kind of shades are ones that I will get a whole lot of use out of.
- Gangsta - Again, loving the name. This one is a medium cool brown with a strong sheen to it. It has great pigmentation and is super easy to work with.
- Instigator - From the swatch, it doesn't look like its really anything to write home about, but when you apply this with a flat brush or over a base...its ridiculous! I LOVE this one.
- Badass - This one has me having mixed feelings. While I love that its a blue but not a blue at the same time and that there's hardly any fallout with this one, its just not the easiest to work with and it tends to kind of overblend to where it loses its uniqueness. But it is, for lack of a better term, a pretty badass color.
- Jailbird - Apparently Too Faced does metallic shades well. This one is on par with Instigator. I love it.

Overall - 

Pros - 

- Pretty great pigmentation across the board.
- Good mix of colors.
- Easy to store packaging/magnetized lid.
- No duds!
- Glitter shades have minimal fallout.

Cons - 

- A lighter brown highlight would be super helpful!

I'm not gonna lie - I kind of ran out to get this before I did all too much research. I was definitely pleased to see that this one actually rocks!


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