Thursday, December 31, 2009

I was inspired to try a couple new looks because I received a generous treasure trove of ELF products from my sister for Christmas. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised when I put two of their Brightening Eye Color eye shadow quads to the test. The pigmentation proved to be true. With a good primer as a base, the colors were long lasting with no creasing. I will definitely continue trying other ELF products, and I will be posting the results!

Ivy ~
This quad includes a pastel lime green, a deep ivy green, a deep gold, and a rusty bronze. All four colors have a shimmer.

Blue Moon ~
This quad includes a butter cream color, a velvety taupe, a pale baby blue, and a gray-blue. All four colors are shimmery.

Both quads have wearable colors that work together nicely to complete dimensional and defined looks. I still have 4 more quads to try out, but these 2 were standouts to me, and I can tell they will be favorites. Since I tend to purchase mainly neutrals, the splash of color is a fun way to try new looks!

Thanks for reading, and Happy 2010!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I love the strange ethereal story of Alice in Wonderland. When it comes to any of the merchandising, I am such a sucker! I am also a fan of Tim Burton films, and so I am greatly anticipating the release of his sure-to-be-dark version of the much adored tale. And it has Johnny...

Anyway, Urban Decay and OPI are also amoung my list of favorite things in this universe, and so I am equally excited about thier release of Alice representations, too!

Urban Decay is soon releasing this limited edition palette, which has a 3-D pop up version of Alice entering the Mushroom Forrest. The secret drawer holds 16 shades of shadow, cleverly named from elements in the story. It also has two 24/7 liners and a sample size primer potion.

Are you so excited???

Another collection that will be released in January is the Alice in Wonderland OPI Collection. The colors include Off With Her Red (glossy orange-red), Absolutley Alice (blue and gold glitter), Mad As A Hatter (multi-color glitter), and Thanks So Muchness (pearly berry blue-red).

This spring has much to behold and lust after!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Reviews about matte nail polish are all across the spectrum, from love at first sight, to no thanks, not for me! Not sure if you are into the matte movement? Then this product is a worthy investment. Matte Magic is a topcoat, applied to any nail lacquer, and voila! It magically provides instant matte-if-ication!! I am on the fence still about matte color, so adding this to my collection allows me the option to alter any my favorites on a whim!

This isn't a brand new product, and has been mentioned in many blogs, but I still think it is worthy of discussion. For online purchase, here are some links:

Nail de Royal for $3.15
Head2Toe Beauty for $2.99
The Beauty Clutch for $5.99
Ebay for various prices

Notes: This top coat on a regular shiny lacquer does seem to last longer than the matte polishes I have tried, although it is still subject to chipping. It dries very, very fast. One coat does the trick.

Here are some examples of what it does...

China Glaze Pink Underground with Matte Magic China Glaze Secret Periwinkle
with Matte Magic Sephora by OPI Metro Chic with Matte Magic

I think this is a fun way to inexpensively add to your nail polish collection, doubling its color potential! Another suggestion is to use this just on the tips, for a splendid nouveau version on the french manicure!

Thanks for reading! ♥

Sunday, December 27, 2009

MAC Warm and Cozy Collection:

The collection is a lovely compilation of nudes, naturals, and plummy colors. These tones are the absolute perfect colors to warm up our dark, cold, short days. I picked up the Mineralize Skinfinish By Candlelight, a gorgeous pinky-peach shimmer shot through with carmel veining. I love it, it polishes the skin in the most subtle pretty glow! I also got an Amplified Lipstick in Warm Me Up, which is a rich, deep pink color. The Amplified Lipsticks are opaque and moisture rich, and glide on smoothly, providing intense coverage in one application. It is also very long lasting. Warm Me Up has a shine to it, but is not shimmery or frosty.

Skincare Products:
I also picked up some products to zap my oily complexion and help me have longer lasting foundation bliss. My t-zone gets especially oily, breaking down my makeup in that area, needing constant touch ups and reapplication of powder. I know there are products to help stop this, and so the hunt is on. So, I am going to test out this combo base: MAC Oil Control Lotion with the Prep + Prime Skin.

The Oil Control Lotion is the initial product, applied to freshly washed and toned skin. It has a formulation which works to keep the pH balance of skin even. It is oil free, lightweight, and instantly mattifies. It has a pleasant smell, and glides on smoothly. It is packaged in a convenient bottle with a pump, and one pump covers my entire face and jawline. This lotion can be applied both day and night.

The next step is the Prep + Prime Skin, a primer base. Using my fingertips, I concentrate application of this to my t-zone, paying special care from the bridge of the nose to the cheek area. This area for me has the most noticeable pores, and when I apply a silicone based primer I am able to diminish the large pore appearance. Using a rolling motion, rather than the rubbing motion, the product is evenly deposited. A benefit to using MAC's Prep + Prime Skin is that it contains exfoliants, as well as calming and soothing agents. All the extras help the appearance of skin both with and without makeup! So, it is a double duty product, which instantly adds value in my book!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I recently gave this little under eye brightening boost a try at the makeup counter, and I was so impressed I thought about it for 3 days! I promptly returned to purchase it. I don't like to admit that I need a product like this, because it makes me sad to acknowledge that I do not possess the perky, youthful skin of a 16 year old...

That being said, let me list the pros and cons.

Pros: This is packaged very conveniently in a tube with a doe foot applicator. It can be stored in the refrigerator, for a refreshingly cool application. It can be applied both over and under any other products, and deliver the same results. It can be reapplied throughout the day to renew and awaken your eyes. It takes a very small amount per application, so the product should last a while.

Cons: It is pricey, at $22. It is a pale pink cream with no pigmentation, and offers no concealment for dark circles. Also, it does not tighten or plump any fine lines, even temporarily.

Overall, I recommend this for the young, tired eyes. It may not provide desired results to mature eyes.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The new year brings about a whole new lust-list! The winter holiday season is upon us, and will be gone soon. It is bittersweet that the festivities have to end, yet with a new year comes exciting new products to try!

My spring 2010 wishlist:

  • Benefit Sugarbomb and Stay Don't Stray Eye Primer (available now)
  • MAC Eye Shadow from the Warm and Cozy Collection: Embark, Mulled Cider, and Chamomile; Tinted Lipglass in 2N and 3N (available now)
  • T3 Refresh Volumizing Dry Shampoo for Dark Tone (available now)
  • Nars Lipstick in Cruising; Duo Eyeshado Kuala Lumpar (Spring 2010)
  • Guerlain- The entire Cherry Blossom Collection!!! (Spring 2010)
  • Lancome O My Rose Collection: Pop 'n Cheeks Blusher (Spring 2010)
  • Chanel Les Ombres Quadra Eyeshadow in Kaska Beige (Spring 2010)
and so much more... A girl's gotta dream, right?

What's on your wishlist for Spring 2010?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

As the year winds to an end, I contemplate what is great right now, and what is not so great...


Fudge. It seems to be displayed in mountainous mounds at every turn, and coming in every package. Although it may go straight to my hips, the need to enjoy it melt in my mouth is overwhelming and can't be avoided!

My new Sony HandiCam was delivered by Santa earlier today. It is beautifully blue, compact, and is charging up now, ready to take on my newly acquired desire to vlog!

Chai tea with clover honey and pumpkin spice creamer... mmm... This may sound odd, but it is divine and seasonal and warm. All the things that a warm drink does to make it a perfect holiday drink. It is a perfect blend of exotic spice mixed with traditionally classic sweet.

Revlon ColorStay for combination/oily skin. This foundation is like a good, true friend. No matter how many times I set it aside to try out other things, it is waiting for my return and never lets me down!


Watery eyes. My eyes seem to reject the heated forced air coming from the wall registers in my apartment, even though the warmth is welcome. Thankfully we have the option to don waterproof and smudge proof eye makeup!

My 'check engine' light made its bright and shiny presence known, and after a diagnostic check up, the offense was identified as an emission problem. :(

Gloomy, overcast darkness keeping away the view of the ocean. I haven't seen the sparkly water in over a week!

Chipped nail polish! Why won't it just stay put until I want to change colors?

Thanks for reading! ♥ What are your In's and Out's of the moment?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I just posted a new video: Beauty Questions Tag- I answered a series of questions about my current beauty products and routines. Check it out and I tag all of you! Thanks!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Recently, I was trying to find a photo to use as a profile picture, and I was horrified that in most recent pics I looked so shiny! I used to battle very dry, sensative skin, but not since I moved to my current location in July. This is my first winter here, and I noticed I now have the oiliest, shiniest, most blemish-prone skin ever! I am not sure if it is the weather, the new (more humid) climate, getting older, or what! So, it could be a combination of all these variables, plus some. What can a girl do, but tailor her makeup around the changes?

So, I went on a crusade to find foundation to combat the shine. Since I live Revlon ColorStay Foundation, I decided to get their formula for Combination/Oily Skin. I wore it with Benefit "Hello Flawless!" powder (designed to mattify). It wore nicely all day, and no shininess in the mirror or in a photo. The coverage, however, was not as strong by the end of an 8 hour work day. (btw... SPF 6)

Because CVS is having a BOGO Free sale for all Revlon products this week, I also got the ColorStay Mineral Mousse. This whipped, light wearing foundation is so soft and creamy. It spreads onto the skin in a flawless and soft matte finish. Despite the light weight of the formula, it has great coverage, and lasts all day! I love the silky, flawless texture my skin has when I wear this. I used the same Benefit "Hello Flawless!" powder to set this foundation. A plus to this version of ColorStay is the SPF 20.

At CVS... I noticed a tiny little display, off to the side, of something new. Revlon PhotoReady Foundation and PhotoReady Translucent Finisher. What?!? I hadn't heard anything about this. In the name of research ;)I snagged it up. Turns out, it has full coverage, and builds nicely. To benefit photographic properties, there is the slightest luminous shimmer. It is oil free, and fragrance free. The Translucent Finisher is light, and keeps any extra shine at bay. A negative aspect is the spectrum of colors is limited. The jury is out for how this performs on film, I will report back after the multitude of photo ops I am sure to endure over the next week of holiday gatherings!

Thanks for reading! ♥ Has anyone else tried the Revlon PhotoReady lineup? If so, was it comparable to any of the high end photo finish products you have tried?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bouffant Lifting and Texturizing Spray Gel

If you want BIG hair... this product is the answer! When sprayed at the roots of damp tresses before blow drying and styling, it provides lift and volume without stiffness or unmanageable texture. This spray also works well for scrunching in some natural, tousled waves. When sprayed on dry hair post flat ironing, it gives it that workable piece-y look, for the "messy" yet under control adorableness we all want to maintain!

I even went so far to use this on my unwashed hair, to give back some life to my flattened, droopy mane. It gave brilliant body, and I massaged it into my roots before brushing it out, and voila! Greasy roots be-gone!

I give this 5 stars and will definitely repurchase!

Thanks for reading! ♥ Coming soon... Dry shampoo options: Batiste, Salon Grafix, Rocoholic. Comparison and review of all three!

What are your hair texturizing go-to products? How about hair revival products to skip a washing?

Note: I bought this product, and I am not paid to review it. I expressed my own opinions in this review.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Elemental Herbs got this one right! This healing balm is a must have in any skincare and first aid arsenal. It is an organic herbal composition, and is petroleum free. I use this on cuts, scrapes, cat scratches, chapped lips, and even acne! Not only does it have a lovely lavender scent, the presence of lavender essential oil extract keeps bacteria and infection in check.

This is my go-to-item on healing blemishes, when they are at the dry and peeling stage. It is sensitive enough to put on your delicate facial skin, and is also a perfect base to keep your makeup from building up and flaking off, helping concealment last hours longer.

This multipurpose salve also treats cuticles and thirst starved skin on your hands. Washing your hands many times a day in harsh winter climates can cause unsightly and uncomfortably dry skin. To banish scaly, itchy dryness, this balm goes the distance. Because so little goes such a long way, one little jar will last a long time. I have had mine for over a year, and it is only 2/3 used up.

It can also be used as an intensive treatment on dry, callused heals. I just goop it on, and put on cotton socks to lock in the moisturizing and healing properties before going to bed.

With so many uses, this is a bargain product! It is $8.50 for the 1 oz. jar or $13.50 for the 2 oz. jar. I bought the 1 oz. jar. Elemental Herbs have since repackaged this product, but the ingredients are still the same. You can find Elemental Herbs All Good Goop here.

Thanks for reading! ♥ What kinds of multipurpose items do you love to keep on hand?

Friday, December 11, 2009

In these winter months, cold and cloudy weather need not dispirit my complexion! I love to pamper my face with varying skincare treatments, and I am forever searching for the ultimate combination that will make my skin look youthful and radiant. I have picked my top three for this winter.

The first is my default, go-to mask. It is inexpensive, and easy to find. Neutrogena Clear Pore is a dual duty formulation. It can be used as a daily cleanser, or an intensive mask. It is charged with benzoyl peroxide acne medication. It's claims to kill blackhead and breakout causing bacteria, all while deep cleansing and providing extra oil control. I use it as a mask, and I find that it does help to keep my shiny face a bit more oil-free. That is always welcome! It has a pasty, clay consistency, is white in color, and causes a slight tingling sensation. It dries in 5 minutes and is then ready to be rinsed away. It is a great treatment when there is not much time. I break this out whenever I feel hormonal breakouts on the horizon, and it always helps to dry things up a bit.

The second treatment is Verikira Spiced Pumpkin Face Masque. One pump of this powerful pumpkin juice does the trick! Once a thin layer is spread on the face, a strong tingling sensation sets in. It is not painful, but it is definitely reacting with the skin. It claims to exfoliate, and rejuvenate. I do have smoother, tighter skin following this treatment. It smells very veggie like, and initially feels very slimy, just like the gooey stuff from inside the pumpkin. I have seen many versions of a pumpkin peel, and I bought mine at BeautyTicket.

The final is a new favorite to my skin routine. Neutrogena Tone Correcting Enzyme Peel is a gritty facial mask treatment, and offers to help balance out discoloration. It is early to tell if it will cure my acne scarring discoloration (on my chin), I have been using it 2 times per week for only 2 weeks now, but it has already helped with sun damage spots I had on my upper cheeks. I am optimistic and will continue using it. I am coupling this product with a nightly dose of Neutrogena Tone Correcting Concentrated Serum. The two are part of the Ageless Intensives line. I intensely wish to be ageless! Does that help?

What products are in your holy grail skincare routine?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Very disappointing... I knew better... Most reviews I have read score it at about 3 out of 5. But, the wand was too hard to ignore! So, I impulsively purchased it, it was $9 (paid $7 with a coupon). I did discover the wand is not the part that is aweful, it is the mascara formulation that it comes with.

So I am justifying the purchase of the Telescopic Explosion just for the wand. I will have to re-purchase the Telescopic Carbon Black, and switch out the wand. Keep in mind that because the wand is rubber, it can be cleaned. Because of this... it can be a "makeup brush" investment, right?

About the wand, it is a round ball, and does reach the eyelashes that few traditionally shaped brushes reach. For the bottom lashes, it works amazingly! I've never had such defined length before using this round brush.

Thanks for reading! ♥

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I had some reward dollars to use up, so I decided to add some more Very Sexy cosmetics to my collection. They recently (summer 09) reformulated and revamped their entire makeup line. Apparently for the better! I am very impressed with every new item I have tried. The eye shadows are amazing! But, since I have no need for any shadows right now, and practically have all the colors, I decied to 'beef' up my lip collection.

Lipstick: ($12 each)
The first two, Breathe and Femme are Matte Creme Lipsticks, very pigmented in color, creamy and smooth. Their case is also a matte black. The last one is Spotlight, a Sparkling Lipstick. It is very wearable, with small light flecks of glitter.

Breathe, Femme, Sotlight

Breathe, Femme, Spotlight

2 Lip Laquers; 1 Lip Gloss: ($10 each)
The lip laquers have the claim to be pearlized, have a high shine and they have buildable color. I would agree with all three claims for Chic. I specifically picked this color out for upcoming holiday parties. It is definatley a change form my pattern of nudes and pinks. The color French Kiss does not have buildable color really, but it is a sparkly nude without much pigmentation, and a high dose of luminosity.
The last one, Embrace is a perfect variation of my favorite color in a gloss! It is very nude and sheer, high shine, and has a mocha type smell. It works perfectly for layering over lipstick, to give it a high shine. :)

French Kiss (golden beige), Chic (wine), Embrace (beige w/shimmer)

French Kiss, Chic, Embrace
Ring Lip Glosses: ($12)
Then, because I am a sucker for a giant ring, especially black and rocker chic looking, I got this lip gloss ring. It says Love on the outside, and Rocks on the inner lid. It is promoting the new Victoria's Secret scent, Love Rocks. The lip gloss is a shimmery red color, with no scent or taste. It goes on very sheer, giving a faint red tint to the lips.

The heart rings also have lip gloss in them. They were on sale, $3 for $15, so I grabbed up all three. The lip glosses are also shimmery, and provide no color pigmentation at all, just a sheer glossy finish. The rings are all the same size, not adjustable, about a size 7.

Thanks for reading. ♥

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I got my hands on this fabulous set of Benefit's Celebutante, and couldn't wait to start playing with all the products. It is basically a deluxe sample type affair, I got mine for $34. Since Benefit is so pricey, I have been holding out on getting many of their items. The few products I did splurge on were awesome, so I knew this would be worth it. Check out the swatches I did for each item.

The first lipstick is Lady's Choice, which is one of their best sellers, it is a light mauve. The second is No Competition, it is a berry wine color. They are both very creamy with rich pigmentation. The lip gloss is I'm With The Band, and is coral with gold sparkles. It has a doe foot applicator, is thick and creamy, not sticky, and smells like apples. Love them all!!! ♥

These swatches are the two eye shadows included: Dandy Brandy and Leggy. They are both velvet eye shadows. This swatch is done with no primer or flash.

For the next swatch, I did it on top of primer, the F.Y...eye, from Benefit. This product is NOT in the kit itself, but I thought I'd show you what it looks like. I like it just as much, if not more, than UDPP and Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I really like the pot packaging, since I like to apply my primer to myself with my ring finger.

So, this is the same eyeshadow, but on the primer. The photo is done without a flash, but it is such a shiny, almost metallic formulation that it picked up and reflected my vanity lights. All in all, the two colors work nicely together, I have worn the Leggy as an all over lid wash with Dandy Brandy in the crease. Also, I have used Leggy as a highlighter. Great neutrals, and they will both work well with many other colors in your collection. They blend beautifully, and are both high quality pigmentation. I expected nothing less from Benefit eyeshadow.

On to the pressed powder! It is Dallas, which is definitely a favorite from their line. It is rosy mauve, with the faintest shimmer. The shimmer is barely detectable once on and blended, but is present, so must be mentioned. This color can be used as a contouring bronzer, or a blush. The brush , well, the brush...

The brush is so tiny! Silly tiny, just one step above the drugstore blush brushes. But, with such a quality and cute brush, I asked myself, what can I use this for? I don't prefer to use these tiny, thin brushes, when there are such lovely, fluffy brushes available for the face. So, I decided it was the perfect size to use when applying a touch of highlighter to my cupids bow.

This is a swatch of Dallas, it is a deep color on my fair skin, almost a raisin color. It really adds warmth to my complexion, especially in these winter months.

Next, I want to talk about the "Jelly Donut". The associate at the makeup counter shared this fun technique with me! This is done with the High Beam (a luminizer) and Benetint(a lip and cheek stain). Start with drawing a circle, the size of a nickel, where you want to wear your blush. Then apply a small amount of the Benetint stain to the center of the donut. Using your fingertips, gently tap the mixture, blending it onto your cheeks, and shape the color around and up, where you would normally wear your blush and highlight.

I will warn you, this is a very shimmery way of wearing a little color on your cheeks!

I love the Benetint Stain, and it stains your lips as well as your cheeks. On the lips, it is a very raspberry color.

This pic is of my favorite way of using the cheek colors in this set. Voila! These are the benefits from wearing all three! Dallas as the contour, Benetint on the cheeks, and High Beam as the highlight.

Thanks for reading.

Note: I paid for all the items used in this review, I am not affiliated in any way with Benefit, I did not get paid to mention any item here, and all this information is my very own opinion!